The 120-year journey home
3 MIN READ
Catherine Saujon loves to hike. At weekends she hits the trail and enjoys walking through beautiful countryside to a place where she can meditate. It’s her way of dealing with the pressures of life at a large recruitment firm in where she’s responsible for millions of dollars of revenue from global talent acquisition.
But in April, Catherine’s doing something different. She’s going on the longest ‘hike’ of her life – the route is easily over four thousand miles long – and she’s heading to a place she’s never visited before.
The longest journey begins with a single step
Catherine lives in Boulder, Colorado and she’s going to relocate to Dublin, Ireland. That might sound like an adventurous change of life, and Catherine admits it does make her anxious because ‘it’s a huge move’ but it’s not a completely unprecedented journey when you dig a little deeper into her family history.
Boulder-based, Mayo bound
Her grandfather, Patrick Feely, left County Mayo in the early 1900s for America and a better life. He met Catherine’s German grandmother, Victoria, in Brooklyn and they moved to south Alabama near the Gulf of Mexico where they raised seven children including Catherine’s father James Patrick Feely.
So, in a way, Catherine’s journey is simply the return leg of a 120-year-old trip.
Having an Irish grandfather meant that it was relatively easy for her to get Irish citizenship and she had always relished the idea of working and living abroad. When it came to getting her finances sorted, Bank of Ireland came up in her online search results.
“I immediately saw the ‘Moving to Ireland’ link which provided great information about opening an account. The process itself was smooth and I appreciate that I was able to open a bank account without having to be there in person.”
Before she ever set foot on Irish soil, she had her bank account set up
Opening a bank account in Ireland, with help from Frank Tanner in Direct Channels, meant that she could transfer funds there before she ever set foot on Irish soil. She is looking into renting in Dublin, perhaps in Dalkey, using a local agent to find her a suitable place.
‘A better way of life’
When asked what she’s most looking forward to she answers, without hesitation, ‘a better way of life’. Currently, she works very hard for long hours often feeling guilty if she steps away for her desk to grab a bite for lunch. When I spoke to her she hadn’t firmed up her plans to get a job in Ireland but she did have another big change in mind.
Her longer-term goal is to go back to college to get a Masters in Health Sciences with a view to working in Public Health. To do this in the US might come with a hefty price tag – students currently graduate with debts of around $100,000 – but, in Ireland, the cost of getting her qualification would be far more reasonable – making her goal achievable.
From Bear Lake to Glendalough
Catherine has sold her house, will sell her car and has made plans to bring her two dogs, Gunther and P’nut, over the Atlantic to Dublin where she’ll swap hikes to Bear Lake with walks along the Wicklow Way to Glendalough (having invested in rainproof clothing and boots). A trip to her ancestral home in County Mayo is also surely on the cards.
“Moving is stressful but moving to another country is another level of stress – having a banking partner to ensure finances are in order is key to a smooth transition.”