Well folks, 32 years ago today I left Ireland’s lovely shores with a green-card in my pocket, 2 big bags in my hands, and big dreams in my head. With a lot of help, a great family & friends, they’ve all come true.

Ireland was a great place to grow up, but America gave me many opportunities that were not available in Ireland or Europe at the time. I’m proud of my Irish heritage, very proud to be an American citizen, and very happy that I took the chance to come here.

Thanks to all my Irish & American friends for helping me along the way! It’s funny, you know, for two countries that share the same language & a lot of ideas, it’s amazing how much of a culture shock I got while trying to assimilate into American society.

After the novelty of a new place wears off and when you live in a new environment on a daily basis, even small differences can be hard to get used to. This leads to homesickness, and I’d say that it took a good 18 months for this to subside. For me, I had left a very comfortable social situation, a good (but boring) job, and showed-up in this new country with apparently not enough education, no job, but big dreams.

My dream was to become a pilot, and hopefully for a major airline. Dreams are great, but when you jump into the deep end, the process of making them come true can seem to subside. I purposely did not settle in an Irish community here in the US, as I did not want it to be just like ‘little Ireland’. I wanted to assimilate & see did I really like mainstream America, if I was going to pursue my dream of a flying career and a long life here.

To be continued…


Alan J. Hicks

Words perhaps you’d like to check…

a green-card

a culture shock


to subside