Today is our last day in Ireland. Tomorrow we will be flying to Portugal where we will stay for around 3 weeks before flying to Brazil, where we will start our journey across South America. We lived in Ireland for 14 months (Ana) and 17 months (João) and now that we are leaving we know we will miss some things about living in this country, namely:
#1: People - It is the third time we leave a country and people we've met are always the thing we miss most. Irish people are great and they give a special color to this country with their kindness and smiles. And we will also miss the international friends we've made while living here. It is hard to say goodbye a lot because of them!
#2: Nature - Dublin is a relatively small city but it has a connection with nature that is hard to explain. There are trees, gardens and parks all around the city and you have great mountains less than an hour distance by car. We will miss some Sunday mornings walking our dog Leia at the Herbert Park and hiking at the Wicklow Mountains.
#3: Education - Irish are just polite and educate and we will miss that. They thank the bus driver, they say sorry if they interrupt you talking and they respect queues. These small things make a huge difference in your daily like and make you life easier.
#4: Work habits - In Ireland people work less hours per day when compared with Portugal or Spain, but at 9am they are at their desks and they don't talk a lot during the day. They try to do their work as efficient as possible and go home earlier. They really value spending time with their families and friends outside work which we think it's great.
#5: How Irish are positive about the weather - If the sun's out, Irish people get crazy: they cannot stop talking about how warm and sunny it is, they run to ice-cream vans, they sunbathe in the front garden (or even in the buildings front stairs if there's nothing green close enough) and if it's a weekend day they spontaneously decide to have a BBQ. We will miss a lot the way they change their routine just to catch a little bit of sun.
#6: Beach - We are Portuguese so it seems weird that we will miss beaches in Ireland, but the truth is that we will miss the way people use it. We will definitely miss taking out our dog's leash for her to run freely and walk in (almost) deserted beaches.
#7: Healthy habits - We're not sure if it's because of lack of public transports here in Ireland or because people just enjoy it, but the truth is that Irish walk, run and bike a lot (and specially when compared with Portugal or Spain). And a funny fact is that they do it even if it's raining, windy or freezing outside.
#8: Irish relaxed attitude - We will miss how Irish people are relaxed in relation to several things, but specially in relation to clothes and dress codes. We like how people go to the office, sometimes using jeans and t-shirts. The best part is that using a suit and a tie don't make you more important and we will definitely miss this attitude.
#9: Christmas time - Christmas in Ireland is not the 24th and the 25th. It is a whole period that starts after the summer period (September) and finishes only in the middle of January. The unique Christmas spirit here is irresistible and it is never soon enough to have a Christmas dinner, decorate your Christmas tree or put the Rudolph red nose in the front part of your car.
#10: Tap water in restaurants - This can be typical in the UK and Ireland but not in southern European countries. And we will miss to get tap water in all restaurants and coffees without having to being expected to buy bottled water.