Peace and quiet in the Irish countryside had looked increasingly more attractive to Christian Connors and his family as a result of the current political climate in the US.
Is the rat race getting you down? The hustle and bustle of life in the city wearing you out? Maybe you could do with a vacation or maybe you should take a leaf out of the book of Christian Connors, who decided to pack up his life, as well as his six-hour daily commute, to relocate with his family to a farm in Co. Sligo.
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After working as a contracts negotiator for the past 25 years, Connors has now started out on a whole new career path, renovating his new Yeats County home into a guest house where he hopes to attract more American visitors.
Living in New Hampshire, Connors had been commuting three hours each way to Boston every day, leaving him little time with his wife Jodi and his 11-year-old son Thomas. He tells the Irish Independent, however, of how for the past few years, with a certain push from the current political climate, his family had thought about moving somewhere else, initially looking at a home in France.
“Having lived all over the world, America is a fantastic place for the young and energetic. If you want to strive to make anything of yourself, the possibilities are endless. But as our priorities in life changed we were looking for something else. The political landscape (in the US) only made it easier to leave,” Connors said.
“We wanted to make a conscious effort to slow down and to connect, not only with ourselves as a family but with friends and neighbors. We are looking forward to getting involved at a local level and really welcoming people into our home.”
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Although they had never been to Ireland before going to view their new home - Ballaghboy Lodge Farm at Ballinafad in Co Sligo - they said the property was “enchanting.”
They could also only have been buoyed on by the intense interest from other Americans in moving to Ireland. According to a nationwide survey by the Real Estate Alliance from 2017, 22 percent of overseas inquiries about Irish property came from the United States.
“Jodi had a feeling that it was meant to be and now we live here even though we'd never been before we came to look at the house, which has become our home,” Connors continued.
“Over the years Jodi and I enjoyed traveling and experiencing other cultures. We loved the culture of people coming together over a meal and having conversations about likes and dislikes. You don't really get that in the US, where people would linger over a meal.”
And while the family were hoping to get their guest house up and running just in time for the summer season starting in June, they have pushed it back to July, still settling into the enjoyment of neighbours who pop in for a chat and a cup of tea and taking in the remarkable welcome which Sligo has given them.
And Connors can also immediately enjoy more time with his son, who they are homeschooling until the next academic year as they go through this remarkable lifestyle change together as a family.
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“Everybody has said we were so brave doing this but it's not a word we'd use to describe ourselves - crazy maybe, but not brave. We were looking for something different,” Connors added.
“People have been unbelievably generous to us. We've had neighbors come with flowers and notes of welcoming. It made us feel very welcome. People have been so willing to help us and answer our questions. There's just a willingness to spend time and chat. People are interested in us - they've asked us questions and they've answered our questions.
“It's a blessing to be around people who are naturally warm and friendly and outgoing. It's fantastic.”
Have you ever fancied moving to Ireland? Check out our special section on how to get there and read the stories of others who have made the plunge as well as handy tips and advice. Have you moved to Ireland yourself? You can send us your own story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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H/T: Irish Independent