I sit down to write not with any exciting news of travels, pictures of places seen, or people met. I’d be foolish if I expected my journey of traveling and working abroad to be nothing but partying, pleasure, and completely enjoying myself. There are – without a doubt – going to be setbacks to conquer and hills to climb. I’d also be naive to not admit that thus far I’ve had a pretty good hand dealt to me.
Ireland treated me amazingly. Immediately upon my arrival to the country, I fell in love with the place, the people, and this was surely made possible by my (relatively) carefree three weeks of traveling. When the three weeks or so came to an end, I made the decision to work for face2face. While the work was difficult and I often questioned my employment with the company, it provided many advantages. Free accommodation – I was able to earn Euros while paying nothing for a place to sleep each night. Though I worked long and difficult hours, the pay was good. I believe hindsight has shown me that the greatest benefit from working for face2face wasn’t the free accommodation, it wasn’t the wages, it maybe wasn’t even the feeling of knowing that I was making a difference in the lives of others, but that it provided a perfect venue to make irreplaceable friendships. These friendships absolutely added to my experience in Ireland – an experience that I consider invaluable – one that I will surely remember the rest of my life.
In Galway, I had stupid luck. With zero experience serving, I quite frankly probably didn’t deserve the opportunity to work for Ard Bia. But thanks to the goodwill of the staff – namely my manager, within three days of my arrival to Galway, I was working for a brilliant restaurant. Again, I was able to meet wonderful people and immediately had a steady flow of income.
Things in Edinburgh are taking longer to fall completely into place. My attempts at finding gainful, full-time employment have so far been fruitless. I’ve spent more than a couple afternoons canvassing the town, introducing myself to potential employers, and dropping off my CV with hopes of finding the perfect job. As of yet, it hasn’t come my way. And, I have to realize, the perfect job may not immediately (or ever) fall into place. Luckily, the temp agency I’m working for has provided me with the opportunity to work – albeit, none of this work has been overly glamorous or exciting. But, it’s work nonetheless.
I guess the purpose behind this post is to show that this path I’ve chosen isn’t as easy as it’s maybe seen. I’m hundreds of miles away from close friends, familiarity, and most importantly family. I’m watching my two year old nephew grow up through occasional webcam hellos. Anyone who knew me well in university would know that telephone conversations with my parents were a two or three time a day occurrence. Lately, a weekly hello and email is the extent of my relationship with my folks and my sister. All this being said, I consider myself unbelievably lucky to know that I have the support of such a loving family – regardless of how many miles or time zones separate us. Lucky, as well, to be on this journey – challenges or not.
So with the lifestyle I’ve chosen comes ups and downs. It’s all part of the experience. I’ll remember the ups and the downs will surely make me a stronger person.
stay well, everyone. thanks for reading. – mdk