Archive for February, 2010

A very Californian meal: Brown Rice & Veggie Wrap

Yesterday the movers came and wrapped up all of my furniture, along with a good number of boxes, and took them away to a storage facility. Standing there in my empty apartment, it hit me: I’m really doing this.

It amazes me that just four months ago, the idea of moving to Ireland was a tiny lightbulb flickering weakly in the back of my mind. I let the idea sit for about a week before nonchalantly browsing a few websites on how Americans can legally live in Ireland. Yesterday, my dad and I took nine boxes – all filled with my clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils and various personal effects – to the post office. Those boxes will arrive just a few days after I do, in Ireland.


Emma, Sinead, me and Tracy, 1997

“Why Ireland?” It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot lately. As a freelance writer, I suppose I could work from just about anywhere, and with many countries offering artist/writer visas (though they are quite difficult to obtain), there are other options. So why did I pick the cold, rainy Emerald Isle?

Let’s flash back to 13 years ago.

It’s moving day for me in San Francisco, and my best friend Cat and I have pulled up to my new digs on 25th Avenue in the Richmond district. The week before, I had met with the leaseholder about a room for rent at the 5-bedroom flat, and was accepted on the spot. I knew there would be other new tenants moving in that day, but had no idea who they were. As we sat in Cat’s car in front of the flat, a ruddy-faced young man approached the driver’s side.



Time is just blowing by like a Kenyan in a foot race and with every day that passes I go into a little more shock about my big move. Most people don’t do this kind of thing unless they are a) in a college exchange program; b) sponsored by a company that is offering a fantastic job; or c) madly in love with a foreigner and getting married.

Not me.

I’m going to Ireland because I want to put myself in a new environment, somewhere fascinating and unfamiliar, a place that I’ll grow into. Mind you, I’m doing it legally (I have an incredible paper trail to prove it) but without the reassurance of a sponsorship or husband or anything of the sort. While I do have a wonderful group of Irish friends who I will be depending on quite heavily for the first few weeks, I am determined to carve out a new life for myself there, on my own.