West coast living: 6 things to think about before leaving dublin behind

Our biggest dream manifested into reality, when in January 2018, after 10 years in Dublin, we moved to a place where the Atlantic ocean touches the land.

To finally live in Sligo town where unparalleled energy is emitted in the surrounding landscape is a gift we get to enjoy every day now. There is rugged coast, shaped over thousands of years by heavy winter swells. There’s the smell of chimney smoke on a cold winters day, there are beautiful woodlands and the soft rain.

Yes, after years of dreaming and after a year of meticulous planning and researching, we finally began the journey across the country and slowly settled into a two-storey house with a rustic fireplace and a small garden.

Packing boxes and looking for accommodation on the other side of the country while preparing for Christmas with Valters parents who came to visit us in Dublin wasn’t without its twists and it wasn’t without moments of doubt. This wasn’t our first time moving; between the two of us, we lived in Sweden and Scotland and had wonderful opportunities to adapt to different circumstances.

We’ve always been those people who intentionally looked for a change and challenge, both to occupy our restlessness and to undergo experiences and to make it to the next evolution, subconsciously diving into the unknown.

But this move was more extreme. We’ve had no jobs waiting for us in Sligo. We’d be living further away from our family and friends than ever before. We had a two-year-old child to look after, and we were giving up a very convenient life in the Dublin suburbs. All for what? A quiet life on Ireland’s West coast?

Growing and planting trees in Sligo.

Our dream with this move was to tune in with our intuition and live somewhere that feels right for us. For years we suppressed unrest in our souls that was impossible to get rid of; city and suburban living never satisfied us. Even thou we lived in close proximity to our family, had great jobs, something didn’t feel right.

We longed to have the best of both worlds. We wanted to live in a small city on Ireland’s West Coast with a fair amount of amenities and to have easy access to beaches and mountains. And, that’s why we chose Sligo that offered and delivered vibrant cultural scene, serene vistas of nature and world-class surf.

Starting our lives from the scratch, we realised that there is always room for growth and that finding the right path in life is a forever evolving process.

But when I look back at the moving process, it struck me that it’s so much more than the physical moving, and it’s so much more than a new chapter.  It’s a lesson in the art of letting go. It’s a new book. It’s moments of pure excitement and extreme worries at the same time.

Three years later, and I am writing this beside the roaring fireplace while listening to the soft tapping of the rain. I can confirm, we are happy with the move, and I can confirm that some of the concerns we had weren’t a bother at all whereas new ones we’d never even considered arose.

There’s an extended circle of spiders and other crawlies we can’t seem to get rid of. There’s gathering and splitting firewood and keeping in dry. There are power outages and getting used to the new surroundings.

Sligo is a beautiful part of the country that we were lucky enough to call home

West Coast Living: 6 Things to Think About Before Leaving Dublin Behind

Three years ago when we packed up and moved from Dublin to Sligo in search of a better life/work balance with easy access to outdoors, we had no idea how much we would get out of our decision. The lifestyle beyond city limits proved to provide more affordable housing, fewer people and a never-ending amount of green spaces for us to roam around.

Have you ever made a big, life-changing move? Have you had a chance to evaluate your life while living in lockdown and working away from your kitchen table? Do you love the idea of packing up and leaving the expensive and cramped city behind?

Moving countries or cities is no small feat, but Ireland seems to agree with us, and we settled in comfortably, both in Dublin and in Sligo. After a very busy year with moving and settling in, we decided to share a few useful tips to consider before you make a final decision.

 Here’s where to start.


#1. Have a clear focus on your mind

People move for different reasons. Some do it for love, some for a new job, some do it for a clean slate and sometimes it’s taking a leap of faith. Are you looking to press the reset button and start fresh in a new place? So many of us are dreaming of a different kind of life – slower-paced one with nurturing nature on our doorstep yet the one where we don’t have to give up the pleasures of the 21st century.

Don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from verbalising your dreams, but also don’t expect your life to change just because you are moving to the countryside, you have to put your mind and soul to make it happen. Our advice: let go of your expectations and fears, and allow yourself a wild new adventure. You’ll figure it all out as you go.

Failures and difficulty will always be part of moving cities and countries, leading to valuable lessons and experiences, but you have to ask yourself: would my quality of life be improved or compromised? The key is to do your homework in advance, to ensure you know how the change would affect you and your interests specifically.

