6 Months After Emigrating…

This week marks my sixth month of life in New York City, and what a whirlwind it has been, I thought that a little life update 6 months after emigrating might be an interesting read for anyone who can relate, or anyone who is thinking about taking the leap.

I’m going to rewind a little bit and try to give some context on the reality of things when you actually leave home for the last time and when you first land in a new country in the hopes of not only starting a new life, but making that life work the way that you want it to. It’s definitely important to prepare yourself for a roller-coaster of emotions if emigrating is something that you are considering. It’s different for everyone, depending on where you are going and what you’re goals are. My personal goals were to throw myself into the working world here in (hopefully) a big corporation where I could soak up as much as I possibly could, and see just how far I could work my way up in the time that I had here. I was aiming high, but in New York you just have to.

The reality of leaving and arriving in a new city…

At the start, things definitely felt a bit daunting – you’re leaving your life at home and just praying to god that you can set up a new one in a new place with new people and that thought in itself left me with a lot of sleepless nights. Before it actually came around to saying goodbye to people I was counting down the days until I was leaving. But then as the time got closer and my alarm went off, it was time to leave Naas, give my dog a long hug goodbye, and then leave my Mum in the airport, the wave of emotions hit me like a truck, and to be honest they stayed with me for a number of weeks after. I genuinely never knew what homesickness felt like until I got here, I missed every single thing about home, even just sitting on the couch beside the fire! One way to overcome this, I found, was to stay busy, and keep in contact with home as much as possible. I was also so lucky to have my boyfriend here with me in the exact same position, there’s always safety in numbers I feel!

Working…

The job hunt here is one brutal ordeal, but one that you just need to stick with and not give up on. You literally need to keep emailing, networking and annoying people until you get to where you want to be. I’m so lucky and grateful that I landed my job with such an amazing brand. Networking, taking help when it is offered, and being overly prepared are all such important parts of the job hunt here (and everywhere!). I’ve been working with Clinique on their North America Marketing team since the start of November and I honestly can’t express how much I have learned since then. Work ethic is very different to home, I know everyone says it but it’s honestly true. I’ve never been so productive in my life and it’s because everything here is so intense and fast paced. Holiday days here aren’t abundant – I can’t believe I used to complain about having 20 holiday days in Ireland! Any days taken off here are at my own expense, and if I’m sick, that’s another days pay gone! I think that all of this forces a really strong work ethic into you.

Friends…

The most important thing when emigrating is the friends you have and the friends that you make. It’s so important to put yourself out there and meet new people, and also keep the familiar faces from home as close as possible to you. No matter where you are, you really have nothing without good company and great friendships. You need those people to keep you sane, to help you laugh off a crap day, and to also enjoy this incredible city with! Visitors are also such a luxury and I’m so excited for all of the visitors I have arriving over the Summer! If you’re emigrating on your own, firstly, fair play because I don’t think I’d actually be able to, and secondly, use every single thing you have going for you to your advantage to try and meet people. If you’re into sports, join a club, or if not, just try and reach out to anyone you half know and arrange to meet for a coffee.

Living…

One of the huge and most obvious differences is in my day to day life. While everything here is ten million times more expensive than at home, you literally couldn’t be bored here if you tried which is one plus side. This city is a non-stop contagious energy and I love it more than anything! I definitely don’t feel as home sick as I did previously, because now, I really feel like my life is here and not in Ireland. At the beginning I was constantly wondering what my friends were up to, and feeling as though I was missing out, but it’s so much easier now that I am finally starting to feel a lot more settled and used to the feeling of being far away.

So like I said, I feel as though my life is here, but the most important people aren’t. My best friends and family (dogs included) would make this place and if they were all here I definitely would never ever leave. One thing that you have to remember, is that everything you see on social media is there for a reason – because it’s a good photo or a nice outfit or a delicious meal worth sharing. You never see the really bad days, but trust me they are plentiful! Emigrating was without a doubt the biggest test I’ve ever put myself through and I’m so grateful that I stuck it out and got through the transition period.

Hope everyone has a super week!

Niamh x

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