I've recently read the interviews of expats in Ireland, and they're all very positive, but some of Joanna's comments concerned me. She wrote/said:
"Dubliners are very friendly on the outside, but rarely share their real feelings and thoughts. I have a feeling they sometimes tend to look down on or be a bit patronising towards immigrants."
Do you agree with this, in Dublin or the whole island? This is a major concern for me because I would not want to live somewhere where I couldn't make meaningful relationships and/or where I didn't feel welcome/wanted.
I've also read from multiple sources that Irish people won't really open up until you've been there a couple years so that they know you're not going to be leaving. That's a very long time to be distanced from everyone.
I am eligible to apply for citizenship, and I've visited once as a teenager. My dad struck up a lengthy conversation with our b&b hostess that they both seemed to really enjoy, and other expats interviewed say the Irish are very friendly. And, of course, I don't want to just generalize a whole country. :)
What do you think? Thank you in advance.
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This is a pretty tough question to answer as how people relate to each other is very subjective. For example, some people are more extroverted than others and will find it easier to integrate into a new country. While doing research on a country is great, I do want to caution you to not allow other people's feeling scare you off of a place. Just because Joanna had a bad experience, doesn't necessarily mean you will.
If you are eligible for citizenship, I would encourage you to apply and get that paperwork sorted. Remember, just because you have the citizenship doesn't mean you have to use it immediately. Having citizenship in Ireland may make it easier for you to consider your options and not rush into a move you may not be ready for. Having citizenship may also open doors for you in other UK countries or even in Europe. Would you want to relocate to another country other than Ireland?
One thing that may make you more at ease is to take an extended trip to Ireland. This would be a good way of testing the waters without actually committing to a move. You could travel around the country for a few months or even apply for part-time jobs and see how you like it there.
In my experience, you have to try something yourself. If you love it, the risk was worth it. And if you don't, at least you can be proud that you tried. I really hope this reply helps with your decision. Rianca