I've been telling everyone who will listen that I want to move my family abroad for a year. Most people smirk a bit and humor my insanity. They are used to it, my insanity. It is purposeful, the broadcasting of my audacious plan. It is my form of insurance. I REALLY want this to happen! The more people I tell, the harder it will be for me to back out when it gets hard. I anticipate there will be a hundred moments when I will think, "this is crazy, how can we do this?" When those moments come, I want my reputation on the line so that I will figure it out instead of backing out.
I have begun planning for my year abroad by reading and researching. Where will we go? Ultimately, anywhere. My biggest priority is to step out of the culture we live in and step into another one. I want my kids to gain a broader world view and some perspective on their own culture. To narrow it down I have other criteria. English speaking tops my list. If all my kids were young I would be thrilled to take them to a foreign speaking country. However, I will have two kids in high school when we go. For my older kids, their need to quickly make new friends and be able to succeed in school trumps learning a new language. I love Europe! I'm pretty sure I could love anywhere, I lived in China and it stole my heart entirely. But eating gelato in Italy or waffles in Belgium or walking cobblestone streets anywhere older then America. . . sigh. Europe tops my list, there is so much to see so close together. So, England, Scotland, Ireland. Ireland! My parents spent three years in England and I visited and adored it. I could happily live there, but Ireland seems less hustled, more remote and I want a break from my fast paced, hectic American life. So, right now my first choice is Ireland. Europe, my mom likes to remind me, is expensive. My mom does the worrying for both of us- my shocking lack of worry is a point of consternation for my Mom. I think I can make Ireland work, but I am working on a low cost plan B in case I cannot afford Ireland (or England). Costa Rica? Spain? Suggestions?