City Girl: Living in Ireland vs. Living in Minnesota

a-city-girl-story-blogLiving in Ireland vs living in Minnesota is  my story of what its been like. This is not suppose to be like Ireland is better or disowning Minnesota, this is just the differences for me and my transition is like. Warning its long one, so grab a cuppa and a blank it. 

If you didn’t know I lived in Ireland for two years and I’m back in Minnesota.Some may think it maybe easy coming back, but its not. I’ve been gone two years. My prime 20s (22-24) was lived in Ireland and I really loved it there a lot, I felt like I belonged, I liked what I could do, and the easy going of it all. And now I am back where I was from and its a bit weird because I have grown out of it. That’s hard.

The most drastic change I am going through, I mean its all pretty drastic, but the location of where I am living and the not so easy access to things. In Minnesota I am living in the berbs where I’m surrounded by houses and streets, gas stations, and locals community things. I can drive 15 minutes to get anywhere, 6 different targets. There’s no local pub just liquor stores. And traffic has become worst. In Ireland, I lived in two places one was near a beach where I had to drive places to get to shops/pubs but I lived right on the beach so nature and adventures got me out of the house. I lived in the city were I was surrounded by things, places and people that I could walk to. And I really liked walking, not being able to walk everywhere is hard, I’ve become lazy. I just walk across the hall to do a work out and do office work-easily distractions that is why I always left to go to the library. (oh Boole Lib how i miss you and Q2 #futurehusbanhunt).

Another thing is I had my usual places, I knew how to get around. Where oddly enough I’m lost to how to get around in Minnesota. I don’t know where to go if I want the best muffin, or sit to just have a casual drink without feel out of place (Silly Goose was that) or my usual going out place with causal yet a dance floor (Reardens).  I don’t know where to go, and I’ve been trying to find my “Minnesota places.”  But I feel more out of place then before. You feel odd.

Odd. Its odd to say to people that you have to double check your count of money when you have an American accent-because like you should know this- and to be fair I wasn’t really good at counting change until I moved to Ireland thank you Euro coins. And all the bills are same color so…which ones which like?! It’s odd.

There is culture differences with living in Ireland vs in Minnesota, but this post wasn’t about that. I do see it, and I am very understanding that it is different. And I am living a different life just have to find my places. However its not easy.

More Personally…

I left my life and friends in Ireland. And people I know on this side are living far away from me, have moved on with there lives just like I have. And really my closes friends are in Ireland, I mean 2 years of people I’ve hung out with all the time I’m not anymore, that’s hard.  I’m missing out on things like  my best friends birthday, I’m missing 12 pubs- I’d like to do those things here bring the things I enjoy here but who, where and when I have no answer to.

Coming back means starting over, a good example is I made connections with my blog in Ireland and places now I have to find it here–and there are more people here. And I don’t really know where I fit in. 

The question I get asked a lot…

Would I go back to Ireland? Of course. Would I move back, I don’t know. I left for a reason and I can’t just go back because I have nothing and I’m still adjusting. I told people a year in Minnesota and then we will see does that rule out Ireland no. I know I have to give this a chance, but like we have established I’m not good at this whole waiting thing like.

This has and still is a transition and I’m just figuring it all out, taking one day at a time.



This was my story. If you would like advise post about how to adapt oneself or deal with transitioning let me know.  OR if you want me to write anything else. Let me know, I like to hear from you because really I’m just running on what pops in my brain and stories I’d like to share.  And it would be nice to get some feedback and suggestions 🙂 So let me know down below.  


A City Girl: Keep going backwards

I rewrote this a LOT….

Ireland vs. Minnesota and  back after living away for two years.  It’s been a year, so here is a little update (it’s long, I have a lot to say!)


I’m keeping the title the same from when I first wrote this post, because I don’t know what to call it and even though things have changed I still feel myself “going backwards.” I mean, I find myself back to where I was before I moved away.

Many of the things I will talk about here could be summed up as  #youdon’tlknowmylife. It’ll be hard to grasp because you are not me. I can only explain it the best I can and you can only try and understand. People might think they have the answers but it is one of those times where it’s on me. And all you really ask from people is to listen, be there, and understand. 

What hasn’t changed

After a year of living here I still haven’t found my places, I still haven’t found or formed a group I could meet for drinks (people like to brunch here and IDK I rather just have my pancakes). A lot of time I feel out of place and annoyed of how unfriendly this place really is, and I was born here. Or the opportunities here for creative fields are slim.

