I’m applying for a Working Holiday Visa to Ireland. Why? you might be asking. Ireland is (fortunately and unfortunately) the only country in Europe that offers such a program to Americans. Pretty much all of the EU makes it very difficult for Americans to get a job in one of its countries, unless your skills or career is in high demand.
This summer, England unexpectedly stole my heart. I know the two countries are obviously different, but they are neighbors nonetheless. This visa would allow me to live and work in Ireland for one year. I will have to find a job once I get there, but I really do not mind what kind of work I will be doing (I say that now…) as long as I will be in Ireland.
I really feel the Holy Spirit directing me to Ireland, though I am not sure why yet. I’ll share one story about confirmation from the Holy Spirit. I was having dinner with a new friend from my church, the Austin Stone, about a month ago. The fact that I am even friends with this girl is definitely from God, because I met her when I was still deciding whether or not to go to church there. Before I went to this particular service, I prayed that God would send me a friend, because loneliness in social situations is a big fear of mine. I ended up sitting down next to Christina at this service, and literally right as I sat down she introduced herself. We have been friends ever since! Though it was a small prayer, the fact that God answered it showed me how much he cared about me and my need to feel accepted in this community, and confirmed that I needed to continue going to church there.
Anyways, fast forward a month and Christina and I are having dinner. We were talking about traveling and I had yet to mention Ireland, and she starts telling me she spent 4 months in Ireland after college graduation working. Coincidence? THEN, after she told me about her disenchantment with Dublin and Cork, she told me that if I go, I should live in a city she loved, loved, loved, called Galway. This was before I told her that Galway was the one city I most wanted to live in from reading through lots of Ireland travel guides. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I have also talked to several people who I never would have thought have connections in Ireland, but randomly do.
The logical, realistic part of me tells me to stay in Austin and continue my job that will build my skills and lead to a successful career, while at the same time looking to settle down with someone, get married and start a family.
The easy-going, adventurous part of me tells me to RUN AS FAST AS I CAN from settling into a life that could sideline me in Austin for the rest of my life. That life is for some people, but it is not for me, and I was beginning to believe that it was after working in my current job since August.
The possibility of moving to Ireland for a year terrifies me and fills me with incredible excitement and peace at the same time.
I hope to leave in January. I’ll keep you posted!