The Highs & Lows of Moving Home

I can’t get my head around the fact that I’ve been home for almost 5 months. I thought it might be a nice way to document how I’m feeling by talking through the highs & lows of moving home, and my full experience so far. 

In recent weeks I’ve gotten a couple of messages off people wondering how I’m getting on after leaving New York. I always seem to forget just how many Irish there are living abroad. You can’t help but feel alone in feeling like you want to leave where you are, especially to come home to the place you were so desperate to leave. It’s tricky as well when you aren’t forced out of somewhere, by visas or jobs or whatever it might be. When the decision is solely down to you and how you feel, it’s hard – trust me I know! The last few months have been full of lots of highs, lows, adjustments and excitement… 

The Highs

The People

This goes without saying. It was a driving factor in me deciding to move home in the first place. Yes, I had some great friends in New York, and I was there with my boyfriend, but I missed my family and friends here so much. I feel as thought I’ve literally slotted back in to how things were before I left, and I love it so much.

The Quality of Sleep

I am the biggest granny in the world. I adore early nights more than anything. One of my biggest bug bears in New York was feeling robbed of a nights sleep if my neighbours were having a party, or if construction work went on all night (it happened a lot!). Ireland is so quiet and peaceful and the only thing that wakes me up these days is my dogs letting us know he needs to go outside in the mornings – heaven!

Freedom

While I definitely had a huge amount of freedom in New York, I think this point will ultimately end up being a more personal one for me. I worked in social media for 18 months whilst living over there, and I felt as though every single thing I did was controlled by my job. I couldn’t leave the house without both of my phones and was posting across multiple accounts constantly (or at least it felt constant). Being able to step away from this work has given me a new lease of life, I feel as though my entire personality has changed since.

Money

You earn a hell of a lot more money in New York, but everything is so much more expensive – it hurts. I used to spend $15 on 2 chicken breasts, or $20 for a vodka soda in some bars. Your money goes a long way here and it’s a welcomed surprise.

Space

We lived in a studio apartment for our first year, and shared with two extra roommates in a 3 bedroom apartment for our second year. Living in a house again is the best feeling. Being able to walk from one room to another is something I never even imagined not having, but when you’re living in close quarters with more than one person, you certainly don’t take it for granted afterwards. 

The Lows

Expensive

This comes with the territory of setting your life up again. I found myself getting through my savings a lot faster than I anticipated when I first came home. Sorting out a car, car insurance, health insurance and other necessities are things that you need to be realistic about cost-wise.

Convenience

I miss living across the street from a cinema, above a Japanese restaurant, and next door to a bodega. In New York, everything is so accessible and you can have whatever you want, whenever you want it.

Independence

I’m back living at home at the moment. I’m 26 and while my parents would never tell me what I can or cannot do, it’s weird readjusting to just letting them know what I’m doing. Simple questions like “are you around for dinner on Sunday” used to throw me when I first got back. I just wasn’t used to thinking ahead or having to let someone know if I was coming home or how long I would have the car for. It’s honestly been such a minor thing but something I definitely noticed in the early days of moving home.

Changes

Sometimes it feels like things haven’t changed since before I left, but I do need to remind myself sometimes that people’s lives change and most definitely move on while you’re away. I had my time abroad and travelling and for some of my friends, that time hasn’t come yet. It’s just something worth taking into account if you are deciding to move home, most things will have changed or will change.

Challenges

So I’m not job hunting at the moment, but I do know that this would be a tricky challenge for someone who has just moved home. If you are undecided, I would definitely do a lot of research into the demand for jobs in your field before deciding to move. I have heard that it’s been difficult for some people.

The Weather

I said it over and over that one of the things I would miss the most would be the seasons in America. I love each season so much and it just feels a little bit miserable here a lot of the time with the rain. It’s not as bad as I remembered it to be though to be honest, so that’s a plus in itself! 

So I may have one extra low than I have highs, but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I am so glad that I’m home and that this decision is working out the way that I had hoped for. It’s been a bit of a bumpy ride since I got home but I genuinely feel so much relief to be here and I’m so grateful.

I hope you enjoyed this post, thanks for reading!

Niamh x

Photos by Brid ❤️ // Coat by Mint Velvet

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