The Story of the “G” Family’s Relocation to Dublin.
The Highlights, Stresses and Lessons Learned as told by Mrs G.
Why? Was the first question I asked when Mr G called me last summer, why do you want to move your family from the beautiful beaches of Sydney to rainy cold Dublin? “There’s a career opportunity I can’t turn down” he said. Also, “we’re ready for a change” We only came to Sydney for 3 months and have stayed 7 years so we’re ready for a new life experience.
The most stressful part of the journey was before the family even left Sydney! Mr and Mrs G had underestimated the work that needed to be done to pack up a family of 5 and leave their home ready to rent out. After working through the night, they realized they just weren’t going to make it! Flights for the whole family had to be postponed. Not a great start, but I’ve come to realize, the G family are true Aussies! The delay didn’t faze them, they just got on with the packing and arrived in Dublin 24 hours late and in great spirits ready to begin their Irish adventure.
The G family arrived at their new rental property the following morning ready to check in. I had helped Mr G find the property on a planning visit the previous month. Hat’s off to Mrs G! She’d had to trust her husband to select the house they would live in for their first year in Dublin and a school for their 3 children. Mrs G was very calm as she looked around the empty property….. while Mr G and I waited nervously for her nod of approval. The house hit the mark and lived up to the photos and descriptions we’d sent back to Sydney. The family promptly left their bags and set out on a mammoth shopping expedition to furnish it from top to bottom!
The next challenge was the following Monday when the children started their new school. I had been in the enviable, and frankly unusual position of being able offer the G family several options for schools. Mr G made the choice as he was on the ground for the planning trip. This was a difficult decision as Dublin has some great schools on offer. The school choice is not only the most important decision for the children’s happiness, it would also form the focus of Mrs G’s social life in Dublin so getting it right was crucial.
The school exceeded expectations from everyone’s perspective! The children fitted straight in and were immediately on the play date circuit and Mrs G had welcome coffee mornings not only with each of her children’s class groups but also with the school’s group of international parents.
This fast immersion in Dublin life was the backbone to a successful relocation. Not only does it provide a social life for Mrs G it also provides a forum for the literally hundreds of questions any mum has on landing in a new city with a young family. This network of Mums, who have been through the relocation process themselves made a big contribution to a successful relocation.
Biggest success factor
Social life will revolve around school so it’s important to choose a school with a thriving social life for Mums and a strong international representation.
Dublin is small! Everyone knows everyone. This is a different vibe to living in an anonymous big city such as Sydney.
Not putting one of their cars in the container from Sydney. The process to buy a 2nd hand car in Dublin is lengthy. You need an address, a bank account and a PPS number. These take time to set up on arrival so if you need a car to do the school run, the rental car costs can add up quickly.
In general, Mrs G felt they did not do enough research on finance or tax before relocating. Dublin is expensive! The general cost of living is high relative to many big cities. Whilst the tax system is similar to many countries e.g. UK and Australia there any many surprising differences.
A new city can be a lonely place when the youngest child starts school. If you’re new and don’t have a social network it’s crucial to get out there from the beginning and join in everything on offer!
Domestic services such as cleaning and babysitting are difficult to secure. Connections are required to get recommendations and referrals. People are often reluctant to give up the contact details for their favorite babysitter. Ask for recommendations early! You will feel less isolated if you can get out for a drink or dinner with your partner early on.
Written by Lesley Light of Local Line, based on the personal experience of the “G” family who relocated to Dublin in 2020.
Particular thanks to Mrs G for sharing her personal experience.