Ciara Murray – Toronto

Next up, we have Ciara Murray, who lives in Scarborough with her partner Michael. They have been living her for the past couple of months.

1.Where do you currently live?

Scarborough, Toronto

2.How long have you lived there for?

2 months

3.Why did you leave Ireland initially?

Myself and my partner both wanted to travel. We also wanted to live somewhere other than where we had spent most of our lives, somewhere with a vibrant atmosphere and opportunities.

4.What are some major differences you’ve noticed between your new home place and Ireland?

Taxes being added on after shopping and the cost of grocery shopping in general is a major difference. I know there are some complaints online about the TTC but personally I think it’s a great way to get around so far. We had little to no public transport where we lived before.

5.How has coronavirus affected the city you currently live in? What measures have been brought in there?

We only go out for shopping and you notice that everyone is keeping their distance from each other. Shops inside and outside have tape indicating where you should queue. On a broader level, there was a lot less to do within Toronto city when the measures came into place and areas of interest began to close.

6.Did you leave Ireland alone, or with a partner/friend? And do you currently live alone or with others?

Myself and my partner moved over together and are currently living with 3 others.

7.How has the coronavirus and what’s currently happening in the world affected you? Has it had a direct impact on any aspect of your life in particular?

It’s affected our ability to get a permanent job, we have had interviews and job fairs cancelled. We are also in temporary accommodation. Which we have been lucky to get, but it means we may need to extend our stay and delay moving into our own place. We haven’t left the house for unessential travel in the past 3 weeks, so to go from exploring different parts of Toronto every day, to only leaving for groceries, has been a tough adjustment.

8.Have you thought about going back to Ireland in light of what’s happening?

Of course, but at the moment, it’s not the right decision for us.

9.How do you find living away from home in times like these? Are you worried about loved one’s back in Ireland?

We are. Many of our family members are key workers, so of course that adds an extra layer of worry. We’re fortunate to be able to contact them daily, and if we were at home it’s possible, we wouldn’t be seeing them in person anyway. 

10.Do you think that living away has better equipped you to deal with social distancing in any way? For example, most people are now keeping in touch via virtual means like Zoom/Google Hangouts, were you already doing this with your loved one’s in Ireland?

It has made it easier than we would possibly find it in Ireland, as the only communication we’ve had with family has been through video calls. If we had stayed in Ireland, we would have been used to seeing them every day.

11.Did the coronavirus affect any upcoming trips home that you had planned? 

We had plans to visit America this year, but that is definitely on hold.

12.What have you been doing to cope in this stressful time? Some people focus on being productive, others binge watch Netflix, what is your coping mechanism? 

Binge watching Hell’s Kitchen has been a welcome distraction. From time to time I’ve done a course online. Unfortunately, I’ve left my books at home, but Mrs. Hinch’s workbook is nearly complete!

13.Do you think there is any silver lining to what is currently happening in the world?

It’s hard to see the environmental positives that so many are talking about, as silver linings when there are so many people struggling.

14. Do you have any plans to move back to Ireland at any point in the future?

Not currently, we are hoping to make Toronto our home. With these times of uncertainty, we are taking it day to day.