5 tips for when you have to move back home

5 tips to help you deal with moving back home after a year abroad….

 

  1. GET A TAN AND GET IT ASAP

If you’ve been in colder climates nothing can prepare you for how blueish-white you will feel in comparison to the bronzed sun worshippers you are now surrounded by. Nip this issue in the bud and get a fakey as soon as possible after you land. You will not only feel slimmer (in case of any extra kgs hanging around) but you will instantly feel less out of place. If you can get out in the sun for a bit, even better! Get that Vitamin D into your skin and let nature do the rest. Exposure to the sun stimulates the production of Vitamin D in your skin – a natural mood booster that will help lift those return to home blues.

 

  1. INVEST IN SOME SUNSCREEN

Ever wonder why you never seem to get as red lobster burnt when holidaying in other parts of the world as you do in the sun at home? Well, REMINDER: this part of the world has a HOLE IN ITS OZONE LAYER! So invest in some sun protection and save that skin, especially if you’re going outside to get your Vitamin D fill. As that pesky pelican used to say Thlip, Thlop, Thlap!

 

  1. GET ON THE BLOWER

Call up your family and your mates. Maybe you cut some of them in an elaborate goodbye-cruel-world type speech at your going away party but… that was a year ago now so get on the phone and call em up. People want to hear from you. Start reforging those all important relationships that might have fallen to the way side while you were away. You’re going to need them back in your life now so get to it.

 

  1. GET BUSY

Now you’ve rekindled all those family ties and friendships you’ve got plenty of people to get out and about with. You will need to keep yourself busy and hit the ground running. The likelihood is that you have no money, no job, probably moved back in with your parents and will struggle without a sense of purpose. Do not worry. Busy yourself catching up with people and re-exploring your hometown. It will get you out of the house and give you something to do while you adjust to being back home.

 

  1. GET A LOBOTOMY

You’ll need it to forget about all the amazing people you met and places you’ve been to now that you’re back. Consider them just a distant dream and never cast your mind over them again and you will be fine. In lieu of a lobotomy, start planning your next overseas trip ASAP and count down the days until you can get away again!

Advertisements
5 tips for when you have to move back home

a love letter

 

Dear Dublin,

I know it hasn’t been long but I miss you…

I’m sitting here in the balmy tropical heat of Brisbane with the sun gently kissing my skin and a river front breeze caressing my face, but I can’t stop thinking about you. I’m wondering, when will I see you again? I long to hear your rough, character-filled and familiar voice, to smell the pungent Liffey that flows inside you, and to touch the cobblestones and potholes that dimple your aged and uneven face.

I miss your offensive charm and unabashed ruggedness. I miss the obnoxious, boisterous air you assume after a few pints. I miss the familiar faces we’d pass as I strolled to meet you. I miss the secrets that we shared together on cold, lonely nights. I miss your gritty and dishevelled demeanour and the endless grey clouds that hang above your head. I know you’ve had a lot of people leave you in the past but I wanted to stay. I want go for pints and do the things we used to do. I want to feel like I’m in a John Cusack film again and walk with you in the rain.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m fortunate to have Brissy, she’s warm and open. We’ve shared a long history together. She’s well-off and knows how to make a good home, but she’s not you. She doesn’t send shivers down my spine or turn my skin bumpy and blue like you do. She doesn’t serenade me with the sweet songs of her history no matter how dark they might be. She doesn’t welcome me in with open arms even if I’m a stranger to her. She doesn’t question why I’m here and what I’m doing with myself. She doesn’t have that European sensibility that I love.

I know you said it’s over and that we can’t be together anymore but I want to give it another go. I promise to be good. I promise to support you and appreciate you. I’ll contribute to your wealth and ever sing your praises. I’ll be loving and respectful. I’ll stay with you. I know you can’t answer me right now so I’ll be here, waiting, thinking of you Dublin.

a love letter

dating in dublin: a confessional

Being single in Dublin has been really quite interesting. The dating scene here is no different to anywhere in the world, the bars, pubs, clubs and kebab shops are lined with the city’s desperate and dateless come 4 am, and well I guess I’m one of them. Having moved here with the hope of staying permanently, it wasn’t long until I started meeting new people and going on dates. When you move to a new country you try to put yourself out there a little more and do things you wouldn’t normally do. And that’s what I did, put myself out there more than ever before and much to the bemusement of my friends, was just rejected more than ever before.

I suppose it all started in the first two weeks of moving over when I exchanged numbers with a bearded guy I met whilst at work. He had just moved back from spending the last two years in Australia and was suffering the return-to-home blues. He was keen to chat about sunnier places and even keener to move back there. However, being in a similar situation to me, he couldn’t because of visa restrictions. When I jokingly suggested that the solution to both of our problems was to just get hitched, he beamed at the idea. Needless to say, this would heed as a warning sign, unnoticed by me, for what was to come. A few dates and a successful bike purchase later, romance was stopped in its tracks when the wannabe Aussie appeared crying in my front garden at 2 am one night. Though my place was not equipped with them, alarm bells were certainly ringing. Needless to say, he was not seen again.

