I really don’t know how I started to think of this, it must have been all that time on the KTX! Anyway, I’ve been looking around my apartment and thinking about what I brought with me from Ireland and what it means to me. Then I started thinking about the importance of what you bring with you, the reasons, the memories, the influence these items have or don’t have. I’ve been here for two and a half years and I still have the most important things. When I left, I had this thought that I was leaving for a while so figured I should bring the things that will survive and represent me and where I came from but not take up too much space! I guess everyone has something different depending on their hobbies and passions and interests so I’m really curious to see what other people brought with them when they emigrated.
Most of what I still have from Ireland is jewellery. Jewellery is something I love to wear and something I feel represents me well as what I have is unique to Ireland.
I’ve got a Claddagh ring, which is always a great topic of conversation when it’s spotted. Now that I think of it, I guess most Irish women would bring one of these when they leave? They story behind it is very beautiful. If you don’t already know the story, check out this link; http://www.potgold.com/claddagh.htm
Also I have a History of Ireland ring and a band that has “Is D’Eireann me” and the English translation on the inside. I love wearing these rings. I look at them and instantly it reminds me of who I am and the place I’m from. I bought them bought in Galway when I worked in the area and they always remind me of good times.
The last ring I still have is a Children of Lir ring. My mother has the same ring in gold. I love Irish folklore and I’ve wanted this ring for years but couldn’t find it anywhere and stumbled across it one day in Galway. Again, if you have no idea what the story of the Children of Lir is check this out; http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cwt/cwt12.htm
I have 2 more things. One is a little religious medal that my godmother gave me before I left. She herself went to Australia and has travelled a lot and told me that it would keep me safe on my travels. My mother gave me something similar which travels around keeping me company in my wallet. I guess for me, these two things are important to remind me of the people I left behind but also to remind me that not everything is in my hands.
Every emigrant brings something with them, big or small. Some bring a lot and others only bring a few. For me it was one suitcase for a year and that contained my life. So I chose my jewellery and a few photos. When I have a bad day I just look down at my finger, remember Ireland and hear my mother inside my head telling me to stop whining and get on with it. So I do.