Where has the time gone? It’s been three weeks since I immigrated to New York. In some ways it feels like only yesterday I was saying goodbye to my parents in Dublin Airport, but then I think about all I have fit in and how well settled I feel. It’s as if I have lived here for years.
Where do I begin? I have a little video above showing some of the biggest moments on the day I left Ireland. I had also planned on videoing the whole apartment hunting process and move in day, but often our viewings were last minute and each day was chaotic. My first week here was spent running around every second, scrambling to find a place to live and getting important things sorted like opening a bank account, sorting a phone out and going to the social security office, not to mention the dreaded job hunt!
I would like to do more detailed blog posts on finding my apartment, the visa process, and finding a job in New York. But for now, I wanted to share the four main things I have learned since moving here.
1.It’s true what they say, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
I moved over fully aware of how hard everything was going to be, and it was, and continues to be. Simple tasks turn into nightmares, something must always go wrong and your patience will be tested! When you think you have done enough, prepared enough, researched enough, New York will throw a spanner in the works and knock you right off your feet. But I’ve learned to expect this now and to know there is no point in getting upset (of course tears have been shed) but to try to remind myself I moved here for a reason. If I wanted easy, I should have stayed at home!
Despite the stress, there has not been a single moment where I questioned if moving here was the right thing to do or if I would be better off going home. For all the heartache New York throws your way, simply pausing for a second and looking around you will open your eyes to the amazing opportunities it may bring. I love New York now more than I ever have.
2. I love being a New Yorker
Coming to New York for a holiday is completely different to actually living here. There are two sides to the city and it is only until you have lived here that you will experience both. Using the subway every day, ordering almost all your meals and groceries to your door and making other New Yorker friends (whether natives or not) are just a few of the things I love about living in this city, and totally different to living back home. Now that I have settled into my area and learned to navigate the city I feel much more at home.
3. Be what you want to be, do what you want to do
There is no judgment in New York, people hardly bat an eyelid to craziness. (And there are a lot of crazies in NY). It’s normal for people to go for a drink alone in a bar. It’s normal to sit in a cafe to read a book. It’s normal to dance on the subway. I have never felt more comfortable being myself than I have here, and I 100% embrace all the different walks of life I come across every day. Nothing really phases me anymore. The abnormal is now the normal and that might just be my favorite thing about this city.
4. Everyone wants to make it in New York, so they understand each other’s struggles
In a city as big as New York it can be easy to feel alone. But with so many people living here having moved away from their homes to pursue big dreams, everyone gets it. I have been blown away by people’s generosity, almost everyone has something to offer each other and happy to do so. Especially within the Irish community here in New York. I have lost count of the amount of times a fellow Irishman has said they would like to help because once they were the ones looking for help. It’s as easy as walking into an Irish bar and chatting to the barman or contacting someone that knew someone that knew someone to ask them for advice, who then puts you in contact with someone else (both of which I have done). I have had several job offers, introductions and been given lots of really helpful advice by doing these things, as have all of my friends here. I hope I will be in the position to do the same for others one day. The Irish really stick together here in an amazing way and I can see why we are known for our friendliness by others.