7 things you will miss as an Irish expat abroad
Many Irish people choose to move overseas for new work opportunities, to pursue a life-long dream of living abroad in a tropical country or just to start life fresh in a foreign land.
However after some time spent abroad or after returning from a stay at home, you will discover a new grá for the home country. These are the typical things you will miss:
Things you will miss as an Irish expat abroad
The Irish have a way with words
There are many uniquely Irish phrases that no other country in the world has, or how we use different words to describe something. This is something Irish expats have to adjust to when moving to a new country.
You will miss overhearing classic Irish phrases like “There’s good drying out”, “Don’t be having notions” and “Go way outta that”. You can no longer reply “I was in a heap” when asked how your Friday post-work drinks went, or use “Sure look it”, to end pretty much every conversation you have about the state of the world. Your new flatmates won’t know where the “hot press” is and you definitely can’t casually throw the phrase “any craic” around your new office in case you are called in to see HR instead.
These are phrases that make complete sense to an Irish person but won’t carry much meaning to anyone you say it to when you are an expat overseas.
The world on your doorstep
Ireland is located perfectly in the Atlantic Ocean and only when you move away do you realise how close Ireland actually is to the USA and mainland Europe.
When living at home, it is possible to do a city-trip for a weekend and explore cities that are on everyone’s bucket list like London, Edinburgh, Barcelona or Paris. Or you can make the trip to the United States in just over seven hours from Dublin, which is an enviable flight time.
On home soil, you can cross Ireland in the space of a morning. Outside of some small European counterparts like Luxembourg or Belgium, there are few countries in the world where you can do the same – making it easy to explore Ireland and get around.
The Full Irish
How does one explain the simplicity yet complexity of the flavours of a full Irish breakfast?
When you read the ingredients (sausages, beans, eggs, tomatoes, “rashers” of bacon) on a menu, it sounds like a heart attack on a plate. However when served up with tea and toast after a night in Copper Face Jacks, it is a religious experience that is served in a variety of traditional and healthy ways from high-street cafes to five star hotels across Ireland.
No matter how we describe just how delicious it is, we think this anthem for the “full Irish” will show just how important this meal is:
We also discussed in our article on Adjusting to Life as an Irish Expat abroad how a good cup of tea is guaranteed to be a staple in most Irish homes.
A proper pot of Irish tea is meant to “draw” for a solid five minutes before a drop of this liquid gold is poured. The tradition of serving tea to visitors, during funerals, to builders working on your house and at weddings is not uniquely Irish but the type of tea being used is what makes the difference.
With Barry’s Tea and Lyons being the only two teas of choice in Ireland, it is rare you would find a household not stocked with either one or the other.
One definite perk about living in Ireland is that most shops and supermarkets are open on Sundays.
Many people use their Saturdays to do sports and activities themselves, or with their family or sometimes they have to also work. Irish expats working overseas will miss Sunday opening times. It is the perfect opportunity to do a food shop for the week at a quiet time, or to pick up “a few bits” when you have the time to do it.
Forty shades of Green
When you are Irish and living overseas, you might plan to make the trip home once or twice a year. As you are flying in over Ireland on a clear day, you get to truly appreciate just how luscious this “Emerald Isle” is.
From our enviable location being hugged all year by the Gulf stream, we benefit from the warming waters of Mexico as well as the rainfall it brings. Meaning a lusher, greener countryside and landscape for everyone to enjoy.
Now we are not saying Ireland is perfect, but as a small nation Ireland has definitely carved a place on the world stage in terms of progressive thinking and laws.
When working abroad as an Irish expat, you might find there is not the same passion for equality or the environment as you would find at home.
From being the first country in the world to introduce a plastic bag levy in 2002, Ireland then introduced legislation that banned smoking in the workplace in 2004. In 2015, Ireland was the first country in the world to vote for equal marriage rights and in 2017, Ireland passed a fossil fuel divestment legislation. We really work hard to toil the path of progress on home soil.