My Heart Belongs to Dublin
I have debated for a few months now whether or not I really wanted to publish this post. I mean, my future plans are just that...plans, and I don't know if my plans will come to fruition or change. Of course, I'm pretty dead set on my plans - and I'm consistent at my age if nothing else - but none of us can predict the future, including myself. So, take this post with the idea that I will be able to follow through with this. Carry on, then, dear reader.
Ahhh, Dublin. It's a city of wonderment, romanticism, history, and modernity, all mixed together to create the perfect place. The perfect place for me, that is. Over the past few years, my dreams of someday traveling the world for a year or two has given way to living somewhere in Europe. I've thought long and hard about where I'd like to hang my final hat one day, and after much thought and deliberation, I've decided on Dublin. This hasn't been a quick decision, nor is it a rash one, just to be clear.
Living in Europe is a dream of mine, and when I thought about where it would be that I wanted to live, I considered five main factors:
1. Language: I readily admit that learning a foreign language is difficult for me. Therefore, when looking at where I'd ultimately want to live in Europe, I narrowed it down to the English-speaking countries.
2. Size: I grew up in a small, sleepy, little town...and I hated it. When I grew up I kept moving to bigger and bigger places until I landed in a city. I love the perks that a city can bring, and I love being an urban dweller. I need to live in a city with a population of one million or more.
3. Weather: I want to live where it gets neither extremely hot nor extremely cold. In other words, I want to live somewhere that has a more moderate temperature. Dublin averages 40-60 degrees F throughout the year, which for me is perfect as I am a leggings and long sleeves gal.
4. Proximity to other Countries: Traveling is big on my radar, so living in a country where traveling to other countries is both quick and inexpensive is a must. Ireland is close to the rest of Europe - as well as other places - and several perusals of flights to other places have revealed the quick and inexpensive I'm looking for.
5. Access to Nature: I might love city life and want to live as an urban dweller, but make no mistake, I am, and will always be, a nature girl. When I need a break from the daily grind, I need to plant myself in nature and hike. With Wicklow Mountains National Park to the South, the ocean coast directly to the East, and a whole bevy of other parks, bogs, castles, nature, and even the Cliffs of Moher, no more than a short train ride away, nature will be in abundance for me.
Like I said, these are the five main factors, but there are others. Having traveled to and tread upon the streets of Dublin, Limerick, and Galway, I'm already familiar with Dublin, and Ireland on the whole. I was completely captivated by this country (especially in comparison to others I've been to): the nature was breathtaking, the people were friendly, the cities and towns were fascinating, the history drew me in, and I related to the culture. Yes, I'm aware of the differences between visiting vs living, and the differences between there and here, but the thing going most for me is my sense of place.
I've picked up and moved around to several places, and states, within the U.S. and I've never felt a sense of loss or sadness. Moving isn't that big of a deal to me, and I don't have those strong ties and sense of roots that some people do. I'm all about new experiences, living life to the fullest, and having adventures. I am unafraid to try something new...even if I'm alone when I do it.
While many people could never imagine picking up and moving across the country, let alone to another country, I'm not afraid in the least. I realize that the worst that can happen is that it won't work out, and I can then move on to the next place. At least I gave it a shot! Truth be told, I don't want to be attached to or tied down to one place. I want to live my last, great years being a citizen of the world. So, while I have designs (as of now) to plant myself in Ireland, it's really just a place to hang my hat as I plan to spend the majority of my time visiting the rest of the world. But, if you have to spend some significant time in any one country....you could definitely do worse than Ireland.