We are so happy to be surrounded by nature

#2. Sort your accommodation in advance

There are a couple of decisions you need to make when it comes to accommodation. A recent statistic shows that to rent a 1 bedroom apartment in Dublin city can cost up to eye-popping 2,800 a month that often comes with constant noise, endless crowds and hectic lifestyle.

If you find yourself leaning towards a quite life in the countryside, draw up a plan and decide on your budget. Figure out what rent/mortgage will cost and make sure you have enough savings to support yourself for at least 4 months  (unless you are moving for a new job and starting right away).

Homes in the country are more affordable than homes in urban areas and to get the best of rural property, listen to word of mouth, find a decent letting agent and check out commuting times to the bus/train station and your workplace.

To have an acre of land instead of a patch of concrete can be a lifechanging experience.

#3. Do your research about employment

If you are serious about living the good life and escaping to the countryside, then you need to find a way to make a living. Unless, of course, you already have a job and that’s why you are moving. Then you can skip this part.

Relocating to a quiet town might be an exciting prospect, but you have to remember that larger cities provide ample opportunities for employment, but smaller towns may have less varied job options. While your employers may be happy for you to work from home during the pandemic crises, that all can change in the future.

Are going to stay in your current job? Are you planning on work part-time? Are you gonna start your online business? You need to be honest with yourself and work out how much money will you need to comfortably live on your rural property.

Farming is just one way to earn a crust in the countryside. In remote communities, many people work a patchwork of jobs. They run a B&B in the busy summer month, work a few hours in a local shop plus do something that they are passionate about – making soaps, baking bread and selling them at Farmers Markets.

The key here is to be open to new ideas and constantly invest in your future. 


#4. Give yourself time to acclimatise

When I first arrived in Ireland, there was a lot of discomforts that came with the culture shock and learning to live life differently from the way we do in Latvia. But adapting to our new lives turned out to be an undeniably enticing experience that made us reinvent ourselves and grow in a way we never imagined.

Moving is hard. Moving to a new place, where you don’t know anyone is even harder, especially in the first few months when you are in transition. Give yourself time to adjust to new surroundings and start by slowly exploring your neighbourhood. It can take months to settle into a new home and it can take a while to adapt to lifestyle changes.

Being able to adapt and integrate into a new place is the hardest yet the most rewarding aspect of moving. Expect to feel awkward at the beginning,  You are an outsider looking to learn about the new place you are living in. Don’t be afraid to approach locals and ask questions.


#5. Sort your stuff in advance

We all know that moving house is expensive, difficult and time-consuming; you can’t just up and leave. Trying to juggle packing up everything you own and staying sane through the process can be challenging. That’s why you need to need to plan effectively as the big moving day draws closer.

Depending on the size of your household, you may need from several days to a couple of weeks to sort out your belongings. Start packing as early as possible and make sure you have plenty of packing supplies

One of the first steps is to find a new home to move to. It takes time to find a perfect house in a location you desire. Start by researching housing options in the new area and view a good few in order to choose the most suitable one.

Don’t forget that you’ll need to:

  • Cancel of memberships, subscriptions etc
  • Transferring of utilities
  • Changing of address
Take things as they come and make the best of it. Hiring professional movers can make things much easier.

#6. Give yourself time to find new friends

There are millions of people on the move around the world; for some, it’s a conscious decision to become the foreigner, for some it’s an opportunity to live a better life. If you are willing to start fresh in a new place then you need to know that building a new community while being a fully-fledged adult can be challenging; friendships take time to develop.

A move to the countryside will involve a loss of one’s existing social network. Wherever you move, it is likely that you will need to be proactive for a while to ensure you meet new friends. It will take a little time before your new network will be established, because some social circles in some small communities may be difficult to break into.

Depending on your hobbies, you can sign up for yoga classes or local volunteer programmes. This way your network will expand naturally and you might even find new friends.

Enjoying a quit life in the countryside.

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Now, over to you!

Have you ever moved cities or countries? Let us know in the comments!