From comical story to comical story, my love life continued much in the same way for the remainder of the year. It has been full of rejection and embarrassment, mostly on my part, and not many happy endings (pardon the pun). So much so I thought I ought to write down a few of the experiences I’ve had. You see, something about living away from my usual context, ie. the judging eyes of family and friends, meant I started going on dates with people I probably wouldn’t have normally. And the results… funny but kind of disappointing. In the past year I’ve been on dates with someone 5 years older than me and someone 7 years younger than me. I’ve been on a blind date and a group date. I’ve been on an open air cinema date and regular dinner and drinks dates. I’ve had dates crashed by friends and I’ve chaperoned other people’s dates. I’ve had someone bring a surprise married couple to a date and I’ve had a non-date with a friend that turned into a date. I’ve left my phone number for cute bar staff, baristas and random hotties in more places than I’d like to admit. I’ve not been rung up by said “cute bar staff, baristas and random hotties” more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve been broken up with when I wasn’t in a relationship. I’ve been on a ‘date’ with someone who had a girlfriend and had no intention of being on a date with me at all. I’ve been asked out by girls and guys alike. I’ve had outrageous propositions thrust upon me and I’ve had my appearance validated in more ways than one. All that and I’m still single.

Now my Dublin year is coming to an end, I’m probably further away from romantic success than ever before but at least I had a good few free dinners. So here’s to this year, I’ll be 28, fat, broke and living with my parents. It’s unlikely to be the start of a Mills and Boon romance either.

 

dating in dublin: a confessional

Crushing on Cardiff

 

One life changing advantage of living on this side of the world is the amount of travel you get to do. Just as I embark on yet another adventure (to Scandinavia this time), here’s the highlights of a recent trip to Cardiff. Have a read if you’re into travel, thought about Wales before or just looking for something to read to pass some time.

Cardiff… wouldn’t be on the top of my list to visit but cheap fares, even cheaper accommodation and the chance to tick another country off my very long ‘to-do’ list meant that I packed my bags and jumped on the 40 min flight from here to there less than 2 weeks ago. Better known for its love of rugby, spray tans, solarium beds and hair extensions (just watch 1 episode of The Valleys and you’ll know what I’m talking about). Cardiff is surprisingly a great spot for a cheeky getaway despite there being a few over-tanned, juiced up, under-clad and over-confident meat heads roaming around. It’s two main streets, aptly named Main Street and High Street, are lined with shops and bars that lead straight to Cardiff Castle, the city’s main tourist attraction. There are quaint, winding arcades that occasionally join the two streets and down these you’ll find cafes, boutiques, vintage and retro stores and the world’s oldest record shop. We only spent a few days here and that seemed to be long enough to catch quite a few of the city’s highlights. I’ve listed some below.
  
Spillers Records

The oldest record store in the world, founded in 1894, Spillers has been selling records and music tickets to the alternates of Cardiff ever since. Nestled down The Morgan Arcade, Spillers is worth a visit even if just for bragging rights of having been to the oldest record shop in the world. It boasts a large collection of vinyl and music paraphernalia but is only a teeny tiny shop so don’t expect the diversity of todays music stores. Still very cool and a good souvenir for any music lovers in your family.

The Prince of Wales 

An old theatre built in 1878, come sex cinema in the 1960’s, The Prince of Wales now plays host to a pub and restaurant that is considered a local institution. We ventured here on our first night in Cardiff to meet a friend who was going to show us around this city. Although its owned by Wetherspoon you wouldn’t really know it as the old girl has been restored to some of her former glory, including original stucco décor. The ground floor consists of a few bars, a restaurant area and some pokies, and gives off the vibes of an old crappy RSL (the clientele didn’t really help its case on this as one man was passed out and it was only 6pm!). Upstairs however, is open and spacious, you can see the old balcony theatre seating and the scaffolding for the mighty red curatins that would have draped over the stage. Beers were good. Brain’s is the local brew and the soft ale was pretty tasty.

  
Rum Reggae Jerk (officially named ‘Turtle Bay’)

Headed here after a round or 2 at The Prince of Wales. Delicious Caribbean food, including all the jerk you could want coming straight to you out of the Jerk Centre (that’s the jerk making part of the kitchen apparently). 2 for 1 cocktails during happy hour and Sean-a Paul playing literally as we were walking in, set the pace for the evening. It was as cheesy and kitsch as you can imagine but they somehow pulled it off. Only disappointment was that the tables and chairs didn’t get pulled back as the night went on to make way for a dancefloor.