I’m still not feeling the best about myself–the waves come not as much as they used to, like every day. And it doesn’t help that I’m still not in that career job (more on that) or living in a place of my own. I am uncomfortable, my anxiety is more frequent, and I think we can all agree we feel more at ease when we are around people we enjoy, and in places we know.

REALITY check it’s hard for us 20 something adults trying to make it in the real world. And there are not a lot of creative jobs out there. and you do want to provide for yourself, have opportunities, see the world and live in the world and do what you love, with out the fear and feeling like shit living in it.

Me and MN just never belonged together I think. However, despite this feeling of disappointment and feeling stuck; maybe just maybe things are finally “happening.”

Things began to move

This is where things did began to move because I got a 2nd job that will give me the “experience” I’ve been missing, I believe. Because really, I’ve been applying to jobs for over a year and nothing has been happening. And not getting these jobs, interviews, or even an answer–I began to question myself.  I felt a lot a time a lone, which I know I’m not because I have the same conversation with girls my age A LOT.

A whole year with a masters degree and not doing what I went to school for, was disappointing. I started to feel like shit. Finally I feel I’m on the track I need to be on. I’m creating a lot of content and writing more to build up my CV. It’s not easy being a writer and getting paid for it.  I wish more people grasped that. Despite finally getting something that has put me onto the path I’ve been wanting to be on, there still that frustration and also tiredness of I have a masters and only getting part time minimal jobs. That BITES! Also running around feeling exhausted has giving me no room for anything else…

Let’s talk Blogging

Blogging has suddenly paused. I’ve fallen out of the loop with blogging and bloggers. There are days where I could be on top of it, but I’m tired, or the 6 hour difference struggle.  I love blogging  and well we all want what we love and enjoy to be our job.  I don’t want blogging to become something it isn’t for me, I don’t want to take on #spon, when it’s not right. And that hasn’t come yet in the swoon of random emails of products, companies asking for more followers (the behind blogging stuff).

I will always be honest with you guys. Blogging has really come to a hault a lot of days but some days it’s going. I’m still working on the balance and planning of two jobs, blogging and a life. 

Where am I now? 

I was told at work that I treat “Ireland like my home but it’s not” and that honestly bothered me, because (A) how many times have I talked about why I left because I was temporary?  I told them”I don’t think I do but you should try lifting up your life.” Because I wasn’t living out of a suit case in Ireland, I was improving my life.  And that’s where I am now, trying to get my life back and myself back.

How I miss the girl I once was and I want her back. Moving to Ireland probably was the best thing for me; I really became someone I never thought I would be and losing that affected my confidence in myself on so many levels. I was back on the couch binge watching Gilmore Girls the whole summer. And this girl I grew out of is some how back?

The truth is when you lose yourself in so many ways it’ll take a while to get to where you once were. I think this is where a lot of people get confused and I get tired of talking about it, because the only way to move on is to keep going forward. But I can’t help feeling I keep going backwards.

What’s next?

 I told myself another year in MN despite us not belonging together. Another year so I can start making BIGGER moves. You hear a lot of stories of a girl who started with a blog and now is a best seller–personally I want to be that girl! That’s my goal, I went to school for writing, I want to write. If it’s through someone else’s voice until my voice gets heard then so be it. I never went for Creative writing to write a novel but after this year the thought did cross my mind: “Maybe it’s time to write a novel”.

There is some sort of ‘plan’ floating around in my head, but half the time I have no time, I get stressed, anxiety and fear about my future hits me, and all I want is to live my life doing what I want to do.  State side is not easy going; I am not relaxed with work. And that’s what I miss a lot, the easy going life with drinks on a Monday night, hanging with friends in the Village on a Tuesday evening, stores closing at 6 pm week days.

So what I would like to happen next is to stop feeling this pressure;  I want to keep blogging; I want to see my writing in others’ hands in some form or another.  I want to keep working to have a career writing but I also want to live my life.  After a year of being back I honestly am ready to move forward and I think I can if I keep pushing myself further and don’t let my anxiety, fears, doubts hold me back. 
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Over all the biggest thing I learned is to put myself first and limit the stress I put onto myself. It is going to take awhile to put myself back together and figure out life; I need to take baby steps and find those happy things in my daily life. Take care of myself.