Let us know if you are planning a change in lifestyle or have a travel-related question

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Our Crossings follows the daily adventures of Latvian expats living in Sligo as they surf and explore the world

92 thoughts on “West coast living: 6 things to think about before leaving dublin behind

    1. Thanks so much, Sheree. Whether you’re moving to Scotland to study abroad for a year or working in Bali indefinitely, the process is entirely manageable and exciting too. I bet you love your life in the South of France is amazing! Did you ever write a blog post about your move? If so, I would very much love to read it! Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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        1. Thanks so much for sharing it, Sheree, your story made for an interesting read. ”I live on the French Riviera”… doesn’t it have a lovely ring to it? Having visited Nice and spending a week exploring the beautiful region, I can easily see why at the end of the 18th Century, why Brits escaped the winter by sojourning on the southeastern Mediterranean coastline and hinterland. I am looking forward to reading a post about your decision to move there permanently. Have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  1. Interesting read, we are a military family so we don’t really choose our moves and that keeps life interesting! We were posted to a rural barracks just over a year ago and I love it, country life works for me.

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    1. I guess it’s not an easy task to hold down the home front when you are a military family- but it’s not impossible. As we are all aware by now, change is constant. It’s essential to remember that adaptability is not inherent or fixed, and, just like a muscle that needs to stretch and exercise, versatility takes practice. Either way, I am glad to hear that you are loving country life and where you are right now. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, Jason. I love where we live now and when it comes to such life-changing events, there’s no perfect timing or condition. That’s why we decided to take a leap of faith and follow our hearts. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Thank you kindly. I’ve been wanting to write about our big move for a while now. Once in a while, we all need to take time to reevaluate our life, passion and purpose and see in which direction we are heading. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  2. A big move but a dream come true 🤩
    We made a big, life-changing move too 8 years ago and we’ve moved from Italy where our family is, we’ve quit our jobs and moved to Singapore, at more than 10,000 km away without jobs and without knowing anyone ☺️ Very similar ☺️
    If I could turn back the time, I’ll do it again? Yes 😆
    Is a life experience that make us grow and adapt ☺️ A mega adventure ☺️
    Great and useful advices for everyone that’s thinking to make a change in their life and relocate ☺️

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    1. I agree with you! 🙂 Moving cities and countries is no small feat, but it’s an amazing opportunity to learn, grow and adapt to new surroundings. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been for you to make such a drastic change. Did you visit Singapore before the big move?

      Some people seem to find it very easy to pick up and move from place to place without much thought. While others live within a mile from where they grew up and spend their whole lives in the same area. I’m somewhere in between. Thanks for sharing your experience. Did you ever write a blog post about it, I would love to read it. Cheers and have a good day. Aiva 🙂 xxx

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      1. We have visited once Singapore before moving in for 1 day but was enough to fall in love with it☺️
        I did not do a blog post but I have a short story on my About page 😉 (thinking of it I should update it ☺️).
        It is very true! Some people find it easy to move others as you said spend their whole lives in the same area…I don’t mind moving as long as I have my husband with me ☺️ and no matter where we go, as long as we’re together 🥰

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    1. Thank you very much. The logistics of it and the planning can be overwhelming at times, but if you start preparing early, you’ll find the entire process manageable and even enjoyable. It turned out to be one of the best decisions ever. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, Juliet. The world is full of infinite possibilities and I hope that this post can inspire others to go after their dreams. Thanks for reading. Wishing you a very Happy New Year! Aiva 🙂

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  3. It’s always good to be able to adapt to change and continuously challenge yourself. Glad your plans to move out of the city and into the countryside worked out. I can’t imagine how stressful it must have been in the early days with so many unknowns. But here’s the thing, if you were able to get great jobs in one city, you’ll find them again elsewhere. Those are all great pieces of advice and consideration to take into account before moving to the countryside.

    We’re currently in the process of looking for a house outside of the city, one with more green spaces to roam. We’ve found that during the pandemic we’ve been spending more time outside of the city than inside. It’s helped me reevaluate where I want to live and just strive for a better work-life balance.

