Everything Changed after Living Abroad for a Year in Ireland
In August 2017, we rented our house, sold our car, left our dog with Christina’s Uncle, donated countless boxes of “stuff” and started off wide-eyed on our year-long adventure.
We were immersed in Irish culture – the kids attended Irish school (St. Olaf’s for Alyssa and The High School for Brianna & Billy), played Irish sports, and said phrases such as “grand” and “lads,” plus we used this chance to find out how we truly could live “The Modern Stone Age Family” life.
How could we blend FaceTime calls with family and friends back at home with foraging walks or time to sit down and play a family game? How could we try and make the most of our food from scratch, but still splurge on a special sweet treat when out for dinner or at a party?
There had to be a balance and it blended into every aspect of our life – especially how we were trying to deal with digital media . . . yep – Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook – oh my!
With an elementary, middle and high school-aged child, we had all types of issues to tackle – then we added on the layer of living abroad!!
Year Abroad Stats
- Brianna and Billy attended The High School in Dublin (which is a private school) for their 8th and 6th grade years. To be 100% honest, they actually skipped a grade since the years didn’t match with our American system and we did not realize until they were enrolled – whoops!
- Alyssa completed her 4th grade year at St. Olaf’s National School in Ballaly which is a public school yet they still wear uniforms and practice Catholicism.
Bill was a Visiting Professor at University College Dublin working on our Food Evolutions project while on sabbatical from Washington College.
We literally rested our heads all over the world!
- We called Ireland home for the year where our main residence was a quaint cottage on the 38 acre property in Airfield Estates. We had a 5 minute walk to the LUAS (train station) that could get us into City Center (Dublin) in about 15 minutes. The 2nd largest mall in all of Europe was a 10 minute walk from the house, yet we were living on the only working farm in any European capital. It was quite the extreme but gave us an opportunity to live a split live between city living outside the wall of Airfield and then quaint country living inside its stone walls.
- We traveled to over 15 countries from South Africa to Thailand to Germany maximizing school breaks for the kids so we could complete our food research with traditional groups.
The Schindlers played on many Pitches
- Brianna stayed true to field hockey and played it year round, rain or shine on the turf through The High School
- Billy picked up rugby through The High School and also played soccer for the Lakeland’s soccer club.
- Alyssa tackled the biggest change in our family and played Camogie and Irish Soccer through Naomh Olaf’s GAA Club.
If you’d like to take a deeper look into a year abroad, check out our blog posts. All 5 of us wrote about our adventures!
Our year abroad was all about finding that sweet spot where we could take the most powerful messages from our ancestral past and merge it with the high-tech pace of our modern world . . .
After 371 days abroad, we landed back in Maryland with:
– 25 bags/boxes
– countless memories
– heavy hearts, and
– thankful spirits
Here’s to learning to live and #EatLikeaHuman wherever we are in the world!
It was quite a travel-filled year abroad!
Check out all the locations where our family has visited. Use the key to see which trips were for the The Great Human Race, our year abroad or other family travels.