Green light for return to Ireland


In the author description of Douglas Kennedy’s latest book Five Days, we are told that the writer divides his time between London, Paris, Berlin, Maine and Montreal. Is he serious? You have to wonder what kind of lifestyle that involves. A lot of fridges to clear and restock.

Most of us are confined to one geographical base at a time but that doesn’t mean we don’t dream of other possibilities. Last year I met an Eritrean refugee who risked his life crossing the Sahara and the Mediterranean, mournfully reconciled to living in Switzerland, while longing to go back home.

A lucky few have holiday homes and can shuttle between two different lifestyles and even climates. Wealthy Northern Europeans love to buy up properties in Spain, France and Italy. You can only admire their good sense.

This year I will be ‘dividing my time’ between Switzerland and Ireland, leaving Switzerland in August, ten years to the day since I arrived here to live, and staying on in Dublin until Christmas. The germ for this idea came around a year ago and the trip has come together thanks to a little serendipity and perseverance.

Last summer I had a conversation with my sister about my wish to live in Ireland again someday. Working out when my youngest child would be independent, I reckoned I could possibly arrange something around the age of sixty. This reflection shocked me to the core and started me thinking.

A short time before that on a flight from Dublin to Geneva I met an Irish woman who had lived in France for 20 years. She was married to a Frenchman and they had four daughters together. She told me she had twice moved with the children to Ireland for a school year, staying in her old family home. She was able to keep up her small travel business from Dublin and her husband, a teacher, used all his holiday time to visit them.

Moving forward to the end of last summer, one of my colleagues went to Florence for six weeks to do an Italian course, thanks to a creativity fund in work. I found out more about the fund that supports employees wishing to pursue various projects.

Now it just so happened that I had a very active creative project in progress – writing my first novel. I looked at courses in the Irish Writers’ Centre and found one that would be ideal for me. Everything was telling me to seize the moment.

My funding application was finally approved last week and I went ahead and booked the flights. What I have gained is the most precious thing of all – time. Time to write, time to spend with friends and family, time for my children to get to know their origins and time off from being a foreigner.

Wish me luck!

8 thoughts on “Green light for return to Ireland

  1. That’s such a wonderful idea – congratulations on having it all come together! I’m currently working on my own plan to do something similar, although the logistics of shuttling between Australia and Switzerland and the fact that the school year is completely different are making my head spin. Would love to catch up with you again before you go.

    1. Wow, I didn’t know about your plan. It sounds great but not something you can just click your fingers and do. Gotta to meet soon and swap notes. Yes we can!

  2. Would love to “get across the pond” just a couple of times before I grow too old to enjoy it. Ireland and Italy top the list. Enjoy your return home.

  3. Best of luck, friend! ☺

    Thank you for participating in my blog’s Blitz last Monday. I had a great time. All of your comments meant a lot.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Congratulations on getting that together. You must be excited, and returning for several months will give you a better idea of whether or not you want to make the complete move back. .

    1. Thanks Liz. The cover of Where She Belongs looks really nice. Congratulations!
      (This is an old post, by the way – I made this trip in 2013. Wish I could do it every year).

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