Daily Life

Living the dream is largely about what you do every day rather than the significant events that may happen. Your life is what you repeatedly do, right? So what happens daily is more indicative of how life actually is. Of course, the big events make up at least part of “Daily life”, but for the most part Daily life deals with the ordinary, the banal, the day to day grind and this is the same for most people the world over. Even sports stars and movie actors have a day to day schedule that they can find tiring or boring or repetitive. 

Immigrating poses many challenges, and one of the biggest is trying to adapt to everyday life in a new country. A million questions are floating around your head. 

Questions about housing: 

  1. Where should we live? 
  2. How much will it cost? 
  3. What will our neighbours be like? 
  4. Is there a pool? 
  5. Are there dodgy areas to be avoided? 
  6. Are there violent gangs? 
  7. Is there a drugs problem? 
  8. Is anti-social behaviour an issue?
  9. Are there any shops, bars or restaurants nearby?

Questions about Education

  1. Where should we send our child to school? 
  2. Will she be safe? 
  3. Will she make friends? 
  4. Will she learn anything? 
  5. What are standards like here compared to home? 
  6. What grade will she be in? 
  7. Will she stand out because of her accent? 
  8. Is bullying an issue? 

Questions on Healthcare

  1. How expensive is Insurance in the US? 
  2. What insurance plan should we get?
  3. How do you find a doctor? 
  4. How do you find a dentist? 

Daily life also includes where and how to socialise and knowing where there are good restaurants, bars, cinemas and theatres is essential when trying to build a life in a new country. One great thing about moving to California is that there is a wide variety of ethnic and authentic restaurants all over the area. 

The shops (stores) are different here too. There is no Tesco, or Dunnes, or Super Value or Spar. Instead, there are stores called Safeway, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Lucky and Sprouts Farmers market. It can take a while to find value and to find brands that suit our taste.

There are also loads of different things to do. Everything from music festivals to sporting events from hiking to tailgating and from block parties to Shakespeare in the park, there is always something happening. Then there are the road trips- Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, LA or Las Vegas are all drivable. 

This section of the website will look at the day to day life in the Valley. There are sections on housing, education and healthcare. There are also sections on things to do and bars and restaurants. 

  • Why America is Not Great (Part 1)
    As we walked back to the car after I collected my daughter from school, she began telling me about her day. "We had a lockdown drill today, dad." "How was that?" I asked. "It sucks," was her reply. After I had a little chuckle to myself over her use of the Americanism, "it sucks" I … Read more
  • Socialised Medicine vs Private Insurance
    "Are people's teeth in Ireland as bad as the rest of the UK?", my child's larger than life dentist asked me. We were meeting him for a consultation to see if our daughter needed to get braces. He admitted that he was quite shocked at how crooked teeth were in the UK. He said it … Read more
  • An Accent and a Language Barrier
    Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and even Winston Churchill are all supposed to have said that the US and the UK were two nations separated by a common language. This could also apply to Ireland. Many people that I meet here are unsure of the relationship between Ireland and the UK. The vast majority of … Read more
  • What Makes America Great? Part 1.
    My daughter is taking part in her school play "Schoolhouse Rock". One of the songs that she is learning is "The Great American Melting Pot". The song is about how people from Russia and Italy were inspired by "Lady Liberty" and her book of recipes to come to America where "life might let them win". … Read more
  • Downtown Saratoga
    According to the census of 2010 the population of the Bay Area city of Saratoga was just shy of 30,000 people. Saratoga is an affluent town, located west of the larger city of San Jose. It has a very pretty Downtown area with a wide variety of restaurants and shops. This video is of a … Read more