The weather where I am
I’m much more active here than I was at home. I’ve bought a mountain bike, and I go kayaking and skiing. You can just throw the gear into the car and head off into the countryside after work, confident that it is not going to start to rain when you’re 10 minutes down the road.
Canadians are more active during the colder months than in the summer, when it is too hot to do anything. I had never tried snowboarding before because of the expense, but here I can grab a board, drive for 30 minutes to the nearest hill and off I go.
‘Because people spend so much time on the beach here you’d be more inclined to look after yourself physically’
MICHAEL STORAN California
When I came here in 2008 I didn’t really think I was emigrating, but I would find it very hard to ever move back to Ireland now because of the weather here and the lifestyle that goes with it.
I always played sports when I was in school but now, at 27, I don’t think I would still be as active if I had stayed at home. I play beach volleyball, rugby, tag and American football, and sometimes play cricket on the beach with my Kiwi and English friends. Most mornings before work I get up early to go to crossfit or the gym. Because people spend so much time on the beach here you’d be more inclined to look after yourself physically.
I lived on Newport Beach for a year when I arrived first. I used to go down to the sea for a surf after work, to the envy of my brother who loves to surf at home in Ireland.
I play a lot more golf out here too than I did back home. The American guys I play with say they’d love to go on a golfing trip to Ireland, but I hated playing there because it was almost guaranteed to rain half-way around the course.
‘The Tulka fires of 2001 destroyed the homes of many of Caoimhe’s friends, and Black Tuesday in 2005 took the lives of nine people’
URSULA HALPIN Adelaide
I was living in a damp cottage in Co Clare when I decided to move to Australia with my two-year-old daughter, Caoimhe, in 1998. The climate was a definite draw. We lived in the outback in Port Lincoln, and experienced several small-scale bush fires between then and 2005. The Tulka fires of 2001 destroyed the homes of many of Caoimhe’s friends over four days, and Black Tuesday in 2005 took the lives of nine people, including two of Caoimhe’s school mates. That fire was the catalyst for us to move to Adelaide, where we have lived since.
Our social life here revolves around the outdoors. When people invite friends over, it is almost always for a barbecue, and all the cafes have outdoor tables for al fresco dining. We go camping quite often, especially in spring.
Caoimhe spent her childhood in the scouts, and would be off camping or hiking every weekend, regardless of the time of year. I work at a university, and on my lunchbreak I would often go to the beach for a quick dip in the sea, which is like lukewarm tea.
Adelaide has four or five large wineries. I’ve become quite a wine snob as a result, and when family and friends visit from home I always bring them on the wine tour.
Being so far away from Ireland, it is difficult to make regular trips home, and as the years go by the homesickness gets harder to deal with. I have found myself embracing the good weather and the outdoors lifestyle here more as time goes on, to make me feel like the distance from family is worthwhile.