Why I decided to become an Irish citizen
When I told people that I received my Irish citizenship I received varied reactions.
The one that surprised me the most was, "Why would you want to become Irish?"
My rebuttal is, why not?
My granddad was born in Ireland. If you have a grandparent who's Irish then you're entitled to Irish citizenship - but you have to jump through a few hoops to actually get it. So at one point in time I had to evaluate whether or not this was something that I wanted to do. It was pretty easy to make the decision because I think that if you have a great opportunity in front of you, you should just take it.
And yes, I understand the dilemma that is becoming a citizen of a country that you haven't actually visited. To anyone who doesn't quite understand this, I'd argue that people celebrate their country's traditions without visiting them all the time. Walk Vancouver's streets and look around you. We live in a city that's packed with different cultures, and it's evident that heritage is important to a lot of people. You don't have to go to the country of your grandparents to feel passionate about where your family was originally from. And anyway, it's not really anyone else's business but your own as to what and who you decide to be.
At least that's the case for me. I can't think of any other way to explain it.
Of course, being Irish has its benefits. I can travel freely throughout the EU. I can buy property in the EU. I can move to anywhere in the EU and start working - no visas required. And as an aside, being Irish just seems kind of...awesome. I can't lie.
I wish I had something a little more authoritative to say about being Irish and what that could mean for me, but I don't know what the future will bring me. I am, however, excited to find out.