I’m struggling at the moment with where to begin with this move. My to-do list is long and is growing by the minute. Trying to take a step back here and tackle things one at a time…
James will be moving to Dublin a few months before I do, and will be staying with a friend during that time. This means that apartment hunting has been put off for a bit, which is honestly a relief. I’ve done a lot of research into the Irish market, and all I’ve discovered is that renting is expensive and we’ll never find what we want. Instead of sulking in that disappointment, I’ll shove it to the side for now as we have more pressing issues to deal with.
First on the to-do list: figuring out who I am. We got married over the summer and I’m changing my name. I think it makes the most sense to legally change my name and get a new passport before moving to Ireland, as my Irish visa will be stamped in my passport. So step 1 is sending my marriage license and every form of identity I’ve ever had to the Social Security office at the US Embassy in London. Once I have the new Social Security card, I can move forward with the new passport. I’m dreading that bit. Every expat will tell you that your passport is your lifeline. Giving it up – even for just a few weeks – makes you feel trapped, and it’s terrifying.
Next, determining a timeline. My boss is the most wonderful woman in the world and has basically told me that I can move whenever I feel I need to, notice period be damned. The flexibility is wonderful, and I appreciate it so much, but I sort of wish I had someone telling me how to do this. At the moment, it looks like I’ll move over to Ireland at the beginning of December. That is dependent upon my passport situation (will it be back in time??). More updates on this later, I guess…
If I am moving at the beginning of December, I need to start organizing someone to move all of our stuff. I have a few quotes already, but I need to decide which company will work best for us and figure out the right time to get them to move. The quotes are actually a lot more reasonable than I’d expected, and we’re lucky that James’ new firm has offered us a relocation package. But finding that happy moving date can be tricky – we’re shipping all of our furniture, so I won’t be able to stay in the house after it goes. But we don’t want to leave it too late because we don’t want to get stuck paying for another month’s rent in London. Maybe aiming to have everything shipped on November 30th is a good call? (Can you tell that this post really is just me typing out my anxiety?)
My last move (from Brussels to London) was much smaller. I don’t think we’ll get off so easy this time…
Speaking of which – what to do with our flat? We’re still not sure what the situation is with our lease, but are hoping to hear back from the landlord soon. Best case scenario: we can leave whenever we want without any consequences. More likely scenario: we’ll need to find someone to take over our lease. My brother and his girlfriend are interested, but it means figuring out timing that works for them, getting them approved by our management company, a probable overlap of tenancy, etc.
Once I do finally get out of our flat and get everything shipped to Dublin, there’s a big problem (the biggest problem, really): finding a job. Ireland frustratingly has a rule that you cannot teach primary school unless you speak Irish. To be fair, I do speak some Irish – I can count to ten, say “cow,” and I can tell people to sit down. (What more do teachers need, really?) But apparently that is not enough. This means I’ll most likely have to change careers. I’d love to continue working in a school even if I can’t be a classroom teacher. I’ve emailed a few schools already asking about opportunities for a teacher like me, but am still waiting to hear back. If that doesn’t pan out…well, I honestly don’t know what else I’d like to do. I love being a teacher and can’t really imagine working in a different field. So I need to spend some time looking at options.
I will miss having a classroom to organize.
Alright, I think that covers the biggies on my list. I’m sure a million other little to-dos will be added in the next few weeks, but it does feel good to have started processing all of these important tasks. Will keep you updated!