Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Generation Emigration

The Irish Times are running a series at the moment called 'Generation Emigration' which is aimed at Irish citizens who are living and working elsewhere in the world.  There is a discussion on their forum at the moment asking how leaving Ireland has effected the emigrated.  It asks 'Have you discovered a different side to yourself or learned something new that has altered your perspective on life since leaving Ireland? Or have you remained unchanged by your experiences overseas?'

Since I'm now an emigrant,  I left the following comment, which can also be found on Irish Times website at

For me, leaving Ireland was exciting.  It was something I wanted to do.  I have always loved travelling, saving whatever money I could for my next trip.  My college summers were spent off doing my own thing, in places like Mexico and Belize, India, and Thailand.  

In May 2009, I graduated from UCD, with a Joint B.Sc in Pharmacology and Physiology.  The recession was in full swing and there were almost no jobs to be had.  Suddenly, just because you had a degree, didn’t mean you were ‘entitled’ to a job, which to be honest, suited me perfectly!  I’d been dreading finishing college and facing the ‘what now?’ that everyone faces.  All I wanted to do was travel.  No jobs meant no pressure on me to look for one and no guilt when I decided to jump ship!  

I spent the next 18 months travelling and working in various parts of the world.  I went on Safari in Tanzania, I worked as a bar maid in New Zealand, I travelled though South East Asia and India and I worked as a chalet host in the French Alps.  I came back to Ireland in May of last year and spent the summer in Lahinch, Co. Clare.  I worked in a Bar and set up a small baking business.  I saved like mad and longed to be somewhere else.

In August, an opportunity arose for both myself and my boyfriend to teach English in South Korea.  We jumped on it.  We arrived at the end of November and we haven’t looked back.  Since leaving Ireland, my travel bug has been fuelled further, I am increasingly compelled to experience new things and to develop a deeper understanding of different cultures and societies.  I feel that my perspective has remained the same since leaving Ireland but I’m sure I cannot have remained unchanged by my overseas experiences.  Surely no experience at home or abroad, leaves you unchanged.  When I started to travel, it wasn’t my intention to learn.  I didn’t do it to deepen my understanding of different cultures.  I travelled for a laugh.  Now years later, I find emigration to be just as enjoyable as travel and each new experience opens my eyes a little wider.

No comments:

Post a Comment