I’ve traveled to Portugal, Spain and Italy, but I feel more at home among the Irish. Brand new to the parish: Vanessa Ferreira traveled from Venezuela in 2018.


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The Irish are considered some of the friendliest people in the world, according to a common stereotype. When Vanessa Ferreira injured herself while hiking in Glendalough in July 2021, she experienced this firsthand.

Although it was a summer day, the weather quickly changed, as it often does in Ireland, and she and her boyfriend were unprepared for the rain and cold.

We had nothing, even when it started to rain and wind and get cold. I just slipped. I just tripped on a little rock. My friend warned me not to look at my ankle because it was just blue,” the woman said.

Ferreira had no coat, and the weather worsened as they waited for emergency services. Thankfully, she said, three hikers passed them.

“When they saw me, they all offered me their jackets. They gave me the piece of aluminum that you put on when you’re cold, because they had it. They gave me all their jackets before they left. They were incredibly thoughtful,” she continues.

Ferreira, who was born in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, moved to Ireland in 2018. Before Ferreira was born, her Portuguese-speaking parents moved to the South American country in search of a better life. She claims that while she enjoyed growing up in Venezuela, crime and violence increased after 2005.

People were always saying, “Let’s leave the country,” and there was a lot of crime. When things started to get very bad around 2010, we never really thought about that option,” she adds.

“There were three robberies at my parents’ place of work. Robbers broke in and stole from them. Then I have relatives who were kidnapped, but otherwise it was business as usual.

She claims that because there was so much violence, most people set their own curfews, staying indoors after 6 or 7 p.m. to stay safe. Unfortunately, there were still occasional home invasions.

“When my father came home and opened the door, he discovered three men vandalizing our house. Only my father was there; we weren’t there. I was in Portugal at the time with my mother, sister and aunt.

“They destroyed our house and tied him to the bed. But when you see your room in disarray when we come back from our trip, and you know that someone has been there, you feel somewhat violated. You are aware that someone has been going through your things.

Eventually, it reached a point where Ferreira realized she would have to leave her home.

It became too much to hear about kidnappings and robberies. Plus, there was a lot of inflation, so money really had no value. I just had to cut my ties. It became too much to bear, she says.

Ferreira wanted to go to a country that spoke English. She thought about going to Australia because she had family there, but she soon realized it would be difficult and expensive. Because her parents were Portuguese, it was easier to get a visa to travel to Europe.

She then thought about moving to the UK, but decided against it because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. She later learned about Ireland.

It seemed like a wise decision. I did more research and discovered that the pharmaceutical business in this region is thriving and in great shape,” she says.

“I didn’t experience the significant problems with visas or language that other people would. I was brilliant at English, as my mother always wanted my sister and I to learn it at a young age. However, I traveled to Ireland with an English-speaking school because I wanted to be more professional because I wanted to live and work there.

She claims that the English language school connection was beneficial, but more for making new friends than for improving her language skills.

She first stayed with a host family, which she considers a wonderful experience because of how kind they were. The hardest part about going to Ireland was having to find her own place to rent when her host family stay ended.

“My second home wasn’t very nice. It wasn’t to my taste at all. I will never make that mistake again. It was a private residence. I reserved a room. They had a shower in the same room where the kitchen was, she adds, and a very small kitchen.

It wasn’t wonderful, but it was the only place I could find because my stay with the host family was coming to an end.

She lived there for almost six months before moving into a house with three other women she didn’t know.


It was better because the house was full, but I didn’t like it either because I’m really peaceful and believe that my house is a place where I want to relax and avoid social interaction. I’d come downstairs one Saturday morning after one of their parties and find three guys sleeping in the living room,” she recalls.

“They have no privacy. After staying there for about a year, I explained that I couldn’t share anymore. I found an apartment in Terenure. Even though I paid 900 euros for a terrible apartment, at least I was alone.

She and her boyfriend now live in North County Dublin and she feels much more comfortable and stable. She also has two dogs, one of which won an award, and she often updates Instagram with pictures of them.

“I grew up around dogs. When we moved to Ireland, there were no rental properties that allowed dogs, and obviously you can’t have a dog if you’re living in a room. We got a puppy from Dogs Trust when my boyfriend and I moved in together. It’s fantastic.

Ireland is a great place to live, in Ferreira’s opinion, despite the country’s housing problems. This is her home now.

“I think Ireland is a good nation. I adore the people, in my opinion. I’ve been to Portugal and my family is Portuguese. I’ve been to Spain and Italy, but the people of Ireland are by far friendlier and better. You feel more at home with them.

Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-style/people/2023/04/11/ive-been-to-portugal-spain-italy-and-i-think-irish-people-make-you-feel-more-at-home/




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