This is the 1st blog for Jet Lag Jack. I guess 1st blogs should probably give a little background about the author, Jack, and my goals for this blog.
As stated above my name is Jack Donovan and I am married to Carol. This blog is partially about us, a middle-aged couple having a joint-mid life crisis that we like to call an adventure. After over 31 years of raising children and advancing our careers we decided to “change things up”; we decided to move somewhere in the European Union (EU). As things turned out we have moved to Ireland.
Being a practical couple we executed this move over a two-year period. First Carol researched how to get a EU passport and found she was eligible for an Irish passport since her Grandfather was born in Belfast. After 18 months of corresponding with the Irish consulate in Chicago and courthouses throughout the US and Ireland (and spending several hundred $’s) Carol had her Irish passport.
In the meantime I started looking for a position (aka job) in the EU. Since my principle skills are related to software and semiconductors, I started looking where these industries are concentrated in Europe: Austria, Germany, UK, Holland, and of course Ireland. My search went slow and I found that European employers were very careful (that would be slow) with their hiring process. I had some moderate success: several phone interviews and an on-site visit in Austria, but no job offer. Things were dragging on, my leads dried up and the EU was experiencing a “currency crisis” so we decided to punt and “settle” for San Diego where Jack had an offer for a contract job. Carol quit her job with Dell and we were off to San Diego, a very, very fine second choice.
Of course we were very efficient about the move process, we had both moved a lot growing up, and we had gotten rid of all our stuff or shipped it to our kids in anticipation of a move to Europe. We were getting settled into our San Diego apartment with a patio just off the apartment complex hot tub, our last pieces of new furniture about to be delivered, and Carol had literally unpacked the last moving box. The next morning Jack gets an email with the Subject Line of “Finally …..”.
For 18 months Jack had been talking to a company based in Ireland about a position, but with no luck….companies are understandably reluctant to hire crazy Americans who may end up leaving for home after 6 months…..especially in the midst of a currency crisis. The job discussion started with the “Finally email” dated October 20th and I started work on December 5th. We moved into (or at least occupied) our new home in Oranmore, County Galway, Ireland on January 10th…..and a lot of things happened in between….but more on that later.
Now, lets talk about this blog, and its goals. I am a big fan of Jane and Michael Stern who authored several books. Their first book was Roadfood and they currently have a web site with this name. They focus on non-chain or local-chain restaurants throughout North America. I’ve visited many of their recommendations and I have never been disappointed.
My goal is to highlight and promote local restaurants throughout Europe as well as mom and pop B&B’s, Guest Hauses, and Pensionne. Occasionally, I’ll give some general advice on traveling and tourist sights. Most of the time this will be focused on Europe but sometimes I’ll focus on someplace else in the world. Of course these descriptions will reflect my likes and dislikes, but hopefully I’ll be descriptive enough so that you can decide for yourself if the place should be a part of your adventure.
I hope this blog is useful and entertaining to all readers, but my goal is middle-age folks who never got to back-pack through Europe in their youth (possibly because they already had kids) and now that the kids have “flown the coop” are looking for an adventure by traveling and in particular traveling in Europe. So in other words, this blog is focused on folks like us. Some might call this a niche market….or a micro-niche, or…….