Who are you?
Jay Murphy, age 54, born Chicago, Illinois, lived for the last 20 years in St. Petersburg, Florida.Retired from the US Air Force after 20 years (active and reserves) and 30 years working for the US government
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
We moved to Dungarvan, Ireland in March of 2017.
We moved for quite a few reasons. What put us over the top was the election of the president in the US. Some of the other reasons include major allergy problems in Florida in the spring, summer and fall. We were fortunate enough to live in Germany for 4 years and really loved Europe and wanted to come back. It helps that my wife has dual citizenship for Ireland and the US.
What challenges did you face during the move?
Finding a place to rent with a dog was a big challenge and we lucked out in finding one before we got here online. Maybe not a great idea to rent before you see a place but it worked out for us.
Are there many other expats in your area?
There is one other American I’m aware of that moved here 2 years ago. There are quite a few people from England that live in the area although as EU citizens, not sure they qualify as expats.
What do you like about life where you are?
Life is at a much slower pace in Ireland than in America. People are very friendly and welcoming for the most part. The area we chose to live in is quite beautiful with both mountain and sea views and the weather, despite what we’d heard, has been really nice. Additionally, they recently opened up a very nice bike path between Dungarvan and Waterford City called the Greenway that goes along the ocean. We are fortunate enough to live in the town where there are many pubs, restaurants and stores within walking distance. Lastly, there seem to be festivals in the area most every weekend so there is always something to do. Mountains, beaches and plenty of walking trails make it an outdoorsman’s paradise.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
Being away from friends and family
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
To be honest, there are not that many differences other than sports and the pace of life. Oh and perhaps the lack of cultural diversity. Being Irish catholic in Ireland, we can of fit in and with a name like Murphy, it’s like we’re family.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Figure out in advance the best method for transferring money over to your new country before you get there. Read as many blogs as you can from people who have already made the move. Make sure you can speak at least some of the language if you are going to a non-English speaking country. Join local clubs to get to know people. Read my blog if you’re moving to Ireland.
What are your plans for the future?
We’re going to stay for at least 2 years to see how we like it with a couple visits back to the US during the worst of the year weather wise. We might become snowbirds in the future where we spend the winter in Florida and the rest of the year in Ireland.
You can keep up to date with Jay's adventures on his blog.
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