Introduction to The Ireland Move Club
updated August 2017
Hey everybody. My name is Liam, and I am the founder and creator of this website. That process began back in late 2014, immediately after a move back home to Ireland. Counting that relocation, and my latest one back to the US (yes, we didn't settle), I have moved internationally a total of 5 times!
Looking back I can tell you that each move was very different to the next, with numerous new challenges and learnings along the way. Moving as a new college grad was relatively easy, but brought the challenge of finding work out in the big bad world for the first time. Returning to Ireland a few years later as a married man, and having to adjust back to life in my home town in that capacity was a whole new experience. Realizing that the US adventure was not over yet, and heading back with 2 dogs in tow, finding a home from overseas, and a job, wasn't the easiest of things I've ever had to do. But throw a few kids in the mix, complicate things with buying houses, finding mortgages, researching car and insurance options, enrolling kids in schools, selling and re-buying much of what we've ever owned, and I'd have to admit the last 2 moves were the toughest yet! But so much has been learned along the way, so I can't complain, and nor can I say that I really have any regrets.
So why did I decide to start this community based website?
While making these international moves, especially when heading in an eastward direction, back to Ireland, I didn't really have many places to consult for good information about moving. What I needed more than anything else was someone to turn to, who had made the move and whose advice I could trust. There were so many questions I had, and so few answers readily available, especially from that perspective. If it was hard for me as someone who was born and raised in Ireland, it must be almost impossible for someone who has only ever been in the country as a visitor. So, after learning so much along the way, why not share what I had learned?
Here are some of the challenges and questions I faced:
- What's the current job market like in Ireland?
- How do I get my kids enrolled in school?
- How do I open a bank account and why is it virtually impossible to do from overseas? (that's changed for the better now)
- What can I expect from the medical service?
- Can I convert my drivers licence easily? (a sore subject!)
- How do I set up utility services?
This is barely the tip of the iceberg.
- Bringing a non-EU spouse to Ireland
- Navigating the Stamp 0 immigration process
- Taking pets along for the move, all while minimizing the cost of doing so
- Figuring out cost effective shipping methods
- Finding employment opportunities and sponsorship possibilities
And again, this barely scratches the surface. Check out the forum and blogpost comments to get an understanding of the numerous topics I've had the pleasure of helping out with over the past number of years. It's been quite a journey, and I've met a lot of great people along the way. Many of you have had such nice things to say too, and I truly appreciate all that feedback. Recently I started a 'testimonials' type page. I'm proud of the feedback I've received, as I know it's the result of helping many of you make the transition to Ireland a little less stressful - so why not highlight it.
It's all about you!
For now, my time in Ireland is on hold. I'll never rule out living back home again in the future, but for now I'm happy where I'm at.
As I mentioned previously in another article, this site won't be going away, and neither will the advice/assistance I offer. Whether you want to passively participate by reading along, or get involved by commenting on a blog post or two, or really get stuck in by creating forum topics of your own, or answering questions posed by others, I'm looking forward to keeping this great resource going.
Of course, as many of you know, I started a new service a while back where you can pick up the phone and give me a call. If you're interested in learning more about that, check out Let's Talk!
The website will be 3 years old as of September 2017. Readership/page-views has doubled in the last 12 month period alone! I could never have imagined the site becoming such a valuable tool to so many people when I first started it back in 2014.
I'll leave it there for now. But please check back from time to time. Whether you're actually in the midst of your big move, or just have a pipe dream of some day moving to Ireland, I'm thankful that you're here, and I'm happy to help wherever I can.
Looking forward to getting to know you,