I do hope writing these updates aren’t like too much like a diary, but like all my other writings I have done on here it will let others know they’re not alone; they may say “that’s exactly it.” (If you’re saying that’s exactly it comment below with that’s exactly it! We girls (or boys) have to stick together.)






My Story: Moving Back after living away for two years

I think it’s hard a lot of the times because I never expected myself to move back. And coming back after two years is not easy. Things I am going to talk about in this blog post are all personal. I also hope that these words will find others advise, strength, or themselves.


Missing What Was


I’m at the point of really missing my life I had for the past 2 years. I’m missing my usual places, friends especially human contact, to sit in a pub, walking, chasing sunsets and ability to hop on a bus and see sheep. I miss meeting people on nights out–I went out with my friend on St. Patricks day here, and it was different. No one was willing to talk to a stranger–a comment here and there in passing. Not having that night out, meeting people was weird and something I miss.

I am missing getting dressed up with out question, to feel like I wasn’t standing out, to doing things every day even if it was just a walk to the gym. I know it takes time and you really just got to keep trying, but I find myself not wanting to leave the house.

I guess when anyone moves away from your life you are going to feel this isolation and missing feeling.

Feeling Out of Place

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I liked living in Cork, the ability to walk everywhere, shopping was just a few blocks away. Go out my door and into a pub to have one, to watch the match, or sit to write with some coffee in the Roundy or the Raven. Now, I’m struggling to find my place in this hipster Minnesota. Going into the Twin Cities trying to find the right pub in a sea of breweries.  Trying to find a friendly face in a coffee shop or in a store.

It’s hard cause like I said I am from here. I should know where to go or what to do. But I never fitted into the “way of life” here. A lot of time it is the culture shock. Also, it seems if you didn’t go to high school with someone they don’t want to bother. The social life is different here, that’s for sure. I would never go downtown or to a club here. Going out seems pointless, really, because I don’t want to put on heels for a pub with 20 TVs and no one is going to even talk to you. I went to different things volunteering or blogging events–and even though they got me out of the house, the vibe wasn’t right. I am not the American girl in the village, I’m just the girl in the city. The girl who will says ‘grand’ still (sue me!).

Living in Ireland I felt in place. I go take a walk on the beach, work out on the beach, take a walk through the city with no worry I knew where to go, what to avoid and despite the occasional cat call I knew how to handle myself and speak up. Now I’m feeling uncomfortable.

I want to cover myself up and hide a lot of the times. I don’t feel confident, and my confidence in myself always helped me walk the streets on my own, always helped me ignore my anxious or feel out of place, it always helped me to be brave enough to give a look back.

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The weird part is I am a confident person yet right now my confidence is very low. Which is new to me and I am finding it hard to get out of, lack of a better word, “funk.” it is easy to get stuck like nothing can help you. You try to do anything like you try to write but you can’t your stuck. So how do you get out of this funk?

I’ve been very lucky, I don’t take any of the things I’ve done for granted. But when I look back at photos I missed that person I was and I don’t feel like her. Because I feel discouraging, frustrated, unease, isolation and out of place.

All anyone wants is to have is a life they are happy in, and feel happy too.

Personally I’m going through two dramatic changes in my life, moving and exiting school–you know the one where you are out of school trying to make it as an adult. And it’s really discouraging. I’m discouraging a lot of ways, not only in job related, but in my writing, in blogging, in photography, socially, adulting, in counting my change out at the register. And nothing anyone tells me helps. Except when I look to others I follow and watch who say exactly what I feel, and that is why I’m writing this.

Where do we go from here?

1e6dec070533b10d4539b0aa5838f3b2You could have had really good weeks of not feeling any struggle or hurt then have two weeks of feeling it all. So what do you do? For me personally, when I’m bored I am BORED. I can’t even write. It comes to a point where nothing is exciting and everything is boring.

Throw yourself into something is easier said then done. So like they tell you when you break up with someone, don’t go on social media, distract yourself, take care of yourself, and really don’t listen to the outside world. Surround yourself with people who don’t to tell you instead they are there and listen. Keep your days busy, plan them out, leave the house (even if you don’t want to), do something different. Keep trying even if the bar or coffee shop didn’t work out, try another. Feeling like a total failure, put on that “regret me dress” and know you are worth it! Out of place and no one is approachable, join something, don’t wait to be invited invite yourself–and if your anxiety comes or the culture shock is shocking just step away and regroup. Wearing make up, putting on heels, saying grand this is who you are now–who cares if it doesn’t fit with the surroundings!