  
Barker Tea House

Another gem situated down a winding, quiet arcade, Barker Tea House is a beautiful spot to dust off after the night before. They specialise in tea, obviously. You can go the whole hog and sit down to a full High Tea or just ad lib it as we did. Upstairs there is more seating where you can relax in bespoke Vicotrian-esque chairs and escape the hustle and bustle of downstairs’ busy walkway. Scones with clotted cream and the house breakfast tea were my favourite. 
The Live Lounge

Bit of a gig spot, major sausage fest though and I mean MAJOR sausage fest, we were the only females in the place for at least the first hour… That being said it was a good night out. The drinks were £1 each so needless to say debauchery ensued. Worth it for a night out with a bit of live music and dirt cheap drinks.

Crushing on Cardiff

An ode to the bird that is black

To many, Dublin is synonymous with pub culture and hospitality and my experience here has been no different. In particular, one place has captured my heart like no other. Those of you who have spent time with me over the last year could probably guess where I’m talking about and I take no shame in my very apparent public love for the place.

This is an ode to the Bird that is Black.

Affectionately referred to as the bird, b bird, our local and our living room. Blackbird is a weekly if not bi-weekly or tri-weekly staple in my life in Dublin. A renovated old mans pub that once was the Rathmines Inn, we
stumbled across this gem shortly after settling ourselves into our apartment and with our first of many pints here, we ingratiated ourselves into life in D6.

Greeted with a well chorused “Hi girls” or much to our disdain “Hey Sheilas”, the lads in the Bird always make an effort to make the friendship we forced on them seem less ‘forced’. From its tunes, tap beers, shitty pizzas, beard-cladded barmen, obsessive nature towards candles, lamps and coasters, and protective bouncers – there’s nothing about Blackbird that I don’t love.

I’ve embarrassed myself more here than in any other single establishment worldwide. From asking out bar staff (and being politely but awkwardly rejected), to falling down the stairs in front of crowds of people, B Bird has seen it all. We’ve supplied the lads with birthday cakes and hugs and kisses, we’ve requested tracks, posed as staff members, reorganized the furniture, lent a helping hand when it’s busy and frequently over stayed our welcome.

I’ve taken dates here, made new friends here, introduced both my dads to the boys here, celebrated every milestone for the past 10 months here and more. If I’m honest, some months I’ve spent more money in here than on rent. And certainly more time than I than I’d like to admit. Needless to say we’ve taken the concept of the ‘local’ to the extreme in Dublin but I wouldn’t change it. There’s nothing like having a place that feels like a second home when you’re away from your own.

To Blackbird, a black hole where my dignity and dollar happily go to die. You have forged your way into our hearts, even if you didn’t mean to..

An ode to the bird that is black

my grandma was a prostitute

And this year it changed my life but not in the way you might think.

As far as we can determine, my grandma was on the wrong side of the tracks. Born in Dublin, she moved out to Australia with her parents when she was 8. By 25 she had had a partner, a husband and an affair, she’d given up 3 children to adoption, gone by at least 4 different names and her only listed occupation was as an exotic dancer. Her very short marriage, during which she had no children, ended dramatically following claims of domestic violence after she attacked her then husband with a knife. In 1966 she was seen scantily clad in Side Show Alley at the Sydney Easter Show. This was the last known sighting of her, despite there being no record of her death. This is also the only information we have about her. With a checkered past and a few pseudonyms under her belt, grandma had vanished without a trace. Until this day not even the Australian government know who or where she is.

50 years later, all her name changes, lies, cover ups and dubious acts have had more of an impact on my life than I would have dreamt of. I write this blog as a very single 27yr old in the dimly lit, dank asbestos box that is my apartment in Dublin, Ireland. I live below a taxi-driving, drug using couple and next to a dog called Crumpet. The beautiful area I call home is Dublin 6 in the city’s inner south, affectionately nicknamed the Dirty Half Dozen. Earlier this year I packed my life in to 37kgs and crossed the globe to a place I fell in love with the previous summer. A place full of promise, intrigue and excitement. A place where, with my grandmothers Irish heritage, I could gain an Irish passport and settle for good. Ha if only.

Instead my Golden Ticket to the EU has remained out of reach. The privacy laws surrounding adoption in Australia and a shed load of government red tape has me left high and dry. You see, despite the undeniable fact that my grandmother was born right here in Dublin, I lack the documentation to prove it. With her apparent and seemingly deliberate disdain for honesty and her legal name, Grandma has made it almost impossible to convince anyone she’s one in the same. In a game that’s all about ticking boxes I can’t muster up as much as a coinciding name and birthdate. I mean, if the Australian government can’t determine this woman’s whereabouts, what hope do I have.

So after a year long wait and to no avail, I can wait no longer. My visa runs out March 4th and despite my efforts, I must admit defeat and make my way home, with my proverbial tail between my legs. But before I do I have decided to start a blog to document the places I’ve been, things I’ve loved, things I’ve not and show you why I really want to stay in Ireland. Despite the weather. Despite the ghastly minimum wage. Despite being away from my family. Despite the lack of decent healthcare. Despite not being able to pay with card in cabs. Despite the cost of living. Despite the chips not being properly salted. Despite 1 and 2 cent pieces….

My grandma was a prostitute and in a very weird way, it inspired me to start this blog.

my grandma was a prostitute