Chasing Rainbows and Fighting the Wind: How I Moved to Dublin

Liffey with Rainbow
River Liffey with rainbow: Where is the pot of gold?

It all went that fast that I didn’t really have time to think about it, even too fast to be afraid of it. I left Germany and all my life there behind and moved to Dublin for an undefined period of time. All I had over there was a job offer and two casual acquaintances. And no place to live yet. Now, looking back, I can say that it wasn’t always easy, but I still didn’t regret this decision one second.

Ireland and its Attraction

While the decision of actually moving to Dublin was kind of spontaneous, the idea itself was well considered. Since this Flogging Molly concert I had been to when I was 15, I was into Irish culture (and yes, I am aware that Flogging Molly are actually not from Ireland, but still they have awoken my desire to see Ireland). In September 2014, 24 years old, I finally made it there for a holiday, and though I can’t really explain what exactly it was, some inner voice told me that I should spend some more time there – especially the rainbow I saw when I crossed Ha’penny Bridge felt like a guidepost for the exciting and the beautiful things this country could show me. One year later I graduated from college and decided that Dublin could be my choice for a little adventure. Internship, work whatever. Sounded like fun and living in another country again would look great in my CV, so why not.

Already some months before I graduated I started applying for jobs and internships in Dublin. To be honest, not only in Dublin, even not only in Ireland, but also in the UK, I just wanted to improve my English without moving to far away from my country – I wanted to stay in the range of a cheap flight. But as most responses for my applications came from Dublin, I guess this is where fate wanted me.

The Chance of an International Career

Applying for jobs in Ireland taught me several lessons. First of all, I found out that in Ireland I am highly overqualified for an internship with my master degree. In Germany, people with a degree in a subject like literature or humanities in general usually don’t get a job right after college. They first do poorly paid internships or voluntary work for the first year until they hopefully find a paid full-time job. Assuming that Ireland would be similar, I first applied for internships only and received nothing but refusals. When I started to apply for actual jobs without really believing in being successful, I finally did get successful.

Secondly, I found out that, being a German speaker, it is really easy to find a job in Dublin, as Dublin is full of international companies that need hires for German customer service and similar tasks (and this goes for many other languages as well). I was surprised that they didn’t even care that I didn’t have experience in these areas nor what kind of degree I had. All they expected was that I am fluent in German and English and some basic intelligence and ability to solve problems.

What I also learned when I applied for jobs in Ireland is that life there is more flexible than in Germany. The jobs I applied for would have started within the next two weeks, while I had expected that I have to apply for jobs at least two to three months in advance. So I continued looking for jobs only when I had finished my master thesis and actually had the possibility to move to Dublin within the next week. And as it happens: little time later I had an offer for a job as editorial reviewer in online advertising in a well-known company with international reputation.

Finding a Room in Dublin: The Horror Show

Finding a place to live was probably the most difficult part of my transition period. I came to see plenty of rooms and most of the time it was nothing but a horror show, or a freak show at least. Either the potential flatmates would be creeps that were not able to talk to me normally, or the place reminded me displeasingly of a Hitchcock movie, or the area was full of junkies, or the price was horrendously high, or I just didn’t get the rooms because plenty of other people had applied for it as well. Luckily I had rented a room with Airbnb for the first week. I had made bad experiences with booking a room without having seen it in real life when I had moved to Seville and Berlin, so at least I didn’t make this mistake again. And especially in Dublin, I would recommend everyone never to transfer any deposit or sign anything without having seen the place. On the photos of pages like daft.ie, easyroommate.com or the Facebook group “The Ideal Flatmate Dublin” everything look nice and clean. But in reality, these places often appear to be cold, ragged, smelly and, above all, much smaller than they look on the pictures.

But in the end I was lucky – because I had done what many people think is pointless: I had stayed in touch with a volatile acquaintance I had made during my holiday in Dublin the year before. At that time, he had just left his home in Madrid and was about to move to Dublin. We met in the hostel we were both staying in and spent a crazy night out together. The next day I had taken my flight back to Germany, but at least we had exchanged our Facebook names and updated each other about our lives’ novelties maybe once in three months. It suggests itself that I let him know that I was about to move to Dublin.

A few days after I had arrived I was nearly going crazy because all rooms I had seen until then were scaring the shit out of me. And then, my friend contacted me to let me know that his housemate would move out and wanted to know whether I was interested in the room. I was desperate and it felt like he saved my life. Now I live in a small cottage a little bit south of the city centre, with my Spanish friend and two more lovely international people and it almost feels like family. Although the living standard is not the same as in Germany – the house is old, cold in winter and doors don’t close properly – I am very happy with this place.

Making it Home: The Daily Routine

While my semester abroad in Seville was nothing but a long holiday, moving to Dublin really felt like making a new city and a new country my home. This time, there wasn’t a college and a room in Germany to return to after a foreseeable lapse of time. This time, I didn’t know for how long I would live abroad. There was nothing but the freedom to stay as long or as short as I like.

Therefore, I really made myself at home here in Dublin. I bought stuff for the house, I decorated my room and I signed up at a local yoga studio. In the beginning, my daily way to work was still kind of a sightseeing trip and then it became routine. I made international and Irish friends to spend nights out, hiking trips and afternoon teas with. And slowly, the new and the exciting became daily life. However, sometimes I still wake up and can’t believe that I really took this step to move to another country for an undefined period of time. Then I feel proud that I mastered all the challenges that Dublin presented me. Looking back, I can say that life in Dublin is like Irish weather – you have to fight your way through plenty of wind and rain, which can be rough and is nothing for mollycoddles. But without rain, there are no rainbows. And all the different people I met and the stories I collected, the things I experienced although I thought I would never experience this sort of things, how moving here widened my horizon in a new way although I had thought it to be wide already – these are the rainbows I found.

9 thoughts on “Chasing Rainbows and Fighting the Wind: How I Moved to Dublin”

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