Monday, 4 December 2017

THE BIG MOVE HOME: WHY I LEFT NYC + WHAT'S NEXT

Well, well, well. After all that hustle and slog and slow progress in New York, I am back in Donegal, where I started. Why on earth did I leave and what the hell is next?

Photos by Kaye Fordtography

While I did move to NYC on a temporary working visa - the J1 Graduate Visa - I was open to the idea of staying if I found an employer to sponsor me. It wasn't my biggest priority, though, and ultimately I ended up working for the startup fashion company Hebe Rose, which did not have the resources to help me get a new visa.

No regrets! Working for Hebe Rose was fantastic: I believe in their vision, their products, and the co-founders. Ah, the incredible co-founders April and Barbara: they're going to make waves in ethical fashion and beyond. Who knows, maybe I'll be back working with them in the future!

With no means of securing a new visa, the sensible step was to come home. I wasn't about to overstay my welcome in the USA - I wouldn't want to ruin my chances of a return. But the sensible way isn't always easy, and I had mixed emotions in the weeks leading up to my departure. Over the last few weeks I tearily said my goodbyes and thank yous. By Thanksgiving, the day of my flight home, I was distraught. I couldn't stop blubbing on the bus to the airport. I wasn't even sure what I was sad about exactly... Endings I guess.

Back home at last, I took my usual spot on the couch and have settled back into family home life pretty easily. Each weekday I come into town with my Mum job hunt from a coffee shop - if I stay at home I end up sleeping in far too late. And what job am I hunting for exactly? Now that's the question.

It may make me sound wishy-washy, but there are a number of routes I can see myself going down. Of course, with my degree and experience in digital marketing, a job in social media is a no-brainer. But then again, there's my passion for photography, and I had the chance to work on some incredible photoshoots as a producer too, so I could look into working at photography studio.

Whichever path I take, I know that I'll be able to handle it. If there's one thing New York makes you it's resilient. If you're ever thinking of moving there, be it for a summer, a year, or more, I would recommend it. It's not just about the work experience, it's the life experience. You'll come out of it stronger than ever.

So what's next for me? Time will tell, but I'm confident that there's bigger and better things in store. After all, taking on New York is the first step to world domination!

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