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.

Right now, amidst all the packing and organizing and planning, I’m having fun thinking about what that new existence is going to be like. This morning as I enjoyed my usual breakfast of coffee and a runny egg with a slice of cheese sandwiched inside a whole wheat English muffin, I thought about whether I will continue to eat the same egg sandwich once I’m in Ireland. Maybe I’ll switch to tea, with a splash of milk, and fix myself a slice of crumbly, brown bread with a smear of butter and jam on those cold, Irish mornings. Perhaps on the weekends I’ll go down to the local pub for a proper fry-up of eggs, rashers, sausages, fried bread, beans and black and white puddings. It’s fun to think about.

I imagine my first time grocery shopping at the local Tesco, both overwhelmed and enchanted by all the new products on the shelves. Smoked eel, chocolate digestive biscuits, Barry’s Tea, Marrowfat Peas, Irish vintage cheddar…will these items become staples in my cart? I’ll be living close to Clogherhead, a village known for its fishing. I wonder if I can go straight to the docks and purchase some lobster from the fishermen? I’ve heard the Irish waters are ripe with sea urchin, is this true? All things I will soon discover.

It won’t be all fun and frolic. After I settle into my new apartment and the hype of my arrival wears off, the fact that I am thousands of miles from home will sink in. My friend Steve can’t meet me for spontaneous happy hours at our favorite hangout, and I won’t be able to meet my friend Tawny at Griffith Park for hiking. Our family dinners; those hours-long, wine drenched evenings full of spectacular, homemade food and easy conversation will be limited to the holidays, at least for a while.

But there will be many new distractions, some of which will fade away and others that will become a part of me. And in due time, those things and people and experiences will morph into something more; something that resembles a new life.