At Moving2Ireland, we know the value of our community. It is for that reason that we have set up the Moving to Ireland blog. This blog will be dedicated to personal stories from returning Irish citizens and newcomers alike as they navigate their new life in Ireland, it will also feature Irish people living abroad who are considering moving home. Our blog will provide an honest, first-hand account of what life in Ireland is like in 2019. First up to discuss the opportunities and challenges of making the move back home is Waterford native Elaine Phelan.
After living in Australia for over 14 years, Elaine Phelan returned home to Ireland in May 2016. As a dual-citizen of Ireland and Australia, she had plenty of reasons to stay in Australia, however the draw of Ireland was too much for her to resist. We had the opportunity to speak with Elaine regarding her life in Ireland since 2016 and to touch on her experiences, both positive and negative, of life in Ireland.
Moving2Ireland: Hi Elaine, having lived in Australia for 14 years, what advice would you give to anyone thinking about moving to Ireland?
Elaine Phelan: Decide what is important to you and what is not important to you. Having lived abroad, if you decide to stay there you will be giving up some things, if you decide to move home you will always have to give up some things. What will you regret on your deathbed?
M2I: What would you say has been the biggest challenge of life in Ireland since you’ve moved home?
EP: There are some annoying things about living in Ireland, just like there are annoying things in every country. Likewise, when you move countries there are things to sort out and paperwork to do. It doesn’t just magically get sorted because you are an Irish citizen returning home. So, I would advise people to be as prepared as possible in advance of their move home. Some others things haven’t changed; there is still a certain amount of cronyism and who you know rather than what you know.
M2I: You make a fair point there, is there any other specific issues that you weren’t expecting before moving to Ireland?
EP: Yes, in particular! Car insurance is genuinely ridiculous, expensive and challenging for newcomers to the country and returning expats alike.
M2I: What about finding somewhere to live? Are you renting or did you buy a place?
EP: I bought a 3 bed house in a lovely location and honestly I feel that property prices are very affordable relative to other major cities, and relative to rent. My home cost the same as a one bed apartment in Sydney. It’s important to be realistic and not to compare the cost of a house in rural Queensland with a house in Dublin.