5 Months

5 Months

Just as the title suggests, today marks the day that I left Ireland and traveled to the USA 5 short months ago. I had an idea that life here would be better than back home, for starters I would be sharing it with the love of my life and my then wife to be. 5 months later and we are over 3 months married and having fun together.

So today’s post will be a little recap on the first five months of my life here in the USA. It has been good but has taken a fair bit of readjusting and even though there are some similarities between Ireland and the USA, it’s quite obvious we are 2 distinct cultures. When people here say customer service, about 90% of the time they mean good service because that’s what is expected and received. Now only if Ireland could get that memo and even though you work in a service industry, there is no need to be a grumpy fecker. If you are one of those people that hate your job, hate people coming into your shop or business, well then leave the job rather than take it out on the customer. It wouldn’t be tolerated over here by customers for a minute.

Onto driving, at first that scared the hell out of me. Driving my first day part of the way from Orlando to Atlanta was probably the least confident I was in a car since my very first lesson back in 1990. In 5 short months it has got better, even though I do still use GPS and ask Leanne to just confirm I am in the right lane.

I have had interesting conversations with people as a lot of people just know Ireland from movies or photos or visiting as a tourist and not seeing the ‘real’ Ireland. I do my best to tell them about the real Ireland, like how it’s ok for us to hate U2 and to slate them, but not for them to slate them. They are ours so even though we slate them at home, we will defend them across the globe. It’s an Irish thing. One thing I have noted and maybe Guinness should make a note of this too, bar staff cannot pull a pint of Guinness. I have been served some nice tasting Guinness, but it is basically just poured like a beer. Please bar staff, stop it or join those grumpy feckers in a new career. Some of the enjoyment in a Guinness is waiting and watching it settle before it’s topped off.

Now food, wow how much choice do people want. You can have a simple burger done about 100 different ways in 1000’s of places. And then what is on the menu is changed by people saying they want a particular burger but with something either added or taken out. If you are lover of salads, well then the USA is the place for you. I am not a salad eater for main meal, it belongs between two slices of bread in a sandwich as far as I am concerned, but some of the salads served look fantastic and come with foods I never heard off.

And finally onto family and friends. I done a few posts the other day about family and the pets as well as Robert, my son. I will reiterate that now, I am a lucky guy because my family and my newly extended family have been wonderful in their support for my move here and helping me settle in. My friends back in Ireland send me messages via Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp, and every single message is greatly appreciated.

This is probably the only post that doesn’t have any pictures except for the header photo. That is a deliberate choice as I wanted the words I am writing to stand on their own and to share my thanks to everyone who has been part of this journey so far. There is lots more to come so keep in touch and drop me a message anytime.

To wrap up it wouldn’t right of me not to mention the one person who helped to make my journey here possible, my darling wife, Leanne. We met in 2001, waited 13 years before having a conversation about our future together and here we are now, a happily newly wed couple. To Leanne I say Thank you for starting that conversation, thank you for the last 5 months and thank you for making me so happy.

Its not difficult….but can be lonely

A bit of a thoughtful post today. As I have stated recently, I am only 3 months in the USA and still can’t work as I await paperwork to clear. As a new immigrant to the country and someone who had either been in school or work constantly since I was 17, not working is difficult but with structure and support from loved ones it can be done.

I worked for Irish Rail for 3 years, the Irish Defence  Forces for 23 and Dublin Airport for 2, as well as attending college in the last few years, so I have always been busy. I did take 8 months off back in 2011 when I retired from the military and that was more to get what I had planned going and every day had a certain amount of structure.

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Me while serving in the Military

Its very easy to fall into a life of day time TV, which i hate, or just staying in bed till noon. Neither of those options appeal to me so a plan was needed. As we have 2 dogs that helped with any plan as they love to go on walks. Also I love to drive my wife into work so that means most mornings we are out the door by 7.15am.

My day starts once I drop Leanne to work and come home with the dogs. A quick walk around the neighborhood is followed by breakfast and a mug of tea. I now have a subscription to Lynda.com which allows me to learn new skills with the aid of video online lessons. Normally i will do 90 mins at a time, 2-3 times over the day, depending on what else i need to do.

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Walking the dogs

The real difficulty is loneliness, being on my own most of the day it takes discipline to make sure I keep at what I am doing. The dogs keep me company but its a chat with someone that I miss the most. I do keep in contact with friends at home via Viber but there is a 5 hour time difference s that can be difficult at times. I am lucky as i have a few things on my side, firstly I have the support of my lovely wife, secondly i am quite disciplined to keep at what I am doing and finally daytime TV sucks!

If you are in the same situation as me, make a plan, stick to it and have structure for you day. Yes take a day off, go for lunch but have a plan of what to do. In a few short months I hope the paperwork comes through and I can start following my dream of being self employed as a photographer, but for now the planned and structured days of being at home and a house husband will continue.