Three Years in Dublin

November 7, 2011
{one of my favorite streets in Dublin – looking up toward the Tourist Information Office – it’s in that church!}

This Friday marks three years since I moved to Dublin. Wild, right?!

I thought to commemorate the three years in Dublin, it might be fun to share a few stories of living in Dublin, what I’ve found challenging or surprising, and maybe even some travel tips. For today, I’ll share how I ever ended up here in the first place!

Michael (my husband, if you’re new here!) and I met at Colby College during our senior year. We dated through our senior year, and when we both graduated, Michael moved to Spain to play basketball for a year. I stayed in Maine to run a congressional primary campaign. We were apart for a year – I visited Ireland once, and Spain twice; Michael surprised me by showing up in Maine once and asked me to marry him! Then we got married in Maine in August of 2008.

Still with me? Great. At the time of our wedding, I knew I had to stay in Maine for another few months to finish the campaign I was working on. We had thought we’d try to spend one year in Europe while Michael played for another basketball team, and then settle back in America for the long term.

But by the time we got married, it had become clear that European basketball was feeling the recession already. There were very few jobs going, and it didn’t seem likely that Michael would find a team. In the weeks before our wedding, we knew we probably wouldn’t be heading back to Spain, but we were so busy we hadn’t really settled on a plan.

On the morning after our wedding, Michael and I woke up early to drive from the B&B where we spent the wedding night, back to my parents’ house to have brunch with our guests. During the twenty-five minute drive, we decided, in the fastest, most matter-of-fact way, that we’d move to Dublin for a year. We’d get our European experience, Michael could work as a basketball coach and play in a league there, and I’d find work substituting in local schools. Easy as that.

A few days after we were married, Michael hopped on a plane back to Dublin, and I stayed in Maine until the November elections. In retrospect, this was such a strange way to start our marriage – and it may have made it a tad more difficult to adjust when I moved to Dublin. But more on that later.

Michael started some coaching jobs, and set about getting our life organised for when I arrived. He rented an apartment, bought a car. I arrived at Dublin Airport at 5am on November 11th to a new country, a new husband, and a new life. It took a week for reality to set in, and it took a year for me to really adjust. And it was a whole lot harder than I ever thought it would be.

So, there’s the short story of how I came to live on this little green island. For a year (so much for that plan!). Three years later, I’m happily settled and (most days) am willing to call Dublin home.

I’ll leave you with that for today – part one of how I ended up here, with this life, in this land. Tomorrow, I’ll give you the inside scoop on what it was like during the first year.

Would you ever up and move to another country? Think you could do it permanently, or would you have to return home eventually?



  • Reply Joanne November 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Emily,

    I just wanted to drop you a note to say hi and that I think your blog is super cute. This post made me want to comment because I’m an American living in Dublin too and I came here for just one year and now have been here eight!

    It’s funny, too, because I almost went to Colby, but went to Notre Dame instead. I just fell in love with Colby when I visited – so pretty and adorable.

    Small world!


    • Reply emily November 8, 2011 at 9:44 am

      Hi Joanne! I can’t believe you came for one and stayed for eight! It sucks you in, this place. That will be me in 5 years, I’m pretty sure! And very small world about Colby – it’s so nice to hear from someone who’s heard of Colby!! 🙂

  • Reply Eithne November 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Hey there, I came across your blog via your DesignSponge city guide to Dublin. As I was then planning to move back to Dublin after 10 years away, I was very excited to find your sweet and lovely musings on life here.

    Funnily enough, after so long living overseas, moving home has been like moving to another country. I’ve never lived in Ireland as an adult so lots of things are a mystery to me plus I have to go through the same steps I got used to abroad of making new friends, getting into a new routine, making a home in a new place.

    Still, tough as it can be sometimes, I know that it’s all an adventure and the rewards are great. I hope you feel the same.

    Best wishes on your three-year Irish anniversary!


    • Reply emily November 8, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      Hi Eithne! Thanks so much for your comment! That’s such an interesting twist on an inter-continental move – the return after living away. I agree – making new friends is tough in a new place and takes so much more effort than it used to in college! I’d love to hear more about what changed or surprised you after ten years away from Dublin. I bet you have tons of great insights!

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