Shannon: The New Dubliner
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Dublin, etc.
I’m a dual American/Italian citizen from Buffalo, NY though I lived in Los Angeles in the years previous to my move to Dublin. I have been in Dublin for two years.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I knew that I wanted to do a blog once I decided that I was going to move to Europe. I didn’t even know which country I would be moving to at that point so I had all sort of different names picked out.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Here are some of my favorites:
Tell us about the ways your new life in Dublin differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I, quite wrongly, assumed that life in Dublin wouldn’t be all that different from life back home. I could not have been more wrong and I was completely blind-sided by it. Yes, we speak the same language but the similarities pretty much end there. And I did have trouble getting used to things – the first six months I was here, I thought I’d made the biggest mistake of my life.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Dublin? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
Looking back, I think I was as prepared as any person could be. I’m an obsessive planner and list maker. I researched extensively and did as much as I could ahead of time. But I don’t think anyone can be “fully” prepared when moving abroad. But the unexpected is part of the adventure, right?!
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I met one of my best friends here by googling “American bacon in Dublin”. The search brought me to his website, another “American in Dublin” blog and he had an entry about how much better American bacon is. We ended up meeting for coffee and I’ve been close friends with him and his wife ever since. They have been a real lifeline for me since they arrived in Dublin about 18 months before I did – so any issues I’ve had, they’ve probably already been through.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Dublin?
- Do your research.
- Be prepared.
- Remember that no matter how much preparation and research you do, moving abroad is crazy and stressful – you just need to barrel on through.
How is the expat community in Dublin? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I met a couple good expat friends through meetup.com. I’m speaking specifically of American expats but, honestly, there are all sorts of expats over here – from all over Europe, Australia, Brazil, etc. The expat community is there if you want it but perhaps not as prevalent (or needed) as somewhere more remote or where English isn’t the primary language.
How would you summarize your expat life in Dublin in a single, catchy sentence?
New place, new friends, new adventure, new life.