My wife and I grew up in suburban Philadelphia in the United States and decided to move to Ireland shortly after getting married so that she could pursue her master’s degree in Dublin. We had long discussed the idea of moving to Ireland and chose the country for a variety of reasons.
My wife had previously visited Ireland on a week-long trip the year before and quickly fell in love with the beautiful landscapes and laid-back Irish lifestyle. In addition, the quality of the education she could receive in Dublin was top-notch, and as an English speaking country, our transition to a new culture would be less difficult than if we had chosen to move elsewhere in Europe. Finally, Dublin was a growing technology hub, and so we figured it would be easy for me to find a job as I work in the field of web technology.
Fortunately I was able to find a job last summer (2018) before moving to Ireland that September, although it took much longer for me to be eligible to start working. I finally started my job in February 2019 after receiving my work permit in January.
My first visit to Ireland was in September 2018 when we officially moved. Initially it was a bit of a rough start for me, as I had some trouble getting through immigration when we landed in the Dublin airport. The border agent gave me a hard time because I had not booked a return flight home and did not yet have my work permit. Fortunately she let me through but only permitted a 7-day stay.
Over the next week, my wife and I spent every day trying to quickly find an apartment and get settled in before I had to leave to return to the U.S. We found an apartment by the end of the week, and also managed to do a bit of sight-seeing before I left. We were reunited when I returned to Ireland the next month after I finished submitting my work permit application back home in the U.S. This time, when I flew back to Dublin I had no problems in the airport.
Since then, we have been enjoying life in Ireland and learning about the culture here. The people here are really friendly and proud of their rich history. Dublin has a small town feel about it even though it is a big city. The city centre is very walkable and filled with old, ornate buildings; pubs abound on every street corner, and beautiful gardens like St. Stephen’s Green provide pockets of tranquility amidst the sounds of bustling city life. We have been surprised by the number of gardens and the fact that they are always so green and filled with flowers throughout the year, even in the winter as it hardly ever gets below freezing here.
The climate is so mild that even palm trees grow in Ireland, and you often see them growing in people’s gardens throughout the city. During the few months of unemployment that I had while waiting to receive my work permit, I used this as inspiration to create a clothing brand called “Island Living”, featuring a shamrock and palm tree logo.
We still have much of Dublin left to explore, but so far our favorite sight-seeing activities have been touring the Guinness Storehouse, exploring the Botanical Gardens, and visiting the 1916 Easter Rising museum at the General Post Office (GPO).
There are also tonnes of restaurants in Dublin, with much ethnic diversity of cuisine, and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what’s out there. Also, we love the outdoors and enjoyed hiking in the Wicklow Mountains just outside Dublin to the south. One thing that we haven’t had much opportunity to do yet is to visit other towns and cities in Ireland.
We are planning to visit Galway later this month, and also want to take weekend trips to various small towns throughout the country as much as we can. We also love the fact that Ireland is a gateway to the rest of Europe, and plan to take advantage of the fact that flights out of Dublin to other European countries are relatively inexpensive.
We feel that we’ve made a great decision moving to Ireland, and can’t wait to explore more of what Dublin and Ireland has to offer!
Ryan is recording his life in Ireland through his blog Ireland Living, you can read more about it all here!
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