My husband and I began dreaming of moving to Ireland 2 years ago. We decided to write a list of pros and cons to help us in our decision and the pros of moving to Ireland overwhelmingly won out. The problem is, you don’t truly know what the cons are until you make the move and start to experience day-to-day life. You can imagine and make conjectures but I for sure didn’t realize what I truly missed until it was gone.
Disclaimer: This list is friends and family excluded – No people allowed on this list!
What I miss about the USA:
10. 4th of July
This one sounds dumb BUT the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. We walk in the morning to watch a parade, grab candy from people throwing it at our faces, the air is hot, and after the parade, we sit with family and friends outside and have a bbq, drink cocktails, and watch our kids splash around in an inflatable pool and eat popsicles. When the evening rolls around we grab our blankets, jackets, and folding chairs and head to watch the fireworks. There is something about gazing up at the fireworks while kids laugh and run around with sparklers that makes my heart truly and deeply happy. I can still celebrate from here BUT it’s just not the same.
9. Large Portion Sizes
This one honestly sounds dumb too. HOWEVER! I’ll defend myself. One of the simple pleasures in life is getting take out and having enough food to eat it again the next day for lunch. I miss that.
8. Lake Michigan
The Irish Sea is incredibly beautiful but it’s also COLD. It’s difficult to stay in for long periods of time. Lake Michigan is warm enough that once you’re in for a little while you actually feel warmer IN the water than OUT of the water. We’ve just gotten some wet suits for the kids so hopefully, they’ll adjust to playing in the colder water!
I am still confused about how to get rid of unwanted items that aren’t trash but that I don’t want anymore. I used to go to Goodwill all the time – just drive up, unload, and drive off! It feels so good to declutter!
6. 20oz Lattes
Coffee shops here in Ireland seem to sell smaller coffees. The biggest I’ve found so far is the regular small cup of coffee in the states. I’ll keep searching!
5. Costco/Bulk Buying
I didn’t realize how nice it was to buy things in such big portions so that I don’t have to keep buying them ad nauseam.
4. Wide Roads
Irish roads are famously narrow. You’ll find yourself driving along and needing to pull aside so you can both fit on the two-way road. I’m not going to lie, it’s a little panic-inducing when that road is also on a curve so neither of you can see who’s coming. Fun times.
3. Uber Eats/DoorDash/Grub Hub Etc.
If you’re in Dublin you can download the app Deliveroo and be able to get your take-out delivered, but if you find yourself outside of Dublin you’ll be missing out on food delivery! Some places do offer delivery for a small fee but you won’t have very many places to choose from.
2. Driving on the other side of the road
I’ve driven once since being in Ireland and It’s really throwing me off how the bulk of the car is on my other side. Not only am I on the other side of the car, but I need to remember to drive on the left! On my first and only drive, I hit a curb and popped the tire. I REALLY miss driving on the other side of the road and having it be so easy to go for a drive.
1. Target Drive-Up
This one I NEVER saw coming. I literally CRIED thinking about Target drive up and how much I miss ordering from my phone, pulling up, and having my stuff delivered to my car in 10 minutes. Not to mention having everything I need in ONE store…I am actively daydreaming about Target Drive up – that one has left a huge target-sized hole in my heart.
The Red, White & Blue
Most of the things I miss about the USA are things of convenience. I never thought those kinds of things would bother me, but now I realize just how used to being catered to I am, and how much things were targeted toward the consumer (me). Amazon delivered the next day right to my doorstep, Grubhub brought hot food to my house whenever I wanted it, Whole Foods dropped my groceries right on my porch, grocery stores had most things I needed (food, toilet paper, clothes, toys, etc.) and Target brought the things I wanted RIGHT TO MY FREAKING CAR.
Since moving to Ireland my life is totally turned upside down. Things that were easy are now hard, things that I took for granted are now gone, and daily tasks I did without thinking now take a lot of mental effort.
I miss the United States and all the comfort that it brings me. That being said, I will adjust. My expectations of life will change, I will learn to drive, I will figure out where and how to buy all the things I need, and I’ll learn to wait. This is a time of adjustment, a time of transition and the growing pains are harder than I expected but that’s okay because I can do hard things.
If you’re thinking of making the move to Ireland – just remember. I can do hard things, and so can you.
Besides, It’s the hard things in life, the ones we need to work for, that are the most rewarding.