To move or not to move? That is not the only question. There are others, and there will always be others; practical, personal. Where to move? For how long? What are the motivations for moving? Does the good outweigh the bad? Why? Am I being honest with myself? What’s important in life? Am I having a mid-life crisis? Am I doing the right thing? What does it mean to live without regrets? How should we leave things in our home country?
You’ll keep asking some of them over and over again. That’s a good thing, especially for the more personal ones. Things change, you change and you’ve always got to ask yourself the prying questions to keep your head clear and your heart flexible and honest. It’s tiresome but rewarding. The thing is just that sometimes you don’t have all the answers, and you won’t get them either. Sometimes you just have to move forward in the way you’re lead and feel your way around in the dark. I think it’s then that you’ll instinctively know which way to go.
In 2014 we did a whirlwind camping trip in Europe. It was the second and last time we were going to do an overseas trip, so we tried to fit in as many things as we could. It was chaotic and also excellently tiring. In early 2015 we had thoughts about starting our own business and talked about a few ideas. And then, snap, click, bam. Something changed. Looking back, I still don’t know what it was. I can’t really understand it but it was weirdly instinctive. We resolved to put hypothetical conversations into action.
In the space of three months Gareth found a job in Ireland and I packed up the house. We took a look at our three years of savings in Rands and said “Nah, we’ll be fine!” (that was before the Zuma used his surprise tactics against the whole of South Africa and fired the old finance minister, and the new one too, but not the old, old one) and used the first of it to buy plane tickets to Amsterdam and then onwards to Cork, Ireland. We landed here in the middle of a storm, had a nice bit of a holiday and then started with real life.
It can be quite difficult to find information on what to do if you hold a non-EEA passport. I’m going to be doing a few blog posts sharing my research about what’s involved in moving to Ireland in the hope that it will be helpful to someone else.