I’ve lived in Ireland on and off for the past several years, and between my frequent visits home to the U.S. and trips to new cities in Europe, people often wonder how I afford it.
After all, I’m a struggling twenty-something author/editor paying off a regrettably expensive college education, aren’t I?
Why, yes. Yes, I am. But I’m going to let you in on my secret:
IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH TO BE HAPPY
It’s really that simple. Let me give you some examples:
1. I drink like a cactus. Translation: I don’t drink much. That’s easy because, in my rapidly aging body, the hangovers are about as brutal as I can imagine childbirth must be.
2. I’m not allowed to shop. True story. It had been about 4 months since I visited a clothing store before last weekend, when I popped in to Penneys (the Irish version of Target) because my favorite boots are falling apart.
I came home with one purchase that day. No, no. Not a pair of boots.
That, dear internet, is an adult-size lion onesie. Complete with mane and tail. And it is precisely why I’m not allowed to go shopping.
3. I’m accident-prone in the kitchen. So I eat a lot of pasta. It’s cheap, reliably delicious, and remarkably difficult to set on fire. Just ask my former roommates about the tea towel that fell victim to my 2012 attempt at baking cookies.
4. My phone is an iPhone 3Gs. You read that correctly. The phone I use in Ireland was bought (refurbished) 4 years & 2 months ago.
And guess what? Despite it being 73 in cell phone years, it still let’s me Snapchat. Albeit, a little slowly, but…
All joking aside, my point is exactly what I said before: It doesn’t take all that much to be happy, and as soon as you take off your lion onesie, you figure it out pretty quickly.
To some people, clothes and gadgets and drunken nights are important. But, to me, experiencing life in another country and traveling and still seeing my family regularly is more important. When I’m too old for travel…
…then I’ll probably settle down with my iPhone 16 and wait for time travel to be commercially viable.
So, to everyone wondering how I afford my shabby chic (mostly shabby) European lifestyle, that’s it. No glamour here!