A couple of days ago when I sat down at my desk in the morning I browsed to the news to see how the Dollar was doing vs the Euro. The surge of the euro was worrying for me! When searching, I saw a story about a shooting, clicked on it and watched the video. It was the story about the Lady Reporter and her Cameraman being gunned down live on the air in Virginia. Whenever there’s a mass shooting in the US, it really saddens me. The way this story played out with the gunman tweeting and posting on Facebook really, really saddened me and still does. It galvanized my thoughts in the last year of moving back to Ireland.
Over the last few months I’ve been tearing my hair out over where I’m going to settle. I’m pretty sure I want to settle in Ireland but I won’t have the same work opportunities as I have over here. When I speak about my gripes with friends living in other states e.g. New York, California, Washington, Oregon etc. my negative views are met with, “that’s just Arizona, dude” It’s made me think about moving to a different state before deciding whether or not to move back to Ireland. I recently spent some time looking at rent in Seattle and the general cost of living. In the end it was too much of a hit to take. I would actually have been making less there, salary wise in the job I was offered and spending way more just to maintain the same standard of living.
It made me widen my scope, though. I started looking around at rent and places to buy. At one point, I was even contemplating renting in Hawaii. Again, it was too much of a hit to take financially but at least it would have been a much different culture and lifestyle. California is beautiful in parts but the parts I like are way too expensive e.g. Monterey. I’ve met people in similar jobs as me that live outside of LA or in the Bay area and make about 1.5 times my salary but even at that, it wouldn’t be enough for the increased cost of living.
It made me ask myself some questions. What do I miss the most about Ireland? I miss a lot but what did I miss the most…. I really miss the air quality in Ireland. It’s not bad up in Washington but there’s something different in Ireland. I think maybe the mositure in the air makes it soft to breathe in. I have been to half of the states in the US but have yet to find air as good.
I miss the temperate climate. For this I was told to try the East Coast. The only state I’d like to live in over there is Connecticuit but again it’s very expensive. They also have very cold winters and warm muggy summers. For temperate weather. I believe the two best states would be California or North Carolina. One has water restrictions and is one big eathquake away from being a memory and the other has a reputation that’s not too disimilar to Arizona..they also have Hurricaines and poorly built homes.
I miss the Ocean. Along with the air quality, this is something I took for granted. I really didn’t factor in that I would miss being by the Ocean. I don’t swim much, if I wanted to I’ve had a pool here for the last 3.5 years, I don’t use it. I don’t even like the beach much. I realized I missed the Ocean a couple of years ago on a business trip to Rhode Island. I took a drive over to Cape Cod. It was so nice just to stand with my face feeling that Ocean brreze and listening to the waves crashing. I embarked on a 14 hour driving day to drive up and down the Pacific Coast Highway last year…same feeling, though a lot of that stretch of Coast hag big ugly looking rigs ruining the view.
I miss the quality of the food. Recently I became a vegetarian over here not just for any moral reaons but because I’ve had stomach problems for years now. I’m trying to remove things from diet to figure out what might be causing it without success so far. I have found you can good quality food here but you have to pay $$$…to the point it’s more expensive to buy your weekly gorceries here than it was in Ireland. Even so, when I go into Sprouts and see the size of their Organic Chickens I have to double take…if those are Organic, I’m the fuckin’ Pope.
I miss more than just those things. At 30 years of age and these thoughts of settling down, I’ve been factoring in the long term plan. Where’s best for my kids? US schools have rolled out common core, which seems to suck! There’s also now drills for kids incase of an active shooter…that’s disturbing. Quality of the school your kids go to depends on where you live..which has benefits but disadvantages too. Then there’s college. I do not want my kids joining the forces over here. For many that’s the only viable way to get an education here. Fuck that.
Not to completely rail against the US. There’s things I love about living here. The American work ethic is something to behold. I don’t know if it’s the same in every Industry or not but in the Industries I’ve worked in, it has been incredible. I like that I can walk around my neighboorhood or any neighborhood around the Valley and people will say hello, give a smile or a wave. That might be unique to here, though..of course. But I do like that. Galway use to be like that when I was very young, you could walk around Newcastle or one of the nighborhood and get a head nod. Not any more. Living here gives you access to so many different amazing cities, landscapes etc.
Although, the food here is likely killing me! Some fo the food you can get here is incredible. Also, convenience! There may be a lack of unique small businesses but even so, there’s a lot of conveniently located chain places that are open late. on weekends and on holidays. Another huge and this is unique to the US…I’ve been to a handful of countries but so far, hands down the best quality service I have received has been in the US. It’s pretty consistently great. The road infrastructure in Arizona is also amazing and we don’t have any toll roads!
Back to the opportunities! I have recruiters contacting me constantly. When I moved here the economy was still hurting but compared to Ireland it seemed like a boom for me. Over here you get paid very well. Your hard work is also recognized. I have received multiple Industry awards, travelled the country and the world speaking at conferences and have been invited to review products and services. It’s pretty amazing. If I move back to Ireland, I have to sacrifice my career. That will probably be harder than I expect. The word career makes me dry heave…I’d like to think I’m not career driven BUT I know going back to a slow paced, go nowhere type of job will likely make me upset pretty quickly.
So, to summarize. I have no idea what I’m going to do 🙂