Ireland, Live Abroad, Travel, Work Abroad, Working Holiday

I’m going back!

Everything has changed this year–at a faster rate than usual. I had a senior fine arts exhibition in February, was accepted into a juried art competition which I helped curate in April, graduated college in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Studio Art, magna cum laude, worked at summer camp in May, June, and July, began the job hunt this October, started a job at a home decor store, and…

I found a job and am returning to Ireland in 2016!

When that photo was taken I had no idea what to do after graduation, I didn’t have any plans for going back to Ireland or the UK beyond just a hope that I’d get to visit again. Summer camp quickly took up my mind after that, but when I arrived home, I searched long and hard for design jobs in the UK and Ireland and applied to a lot of them…

then one day, on a whim, I signed up for an au pair website just to see what was out there. Within a day of completing my profile, I had over 50 applications from interested families who wanted ME to come to stay with them in Italy, Ireland, France, and New Zealand. Obviously that was an incredibly hard choice, but the G. family stood out, and even though it felt overwhelming–I just wanted to browse at first!–I felt like I couldn’t say no and looked into it further.

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I’ll be living almost as far south as you can get in the Republic of Ireland–big change from the very North of Northern Ireland, but I think if I’m going back to the same country I may as well explore completely new parts! I’ll be right outside of Cork in a small country village, that I can already tell has a great bookstore, music scene, and views of the famous beaches in every direction (hello regular surfing and horseback riding!!).

This adventure will be great. I leave in February and don’t have a timeline for how long I’m going to stay except that I will stay with the family for 6 months. I’ll be an “au pair” which is similar to being a nanny, except you live with the family and they provide your room & board. Apparently I’ll have my own nice room and bathroom for myself, and my days will consist of taking care of 4 energetic little ones! 3 of them will be in school part of the time, so I will quickly be getting used to driving on the left side of the road again. I adapted to it so easily when I was studying abroad, but that was because I had been there for nearly a year and was used to watching the traffic patterns–getting my mind back into left-side mode this time will be challenging but exciting!

As an au pair, they pay me a weekly salary and all my room/board is covered. And I’ll have weekends off! I plan to do some more traveling–even further than when I studied abroad, if I have time for it, since my friends over there are keen to meet up (I am SO thrilled to be close to them!) and my best friend from study abroad will be in Paris for 3 months!

In case you’re curious–I’m going to Ireland under a Working Holiday Visa. I’ll write a post detailing this and step-by-step info about the process soon, but if you have graduated from post-secondary education (ie university) in the past year, it’s a GREAT opportunity to go to Ireland for any amount of time up to a year and work! Imagine living and working in another country–it’s a fantastic experience whether you have already studied abroad or not. I’m not jumping into my field right away, but that’s okay because I know the experience I will have will be unlike anything else and that it’ll be something I’m extremely happy I’ve done. After all, I graduated with no debt and no major possessions to take care of–no close friends in this area, no steady job, so I can just pack up and go! It’s a great idea because after university, you may as well travel as much as you can before other things tie you down.

A year ago I wouldn’t have imagined I was going back. I had that hope, but the actuality of it seemed too far off and it would be too disappointing if I couldn’t make it happen. Everything comes in time. This was a surprise thing, but a great thing, and I can’t wait to take off again.


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