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    1. Thanks so much. We have always wanted to live on Ireland’s West Coast and to be near the ocean, but with full-time jobs and life, in general, we never got a chance to sit down and see if we could pull it off. That changed once we became parents. Taking time to line out what was important to me and my family was instrumental in finding our ideal location where to put down the roots. What we did before the big move – we stayed and strolled trough Sligo town many times. Walking around the neighbourhoods where we might live was necessary to create a mental map of our future life. I hope you are going to find a house outside of the city, that would be so exciting. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much. I can’t believe it’s been three years since we moved from Dublin to Sligo. I have to say, that choosing a slower pace of life brought us so much joy. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Mēs tik ļoti gribējām pārvākties un dzvot pie okeāna, ka paša procesa laikā vairāk izjutām prieku nekā stresu. Ja būtu jāpārvācas no vienas valsts uz otru, tad gan jau ka būtu daudz savādāk 🙂

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  4. Beautiful post which seems written from the heart. Thank you for opening your life to us like you have done and I am so glad you are enjoying your life in Ireland. Your daughter gets more beautiful with every photo! Happy New Year to you all.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂 I loved living in Dublin, and I will and forever cherish my time spent in the city, but at one point I realised that we were living on autopilot rather than making conscious choices about how to spend our time. We missed the wide-open spaces and being in nature. After listening to the longings of my heart and after weighing out our options, we finally decided to move to Sligo. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  5. A good thoughtful post Aiva, especially with the pandemic causing many to rethink living in the big city. When we moved from the big city to our little town, we did so for the kids. They would have had to take a bus to get to schools in the city, but here, they only had to walk. I moved 28 times in the first 17 years of my life and wanted to give them what I never had…the chance to finish and start in the same school system with the same friends. I accomplished that and watched my little town of 4,200 grow into a small city of 19,000. Regrets, I do not have many, even though my children now live in major urban centers and chide us for rattling around in the exurbs in a house they say is too big for our needs. We can always visit the city when we want and we do enjoy the peace of a smaller center. Nowhere near the ocean or the mountains, but close to what we need. Stay well Aiva and enjoy the rural life. Allan

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    1. You moved 28 times in the first 17 years of your life, Allan? Wow, that’s quite a lot! I am pretty sure there’s an amazing story behind that, did you write about it in any of your previous posts? Just like you, we decided to move to Sligo because of Ericeira. We wanted to slow down, be able to ride bikes without the fear of being knocked down by the traffic and spend more time together in nature. After years of living in Dublin city centre, we eventually moved to the suburbs. It was nice at first; Dublin Airport was just a short ride away, there were plenty of shops, doctors and everything else one would want for a nice life, but Valters commute to and from work eventually made us reevaluate where we live. Three years later, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Thanks for sharing your experience and have a lovely day. Taoiseach Micheal Martin has hinted that schools in Ireland are likely to be closed until at least the end of January because we are now experiencing a considerable surge in cases and hospitalizations. We’ll see what happens. Stay safe, Allan! 🙂

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      1. The moves were mainly precipitated by my father not being the oldest and thus not the one to take over the family farm. So he struck out to seek fame and fortune and met my Mom somewhere in Manitoba. After that the rest, as they say, is history. When people ask me if I was an army brat, I explained it this way, Dad was always looking for success and when he found it, he moved on. I do not think I have ever blogged on this, but that being said, I would not change a thing. Had I deviated at any point, I might never have met Patty so the ends justify the means. Our wonderful provincial government had 9 members go out of country on vacation over Christmas and the leader at first called a press conference and said he could do nothing about it. Lets just say we wrote a few letters and with the entire province up in arms, he changed his mind, but did not have the courage to face the people again. He bleated it in a Facebook post. So sad that common sense is no longer common. Since our restrictions came in, our numbers have at long last dropped. I hope it gets renewed for another 30days, so we can beat this thing. Stay well Aiva. Allan

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        1. Growing up in a military family must have been very challenging, how do you even navigate all the ups and downs and the frequent moves, separations and the overall feeling that life is like a revolving door? My childhood and most of my teen years were spent in one tiny rural village and I couldn’t wait to get out and finally see what the world is like. It was never my intention to settle for good in Ireland, but that’s just how life sometimes works out. There’s a record number of new infections announced in Ireland and it looks like we are just a few steps away from ten thousand mark, which is truly staggering. On top of that, there are empty supermarket shelves, freezing temperatures, parcel couriers and hauliers have been hit by bureaucracy and confusion following Brexit, I wouldn’t be surprised if we gonna read about the alien sightings next. Take care, Allan 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, Meg. I know that simple living has become a major buzzword in our culture over that past few years, but thatš what we desired to achieve with the big move. Living just a short drive away from the ocean and seeing mountains from the bedroom window has changed our lives for better. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  6. Beautifully written ! Like they say , change is hard at first , messy towards the middle and gorgeous towards the end..Getting out of the comfort zone and making such a decision is never easy but glad you did it and shared the journey with us..Hope you have a great year ahead !! 😇🙌🍻

