Living in Ireland: Back After a Month in the U.S.
It’s flat out STRANGE to visit the United States after living in Ireland for a year.
I tried to put my finger on why exactly.
In part, I think it’s because I’ve changed. Evolved, shall we say? How could you not after moving to a foreign country?
But when I went ‘home’ I realized how much HADN’T changed. There is something comforting in that though.
I also realized that I’d gotten used to being slightly uncomfortable ALL. THE. TIME. while in Ireland.
You can try to look and act local in the face of constant new experiences, but as soon as you open your mouth you see a flicker of “you’re not from around here” pass across someone’s face.
This is especially funny when someone asks me for directions. I take it as a huge compliment that the poor soul assumes I’m a local. Fake it ’til you make it! But then I have to respond to their question and I can visibly see them trying to decide if I REALLY know what I’m talking about. Don’t worry. I
When I’m in the United States, I’m not special at all.
Oh, we all know I’m SPECIAL, but what I really mean is I fit in. When I was back, I noticed I fit in, which is a weird thing to be acutely aware of.
That lady at Panera just assumed I’d been in her restaurant quite regularly because I was quick to order. I always get the same sandwich though.
The guy at the gas station just assumed I’d remember what zip code the credit card I hadn’t used in a year was attached to. I did…after a long, awkward pause and a quick prayer.
And the lady at the rental car company…well, let’s just say she should have asked me how long it’s been since I’ve USED my driver’s license, not if I have a valid one or not. Rest assured, I
surprisingly remembered how to drive.
Our visit to the U.S. went by super quickly. I’m beyond grateful that I have this quirky blogging job that allows me to be home with the kids and gives me the freedom to work from anywhere. Even from a farm, 10 miles from civilization with slow-as-molasses internet. Talk about roughing it!
I was worried the kids would not want to return to Ireland. Not because they don’t like it here, but because it’s fun being with friends, cousins and grandparents. Thankfully, they were ready to go home. They missed daddy and
all the things they normally play with.
Apparently, the neighbor’s cat missed them too. We call her Mittens. I’ve stopped wondering what her actual name is.
(In case you are wondering what my daughter is doing in inside-out pajamas, she is painting her LPS to look like Warrior Cats from her favorite book series. It’s a messy activity best done outside.)
I was a little concerned the kids were having a hard time adjusting when they announced they were going outside to play ‘cold weather survival.’
It was 62 degrees Fahrenheit.
Definitely not my idea of summer temps, I’ll grant them that.
We also needed to stock up on food because Handy Husband’s idea of stocking the refrigerator does not include
food things like fruits and vegetables.
I’m teaching the kids how to ring up the groceries because I have dreams of one day just giving them a list and sending them to the store. These are important
help your mama life skills.
Now, folks. Jet lag is real and it can whoop your behind. This happened to me the last time we did the 8-hour time change.
I’ve figured out what works for me though. The magic formula is to stay up all day and then sleep for 14 hours straight.
I kid you not, it works every time!
Handy Husband’s idea of overcoming jet lag is to go for a 4-mile hike the day after we land.
He’s so helpful.
I told him the 14 hours of sleep had me feeling pretty good, but no, no.
A hiking we did go!
We did get to see some awesome views of this lighthouse though.
Meanwhile, can you spot which kid and husband are mine?
Finally, we eased back into Irish life by going for a bike ride and discovering
my favorite thing of all time a carnival.
This is what happens when I let the kids ride ahead of me.
Here’s the good news. I think.
My boy, who has a healthy fear of these death traps, decided to get on that big sky swing.
If he showed even the slightest sign of being scared, I was prepared to go all mama bear on the entire carnival to shut that ride down, but my concerns were not warranted.
He had a fantastic time. Funny how you blink and they’ve done some growing up on you.
All in all, I’m so glad we had the opportunity to spend time in the U.S. this summer.
The place of your birth has a strange tug on your heartstrings. I realized this when I got teary-eyed listening to the national anthem being sung at a rodeo. Legit tears in my eyes, people.
Someday I’ll be back, but until then I’m happy to be home in my own bed in Ireland.
If you want to know more about our experience of moving to and living in Ireland, check out these posts:
Living in Ireland: Life Without a Car
Living in Ireland: Inside My Kitchen
Living in Ireland: Christmas in Retail 2017
Living in Ireland: Storm Ophelia
Living in Ireland: That Time a Tree Came Down
Living in Ireland: Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Living in Ireland: Back After A Month in the United States
Living in Ireland: As Seen On My Commute
Living in Ireland: A Trip to the Hardware Store
Living in Ireland: Spring Flowers In Our Yard
Living in Ireland: Grocery Shopping
Living in Ireland: What to See my Hot Press?
Living in Ireland: Merry Christmas 2016
Living in Ireland: Christmas in Retail
Living in Ireland: Exploring Our New Country
Moving to Ireland: Grocery Item Look Alikes
Moving to Ireland: Primary School 101
Moving to Ireland: First Week of School
Moving to Ireland: A Day Out and About
Moving to Ireland: The Great Purge
Moving to Ireland: Human Kindness is Overflowing
Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #1
Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #2
Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #3
Moving to Ireland: Temp House First Floor
Moving to Ireland: Temp House Second Floor
Thinking about visiting Ireland? Read on!
The Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands with Kids
Our Favorite Irish Castle Tour with Kids
Kissing the Blarney Stone and Blarney Castle
Get ready–we’ll soon be there to invade your home!
I really enjoyed this blog. Also happy you got to spend time in the states, I know your family enjoyed seeing you. Enjoy the visit from Nels and Dawn. It should be an enjoyable trip for them.
Thanks! I took them to Bridgeport too and told them lots of stories about going to school there!