Today marks one year since we arrived back to Dublin. The past year has been a rollercoaster to say the least. But did we make the right decision to move home? I’m writing this blog to help all the other Generation Emigration people out there that are worried about how it will feel to take the big step to move back home. My story is just one girls experience on overcoming the recession in another country and coming back to prosperity.
Truth be told, moving home was our Plan B.
Our original plan was always to apply for residency and stay in Canada like many other thousands of Irish people. With our applications sent off at the end of 2014 it didn’t sit right with me leaving it up to a government to decide our future. I live to make plans and stick to them. This was my first time to consider a possibility of moving back home and it was March 2015.
Worried that our application would take longer than expected and we wouldn’t be able to leave the country for a prolonged amount of time, my sisters bought Gary & I a flight home as a surprise for our family in April (before our visas expired). This gave me about 2/3 weeks to see what was out there. Not a lot of time, but I looked online and found a couple of job opportunities that had potential considering I had gained experience in my desired industry while living away. So I sent off my CV (with little positivity on my behalf). Looking back now when I think about my last experience of trying to find work in 2011/2012 I was a new college graduate with no experience. 2015 was a different story. I was older with more experience and the decision was in my hands. In saying all that, I was still half expecting to hear nothing back so when my phone rang the next day I was totally shocked. A recruitment agency had received my CV and named a list of retailers I would be able to interview with that week. After explaining I was still living in Toronto but would be home for a few days meant I had bagged myself two interviews. With not a lot of time, we flew through the night and arrived into Dublin to surprise our family in the early hours of the morning. Having not slept in over 24 hours I found myself at the reception of the first retailer. What was I doing? I interviewed in both places with no sleep and running on pure adrenaline. Our 5 day trip was over in the blink of an eye.
We left Dublin on Tuesday morning and by Wednesday I had my first offer. WHAT? HOW? That phone call turned my life upside down. Now my plan B was possibly going to become our plan A! Within 6 weeks our whole life plan had changed. Suddenly we made the decision to move home and we had 6 weeks to do it.
Sometimes an opportunity presents itself to you and your gut instinct is telling you to take it. So I did. I took the opportunity and fortunately for me Gary supported me 100%. I guess regardless to how long you live away (subconsciously) you always have a pull to come home. I wasn’t homesick or dying to move back home, nothing like it actually. I loved Canada, the people, the place, the lifestyle.. But this career move just felt right. So I took the chance and here we are a year later.
I won’t lie and say that it was an easy adjustment to settle back into the Irish life. In someways it feels like you’ve never left but in others you feel like you’re a totally different person to the people surrounding you. I felt like a fish out of water for a long time, like I was trying to find my niche and it just didn’t gel. Things that once felt so normal were now alien to me. But I’ve learnt it’s the price you pay for living away. It changes you more than you could ever prepare yourself for. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of living and I’m forever grateful that I stepped outside of home to experience it. Those 2 years were some of the most memorable, happiest, life changing experiences we’ve ever had.
After about 4-6 weeks Gary had landed himself a great job with a well established company. Was this all clicking into place or were we just lucky? Slowly things started to feel better. We settled into our new jobs, met new people, bought a car and planned some European trips. Spending a lot of time catching up with our friends & family, enjoying the time that we had missed for the past 2 years. Life back home didn’t seem so bad. I guess I just never prepared myself for the pull back I would feel or the feelings of homesickness for a place that was always only temporary. Over time these feelings have subsided and we’re really happy to be living back in Ireland.
We’re in the middle of buying our first home which was never in the plan had we stayed in Canada. It’s an exciting time and a new chapter for us after living away for 2 years. But we’re ready to settle down and officially make Ireland our home again. The travel bug is still lingering and I’m looking forward to planning more big trips in the future! But the past year has been especially amazing for me getting to spend time with my large (expanding) family.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year holds for us and to be able to look back and see where life will take us. I’ve come to learn that even though you can make decisions you still don’t know what curve balls life will throw at you.
I’ll leave you with some pictures from the past year that make me smile.