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    1. Thanks so much. Getting out of the comfort zone and following your dreams can be challenging but so worth it. I loved living in the city, but I was so busy rushing from one activity to the next, that I often forgot to stop and to see where I was heading in my life. I secretly desired to simplify my life and bee closer to the ocean. So happy with where we are now. Thanks for stopping by. Wishin you a very Happy New Year. Aiva 🙂

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  7. Great advice Aiva, we moved to a small town when we returned from our 2 year long trip. It’s mostly great, but your information about making friends is important. We had barely settled in when covid hit, making it so much more difficult to meet people. Sligo looks wonderful!

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    1. I loved living in Dublin, but Sligo is a much better place to raise a family. Living so close to the ocean and vast open spaces are something we desired for years, and I am glad we made it happen. Before our move to Sligo, we spend lots of time in the area so we pretty much knew the town and surrounding areas. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  8. What a lovely post. Your love for your new surroundings always comes across in your writing.
    As for me…. I grew up about 15 minutes away from my present house … which I’ve owned for 37 years!!! I worked about 15 minutes from here also (same job 36 years!!). I went to college about 20 minutes from home… I did expand my scope for a man though….. Tom is from County Clare!!!
    Reading that, wouldn’t you wonder where I got my travel bug!!!!

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    1. Hi, Marie. I think there’s beauty in living in one place. Most people live in the same town whole life and it depends on how and who you are what is best for you and what you prefer. The main benefit of living in one place is developing a strong sense of community and /social network, which depending on what you do for a living can be your greatest asset. Also, we as humans find most of our happiness through relationships, and it’s easier to maintain those when you are more grounded. Either way, the rainbow has many colours and all the colours are good. Thanks for sharing your experience and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much, Jo. I think everyone should roam around where ever they want to when you are young and enjoy that happiness of living in a variety of places with a variety of people around. It’s fun, but we are happy to be grounded in Sligo. Have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  9. Beautiful photographs! I can see why you are so in love with Sligo as it looks like a beautiful place with the ocean and the forests, surrounded, as you have said, with nature. A perfect place to raise such a lovely child. Moving is always difficult, but I think that if one wants a special place then the stress of moving becomes simply the anticipation of being where you want to be, where you think you should be and then even your DNA readjusts and confirms that you were right in the first place, that the place where you are is where you were meant to be. Lovely post and a lovely narrative of your life. All the best,
    F

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    1. Hi, Francisco! Whenever you move to a new city, state or overseas to another country, you’ll probably feel the effects of change. By now we’ve had a chance to move countries a few times and that’s why moving cities didn’t really seem that drastic. We did our homework and we were prepared. The hardest thing actually was to tell our family and friends. Once we moved, we made an effort to go sightseeing and to stroll the streets of Sligo town. While taking photos and absorbing the local vibe, we found out many new reasons that made Sligo stand out from all the other places in Ireland. Thanks for stopping y and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂

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  10. I can relate so very well with all your points Aiva, as we have moved to Canada some years ago, and we went through so much change!! As you mentioned, the first thing is to properly focus on what you want to do in life, and step by step you can achieve (almost) everything. Some people are more adaptable than others, can learn a new language easier than others, but if you really want to immerse into the new society/community, you can do it!
    You made me quite emotional right now, I might write a post myself one day🙂 My husband actually kept a diary for our first year in Canada🤩
    But yet, we want to exchange some day the busy life in the city for one in a rural area, to enjoy the greenery rather than the high-rises.
    Take care, have a lovely afternoon, xx

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    1. Hi, Christie. It would be amazing if you would write a post about your experience and reasons why you decided to move to Canada. What a lovely idea to keep a journal from your first year there’s, I wish I thought about that, too 🙂 Moving overseas is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that takes careful consideration and moving to another country often means adapting to a new culture and a new way of life. From my personal experience, despite the challenges and piles of paperwork, it’s also one of the most rewarding journeys. Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂

