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Making the Move to Ireland

July 29, 2009

Simon raises a glass to Arthur Guinness

Simon raises a glass to Arthur Guinness

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

Kilmainham Gaol Courtyard

Simon in Ireland

Ring of Kerry – National Park

Kilmainham Gaol

Galway Cathedral

St Loman’s Hospital, Westmeath
Kilmainham Gaol Courtyard
Ring Fort, Ring of Kerry
12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 9:32 PM

    GORGEOUS photos, simon! WOW!

  2. Nicole permalink
    July 29, 2009 9:42 PM

    Beautiful pictures! Good for you. I’m sure some people thought you were nuts, but I envy you dropping everything. Good luck finding more solid work and enjoy!

  3. Scott permalink
    July 29, 2009 10:40 PM

    Simon – great article (and great move)! You’re in a unique position, and I hope you keep sharing your stories here and elsewhere. If you haven’t already, you should check out a series of books by Niall Williams, which, starting with “O Come Ye Back to Ireland,” recount his experience of moving to Ireland from New York: (he gets rained on a lot too)

  4. Barbara Crane permalink
    July 30, 2009 6:37 AM

    I would give anything to move to Ireland. I leave today for Miltown Malbay County Clare. My grandmother was born there but came to the United States in 1917. I will vist for the second time her niece and family who are my cousins. I just love Ireland and can’t wait to get there.

  5. Shipper permalink
    July 30, 2009 9:27 AM

    Oh you LUCKY, LUCKY LUCKY people, you! THAT’S one of my dreams to at least go to Ireland AND Scotland..if not MOVE to one of those, Keep those blogs and pics coming so we can all live vicariously through you, lol! 🙂

  6. July 30, 2009 5:41 PM

    Hey Simon,

    Sounds like your having an amazing experience. Happy birthday mate, i know its coming up soon!

    Look forward to seeing you guys when you get back to beautiful, sunny, warm Australia!!!!


  7. Nick permalink
    July 30, 2009 8:04 PM

    Hey Simon,

    wonderful article mate! It’s good to hear you’re enjoying your time in Ireland. We all miss you and G. here, but at least we know that you’re making the most of your new home and using the opportunity to travel in and around Europe.

    As Elie said, here’s early wishes for a happy birthday, and look forward to catching up to you soon here in Australia!


  8. July 31, 2009 7:28 AM

    Great story and pics, Simon, and congrats on your move. I notice Derry hasn’t made your travelling list yet — check it out some time, especially lovely with the lights around the city at Christmas tide.

  9. Amanda permalink
    August 1, 2009 1:06 AM

    Beautiful photos! You are very very lucky to have been able to move to Ireland; that’s my dream, and after seven years of marriage I have finally talked my husband into it (some day, maybe when our parents are gone…) It sounds like you are making the most of the time you have there, best of luck to you for your new life in Ireland!

  10. Simon permalink
    August 3, 2009 10:24 AM

    Thanks for the comments, everyone.
    I’ll be sure to check out Derry around Christmas, and keep an eye out for Niall’s books.
    Plus, I’ll certainly be writing more in the near future (and taking photos).

  11. Tammy permalink
    August 3, 2009 10:24 AM

    I have been dreaming of moving to Ireland for years now. This makes me want to get over there even more. I was there 8 yrs ago and it took my breath away.

  12. Laury permalink
    August 3, 2009 1:17 PM

    Simon, what an incredible story. I felt that way after my first visit to Edinburgh Scotland. Living here in the USA is ok history wise but the UK in general is so steep in history. The buildings are gorgeous & everyone of them has something history related. Every empty field was once a battlefield; every castle held a war of some sort. absolutely incredible Country.

    I am looking forward to visiting Ireland for the first time. I’ll be in Dublin Sept 1st – Sept 5th then on to Edinburgh Sept 6th – Sept 12th. I’ll check into the Tinode House on Drumcondra. Can’t wait..Tell me, Where is Kilmainham Gaol? I must see it.

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