Wednesday, 24 September 2014

12 years!

Tomorrow, it will be twelve years since I landed in Dublin airport and started my Irish journey. I still have a vivid memory of my first day in the country and the events that led up to it.

After staying 3 months in Cornwall during my last year at university, I spent the summer home, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I took a part-time job in order to have a bit of savings in case I wouldn't find full-time employment straight away and as I had planned to go back to Cornwall with a friend the first two-weeks of September, I needed some pocket money.

The summer went by and all I was getting were rejection letters. About a week before my holidays, I spotted a job offer on the internet. It was an "Export assistant" position for a food company in Ireland. I took a chance and applied for it. The thing is, I knew I wanted to live abroad for a while. I loved speaking English and I wanted to discover other places, people and cultures. The plan was to stay 2 or 3 years, get experience, become bilingual and come back to France to get a good job.

A couple of days later, I got a phone interview. Believe it or not, the company owner was French, and from Brittany as well (talk about small world!). At the end of the call, he said he would come back to me within a week or two. And of course, I received the answer right in the middle of my holidays in Cornwall. I was coming back home on the 15th of September and he asked me to be in Ireland for the 27th at the latest. Basically, I had about 10 days to get everything ready and start a new life in Ireland. No pressure at all...

I came home, sorted all the administrative stuff and bought a one-way ticket (that I managed to lose in the process but that's another story...). Thankfully, my new boss knew an Irish family in the village, who was lodging young professionals. I rang them and they had a free room. So, with a job and an accommodation lined-up, I only had to say goodbye to my friends and family. It was very emotional but I will always be grateful for their support.

On an early Wednesday morning, I flew over and arrived in Dublin airport with two big suitcases. I was scared and excited at the same time, I didn't know what to expect but all I can say is that I really received an Irish welcome in that family. I couldn't have landed in a better place. They became my second family and looked after me like one of their own.

As for the job, well, this one didn't work out at all and I quit after a week. So at that time I was far from thinking I would still be in Ireland  after 12 years!