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      1. I am happy for you that you’ve taken the best decision. We are happy here as well, and when I think about our big move, I believe that was only a start of a bigger journey through our wonderful world😊
        Have an amazing evening!
        xx

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    1. It was never really on my agenda to move countries and settle down in Ireland while I lived in Latvia, but that’s how life sometimes works out. Now, I can’t even imagine living somewhere else; I’ve grown to love everything about the beautiful Emerald Isle. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. It’s finally nice and sunny here in Sligo 🙂 Aiva

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  11. Truly a great post. I love your writing, you always express things so well. Your daughter is so cute. It is definitely hard to take that big step and venture into the unknown.
    We decided to build a vacation home in the Bahamas on a pretty remote island. It was stressful but we survived. The planning was unbelievable. We had to get a list of everything needed to build our house then add extra, purchase it and pack it in a shipping container and pallets and ship it to the island. We then physically built the place ourselves with the help of 4 young men doing the framing. It was a lot of work but we love spending 4-5 months here in the winter. It was difficult trying to get here this year because of the COVID restrictions but we made and are enjoying the a relaxed natural environment.
    Adapting to a different country’s rules and regulations, finding new friends, and dealing with things that come up day to day are all part of the adventure. Just glad we are retired and don’t have job concerns.

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    1. Wow, you build your own holiday home on Crooked Island in the Bahamas? That’s an amazing achievement and you must be very proud of yourself. I bet it’s really nice to go over there to enjoy its unspoiled natural beauty and clear waters. I am definitely going to check your blog out as I am very much intrigued by your story!
      Yes, it is definitely hard to take that big step and venture into the unknown, especially when you have a young child. The key is to be prepared as well as to be open-minded. Living in Dublin was great, but it was starting to wear on me. I was always fascinated by how different our daily lives might be if we moved to a smaller town and what we’d miss and what we’d love. Turned out, we didn’t miss the city that much and loved living on Ireland’s West Coast. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  12. We moved provinces in Canada 3 times in 6 years and then settled in Saskatoon. We wanted a more rural life and so picked up an old house, had it moved and deposited on some land we had purchased. Would not change a thing! While we did not move that far it was a bit daunting holding down two full time jobs, restoring an old house and keeping up the city house until it sold.

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    1. I loved living in Dublin. I loved street performers on the sidewalks. I loved having a post office and all the shops in close proximity, and I loved exploring the city for hours on foot and never get tired. But at the same time, I was dreaming of a fresh start in the country. I am so glad we decided to move to Ireland’s West coast, we love the natural setting of our new life and just like you, would not change a thing. Thanks for reading, Bernie and have a lovely day. Aiva 🙂

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  13. A well-written article, to be sure. I have no intention of moving (we’re adding on two rooms as I write this), but much of what you wrote rang true, as it was only 8 years ago that we moved here from our first house. The move was about half a mile, but as you said, it was expensive, painful, and difficult. We’re very happy where we ended up and it’s clear you are, too. I think your article may help others be happy with their moves as well.

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    1. Thanks so much. At first, we didn’t wanna move because while living in Dublin we had a close-knit family and most of our friends nearby. It was nice to have a home away from home, but we felt like every extra minute we spent commuting or working was taking away from time with our family. My commute has gone from an hour each way to four minutes. Instead of getting home late each night, we are both home early and have the entire evening together as a family. When the weather is nice, this means beach dinner picnics or evening bike rides. I am glad to hear you love where you live, I think it’s important to find a place to settle and grow roots. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 Aiva

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      1. I’ve heard that they’ve done happiness research that shows that things like more money and more vacation time don’t affect happiness (I’d dispute that last one 😉 ), but that people’s commutes affect their happiness. I believe that 100%. I’m so glad you virtually eliminated yours. It’s good for you and for the environment!

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  14. Moving countries was one of the most challenging things we’ve done. The hardest part was the landing for me, it was so super quiet compared to the chaos of preparing to move and all the goodbyes. But also a good time to pause and reflect.

