‘My language has changed since leaving Ireland’

‘Ireland and Me’: Molly O’Mara, Switzerland

There’s a heap of things I miss from home, one of them is “loads”. My language over time has changed, I’ve started saying heaps instead of loads, calling a duvet a doona, and not using “the craic” enough.

Sure, it's nothing a good natter on the guthán-poca to some cairde or mo clann back home won't cure, but I guess it boils down to the Irishness. The familiarity and the comfort of being around Irish people. That pure hilarity, commonality and constant craic that's to be had. Australia isn't too bad at doing a good job at it, she gives it a fair old go alright, but at times it'd make ya miss home.

Ireland will always be my homeland, but not my only home. Australia became a home away from home for me. I gathered great friends over the years, ones I find it hard to believe haven’t been in my life since we were in nappies. It’s a strange and wonderful thing. It’s a form of family found amongst friends. Australia found me and I found myself there.

Living and working in foreign countries requires a lot of paperwork and my visa ran out and I had to return to Ireland, and put my life of the past five years on pause. I decided to indulge entirely on Irish culture, to see if I truly missed it and wanted to return home to Ireland for good, or like many, just missed because it’s what you’re expected to do.

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So as I roved out to the motherland, I took fiddle school at the Willie Clancy trad fest, sipped on endless cups of tea, had the craic with friends and family over pints, ate slice upon slice of fresh brown bread and munched on every packet of crisps the local shops had to offer. I savoured every flavour. I embraced it, as it embraced me, with open warm arms.

And then, I found myself on an adventure once more, not back to Australia, but onwards to another place, a new country and culture. For the next year, I'd be calling Switzerland "home". Once again I found myself starting from scratch, just another person on the train, in a country which completely contrasts both my previous homes in many respects.

I love it. I love the animosity, the newness, the adventure…but the strange thing is, I find myself longing for home more and more, but that “home” is not Ireland….