I’ll be honest and say that relocating to Dublin was not part of my long-term plan as an Expat. I was happily content with my life in Melbourne until I decided to get married to a guy already living here for a long time. Melbourne was part of the options but after considering a number of factors (work opportunities included), relocating to Dublin inevitably became the better choice for us at the time – so I had to pack my bags and go.
It was 7th of August 2012 when I first set foot in the Irish soil. Dublin was the third city I relocated to but I realized that even if I was not a “newbie” Expat or traveler, a new place definitely requires some time to get used to. It took a few adjustments on my part and acceptance on certain things so I can enjoy my new life here. And for those of you who are thinking of relocating here or recently moved, here are some of the things that might help you to transition easily.
Be prepared to talk..sometimes a lot
I am not a snob but I grew up in a country where sharing a chit chat is not necessary. Regardless if you are going to spend hours inside a cab or while a hair stylist does your haircut, chatting is optional. In most cases, all there is to say is to let the other person know what you need and after that, the conversation is over.
When I moved here, I had to change that a bit. I learned to prepare myself for a casual conversation whenever I ride a cab or when I go to the salon for a haircut. Even the “small time” paying for the groceries is enough time for a chat, too! It was a good change for me, to be honest. Apart from getting used to the accent, I realized that sharing a few words with other people around me makes a lot of difference to feel that I belong in the community.
Don’t be upset if it rains or becomes too cold during summer (that’s perfectly normal)
For the longest time, my definition of summer has been like this: it is the chance to wear the lightest clothing (tank tops, shorts, and flip-flops) and never have to worry about rain for at least 2 months straight. No need to constantly check the weather forecast to know what clothing to wear outdoors or to worry if I went out without an umbrella. During extreme cases (30 degrees Celsius and up), summer also meant taking a bath more than once daily as it can get too hot and humid for my liking.
When I moved to Dublin, all things I knew about summer changed. Relocating here made me realize that summer can involve gray clouds and rain in some days – and to thank the heavens if the temperature reaches at least 20 degrees Celsius! Summer doesn’t necessarily mean I can go out without layering my clothing. So it pays to check the weather forecast daily to get ready for anything!
Appreciate a lovely sunny day outside whenever you get the chance!
If I am not traveling, I prefer to stay indoors. A good book and a cup of tea are enough for me to spend an entire afternoon on a weekend. Especially if I had a stressful week at work or went out the day before, I prefer to spend a quiet afternoon to rejuvenate.
Another change brought upon by me moving here is that any chance to go out on a fantastic weather should not be missed. Whether it is just to go to a quick trip to a convenience store, walk around for fresh air, or to have a cold drink at a nearby café should be considered when the sun is unexpectedly shining brightly. I never liked rainy days so going out on a rainy day to do errands (or when I NEED to) is not the same (for me) as walking around under the glorious sunshine when I WANT to. So if it’s sunny in Dublin – YOU REALLY HAVE TO GO OUT!
Wellies and raincoats should be a part of your wardrobe
I grew up with a routine to have an umbrella inside my bag – ALWAYS. And for the past years, it worked brilliantly – until I got here. Shortly after arriving in August 2012, it rained. So I did what I have been doing for the past years and pulled my trusty umbrella inside my bag to protect myself from the rain. Minutes (if not seconds) later, I bid farewell to my umbrella. A gust of strong chilly wind broke it, leading to its untimely death.
Now it all makes sense why locals prefer to wear raincoats to protect from the rain. Irish rain usually involves strong gusts of winds and if you are like us, it seems that we live in an area where wind tunnels are pretty common.
Raincoats paired with rubber boots (they call it wellies) are often the fashion statement during the shoulder seasons. And if the locals wear it, you should do, too.