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    1. Moving countries is challenging indeed. I still remember how overwhelming my own experience was when I moved from Latvia to Ireland and then from Ireland to Scotland. I am not too sure if I’d be willing to do it again. Moving from Dublin to Sligo was much easier as it’s a place we’ve been to many times and it’s only 200 km away. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  15. The journey to Sligo wasn’t easy, but look how far you’ve come since then! Moving somewhere new is never easy, and especially without jobs or accommodation set in place, but that’s the adventure of it…of course, it’s important to plan ahead to prevent more stress than otherwise, but a bit of open-mindedness of not knowing what to expect once you get there and settle in makes for true self-discovery: of your limits, your connection to the environment and to others, etc. I hope you continue to enjoy your time in Sligo. Cheers, Aiva!

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    1. Thanks so much, Rebecca. Some places are easier to love (I’m looking at you, Edinburgh), and other places take a little more effort, but I’ve been happy everywhere we’ve ever lived. Moving abroad or just moving cities is not just stepping out of your comfort zone — it’s more like jumping and anyone who decides to do it be undoubtedly changed for life by what they experience. I love where we live now and have no intentions of moving anywhere, but all the years I’ve had a chance to spend living in other countries I see as my biggest treasures. Thanks for reading and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  16. I appreciate your ability to analyse and rationalise your choices, I am happy for you that you are satisfied with the ones you have made.
    I’m in the middle of my fourth international move and I find it getting easier and easier, even if the boring part is still there. My reasoning in terms of life choices is to consider the time spent commuting to work as the worst. I solved it by living close to my workplaces. In Dublin I lived and worked in the IFSC, it allows me to be more involved in my work. I like the countryside, I like travelling, there are weekends and holidays for that.

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    1. I have to agree with you. You gotta think about how long your workday is. If you’re counting the hours from the minute you sit down at your desk, you’re doing it wrong. Your workday really starts the second you leave your home and lasts until you’re back through your front door. Yes, you may only spend eight or nine hours in the office, but once you factor in the commute, what’s the grand total? We are very happy with where we are now, my workplace is just around the corner and I don’t have to spend time in isolating and stressful commutes.
      You are in the middle of my fourth international move? That sounds very exciting. Best of luck with everything and thanks for reading. Aiva 🙂

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  17. I loved reading about your experience moving from a bigger city to a smaller town – it is definitely more than the physical aspect of it! I remember when a few years ago I moved with my mum and sister from Rome to a small town in the South of France – how different! Now I long for big cities, but I know I can always go back to the piece and quiet of a small town in Provence 😊

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    1. Thanks so much, Juliette. I bet it was an amazing experience to move from Rome to France, especially when you get to share such a journey with your mum and your sister. Did you ever write a blog post about it?

      There are many reasons why people decide to relocate, whether it be to work abroad or study overseas. Having the adventure of working and studying in a cosmopolitan city is a fantastic way to “learn by doing,” and to find yourself in circumstances that you’d never encounter otherwise. I loved living in Dublin and Edinburgh, but deep down I felt the need for a slower pathed life. I am glad we made it happen because I can easily see myself living in Sligo for years to come. Take care, my friend. Aiva 🙂

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      1. I never wrote a blog post about moving from Rome to a small town, but it might an interesting experience for me to bring back those memories!

        I completely understand the need for a slower pathed life, and it’s great that you found a place where you want to spend many years! Take care and have a nice day 😊

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  18. You just reminded me of the old stone house we had in Normandy. Two centuries old. Beams on the ceiling. A chimney large enough to roast a mutton I think. We spent all our summers there as children. Then I took my children there on week-ends or short holidays. Or the summer. Enjoy your dream house. Happy 2021

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    1. Wishing you a very Happy New Year! You are a proper world citizen given all the places you’ve lived at around the globe. If life and circumstances were different, I would most likely move to Canada’s third-largest city; Vancouver. due to its variety of parks, museums and wide-open spaces. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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      1. The day they issue a UN passport I’ll be the first in line.
        Vancouver? I’ve heard only nice things about it. It is never too late. I came to Mexico with the whole family when I was 36…
        Take care Aiva.

