The Privilege of Immigration: The Honor of ‘Elsewhere’

Earlier this month I went back to the United States for both work and family reasons.  On that trip I was reacquainted with a guilty pleasure available exclusively to immigrants.  When asked where I lived, I must admit that I found myself enjoying a child-like inner smirk as I realized that I get to say, in all honesty, that I live in Dublin.

Now, it may be that it’s Dublin, and the city holds an allure for many people, but, as someone who has always loved to travel, I think it has more to do with the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to live overseas. While it’s true that we made the decision to move, I do believe that luck has a lot to do with this privilege.

And, for those of us who have emigrated by choice, I also think that living in another country is a life altering privilege that should not be taken for granted.  We, voluntary migrants, should enjoy every moment of our time abroad (embrace your inner smirk), and realize that our perspective will be permanently altered by this experience.

There are no great lessons from me here.  Except to say that, as we come up on our three year anniversary, I’m grateful that my trip home prompted me to once again acknowledge the privileged experience of living in another culture.

Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:


* Renting Abroad, Home Maintenance and Property Management in a Foreign Country

* Corporate Taxes Abroad, and the Con Artistry of Luring Foreign Investment

About Glenn Kaufmann

I'm an American freelance writer, photographer, and web publisher. I specialize in writing about travel, food, arts, and culture. I also write dramatic scripts for stage and screen. I'm based in Ireland.
This entry was posted in Home & A Sense of Place, Immigration & Emigration, International Moving, Irish Life & Society, Modern Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Privilege of Immigration: The Honor of ‘Elsewhere’

  1. Sean says:

    I’m just curious as to what you would define as Irish “culture.”

    Thanks much.

    • Hi Sean,

      That’s one of those, “you know it when you see it” kind of things. I think “culture is defined differently by most people.

      In this context it’s more tan living in Irish “society”, which, for me is about media, transport, politics, etc. And while those things are also part of my definition, for me, living in Irish culture is about daily immersion in the lives of the Irish. Seeing the world through their experiences (shop where they shop, ride the same buses, frustration at the same taxes and governmental misconduct, getting a feel for language quirks and where their origins, regional differences, arts, music, and on and on…).



    • Fergie says:

      Sean, why do you have the word culture in quotes? Have you read any of the writings of Joyce, Beckett,Swift, Synge, Wilde, Yeats, Goldsmith or any of the other hundreds of Irish writers and poets? Heard any Irish artists in music or theater recently?
      It would be good if you did.

  2. Teresa Tobish says:

    Hey there. I just read your article on here and i have to tell you it made me smile. For so long I have wanted to go to Ireland so this year I plan on taking my vacation there and I cant wait. I actually would like to move there and was wondering on how I go about doing this. I would appreciate any advice on this and would appreciate it very much if you could email me and tell me how you were able to move over there. is my email address and my name is Teresa. Thank you for your time.

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