Things I Always Do In Ireland But Not At Home (The US)

Flowers in Dublin
Living in another country is definitely its own experience with its own categories. I feel like we finally have our footing in Ireland and through this experience we have all definitely been challenged and changed. There are even a few habits that we have lost and gained along the way. I get asked a lot about common habits so I decided to share some of our most common shifts since moving to Ireland.

1. Shop With My Own Shopping Bags

When we first moved to Ireland, our host took us downtown and she gave me a stack of reusable bags and said, “You’ll need these.” Of course, I was clueless but I quickly caught on. Shopping bags cost money. So, unless you want to shell out 20-30 cents per bag every time you go to the grocery store, you better carry your own bags. Most department stores and clothing stores will give you bags free of charge but they will always ask first. I will admit at home I did get in the happy of using my own reusable shopping bags to shop because it was easier but if I forgot them it was not a big deal. Well, here…it is a big deal. I never leave home without my shopping bags.

2. Take A Ride From A Stranger

Previously, I told you about that one time that the Glitter Princess and I were lost on a hike. We were tired of going around in circles and asking for directions. The last person we asked offered to drive us to the car park. I was exhausted, my phone was just about dead and the Glitter Princess was on the verge of tears. I quickly weighed my options as the sun was beginning to set, put my big girl panties on, strategically put my keys in my hand (in case I had to stab somebody) and accepted the lift. To be honest, I think the nice gentleman and his two dogs were just as nervous as I was. He delivered us to the car safely and hopefully, I will not be in this predicament again.

Flowers in Dublin

3. Walk Instead of Drive

I have become a walking machine since moving to Dublin. The parking here drives me insane so if possible, I prefer to walk instead of drive. Although, no matter how hard I try…I cannot master the Dublin walk. The Irish walk so fast. We were in New York City a couple of summers ago and I just knew that the New Yorkers would have the Dubliners beat. Nope. The Dubliners definitely walk faster than New Yorkers. I have no idea where they are going but no matter how hard I try, my short legs are no match for the quick, long strides everyone seems to have in Dublin.

Public transportation in Ireland is clean, quick and easily accessible so I also tend to be a regular on the city bus or train. The Glitter Princess and husband cannot stand public transportation. She thinks it’s gross and he would prefer to taxi (which is usually 3x the amount of public transportation).

In comparison, Houston is not a walking or public transpiration city so these are all new modes of transportation for me but I have quickly adapted out of necessity.

4. Don’t Eat Out Often

The food struggle here is real. I mean it’s really messed up. Somedays, I just want to eat out. We’ve never been a fast-food family but a quick and decent bite to eat never hurt any mom. Trust me. And we just don’t get that here. It is a full-on marathon to grab a bite to eat here and your choices are limited. Like I said, a Chick-Fil-A drive-through every now and then has never hurt this family. Well, I know of three drive-throughs in our region of the country and they are all 20-30 minutes away from where we live and those choices are Mc Donalds and KFC and we don’t eat either. But, I will pay for a nice biscuit and honey…but those aren’t served here. So, this tired mama is forced to cook 4-5 times a week and it stinks. It wears on my soul. With all that said, we save loads of money on eating out and we are all indulging in healthier options.

5. Say Yes

The Irish are very friendly and you will always be invited in for a cup of tea or coffee. In the beginning, I would always say no and try to round the kids up quickly before or after a play date. I was stuck in the American mindset of hurry up, get out and move on. But, life doesn’t move like that on this side of the world so I started saying yes if I honestly wasn’t running off to the next pick up or drop off. And it’s been a welcomed change for this introvert to slow down and step out of my comfort zone even more than before.

Have you experienced a life change and now do things a little differently? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear all about it.

Hugs and love,

Dee Dee

Dee Dee Wheaton

Dee Dee Wheaton is the editor and main contributor of her family’s blog, The Wheaton Takeover. She writes and edits her posts listening to hip hop and r&b while sipping hot tea. Dee Dee and her family have temporarily relocated to Dublin, Ireland from Houston, Texas. They are traveling the world, learning and experiencing new things everyday and loving life one day at a time. Through their blog, they share their worldwide excursions, experiences living as American expats in Ireland, lessons learned along the way and glimpses into their crazy life.