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    1. That’s so true. Once Ericeira started the preschool in Sligo when she was three and a half year old, we had a lovely chance to meet many new and amazing people – from her teachers to parents to other people from our native Latvia. Thanks for stopping by. I hope all is well. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much. We knew Sligo and surrounding towns very well. It was one of the places we visited most frequently while exploring Ireland and its rugged coast over the past decade. Couldn’t be happier with where we ended up living. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  19. This was a great read with lots of interesting and helpful tips! I’ve moved several times- to London as a student, across America with a toddler (with no employment or accommodation lined up), and finally to Ireland 19 years ago. Your tip about giving yourself time to make friends resonated with me. That was one of the hardest aspects of moving to rural West Cork. Living in a small, close-knit community proved difficult socially at first. It was lonely for a while, but now I have lots of wonderful friends. It takes courage to reinvent your life. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story with us! Robin

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    1. Hi, Robin, it’s so nice to hear from you! Sounds like you have a very interesting sorry to tell with all the places you lived around the world and opportunities to adapt to different cultures. Moving countries and cities are fun, even with young children. And when it comes to friends; you don’t lose your friends by moving away – true friendship stands the test of distance and time, but you lose your immediate support system. That’s why it’s important to make new ones, but as I know now – in rural areas, it does indeed take time. It took us a while to be a feel like a part of the community, but I wouldn’t change the whole experience for anything. Thanks for stopping by and take care. Aiva 🙂

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  20. I would love to move to a seaside village where I have access to some woods to walk every now and then but that takes so much money. We were lucky to have found a small house in the country that was really cheap to purchase because the renters had trashed the place. We had fun fixing it up. When we need a break from the stress of the city we just take a little road trip up north. Here in the city we are surrounded by desert mountains and it is also beautiful out there, just a different pretty. I love it when you post articles like this. It is amazing where you live, you made the right chose. I will always choose nature over the city life. Also, you and your daughter look so alike, so adorable, she has the cutest little smile.

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    1. Thanks so much! It’s an amazing feeling to look at your child’s face and see your own facial features and expressions. Ericeira is nearly five years old now and one of the reasons why we wanted to escape congested city was to give her an opportunity to grow up beside the ocean. Being in nature is soothing to the sou and there’s something calming about being in the natural harmony of the wilderness. The move wasn’t without its challenges but I wouldn’t have any other way. We are just a few feet away from the mountains and beautiful forests.

      I bet it was a super fun project to find and fix up your new house. Did you ever write a blog post about it? Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva ❤

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  21. What a fascinating post, Aiva! It was so lovely to know more about how you and your family decided to move to Sligo, and the worries and pleasant surprises that came with the move. The points you mentioned, too, are so apt when it comes to moving anywhere new, and I’ll definitely be referring to this post soon, when it is time for me to move to (most hopefully) a new country for my masters!

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    1. Thanks so much, Arshia. I loved my time in Dublin, and being within easy reach of museums, constant entertainment and being connected to the nearby seaside towns, and villages but I also love the rugged country with its rolling hills and the quiet solitude. One of the best advices I could give anyone that is looking to relocate – choose a spot you know. Before our move, we spent most of the weekends exploring and surfing in Sligo. We’ve seen it on a dull wet winters day and got a sense of how it would be to live there outside of summer. We did the research on what the schools, work and commute is like. It certainly pays off to investigate before the big move. Thanks for reading and have a lovely day 🙂 Aiva

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  22. Hi Aiva! Thanks for sharing how you found your way to your new home in Sligo—a place that you’ve introduced me to through your wonderful posts and that I’m anxious to see with my own yes. Having moved quite a few times myself, I couldn’t agree more with your recommendations. No matter how physically beautiful/exciting a new place is, it always takes me a good amount of time to adjust, make friends, figure things out…One shouldn’t underestimate this (but also not be intimidated by it).

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    1. Thanks so much, Caroline. Once we became parents, we knew right away that raising a family in a city is not what our hearts desired. There are many variables to consider when choosing that perfect place that you can call home. Even though we knew we wanted to settle down in Sligo, we still did a lot of research before we moved. We are very happy with where we are now. Yes, sometimes I miss the anonymity of living in a big city, but I also like going to my favourite small-town diner where my waitress always knows my usual order. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. I hope all is well. Aiva 🙂

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    1. Thanks so much and right back at you! 2021 definitely needs more love, optimism, living life consciously, compassion, care for each other, civic virtue, moral leadership, sense of common good, understanding of how fragile democracy is. Thanks for stopping by and have a good day. Aiva 🙂

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  23. Uau, your blog is an inspiration! Great stories and amazing photographs!
    It feels great you appreciated ours.

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