Jessica is from Ireland, Mike is from Fort Myers, Florida. We live in San Francisco.
We started this blog to keep family and friends updated when we moved to Bangkok in 2015. Mike got a job doing data analytics, so we packed up our life in Florida and got ingrained in the expat community in Bangkok. We spent an adventurous 2.5 years working in the Big Mango, playing Gaelic Football and traveling both locally and long haul.
In 2018, a great opportunity for Jessica brought us back to the states, although far from where we started. We now live in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco.
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It cannot be said that Mike did not roll out the red carpet when arrived in Bangkok. It was early in the morning and he took the day off to come and welcome us. After a long and extremely multinational customs line, we were in with no fuss. Mike met us after customs and shuttled us into a rented BMW (with driver of course), the bags taking a while to Tetris into the trunk.
We initially planned to fly to Bangkok from Copehnagen, but they had flights from Stockholm too so...why not. Also, Victoria invited us to stay with her in Gothenberg. It was the perfect excuse to use the Swedish rail system.
We took the SJ last year to go from Stockholm to Gothenberg and I. Loved.It. First class was affordable. The fast train goes silently through the Swedish countryside, rocking gently around corners.
I heart Scandinavia so much (well, Sweden) so I wanted to see if Denmark was as awesome. We flew into Copenhagen on a quick hop from London and stayed in central Copenhagen. Of course the hotel was chic and minimal and had beautiful multilingual staff.
I like to say I went to London to 'pick Rebecca up', but I really just wanted an excuse to spend more time there. Rebecca has great friends and knows all the great bars. There were a few more stops on my London list. But mostly I ran a lot and tried to get used to the fact that I didn't live in America any more.
A horrible reality of an elongated move like this is that you see how amazing your friends are...then you have to leave them.
Between packing and lifting, places to stay and shoulders to cry on, invitations to dinner and bottles of beer; family and friends provided more support than I ever thought I needed.
When I have visited Ireland in the past, I spent a lot of time visiting family, shopping and visiting old haunts. I hadn't really been a tourist in Ireland so I used this trip as a chance to see some of the country as an adult. I was renting a car for the freedom it afforded, so a road trip made sense. I wanted to see the newly minted 'Wild Atlantic Way', shop for handcrafts and drink Irish craft beer.
Precisely 5 days after moving my stuff into a storage unit and sleepwalking through the work week, I started an open water certification course. I chose my instructor well, the patient and professional Dave Meechan, the husband of a former colleague I'd known for years. Raelyn had been wanting to get certified as well so we lept in together.
I foolishly used to tell myself I was organized. I didn't have a junk drawer, I didn't have that much stuff. What was I thinking?
After a frantic week of packing, Mike was ready with his 4 giant duffel bags. We did the obligatory late night Walmart run. I filled a bag with a pretty random selection of things I knew I didn't need for a while, like party dresses, heels and some Barry's tea. Pretty useless in retrospect, but I was weeks away from being ready to pack.
We announce on Facebook that we are moving to Thailand. I tried to lean it out like we were annoucning a pregnancy...it worked on like 2 people!