This week in Across the Water, Martin Grant talks to Fiona Flynn, originally from Mountpleasant, Dundalk, now living in Toronto, Canada.
I’m originally from Mountpleasant just outside Dundalk.
Parents names and names of family?
My parents are Josephine and Anthony Flynn. I have three brothers - Cormac, who lives in Paris, Domhnall and Neill who lives in Calgary Alberta, Canada. So my parents got rid of us all really!
When did you leave ?
I left June 14th 2013 with my best friend Louise Mernagh. We left for a new adventure and to secure better jobs and a better lifestyle too.
What’s your occupation?
I’m currently working for Dyson Canada in their head office here in Toronto. It’s a great company to work for and I’ve made some lifelong friends in this office.
What’s the biggest difference in settling in?
I think people are under the impression that they are going to fly here and walk straight into a job. But things don’t work that way sadly. We had to change our CVs, the way we speak and the words we use and also canadianise our way of life in a very short space of time. We had to slow down our speech as people found it hard to understand us which was probably the funniest difference.
Is the social life much different from home?
It’s a lot more relaxed and with regards to nights out, it is more a pub scene than a club scene. I haven’t set foot in a club since I’ve been here. I haven’t found my Ridley’s equivalent just yet!
How do you like to relax?
I have done things here that I’ve never done at home in my free time such as going to a Toronto Raptors basketball game. But the Canadians aren’t much different to us, so of course I go for a few drinks in my spare time.
Have you been home since leaving and what changes have you noticed?
I haven’t been home since I left as I haven’t been away long enough. I spent my first Christmas away from my family and it was fun but it was hard to be away from them. I went to my cousins house outside Toronto and had a great time, they really looked after me.
What’s the best and worst things about being away from home?
The best is the new experiences, new people and meeting people from different walks of life. The worst is missing the craic from home and the family. Sometimes you feel like your missing out but you have to remember not alot changes at home and this is a once in a lifetime chance.
Have you plans in the future to return home to Ireland for good?
I do plan to settle in Ireland in the future but not any time soon as I’m enjoying myself too much.
Name one thing from home that you wish you could buy in your local store?
Well food wise it would have to be the stuff for an Irish fry as you can’t get a good Irish breakfast here at all. The biggest store I miss though is Penneys. Clothes are not cheap over here and I miss the convenience of Penneys.
Have you a message for your friends & family?
Hope you are not missing me too much and can’t wait to see you all in the summer when I show you around Toronto!