I ran a business promoting Caribbean food as a new entrepreneur in the Republic of Ireland, during the boom years of the Celtic Tiger. When the Irish economy crashed under the burden of recession, I decided to fold up the business and relocate to Toronto, Canada. My Irish experiences were so profound and life changing, I felt motivated to write the memoir Escape From Eire to capture the essence of this unique adventure. However, nothing prepared me for the challenges of the initial years settling in Toronto. I had to start a new career with no Canadian experience, rent a home with no references, and accomplish basic tasks like setting up a bank account and getting credit with no credit history. This required complex psychological acrobatics to understand the new culture and what was considered acceptable.
As a single mother with a teenage daughter and no safety net of family and friends in the city I battled with the extra pressure of trying to provide for our family. Meeting other newcomers with similar relocation stories encouraged me to write about my trials. Understanding the behaviour and skills required to settle and feel a sense of belonging in the city of Toronto is an ongoing challenge. Goodbye Frying Pan Hello Fire describes the initial feeling of despair in moving from a bad situation in my former home to one that felt explosive and insurmountable. I want to share my struggles and successes with readers so they can be empowered in learning they are not alone. Through continuous perseverance one can move on to creating a new life.