#MyCareerInDonegal – Coleen Baker, Senior Business Systems Analyst @ Pramerica
Coleen Baker, Portland to Donegal
Honestly, I moved to Donegal for the job with Pramerica. I was somewhat disappointed at first because I had my heart set on living in Dublin. However, now that I’m here I’m so glad this is where I ended up. The scenery is stunning and the cost of living is so much better here.
Compared to City Life
The cost of living is dramatically better than Dublin or Cork. I’m not spending all of my paycheck on rent and have a little left over to travel and experience the benefits of living in Europe. My commute is ten minutes (with traffic) and takes me through beautiful views of farmland and the mountains. Beyond that, I live about 25 minutes from a gorgeous, pristine beach. I visit it regularly and I’m often the only person there. Even in the height of summer there was never more than 2 other people beside myself on the beach. Where else can you find that?
Any downsides or compromises?
I lived in Portland, Oregon in the States for 6 years before moving here. Portland is very health oriented and it was very easy to find vegan restaurants and vegan food in the supermarkets. Here it’s a little more challenging, but if you look, you will find it. Beyond that, I’d love if Donegal had a rail network to Dublin or Belfast but the buses do provide good coverage.
I moved here on my own and didn’t know a soul when I arrived. But that all changed very quickly! It’s cliché to say the Irish are very friendly, but it is so true! The second someone hears my accent, they instantly ask me about myself and we get to chatting. Many of my colleagues are also immigrants new to Donegal and so we find ourselves bonding over similar tales of adjusting to the Irish life and missing home. I feel quite connected here in Donegal, which has been a pleasant surprise as I had prepared myself that it might be difficult to meet people and make friends.
Meet Pramerica at Career Zoo Dublin on September 29th, CHQ and Dogpatch Labs, or at Tech On The Wild Atlantic Way, Sligo 12th October.