Is a move to Ireland the best fit for you? Well, let me tell you some of my journey making the big move to Ireland from the USA.
My husband grew up in Ireland and moved over to the U.S. for college. When we met I told him that I never wanted to live in Ireland and that he should know that now before we started dating. Well, fast forward 10 years and here we are living in Co. Wicklow, Ireland!!
So, what exactly made me change my mind? Why did we decide that living in Ireland would be a better fit for our family than the U.S. and why was I so sure I never to wanted to move to Ireland in the first place??
Well, first of all, I LOVE where I grew up. I grew up in Wheaton, IL, and always imagined myself buying a house right next to my parent’s house, and walking my kids to the same school that I attended. I’m also very fortunate to have a close relationship with my family and truly never wanted my life to change. However, that’s the thing about life – it changes. I grew up, my brothers grew up, moved out, and got married, our family vacations changed and got smaller, and by the time I was in college, things were just different. Don’t get me wrong they were still wonderful. We would get together every Sunday night for a family dinner at my parent’s house and would still go camping together every summer – we all love each other so much and I’m so privileged and grateful for the family my parents cultivated for us.
The thing is once I got married I now had the task of cultivating my own family. It was my time to make something new, something that I wanted and that my husband wanted that was unique to us. Just as my parents had dreams for their own family, I have unique dreams for mine. Realizing that I wanted something different than life in Wheaton IL was a challenge for me. I felt guilty, and sad as I let go of what I thought my life would look like – but I wanted something else.
The more I looked into what life in Ireland would look like the more I was sold that this was the right next step for our family. That brings us to my list! Here are my top 10 reasons that I LOVE Ireland:
6 REASONS I LOVE IRELAND AND YOU SHOULD TOO
Disclaimer** Ireland has plenty of downsides too – this is just my experience of the benefits of life in Ireland.
Ireland ranks the 10th Safest Country on Earth according to the Global Peace Index. Its crime is incredibly low giving huge peace of mind for anyone looking for an ideal place to live. (Side note: the USA ranked 114th on that same list) (independent.ie)
2. Women’s Rights
One statistic I thought was cool was that Ireland is not only one of the safest places for the general public to live, but it is one of the safest places specifically for women to live. Ireland has one of the smallest gender pay gaps, great accessibility to birth control, and some of the lowest crime against women. (usnews.com)
3. Health Care
Coming from the U.S. where the health care system is criminal because it’s so bad the Irish health care system is a breath of fresh air. I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay for a doctor’s visit or go bankrupt because I get breast cancer. Everyone pays low costs, children are free, and you can apply for a medical card based on income level to have your cost be further subsidized. Not only is basic care affordable for everyone they have incredible maternity and paternity benefits.
You’re entitled to 26 weeks of paid maternity leave and also can apply for a “maternity benefit” from the Irish government. You still accrue vacation time during your maternity leave, don’t need to use any of your sick time, and can take an additional 16 weeks of maternity leave (unpaid). While you are pregnant you are also entitled to paid time off for all doctor appointments, and some birthing classes. You can also apply for the Maternity and infant care scheme which would cover any costs of those appointments. Amazing. (citizensinformation.ie)
4. Ease of Travel
Once you’re inside of Europe it’s so much more affordable to travel to different countries inside the EU. It usually doesn’t take very long and you can get incredible deals through airlines like Ryanair. Want to go to a concert in Germany? Sure! Go for the weekend! Would you like to spend a few days in Paris? The possibilities are endless and you don’t have to empty your bank account to do it.
5. Raising Kids
Ireland ranked the 5th best country to raise a family! Ireland scored a 95 out of 100 in kid’s health and welfare according to a survey by The Lancet. They averaged how well children are ‘surviving’ and how well they are ‘thriving’ and came to a ‘flourishing’ score. Some of the metrics they looked at were: maternal health, whether children lived to their 5th birthday, rates of suicide, access to health services, hygiene and sanitation, and lack of poverty. In the thriving category, they looked at education, growth, nutrition, reproductive freedom, and safety.
Since becoming a mother my priorities have shifted from myself and what I want and need to my kids. I want to give them a great life, I want to give them the absolute BEST life that’s in my power to give to them. Ireland ranked 5th best to raise a family and has the 11th best education system in the world. That along with a very affordable 4-year college education it’s a no-brainer to leave the U.S. and move to Ireland.
6. The Craic
Ireland ranked #4 in top places to live according to the UN’s Human Development Report. That’s because Ireland is truly an awesome place to grow up, and grow old. Ireland has some of the friendliest people with the biggest laughs, best jokes, and incredible hospitality. It’s also a stunning place to live – from the cliffs of Moher to the Giants Causeway, the Ring of Kerry, or the blue flag beaches all over the country, there are gorgeous places to go right at your doorstep.