Moving to Ireland

Do’s & Dont’s of Moving To Ireland (One Month Countdown!)

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Moving to Ireland has been a dream of mine for a little over two years now – I say ‘my dream’ because my husband thought that I would never move to Ireland. To be fair, I did tell him when we started dating 10 years ago that I would NEVER move to Ireland – it was a fair assumption. So when I brought up the idea two years ago he was onboard immediately. 

We made a step by step plan two years ago and made a list of pros and cons of moving to Ireland vs. staying in Chicago. Fast forward two years and my husband has been offered a job in Greystones, Ireland and we’re moving in 4 weeks (GULP)! 

It’s crazy how things work out sometimes, because looking back on that step by step plan we completed everything the exact time we wanted to. A few of our check list items were: 

  • Become a U.S. Citizen
  • Get a Vasectomy (I didn’t want a surprise newborn in a foreign country haha) 
  • Get the covid vaccine  
  • Get up to date passports for all our kids 

We’ve checked off all of those items and now all that’s left to do is sell most of everything we own, pack up what’s left, and get on an airplane.

moving to irelandThe covid pandemic has definitely made some things easier for us and some things much more difficult. The bright side is that we have been able to save all of our covid relief checks from the government and that money is helping pay for flights, a hotel quarantine, and an extended stay at an airbnb in Dublin while we’re searching for an apartment. Another benefit is that flights to Ireland are extremely affordable right now and are almost completely empty. We will have lots of space and not a lot of noise for when our kids are attempting to sleep on our night flight. 

The things that are difficult are of course the possibility of getting covid, travel restrictions, 12 day hotel quarantine, difficulty making friends and seeing people (social distancing etc.), and having our three kids wear masks on the airplane for 8 hours. Moving is never easy and straight forward so Luke and I are both trying to hold our plans loosely in our hands and expect the unexpected. 

So what’s happening next!?

We’ve put in our months notice for our apartment and are selling EVERYTHING. We sold our car, toys, rugs, furniture etc. and are going through all their clothes donating anything that is a little too small and anything they don’t LOVE. We’re also buying clothes for them a size too big because according to my Irish family clothes are more expensive over the pond – so we’re stocking up now on things they need when we get there! 

Luke has put in his two weeks notice for his job here in Chicago and we’re now buying our airplane tickets! We’ve been talking to our kids about the move a lot and trying as best we can to prepare them for the big change coming their way. 

We’re also starting to say our goodbyes. Which is going to be the absolute hardest part of moving. Saying hello to a new chapter means saying goodbye to another. I’m not emotionally ready to say goodbye to my friends (you know who you are!), my mom and dad, brothers and sister in-law, nieces…it’s going to be excruciating. My comfort is knowing that saying goodbye is not forever, it’s only for now. We will have new adventures together, new experiences, and I always have to remind myself that emotional closeness does NOT equal physical distance. Just because I’ll be 3,000 miles away does not mean our relationship will diminish in any way.  Change is hard, but it’s one of those things no one can get away from. So, lets get into some of the Do’s and Dont’s that I’ve learned while preparing for our move to Ireland! 

Do’s & Dont’s of Moving To Ireland 

Do start downsizing and donating items as soon as you know you plan to move. Whats stoping you? Make your life easier and start immediately. 

Dont ship your furniture. It costs around $8,000 for a shipping container and apartments/houses in Ireland are smaller than American ones so it’s unlikely to fit correctly. Also, most rentals are actually furnished! You’ll probably end up with having two sets of couches on your hands. Just wait and if you need to buy when you arrive. 

Do pack and buy clothes you’ll need when you’re there! Clothing is a little more expensive in Ireland so come stocked with anything you need ie. raincoat, rain boots, your favorite jeans, and clothes your kids are about to grow into. 

Don’t bring lots of shorts or t-shirts. You will need a few of them for when it’s warm enough – but you’ll usually be wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts & sweaters (It rarely gets above 75F).

american snacks

Do bring your favorite American snacks! You won’t find Mac n Cheese, French onion dip, or Skippy Peanut butter in Ireland so if those are your staples…just do yourself a favor and bring some with you! You’ll also want to pack large bottles of Tylenol/Ibuprofen/Melatonin (if that’s your thing) because you can only buy those in small amounts (packs of 48 I think) and you’ll find you need a prescription for melatonin. 

Don’t bring your electronics! The plugs are different in Ireland and you need to make sure the voltage is compatible if you’re desperate to bring your coffee grinder or KitchenAid Mixer…your best bet is to buy new when you’re there so you avoid blowing your circuits. 

Do upgrade or purchase any Apple products you’ll want because they’re MUCH more expensive in Ireland. If you’re planning on getting a new phone or computer don’t wait to buy those for when you move. You’ll be able to get chords that are compatible with the voltages in Ireland so don’t be afraid to bring those with you!

Don’t forget to get your covid vaccine!! Rules and restrictions are among the strictest in Europe in Ireland and a vaccine is hard to come by. Definitely set up your vaccinations BEFORE coming over – you’ll be so glad you did. 

Thanks for following along on our family’s journey to the emerald isle!!!

 Ready, set, here we go!!

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Karen Donnan
Karen Donnan
6 months ago

Exciting times for you all. We’ll pray everything goes smoothly for you xo

4 months ago

Many here would wonder why you need more than 48 tylenol at a time in the house. Costco levels of meds haven’t really caught on here. You won’t miss the over processed American food for long.

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