We know how hard Irish homesickness can hit. That's why we've put together this fail-safe list of coping tips to ward away the Celtic blues.
1. Open Google Maps
Do you miss Inishkeen Road on a July evening? You would not have been the first. Celebrated Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh wrote a poem about it decades ago in Dublin, thinking back to the County Monaghan of his adolescence.
But he needn't have bothered if he had had access to a Mac Book and Google Maps. Whenever you're missing your old haunts back home we suggest that the first thing you do is fire up the computer and take a virtual walk instead. You'll be surprised how evocative the experience can be - and how soothing.
2. Make a cup of tea.
Do what the Irish do when their nerves are shot. Make a cup of tea.
You will have to make it for yourself, remember. When you order a cup of tea in someplace other than Ireland they will probably bring you a tea cup filled to the brim with lukewarm water. And no milk? And a lemon? What do they think you're going to do with a lemon?
Sometimes it's as if other cultures are actually conspiring to make you feel desperately homesick and a million miles from your old sod. They're not of course you're just discovering how particular Irish culture is about its rituals now that you're somewhere where they're not performed.
Before you leave the old sod we strongly advise you to load up on Barry's Tea or Lyon's or whatever your favorite Irish tipple is. Otherwise there are a host of Irish import shops to help you out like this one.
3. Turn on RTE
RTE is Ireland's national broadcaster, and home to engaging current affairs and arts programming that will make you feel like you're in the next room, not three thousand mails away. Listen to all those accents on the iPlayer and you'll find yourself falling back into the rhythms of home.
4. Bake something
Irish baking is world class. We are known for our soda breads and scones, but there's so much more to our repertoire as any visitor quickly discovers.
If you want to conjure Ireland in your kitchen then bake a scone using Irish flour like Odlums and let the aroma instantly transport you.
Here's a chef's tip, Irish buttermilk is richer than anything you'll find on the shelves abroad so adding a little heavy cream to your mix will produce more authentic results more closely matching the ones you remember from home.
5. Irish breakfasts
You can try to reproduce the glory of an Irish breakfast abroad but you will fail. That shouldn't stop you from attempting to reproduce one of these heart-clogging masterpieces that will probably set you up for the entire day, though. For the basic building blocks go here.
6. Join a county society
County societies were once plentiful. You would join the one that represented the county you hailed from and they would help you to find your feet in the new world. Nowadays their numbers and reach are dropping so why not reach out to reanimate a long-standing tradition and maybe cure your blues in the same attempt? Make where you live the fifth province, wherever it is.
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