Latvian Expat Living in Ireland - Interview with Aiva and Valters

Published: 14 Mar at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Ireland
Aiva and Valters is a Latvian couple living in Ireland for the past 15 years. They spend most weekends on Ireland's West Coast surfing Wild Atlantic waves and climbing Ireland's highest peaks. While not on the road their free time is dedicated to reading, yoga, experimenting with vegetarian recipes and working on travel itineraries. Our Crossings travel blog came to life last summer, it's a great way to share travel stories and to show how beautiful and diverse Ireland is. Aiva and Valters's expat blog is called OUR CROSSINGS travel blog (see listing here)

Beautiful County Kerry region
Beautiful County Kerry region

Here's the interview with Aiva and Valters...

Where are you originally from?
We are both from Latvia. Valters comes from Alūksne and Aiva is from a small village called Skrīveri.

In which country and city are you living now?
Currently we are living in Swords, Ireland, a little town about 13 km north of Dublin city centre.

How long have you lived in Ireland and how long are you planning to stay?
We have lived in Ireland for over 15 years now and are planning to stay here for a while.

Westport area is well worth a visit
Westport area is well worth a visit
Why did you move to Ireland and what do you do?
We moved to Ireland because the opportunity represented itself and at the moment we are only few days away from becoming parents for the first time, so everything revolves around parenting topics.

Did you bring family with you?
No, but we had close relatives and friends living in Ireland.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
We both moved to Ireland while in early 20s, full of excitement, ready for new experiences and we settled in right away, mainly because we both had friends and family living in Ireland at that time. And with modern technology it's very easy to get in touch with everyone back home to avoid being homesick.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
We have visited many countries together and found that Irish people are the friendliest. It's very easy to meet new people, to start up conversations and to have a good craic.

Rugged Donegal coast
Rugged Donegal coast
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
Swords town might be an ordinary place without any spectacular attractions or 'must visit' sites but because of its location all the little fishing villages scattered along the coast are within easy reach and worth the visit.

What do you enjoy most about living in Ireland?
Best part of living in Ireland are all the outdoor activities, everything from surfing and hiking to camping along West Coast and watching a sunset.

How does the cost of living in Ireland compare to home?
Ireland is expensive, especially when it comes to housing and public transport but salaries are relative.

Mullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo
Mullet Peninsula, Co. Mayo
What negatives, if any, are there to living in Ireland?
We both love living in Ireland, however the climate of Ireland sometimes can get the better of you - it's extremely changeable with lots and lots of rain.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving to Ireland, what would it be?
For those brave souls moving to Ireland we would suggest doing a lot of research to understand all you want from far away. Everything from local customs and laws to regions and cities.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Being away from family.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
At the moment we don't have plans for going back to Latvia.

View from a Dimond Hill, Connemara
View from a Dimond Hill, Connemara
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Travel around the country as much as possible.
  2. Reach out to people. Make friends with your co-workers, flatmates and neighbors or simply sign up for a local yoga class.
  3. Be grateful. As challenging as it might be at the beginning, moving to a new country is one of the most rewarding experiences.
  4. Stop compering things to home, specially when it comes to food, people and traditions, instead don't hold back on trying and learning new things.
  5. Give yourself time to settle in because building a new life far away from everything you know isn't not gonna happen overnight.
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
Our Crossings travel blog is about our experiences, road trips and adventures around Ireland and rest of the world.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
If you have any questions or just wanna get in touch, feel free to contact us through our blog, Instagram account or Facebook

About the author

Expat Blog ListingAiva and Valters is a Latvian expat living in Ireland. Blog description: Two Latvians about living, traveling and surfing in Ireland and beyond.
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