Submitted by Simon Chapman from Sydney/Dublin
What would you do if your partner asked you to drop everything, pack up, and move to another country (their homeland)? Would you be afraid? Would you rather not risk it? Or would you (after having a quick think about it) quit your job, box up what you didn’t want to sell, kiss your life goodbye and leave like I did. Heading to the other side of the world indefinitely.
What did I have to lose? A well paying job in Sydney, Australia. Sunshine, surf, seafood and some great friends. Where was I heading? Cold, rainy, expensive Ireland. The money we had saved in the short time before we left was halved by the exchange rate when we got here. People were being made redundant left, right and centre, and Ireland’s future was not looking as good as it once was. Plus, it rained all summer last year. In the first month of us arriving here, everybody we met said “Jay-zuss. You left Australia to come to Ireland?” – like we had won lotto and gave it all away.
So, 4 months later, we are still here. We are renting a lovely house just outside of Dublin (Dundrum, to be exact). Finding regular work hasn’t been easy, but we have managed to pay the rent, bills and still have enough left over to travel.
We have seen Athenry, Galway, Cork and Kinsale. We have done the ring of Kerry, Kilmainham Gaol, Trinity College and the Guinness factory tour. We have drank with incredibly friendly people and have eaten fine Irish stews. We have danced to traditional music in front of peat fires and under thatched roofs, and we have fallen asleep in our beds full of food, drink and the craic.
Next month we have booked 4 days in Prague then a week in Portugal. It’s not far to go when you’re already part of Europe. We might jump across to Rome, Paris or Barcelona before Christmas as well. Then on our list is Connemara, Cork, the Giant’s Causeway, Donegal, Wexford and a boat trip up the Shannon.
Bloody awful, isn’t it? Why would I ever have wanted to leave Australia and come here?
The rain? That just makes Ireland greener, and all the more beautiful.
Here are some of Simon’s photos from Ireland. You can spot more of his creative work at www.youlittlebooty.com: