Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Living away from home

I think a lot about how different it is to live in the US, what it would be like to move home. After 3 years it's a weird situation to think about. In some ways South Carolina feels more like home than Ireland. 
We built a home here together. In Ireland, when we first lived together Martina moved into my place. It was never truly ours. We started with nothing here and have slowly made ourselves a place we are happy to call ours. We've also grown together, moving so far from home and family changes you. We stopped second guessing things because we were worried about having to move home and accepted if we lost some stuff or money so be it...better to live life than worry. We got married and raised a puppy.
 3 years has seemed like an impossibly long time given all those things. It's been lonely but I've made some friends. Life in general is different. Even when we are both working hard it seems like there is more of a life outside work to be had.

I miss Ireland all of the time but right now thinking about actually living in Ireland seems like a black hole in my mind. When we left Ireland it had sunk into a huge economic crisis. My first year of being a postdoc there saw me taking 3 salary cuts within a year (because it was publicly funded). Everytime you turned around new charges and taxes were being added without any improvement or increases in services in return. 
Now it's recovering, pretty well, if the news is anything to go by. Still, I just don't see how we'd afford to live there while having any sort of quality of life. I just can't imagine it. That's weird, not being able to picture your life in the country where your family lives and has lived for 100s of years. Like everything else if we need to we'll do it and make it work just like we did here and the difference is we'll have friends and family to fall back on. Anyway the whole point of this is not to complain about the cost of living in Ireland, but just to recognize how very strange it is to be caught between two homes. I want to be here and there all at the same time, if only we had teleporters or could apparate!

Ultimately neither of us has any intention of living in the US long-term. Once we have kids or even before that moving to Europe will be a priority. Being closer to our parents as they get older will be a deal breaker. I'm hoping to enjoy another couple of years full of travel here and then move. I want to take with me the best aspects of life and what I've learned here (and lots of gorgeous medals) and continue it on when we leave. Since I can't imagine living in Ireland we'll probably be moving to the UK or even learning a language and moving to the continent. Our hearts will be torn between three homes, I wonder if it'll always feel like that?

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