We have a year left in Dublin, at least, technically. Twelve non-consecutive months broken up by three months in the states this summer, that’s it. It’s been two and a half years since we moved here; it hardly feels like that’s possible. We’ve started thinking about the move back, starting to bring things stateside on our visits to prepare for that eventual departure.
Though Alex and I both moved here together to attend school, my education ended before his, and my current visa situation (read: pending) means I can’t work. So, by technical definitions, I’m a “trailing spouse.” Rewind six years, fresh out of college, if you told me that’s where I’d be doing when I was 28 I would likely had laughed, in part, because at that time I didn’t believe in marriage. But also, I hadn’t at that point really traveled, the thought of living abroad seemed so remote I couldn’t apply it to my own life. But here we are. And it’s fantastic, and challenging, and the best thing we’ve ever done. Continue reading
The six of us sat around the table eating dinner together. It felt odd, this little table crowded into the corner in such a vast, unadorned room with two photos leaning haphazardly against the radiator. The television was on mute in the background with music videos from the Middle East skipping in and out. I have never been a friend with someone from Saudi before, and this was the first time I had seen her without her hijab. We talked casually in class, and around town, but here in her home she was a different person, at least, to me. Continue reading
Six years ago I visited San Francisco for the first time. Six years ago, almost exactly. I remember it vividly, the drive back to Marin from Oakland airport and the traffic we hit, I even remember the smell of the air after leaving the airport. I remember these things because it was the first time I was visiting Alex. We weren’t dating at the time, those months felt so tumultuous, I was twenty and falling hard for this guy, whom I had liked since the day I met him 18 months prior. Everything during that time felt particularly heightened and raw, and I remember it in surprising detail. Much like this year, we had spent the winter months waiting for the sun to make an appearance and help us forget the long, dark days of a rainy climate, then, the Pacific Northwest. California represented sunshine, and a chance to spend time with someone special. And so, from the moment I stepped off the plane, San Francisco etched itself a permanent place in composition of my life. And there it would remain, six years later; I am always giddy to return. When I visit New York, and see that skyline for the first time in months, I feel a great surge of excitement, New York is a place I associate with a time of constant flux, or fast movement, of discovery. But not San Francisco, no matter how many times I catch the glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge, I never feel that surge of energy, instead I feel a deep sense of calm. Continue reading