Like A Rolling Stone

It’s been four months since I came to live in Ireland. I’ve tried to write this post several times, but each time I was unable to express my feelings. Every attempted entry was ultimately indecipherable, and even now it’s still weird. But let me try my best.

Since coming here, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many expats and locals alike. And I noticed that they all had one thing in common: they knew where their homes were. Some people spent years traveling; for others it was their first time. Regardless, they had a place of comfort to retreat to. Others went back to Canada after a few weeks, realising that what they had at home, they couldn’t replace with anything else. Then there were those who made the world their home – happy wanderers.

I didn’t fit into any of those categories. I left Toronto because I wanted to find “home”. Seeing the world  and experiencing new cultures was a goal of course, but I desperately wanted to find a home base; a nest and a stable career where I could have responsibility and duty. Unlike some others, I didn’t want to be a rolling stone.

For the first few weeks, things were grand (as they say here in Ireland). I was hiking in mountains, swimming in the sea, making new friends, and learning about a new culture. I can honestly say that I am happier than I was in Toronto, and a lot  calmer. But it wasn’t until I started to find my feet and tried to assimilate as a “local” that I felt any real culture shock.

From lunch conversations with colleagues and friends, I started to realise that there are some social/cultural values/behaviour that I found difficult to accept. I won’t go into detail as I don’t want to offend, but I found myself questioning if I could live with those principles for the rest of my life, and if I ever had kids, if I’d want them to grow up conditioned by this society. As two types of foreign (Asian and North American), I will also never really be accepted as “one of their own”.

So, here I am. Four months in Dublin, renting in a nice little house by the Irish Sea, working as part of the financial operations team for a national corporation, and working my way up by studying for an accounting qualification. Is this home? Well, I don’t know yet. But it doesn’t hurt to try. The only thing to do now is enjoy every moment offered, and see what waits for me.


4 thoughts on “Like A Rolling Stone

  1. I can say the same thing here in Toronto. Though I have lived in Canada practically my whole life and have leaved two hours away from Toronto, I can’t bring myself to call Toronto my home. I don’t even see myself having a home here. I try at times but I really don’t picture it. But yet here I am, four months in and I have a room in a house with three other people near Trinity Bells.

    It’s funny because when I travel to Boston, it feels so much like home. I told myself, I want to be able to travel the world and come back to “home”, home being Boston. Home being where I feel comfortable and where I can see myself having my children. I may not see myself raising my children in Boston just yet, but for now I want to make it home. However, I think this planet is too big to call one city home.

    I hope you’re alright. I miss you and I am so proud of your success thus far!

    1. Good to hear from you! I totally understand what you mean. I think “home” is a different concept for everyone. Some associate it with a physical place – like the house they grew up in. Others associate it with certain smells, foods; and then for some, home is where loved ones are. I have yet to define or find what home really means to me, but I know that I don’t have it.

      I really hope you are able to make Boston your home one day soon, and that you’ll be very happy there! 🙂 I’m proud of you too for everything that you’ve accomplished! Can’t believe how far we’ve come since OCAD – seems like another life ago.


  2. Interesting! For me, as an Irish woman who still (and always will) call Ireland ‘home’, a new insight into the flip side. Thx! And I would say, give it time, speak out as u see fit and maybe dwell less on being accepted. The Irish can seem merciless but often there is a wry humour in there. Good luck!!

    1. Thanks for the word of encouragement and advice! Though it may not be a forever home, I’m certainly enjoying my time here and the people are great. 🙂

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