‘Homesickness isn’t really about a place, it’s longing for memories’

Top stories from Irish Abroad this week

 

It’s only six days to go until Santa comes to visit and we’re asking our Abroad readers how they will be spending their Christmas this year. Our most popular story this week was from columnist Jennifer O’Connell whose article about a particular kind of homesickness that only emigrants understand resonated with many readers. “Homesickness isn’t really about place. It’s about experiences,” she says. It’s a longing for memories of another time, memories that don’t yet exist, and now won’t ever exist.” Also in our most read this week was a heartfelt piece from Sinéad Deevy who wrote about the struggle she and her wife have to bring their baby home to Dublin for Christmas: “My mum is going to Mass every morning to pray Sofia gets home for Christmas ... but our daughter is stateless.”

It was a big week for the UK last week and thank you to all our Irish readers living in the UK who responded on our call outs before and after the election. It was a crushing election result for the Labour Party that produced a Conservative majority. “I cannot believe this country fell for the slogan ‘Get Brexit Done’ after four years of hard evidence proving the opposite,” Niall Cunniffe reacted from London after the election result. But the views were mixed before the election on who would form the next government: “An amazing, bizarre and painful time to be here.”

Regular Abroad contributor Philip Lynch in Australia wrote about bringing his daughter back to the home he grew up in with his family of 12 in Co Westmeath: “I wasn’t sure what to expect. The smell of a turf fire? A discarded soccer ball or frisbee in the front yard?” And lastly this week a story from Kerry man Patrick Houlihan, on how he left Tralee and ended up running a B&B in rural Italy.

If you would like to contribute by writing your own story, answering a Working Abroad Q&A or sharing your insider’s guide to the city where you live for the Welcome To My Place column, you can contact abroad@irishtimes.com.

You’ll find plenty more stories by and about the Irish diaspora on irishtimes.com/abroad.

To receive this digest to your inbox each week, you can join the free Irish Times Abroad Network here.

Thank you for reading. 

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