26 Aug

So I Swapped Africa for a Grand Dose of Craic, Guinness and Blue Eyes

It’s definitely not easy to pack up one’s life after 28 years and move halfway across the world. I mean, just moving out of your parents’ house for the first time is scary.

Some say I was crazy and impulsive, but what they don’t know is that this was actually a well calculated gamble.

So why Ireland? Well in June 2014 I went on a UK Contiki tour. The tour had two legs, the first leg went through the UK and the second leg went over to Ireland. Unfortunately I was only able to do the first leg as the whole tour was 20 days and I only had enough annual leave for the first leg, but boy did I regret not doing the second leg. The photos posted on Facebook by my new Contiki friends of Ireland were amazing.

So one morning when browsing the internet, not long after returning from the UK, I saw an ad on return tickets to Dublin at a killer price. It took me about a whole 10 seconds to decide to buy a ticket for December.

A few weeks after I had bought my ticket the strangest thing happened, someone mentioned to me that they knew about a company, called Elm, in Dublin that were recruiting. I had a look at their website and I immediately knew I had to apply. They were a young start-up company specialising in Environmental Solutions. I was excited with the idea of being part of a young and dynamic company and at the same time getting involved with saving the environment, even if it was just from an IT perspective. Planting trees or stopping pollution is not the only way you can save the environment. So I contacted Elm and before I knew it I had an interview in Dublin.

I landed in Dublin about two days after Christmas. I was welcomed with greenery, greenery everywhere! This is something that I was not used to as winters in South Africa are dry and dull. Oh and blue eyes, how could I forget the blue eyes. I mean, come on, are blue eyes manufactured in Ireland? I’ve been to other European countries, but I have never seen so many blue eyed individuals. This obviously meant that my brown eyes didn’t help me much with blending in with the locals. They just had to take one look at my dark brown eyes to realise that I was here to find the lost Leprechauns.

After one week of travelling around Ireland; going to Galway, walking the Cliffs of Moher, crossing the famous PS I Love You Bridge in Co. Wicklow, running through Phoenix Park and many Guinness’s later I was in love with Ireland.


5 months on and I’m back in Dublin with my whole life packed into a single suitcase weighing 30kg. I never thought it would be possible to start a new life with just 30kg.

I’ve now been here for about two months. I’ve had some grand craic and quite a number of pints of Guinness, but I am still to find myself a blue eyed lassie.

  • Walt is a business analyst with 4 experience across end-to-end system design and delivery projects.