'It's difficult to emigrate, but moving home is harder'
A lot of the Irish girls I worked with in the Middle East never made it back to Ireland. And I have no close friends left in Dublin. Starting a new social life from scratch will be a challenge, though I have done it several times before. The internet makes things easier these days, with hundreds of online groups for people like me looking to meet new people.
I have already joined a running club in Dún Laoghaire, and met up with them on my last trip to Dublin in November.
I am yearning to explore the country where I’m from but never really got to know. I want to be able to get in my car and drive north to Donegal, where I have never been, or put on my hiking boots and walk the Wicklow Way.
My sister and brother both live in Dublin, as does my mum who is relatively young and in good health. Living in Ireland will give me the freedom to take her away for weekends, or call in for tea on a whim; to spend quality time with her now rather than getting the call that so many emigrants dread, to come home when she’s on her deathbed.
At a time when so many others are leaving Ireland in search of work, I know I am coming back at a difficult time – finding work will be the biggest challenge of all. Technology companies are hiring in Ireland, but they seem to favour young employees.
For the past four years I’ve worked for myself, so I know networking will be key. I’m thinking of business opportunities to help me generate my own income too.
People say it is difficult to emigrate but for me, going back home will be the hardest move of all. I left Ireland full of youthful excitement and although I left some good friends behind me in London, I always assumed the time would come when I’d be back to live there again.
The past month has been a very emotional time. I thought I had dissociated myself from Boston over the last few years as I was making the decision to leave, but as my departure gets closer I am realising how much I am going to miss the US and the friends I have made here.
They keep saying “sure you can always come back if it doesn’t work out”.
But that won’t happen. I am older now, I know this will be the last move I will make.
While it’s difficult trying to push upstream through the negativity that is so pervasive in Ireland at the moment, I’m staying positive and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead. I can’t spend the rest of my life living in a place I don’t call “home”.
In conversation with
CIARA KENNY irishtimes.com/blogs/generationemigration/