14.2.09

The real Ireland


My emotional attachment to Ireland has grown over the past few years at the same rate as my hair has greyed. The two may or may not be related. However, whatever my misty-eyed view of the ole sod might be, I've few illusions about the reality of growing old, or being ill, or both, back home. Even with private health insurance, staying alive in Ireland is an expensive and challenging business. A recent opinion piece in 'The Irish Times', written by a former expat who returned from Canada to dance with Celtic Tiger, has confirmed what I suspected.

4 comments:

Michele said...

Wow, Johanna, thanks for posting this. It's not exactly relevant to me, since I'm not thinking of moving to Ireland but I do think a lot about moving back home to the U.S. Where things are apparently very, very miserable. But I'm often miserable in Norway... What to do... Perhaps the grass IS always greener somewhere else. I'm going home to California for three weeks (leave tomorrow! F the snow!) to check things out. Maybe Sandefjord will look really good to me when I get back?? We'll see...

OSLO said...

Oh you lucky, lucky thing. Look forward to hearing how things seem after a few weeks away. Norway always seems so parochial when I go away - even to rural Ireland. Enjoy the nice weather.

Irish Mammy said...

Hi,
I have lived abroad also - Amsterdam, Paris and Copenhagen - returned to Ireland end of 2007. I left at the height of the boom 1999and returned end of 2007, to the start of the recession. What's more found Ireland very difficult as a working mother, I lost my job end of 2008 - the very same week found out I was pregnant with no.2! So unemployed and pregnant in a country that doesn't recognise that I worked abroad (different voluntary systems for unemployment) and I don't have enough Irish PRSI stamps! (They disregard anything worked in Ireland before 2000). My husband is Swedish and I am trying to learn this language too, but in Dublin. I like reading your blog, I am tempted to move to back to Scandinavia...despite the snow! The work/life balance is a whole new concept for Dublin commuters and honestly I didn't realise how good I had it abroad until I returned to my native soil.

OSLO said...

Irish Mammy
I can understand the temptation to move back to Scandinavia. Snow is often better than rain after all, and clearly there are many, many other advantages here for families with young kids. Jobs are disappearing here too though. Hope things improve for you. I imagine there must be many returned expats regretting that they went home. Will follow your blog and will things to get better for you (even if that means emigrating again).