Moving abroad alone is ‘daunting and lonely’ but worth it

The top stories from Irish Abroad this week

Mairead McDonough speaks about crying her way through Dublin Airport with a one-way ticket to Australia.

Mairead McDonough speaks about crying her way through Dublin Airport with a one-way ticket to Australia.

 

The challenges people face moving abroad alone while dearly missing family and friends struck a chord with Irish Abroad readers this week. Mairead McDonough shared her story, which was our most read article this week, about questioning why she was leaving behind everyone who has ever loved her in Ireland to move to Melbourne. “There were tears, homesickness and loneliness- but it’s the best thing I ever did,” she says.

Today, our most popular story in Abroad is from Peter Flanagan, a comedian based in London, who has written about life in Brexit Britain: “Why do the English have such a soft spot for posh people?” he asks. “Insurrections typically depose the ruling class, but here the opposite is true, rather than execute the gentry the public has turned the gun on itself”. Over in the US, writer Áine Greaney shared her experience of emigrating to America aged 24 and the journey of going from an Irish citizen to an American over 30 years. “I learned in America – fake it till you make it ... A lot happened in the 10 years since I last had to renew my green card.”

Back to Europe where Michael Doyle, who is originally from St Mullins, Co Carlow and now living in Geneva, has written about working as a maths teacher in an international school in Switzerland and how the country at times reminds him of Ireland. Brendan Humphreys, originally from Coolock in Co Dublin, is writing about his home and working life in Helsinki, Finland. “It seems one is expected to miss Ireland,” he writes. “I have loved ones buried here, which really deepens a relationship with an adopted country.” Paraic McGrath from Co Mayo shares his experience of life in Singapore and the top three things to do there that don’t cost money.

Finally, our Extraordinary Emigrants this week is about Dublin-born photographer Edward Quinn who chronicled of the life and work of Picasso and became famous in his own right. 

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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