The Long HaulBy
“How long do you think you’ll be here?”
I get that question more frequently than any other. It has become the most difficult to answer. One thing has been for certain since the beginning. I’m going to be home on July 3. That’s when I’m a groomsman in my friends’ wedding. The big question in my mind: Would my ticket be one-way or return? Until recently, I was resigned to returning to Minnesota to pretend to be a “real” adult and job hunt. After all, what was the point of returning to work my retail, stock room job in Galway for a few more months? Then I took this job in Cardiff. A week into working, I still hadn’t purchased my planet ticket. I still hadn’t decided if I was going to move home for good or come back to Europe after the wedding.
Why? Allow me to let you in on a secret: Living abroad alone is, well, hard. I don’t like to dwell on it here for fear of becoming the over privileged white boy who whines about getting to live abroad, but let me say this: I’m on my second city and my second country and my second job in a matter of seven months. It can be disorienting, exhausting even. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about buying a one-way ticket home. But yesterday, I decided once and for all not to succumb to temptation. I purchased a return plane ticket. I’ll be home for two and a half weeks next month, then I’ll come back to Cardiff to continue my job. I haven’t finished experiencing this new job, this new life. I haven’t even scratched the surface of Cardiff. Returning to Minnesota, while it would be the easy option, would be the easy way out. When the right opportunity presents itself in Minnesota (or Ireland or New York or California, for that matter), I’ll seize upon it. But until that happens, I’m going to stay in Cardiff, as your humble barman at a hostel on the banks of the River Taff.
How long will I be here?
Simply put: Until I’m finished.