I’ve been calling Ireland home for the past 6 years and 11 months. I still remember when I decided to come to Dublin at the age of 23. I was a young girl with crushed dreams but filled with hope! I said this many time through my blog posts, and I’ll say it again: I always wanted to live abroad. I’ve never had a specific country in mind but I knew I wanted to leave Brazil.
People always ask me why I’ve chosen Ireland and the truth is, I do not have an answer to that. I didn’t know anything about Ireland. The only thing I knew was that it’s an English speaking country and the home of U2. It was pretty much an instant decision as Ireland ticked all my boxes: English speaking country, it’s in Europe and doesn’t have strict visa requirements for immigrants.
Funny enough, I only did research about the country after I decided that Ireland would be my destination. I remember reading about the weather, the average temperatures, the apartment rent prices, the public transport system and the landscape. I was so happy about my decision that I never gave attention to the weather aspect. Even though everybody complaints about this, I have to say that the Irish weather still doesn’t bother me that much! It is how it is people, so we all have to deal with it and move on!
I arrived in Ireland in April (the 26th to be more specific) and I remember it was a beautiful day! The sun was shining, the sky was blue and temperatures were around 14 degrees, which at that time was way too cold for me! The weather kept like that for a few consecutive days so maybe that’s why I wasn’t caught up on the “Irish weather is horrible” thing. I was too busy enjoying the nice things Dublin had to offer while the sun was shining.
Why am I writing about Ireland? Well, Saint Patrick’s day is around the corner and I just feel like writing about my Irishness. They say that “Everybody is Irish on March 17th” but I feel Irish every day. Ireland really accepted me and I fell in love with this country pretty much immediately after my arrival. Things just worked out for me and yes, I believe that was written in the stars that I was supposed to come here. It was faith. It was destiny!
Ireland gave me everything I have and for this, I will be forever thankful for. Ireland gave me freedom, independence, a career, hopes, love and happiness! My connection with Ireland is so strong that in a way, I feel the right to claim myself Irish. I feel the pride and the struggles of this country, everyday.
Yes, sometimes I feel that Ireland is stuck in the past century and I want to pack my things and leave but the truth is that I wouldn’t be able to do that. For sure there’s no such a thing as a perfect country. We are human beings so we’ll always find something to complain about.
I could point out thousands of things that annoy me about Ireland but this is not important. What is important is to be looked in the eye and receive a “good morning” and a smile by a stranger. It’s to be offered a joke and a laugh without asking for it. It’s celebrating life with friends for no specific reason. It’s not stressing out for small things and moving on with a smile rather than with anger. It’s contemplating the beautiful green grass and the double rainbows in the sky. It’s being proud of your origin, your history and your country!
In Ireland I definitely learn the definition of the word patriotism. Not that I don’t love my country, because I do, very much, but I’m talking about the real meaning of the word. I’m not talking about being ignorant to think that your country is the best country in the world and all the others are below yours. I’m also not talking about “burning” the flag once the country’s football team plays bad. I’m talking about loving your nation, despite the bad and the crisis’, believing that good times will come, being proud of the input your people have in the world, knowing that there are so many great countries out there but Ireland will always be home.
I strongly believe that we are a reflection of the society we live. Ireland made me happier because people here are nothing but smiles and warmth. It’s easy to be a nicer person to others when you live around generous people. It’s simple to live light when people around you are not in a rush. It’s easy to be happy when people around you are happy too.
Saint Patrick’s day is a day to wear green and be proud to be Irish. This is one day of the year that everybody is allowed to be Irish and get the feeling of what being Irish means and feels. Lucky for me, I have the privilege to know and feel what this means everyday. I’ve been knowing and feeling this for the past 6 years and 11 months of my adult life and I still learn something new every day.
There is something about Ireland. What that is? Hard to tell. It’s not just about the green grass, the sheep, the rainbows, the people, the Guinness, the “craic”. Ireland is an experience, Ireland is a lifestyle. Well, maybe I didn’t know why I chose to come to Ireland in the first place but I definitely know why I’ve decided to stay and call Ireland home sweet home.