And most importantly do something to make you happy <<< that’s best advise I ever got & the person who said that to me was 5.

Your working towards your goals and dreams. To get yourself back to the person you where. You really will never forget and will always feel the connection between that place/person, for me Ireland and my friends. You’ll just get to a point where you are not missing but remembering. Things will get there it just takes time (i hate that as well no worries) but I do hope me writing will let you know your not alone. To feel understood.


I wrote this to tell MY story to tell people what it’s like to be in my shoes.  


City Girl Guide: What’s new in Cork City

If you like a larger City Girl Guide of Cork comment below. OR an even Larger City Girl Guide to Ireland–that is something I love to try but would take a lot of time–comment below letting me know what you would like to see.


I always say a lot can happen in a day. I also said how Cork needed a doughnut shop well in my 5 months away from Cork not only did a lot happen they got a doughnut shop–TWO! You could prob hear my frustration. There was not much new in Cork, my favorite places were still there and it still rained a lot. It’s Ireland. But no worries I saw that the door changed, I saw the new sign and I noticed the new menu in Silly Goose. Because details and little things are what I pay attention to.

First, lets talk about the doughnuts. There are two: Huckleberry’s Doughnuts & Oh My Donut. I kept hearing about them because I kept telling people about my frustration “the IMG_8720minute I leave they get doughnut shops”. And I have gotten not so happy reviews on them–there over price, the doughnuts are all the same, and one places get their doughnuts made by one of the grocery stores. It’s like walking into the English Market and buying over price fruit they got from Tescos (true). So, I wasn’t too keen on wanting to spend 4 euros for a doughnut that wasn’t even made in the shop. But, after having a doughnut-themed cake in Silly Goose –the ice cream really helped, and need food the next morning; me and my bet friend bit our stubbornness (mine lets be honest) and went into Oh My Donut.  I’m a classy girl who just wants a plain chocolate doughnut–which they didn’t have so I went with a plain doughnut to my surprise had jelly in it–I wasn’t pleased.IMG_8569

Local doughnuts are a trend, even here, there are some popping up–and I wouldn’t call myself a doughnut girl–I usually get doughnuts when I’m starving for food. So, I couldn’t be a doughnut review person–what I will say if it’s going to be a hype thing it better be worth it.


The next new thing are the shops . The new building around the English market and Patrick’s Street, is getting close-to being finished  No one really knows what’s going to be in there for businesses or shops. Can definitely say Forever 21 is not coming to Cork? Which to be fair, I’m over the cheap, not even well-made, bad ethics shop anyways. I’d stick with Penny’s. I am getting really into ethical fashion and buying lasting pieces. Another shop which is across the way from the new high-rise building (it’s probably 10 floors), is Sostrene Grene (the sisters Grene). Which is a little bit like Tigger but I say a little bit more for the mid-twenties and mothers. This place is like  IKEA without the furniture. Look at the pictures below to see more:

I love shops like these, they make me want to buy a loft and just go nuts!

Building being built is on the left in reflection

Having all these new things pop up in Cork is always a good thing, so many abandon buildings and Cork is a great city that deserves it. These new building and business coming to Cork hopefully means a vibrant, things to do, variety, kids have places to go and things to do, and maybe outside of homes will look nicer (because if you ever walk around Cork, or really any city in Ireland you see outside of homes are no flower gardens–and that has a lot to do with housing and renting laws they have–I don’t know much but I’ve listened and experienced.)

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetThe one thing that worries me about all these new things is losing what I love about Cork which is how Irish and true Irish it really is. There’s a few tourist shops and pubs that are gear towards tourist but that’s it, I’m also worried about having it become Americanized, no TGIF or Hardrock cafe’s please. This also means its up and coming people will want to live there–meaning rent will go up, which I am experience in Minnesota to be a real pain in the bum of economics. And you know a lot of this is just how life works and how countries evolved. But, don’t forget your roots.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetOverall I was quite excited for all the new things Cork had, the new menu at Silly Goose, to the new art around, and the shops. I will say the big advertising and selling point for things is to make it “Instagram able” and me being 25 years old knowing how far we come, cringed yet gets excited towards that word.

