Irish emigrants in New York tell of missing home at Christmas
New wave of emigrants prepare for first Christmas away from home
With immigration levels from Ireland once again mirroring the eighties, some Irish emigrants in New York are preparing for their first Christmas away from home.
After moving to New York in October, Rachel Ormond, a 21-year-old Cavan native, is determined to enjoying the holiday season, despite being away from her family.
“I love Christmas, I’ve never spent it away from home but I’m definitely excited to spend it away. I have all the decorations up around the house and we have our Chris Kindle all set up,” Ormond told the Irish Examiner.
“I’ll miss home, definitely but it’s a positive overall. My parents have sent over my stocking and a few other little things that would remind me of home at Christmas which was really nice.”
“It will feel strange not being with my family,” she added.
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Flexible phone plans and Skype means it is easy to stay in touch with home.
“I can call landlines for free at home so it’s easy for me to stay in contact with friends and family. I also use Skype and Facebook,” she told the Irish Examiner.
After graduating with a master’s in marketing from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Larkin decided to make the move to New York and apply for the one-year graduate visa program on offer.
“I had just finished college and had always thought New York would be a fascinating city to live in. It seemed like the perfect time to move.
“I haven’t been away all that long and flights are expensive during the Christmas period. I also think the fact that I have family here [an aunt and a cousin] makes a big difference. I’ll be spending Christmas day with them. It’s not as big of a deal here. People will have a traditional Christmas day but most will go straight back to work the next day.”
Another recent graduate Aoife Larkin (21) from Dublin decided to stay on in New York after a vacation in LA and Las Vegas.
“I love Christmas, I’ve never spent it away from home but I’m definitely excited to spend it away,” she told the Examiner.
After she found a job as a carer for the elderly, her holiday visa lapsed, which means she is now out of status.
“The whole business of being illegal seemed crazy to me at the time. I said I’d go over for three months. But then when I got here, I began to notice how many Irish were here.
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