While we lived in Ireland it always felt temporary, we thought at some point we would be moving to the Czech Republic. I was never much good at living with the temporary lifestyle and consequently always wanted to move quicker than what was sensible. Ireland was so temporary that I ended up living there for 16 years…
So anyway we moved. And it took a year before I started talking about what I missed and having conversations about moving back. Moving is on hold for at least another year – so we’ll see.
So these are some of the things I miss about Ireland.
Yes, believe it or not I do miss the Irish weather, I miss the rain and wind. Believe me I find this strange. I along with most of the country would complain about the weather and I looked forward to living somewhere that had decent summers – sunshine I thought would be great.
So now I have lived through a few summers here and I hate the heat. As soon as the temperature goes above 25 or 26 degrees I find it harder to do anything. Much of the time during the summer the temperature goes above 30 and I just cannot stand it. It is fine on holiday when there is a pool or the sea to dip in – but while working it’s not a lot of fun. I eventually bought air-conditioning – something else that I had not considered and not added to out budget before moving.
So yes I miss the rain and the wind – yes bloody odd.
People & Language
The last year has been the loneliest year of my life. I really hate admitting to that it makes me feel like some incompetent. But it is true. I knew it would be difficult moving and getting to know people. There are ways to start to deal with this so I have joined a few Meetup groups and get myself out to various work events.
The Czech language has completely different roots to Western Europe. German and French appear a breeze in comparison – however I know this is not completely true after living in Vienna for a while. But it is isolating not understanding conversations in the street, tram, shops, anywhere.
I miss the conversations that I had with friends and the opportunities that sprang up daily around Dublin. When I first lived in Ireland I was amazed that I would get into conversations with people at bus stops, in shops, anywhere – I loved it and I miss it.
Let be straight – I hate shopping. But now I live in a place where shopping is harder for me. Try getting your other half to translate in the DIY store that you need brass screws to an assistant. So instead of being an event that I could deal with quickly shopping truly became an event. I would go to Tesco and be thinking “hey it Tesco I’ll get what I need here”. But no everything is different – in the beginning those differences are novel, after a while it became a pain, and then eventually there is adjustment.
The result is that I shop even less now – no bad thing I guess.
It’s different. My whole life is and I guess that is the issue. I have wandered around food shops and picked things based on the pictures on the labels to later find out it was not what I thought. All of this has been fairly easy as Anna has just taken over everything in this area.
However I have not had Fish & Chips for a long time, a pub lunch at the weekend, and Ben & Jerry’s was almost impossible to find.
Really my eating has become healthier and I have lost about 14 pounds 5 kg over the last year – so the stuff I miss are the unhealthy convenience foods.
Work & Business
This is the area where I have made some of the biggest mistakes. The temporary nature that I felt in Ireland affected my long term outlook regarding clients and business. Clients generally fall into two categories: some that I have never met and who are based in Ireland, the UK and the US, this group don’t care where I am based; the second category care, they prefer to be able to meet with me although most never do.
I under invested in marketing. It seemed like the right approach at the time but was wrong, very wrong.
I still work with clients in Ireland and elsewhere but due to the lack of investment it has become harder to bring in new clients. In many ways business was easier in Ireland.
However Ireland is still not a clear winner in my mind as the place I am going to settle. Life here in Prague right now is good. Anna asked me a couple of weeks back “what do you like about living here” there are lots of things and I will keep that for another post.