Coming Home to Ireland…

by Stephanie Walsh · 2 comments

in Europe, Ireland, Travel Thoughts, Travels

Coming home to Ireland

After a year and a half spent shimmying around the wonderfully welcoming and beautiful lands of Colombia and Mexico, I am back home, in the heart of Ireland, visiting family and friends.

Leaving Colombia was really hard, especially since I had to leave the country without Andres. He’s staying there to focus on building a tech start-up, which I know will be a great success.

In typical Colombian style, I was sent off in style with a surprise party (organized by Andres) and lots of lovely dinners. I can’t express how thoughtful the Colombian people are and how welcome they always made me feel! I really hope I can return to their country soon to see them all again.

Being away from home for 20 months, the longest time I had ever been away, definitely made me more aware of Ireland and its unique characteristics, than ever before. Having the opportunity to see your home country with fresh eyes is a privilege not many people get to experience and it has been both a blessing and an affliction.

It’s hard not to compare cultures, even though it’s unfair, but it’s also one of the only ways of recognizing differences between those cultures, and in turn, appreciating the good and the not-so good about each place.

One of the first things I noticed about Dublin, as my brother and his girlfriend drove me back to their place from the airport, is how clean the streets were and how modern and pretty the city looked in general, even at night. For someone who used to complain about how ‘grey’ and ‘ugly’ parts of Dublin were, this was a revelation!

After a ‘welcome home’ steak and wine dinner at midnight, prepared by my lovely brother, I Skyped Andres for what would be the first of the daily calls we’d be having over the next few months. It had begun. The separation we were dreading for months had arrived and there was no going back. We were on different sides of the world, in different time zones and with at least 4 months apart ahead of us.

Despite missing Andres a lot, I have enjoyed being home. It’s been two months now since I arrived on Irish soil and I’ve well and truly settled back into life in Ireland. It’s been lovely seeing my family and friends again and finally getting to meet my first nephew. Isn’t he a little beaut?

me and evan

Many things have struck me about my culture and country within the first few days and weeks of being back home. It took me a while to get used to how bright it was at 10pm, when I arrived home in early August. I couldn’t believe how green the ‘Emerald Isle’ really was, and I loved how quiet, safe and peaceful it felt to be at home in the countryside.

Of course, I’ve also drank copious amounts of tea, cherished the small things like full Irish breakfasts, bread and chocolate.

Looking Forward…

Although I’d love to travel around Ireland more while I’m here, I am also here to save money and concentrate on making my location independent lifestyle possible. This past year has been amazing and I have managed to become location independent by working online, but I need to maximize my efforts if I’m going to be able to continue this lifestyle. I need to make enough money online to be able to survive anywhere in the world, not just countries in the ‘developing world’ with cheaper living costs. I want to be location independent. I want to travel anywhere, work anywhere and live life to the beat of my own drum.

I have been home two months already and I’ve been working non-stop. Things are going good, I’m very busy with freelance work and our online store is growing too. Andres just launched the first version of his tech start-up with his business partner and friend, Carlos, and I’m incredibly excited for them both. They’re extremely talented and intelligent guys and really know what they’re doing, so I’m excited to see their company grow.

Things are good. Life is busy and travels are currently on hold. Andres is applying for his Irish visa right now, so he can hopefully spend Christmas with my family and me in the Irish countryside. I really hope it gets approved so we can explore some of the Emerald Isle together while he’s here.

We have lots more updates coming very soon, so we’ll keep you all posted!

Thanks for reading!

 

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