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!

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

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

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