Friday 23 February 2018

The family of four: 'If you commit to the big move you can make it work'

HOME AGAIN: April Drew with her husband John and their children, Colum and Sadie
HOME AGAIN: April Drew with her husband John and their children, Colum and Sadie

As soon as children entered the picture, April Drew, and her husband John, knew it was time to go home.

They had spent almost a decade living the high life in New York City.

Although they were both settled and in good jobs, the yearning for home and their families outweighed any desire to raise their children, Colum and Sadie, in the Empire State.

But they didn't rush their decision,

For 12 months, April, from Tralee, Co Kerry and John, from Limerick, researched jobs, schools, housing and healthcare back in Ireland.

It was 2012, so they knew the country was still struggling with the recovery.

But it didn't deter them. They were fully committed to making the move back home.

"We were both on the same page. A lot of the time one person wants to move and the other person wants to stay, but fortunately both our hearts were longing for Ireland," said April.

"We were on every day of the week, we put a lot of effort and thought into it. We didn't just hop on a plane," she said.

"We saved to cover for a least six months of living without income, arranged passports for our children and found a local doctor - we could do all that from the states," she said.

Within weeks of arriving back in Ireland in 2012, April and John "luckily" landed jobs.

After years of working in publishing in NYC, April was also eager to set up her own business.

"New York gives you that sense of confidence that you can do anything if you work hard enough. We came back with that mindset," she said.

She believes the "extra confidence" gained by emigrants working aboard appeals to Irish employers.

"Working abroad definintely makes you attractive to employers here. It gives you skills and confidence in interviews and makes you stand out," she said.

Her experience stateside also gave her the courage to launch three wedding magazines - Brides of Limerick, Brides of Kerry and Ireland's first same sex wedding magazine Irish LGBT Weddings.

She says the family are very content living back in Co Tipperary, but urges any looming returnees to be as prepared as possible before booking flights back.

"If you're organised and committed any barriers can be overcome but you have to really want it," she said.

Sunday Independent

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