I’m excited about the things Cork had and I wonder what they well have when I come back as long as Monday club is still there, the drinks are still good I’ll be happy and there is no TGIFs.



City Girl: What its like to come back after two years

Before I even got onto the plane from Cork to Minnesota I already knew this transition was going to be overwhelming. I had a few break downs in the Amsterdam airport wishing I could come back and on the 9 hour flight I was unable to sit still or sleep, my brain was full of emotions and anxiety. There is a lot that is happening all at once. I moved back to Minnesota and dealing with that. Plus, grad school is over and I went from living on the edge of Cork city to a dead end street in the suburbs. I am 15 minutesaway from the city, and to get to the city I have to deal traffic that you wouldn’t believe. And all these things I am experiencing, like traffic, accents, chips being called fries, the milk tasting different is a lot. Overwhelming is a good word to call it, so I am taking my time getting adjusted and taking baby steps to my next adventure in life.

I didn’t want to go any further than that because it’s all personal. But, I know I am not the only one who can get easily overwhelmed, feeling claustrophobic from the pressure, and feeling lots of anxiety from all the transitions. But, I have found ways to handle this. I share a few of them below.

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  1. Organize yourself: For me I had three whole suitcases to unpack and a room I have only stayed in over the holidays to become my own. If anyone feels overwhelmed or gets anxious, organizing oneself is the number one thing to do because it gets all that’s in your head out on paper and keeps your body busy.
  2. Keep doing what you do: We all have a routine and we should keep at it. Mine is work out in the morning every day, then my day gets started by getting myself dressed. Also just keep being who you are. Last time I was here so many people kept telling me I shouldn’t say “No bother” or say I talk funny when I was talking the way I wanted. This time I refuse to stop and it helps that I also cut off the negativity and have had some positives of how I say “messing.”
  3. Find things that you like to do here: I was always active in Ireland, living right in the city allowed me to do so many different things. I often would take a nice evening walk to people watch and get a 99 in the park. Even in Gtown I had night walks to the beach to watch the waves crash, my favourite sound. Now I don’t have any of that; I have to drive but I don’t know where to go, even though I should, but I left here when I was just 22 I only new college life. What I suggest people in situations do is google, go on instagram, check out local tourist or state/city theme websites that will tell you what is going on. I went to a Book Festival in Twin cities that was something I did a few times in Cork and enjoy doing, so it was nice to be able to do it here.
  4. Take your time: Sometimes you feel like you have to rush into it, have it all figured out. And I felt like that, I still feel like that- I mean it’s an every day life struggle but in this case it felt like I had to have a job set up, a place of my own, furniture picked out, a group of friends to call up, a dog, and happy all in 48 hours after getting off the plane. Take your time, even if you feel like your mind is doing the math of how long you’ve been here compared to “IT’S ALREADY NOVEMBER” Don’t worry. Take one thing and one day at a time. Wake up take on whatever is bothering you that day. I have to be motivated by myself to do something, if not it won’t happen.
  5. Be understanding: There is a lot going on and it’s hard to explain when you don’t even know or understand it yourself. Transitions are hard, not only on you but on others-family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends. And a lot of people and even you may think you’re going backwards and need to adjust yourself. No. You don’t have to adjust anything, and if others think you need to adjust they are not being understanding. You need to let others know they need to be understanding just as you are trying to be understanding as well. Now, this might cause you to lose people, lucky for me I am starting over cause all my friends, except for a few, are in Ireland or in different cities state side.
  6. Remind yourself  you are not stuck, its a new start:   It can feel a lot like you went from anexciting, something worth sharing life, back to a usual boring, nothing worth being excited about life. But, you always have something to be excited and happy about. For example, even the people I know here in Minnesota and keep in my box (metaphor) for them I’m just back in Minnesota BUT to my friends in my box on the other side of the pond me being back is exciting! It’s all about how we see our lives now. If you are going through a transition like I am from an exciting grad life, always in the library, going out with friends and now I am living on a dead end street, it can feel like a big fall BUT it’s not. It is just a transition into something better. I am finding my excitement.


Processed with VSCO with a5 presetThis is my advice to anyone who’s transitioning, moving or starting over. I like to describe mine as I nowhave a closet full of clothes and a few items fit this girl I know and other items are not fitting for the girl I do not know anymore. And we have to find an outfit out of the closet each day.

xox. Kole