For many people Ireland brings to mind beautiful countryside, good beer, music, friendly people and and great places of historical significance to visit. For me, personally, Ireland meant and still does, a lot more…
In June 2015 I left my country of birth, South Africa, and made Ireland “home” and though I refer to it as “my Ireland”, it was more a question of Ireland adopting me. I came here with well thought out plans and intentions of making a success of my venture, as we do, but life has a way of happening and disrupting our plans. In my case it was my marriage ending and along with that, getting diagnosed with cancer (thankfully in the very early stages). I decided to make the best of a difficult situation and make a go of things, in-between surgeries, looking after my then 10-year old son and still trying to adapt to life in a foreign country.
It was following those events that I got to really meet the Irish and see and experience firsthand just how absolutely incredible these people are. And how blessed we are to be able to live here amongst them. The Irish are writers, musicians and poets, but they are also generous, sympathetic, compassionate, caring… They have hearts. They truly are the most beautiful people and I love them dearly for it.
They calmly and quietly walked into my life, took me under their wings and looked after us as best they could, respectfully, drew me into their community, their church, accepted me and let me know I was accepted and cared for. Me and my son, strangers, foreigners, it mattered none to them. From the Garda (Irish Police) to neighbors and casual friends, hospital staff and school teachers, they were there for us and I still don’t have words to adequately express my gratitude to them all.
This blog is for sharing information on places, things and experiences we had as immigrants, including lessons learned by trial and error! But it’s also my way of giving something back to Ireland and telling the world about the wonderful things I discovered and enjoyed in my time here and promoting them all as my “giving something back” to this country that gave us so much.
I hope you all reading my posts here will find something, a place yet unheard off, an adventure you just have to take, where you will find your own bit of Ireland magic.