Your new local habits in Ireland

Hello everyone,

Living in Ireland is a great way to immerse in a new culture and lifestyle.

Have you embraced local customs since you've lived in Ireland? If so, which one(s)?

Did local customs change the way you see things, appreciate life or organize your daily routines? As far as the language is concerned, did you learn new expressions or words and do you use them?

What do you like most about the lifestyle in your host country? Are there any local specificities you are still struggling with?

Thanks in advance,


Ireland is quite a different country from north america, in terms of scenery, people and their culture.  You can spot an Irish from a mile away.  But if you see an asian , you can easily differentiate if they are culturally Mainland China chinese, or Taiwanese chinese or Singaporean chinese or Hong Kong Chinese or Philipinese chinese... yes they are all of chinese descent, but they are all culturally different...

I learnt that living in Ireland means, to learn to live independently and somewhat isolated lifestyle...  Mind your own business and don't bother trying to invite Irish friends to your place for a meal (they will find reasons not to come), or wait for invitations to a meal by an Irish family (pigs will probably learn how to fly by that time). 
Not trying to be overly cynical, but that is the kind of life I got to know while living there in Galway for 2 years. 
If you like that kind of secluded "don't bother me" lifestyle, its a beautiful country to just "hide" away.  The scenery is really green and lots of sheep to gaze at.  Especially in small cities like Galway, you feel like you just moved to a place back in history...

You probably have to get hold of a hobby, something you can do on your own, to occupy your time...

Or learn to enjoy Guinness and Irish pub music... that should get some conversation going with the locals, but does not mean you get to "know" them...

Again not trying to be cynical, but that was the lifestyle I got to know while I was an expat there...

That's so sad.

Well, it would seem that way, if you're the only one feeling that way... but from the many people whom I had interactions with there (mostly north american expats), they all kind of agree that its that way of life...
But if you like that kind of lifestyle, it might be the best most rewarding experience in your life...

If you are there with your spouse or family, and do lots of things together, and would not mind if you never really get connected with the local community , then it will work out fine...

if you are there alone, and come from a place/country that loves community connection, knowing people on a personal basis, having meals together , forming a network of friends... Ireland may be a bit challenging... 

People are not unfriendly, they just are not culturally "tuned in" to be a easy to get to know on a personal basis type of people...

Wow. I have had a much different experience. I live in Dublin and part of the reason that I came here was because I had such nice interactions with people when I visited.  Granted, in a big city, it may take time to make close friends, and some of it depends on your work and living situation.

I am a musician and have found people very friendly and helpful and welcoming. I have friends from my work, and friends that I've made at music sessions. I've had lovely conversations with strangers in queues and on the Luas.  I've chatted with people when I've been alone in a cafe or talked to the bartender when the pub was slow.

My husband is a Dubliner, so I have the benefit of being included in his circle of friends, but I've had countless other lovely interactions with people in many different situations.

In regards to the original question, I would say one small thing is that I shop for groceries more frequently and cook things from scratch. Food here has less preservatives than the food in the US, and this is a lovely consequence of that. I have gotten to the point of even baking my own bread. 

Sometimes I have to remind myself to get over my "American-ness" (no 24 hour copy and shipping shop? No Apple Store? The bank closes at 4pm?) but these are all small sacrifices to make for a much better quality of life.

I have lived in Ireland for nearly 4 years now having moved from Canada.  I have found Irish people to be warm and welcoming and have made really close friends here.   It's important to embrace the new culture and way of life and change your own habits to fit in and not expect anyone to change for you. 

We shop locally - we visit the butcher and the fish monger and the local stores.   We do visit the shops more often for fresh ingredients and rarely buy anything pre-made or frozen.   We are all healthier - we eat less as portion sizes are smaller and we adjusted - we walk more - it's easy to walk locally and the scenery is beautiful virtually everywhere.   We visit our local pub if we want a pint and it's great as we always know someone in there and are greeted warmly.

We have adapted our language to use the Irish expressions.   Sure, they felt funny at first but it's stranger to insist on using the North American expressions here.   

We don't miss much from back in Canada (except people) and have found new favourite products and foods here, but that did take a while and a lot of experimenting!

Ireland is a beautiful place to live with warm and wonderful people.  It's a relaxed pace of life compared to North America but I think that's a good thing!

Really enjoyed your post. Thanks.

Many Asian expats study American English. They train their ears for an American accent, they write in American spelling, and their vocabulary and idioms are American too.

This means that, when an Asian expat moves to Ireland, it's quite likely that they'll be confused by the British spelling, the Irish accent, and the Irish idioms.

If you tell an Asian expat, "I'm sure you'll bring the house down with your kind of humour," they'll never tell another joke again.

That's what my friend told me, in any case.

I have been in ireland since 2002 now, and I agree with both mav238 and wwalton. I live out here in the garden county of ireland and it is a beautiful part of the country. No doubt the rest of it is just as picture pretty. I lived in a sunny country with running and hiking being my key outdoor activities. It was a major lifestyle change from bbq and sunny outdoors to running in the rain and hiking in the bogland but I am still active and outdoor come rain or shine. Only I had to adjust my lifestyle to the irish way of life as somebody already mentioned. Fitting in,  adapting, adjusting, do as the romans do kind of thing. Yes and I do have a family and we keep to ourselves mainly as we are not crazy about hanging around pubs and clubs. I do like to invite people occassionally to my home and cook up a storm but thats what I enjoy.. entertaining. I am not great on nites out which is such an irish thing to do. I feel like the anti social one at work because I cant get my head around socialising on girly nites or work nites. I am eating healthier, even grow my own veggies and fruit, I am big into gardening and yes, I do enjoy the green outdoors and the open sea. I live by the sea in wicklowtown and it gives me great joy to be out in the open even if it rains. So yes I have embraced the irish lifestyle in some sense. I have many friends in the town but we greet and we move along. I even play the fiddle, now thats real irish stuff. My elderly neighbour often pops in for a whiskey and he entertains me with irish songs and as the wiskey flows so my fiddling talent improves. Now thats what I enjoy! PIcture this, an african playing the fiddle to an old irish bloke. He enjoys the whiskey and I get a kick out of my amateur fiddling.

I love to see you fiddling  :D

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