The reasons we're not packing all our worldly possessions and labeling them for shipment to 'Ireland' are many, both emotional and practical. I won't go into the practical here. Suffice to say, that we tried to picture ourselves living in a small town in the west coast, almost as far from our families as we are now, adjusting to a very different schooling system for a couple of years, feeling foreign where we should feel at home, and complaining constantly about the weather. We tried to view Ireland as a challenge in the same way we viewed the Philippines back in 2001. The trouble with Ireland is that we could picture it and it wasn't a pretty picture. When leaving the comfort of our lives in Norway, we'd ideally like to move somewhere very different that will be difficult to compare directly, that will be new and exciting, making the move defendable to the three children that will have to adjust to it too. Somewhere in South Asia or the Middle East perhaps. We know Ireland too well. We know that other than the people themselves, at the moment, schooling, healthcare, transport and yes, even the bloody weather, would be several steps down from what we have here. It was only fear of the absence of an alternative that would have prompted us to accept that at this juncture.
So I've realized that the expat part of me is as dominant as the Irish part. That I love my country but don't want to live in a remote part of it. That may change as I get older and our family matures - and maybe if I get a novel published too - but for the moment, I'm not yet ready to become 'The Irish Nomad in Ireland'. Not yet.
Let's hope we've made the right decision. My mother, father and close friends are at least certain we have.