Home lifestyle To stay or go: Podcast asks Ireland’s young departees if the grass is greener abroad

To stay or go: Podcast asks Ireland’s young departees if the grass is greener abroad

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To stay or go: Podcast asks Ireland’s young departees if the grass is greener abroad

To stay or go: a question generations of young Irish people have asked themselves.

Following Covid, many of our young people have started stretching their legs again, with places like Canada and Australia proving as popular as ever for those who want to see what life is like further afield.

For Hannah Nash, saying goodbye to her friends as they set off on their respective journeys raised the question whether she should do the same.

“I kept having the same conversation, I kept seeing goodbye parties, I kept seeing Australia and Canada.

“I was questioning everything, as we tend to do in our 20s and 30s, and I was asking ‘should I go, is it better’, and from the conversations I was having with friends and family, there we were all having the same thoughts.”

From that, her podcast Greener Fields was born, chatting to people dotted around the world about their decisions to travel, emigrate, or come home.

“For me, I didn’t want to do that, to go, so I was thinking what the hell is wrong with me if I don’t want to go,” Hannah admits.

“It was almost in a selfish way; I wanted to understand who’s left here, and what are their thoughts. Do they want to go? Because it seemed like everyone else did.

“That is the essence of the conversations, of the people who stay or go, but as we went on to have the conversations, it was about so much more than that. It was about fairly transferable topics that people experience in their 20s and 30s when it comes to careers, to mental health, to friendships, to communities.”

With her guests, Hannah discusses the ups and downs of being away, from homesickness and missing out on things in Ireland, to seeing amazing sites and meeting new people abroad.

Since its first episode back in February, and in the 45 episodes since, Greener Fields has been a vehicle for so many young people to tell their stories.

Some describe going to the other side of the world only to realise that Ireland was where they wanted to be, others talk about going away and never wanting to come back, and more share the lessons they learnt that apply wherever they find themselves.

Hannah says the key to the podcast’s success is the authenticity of her guests.

“From what I’m hearing, it’s so relatable,” Hannah says.

“For so many people, Greener Fields provides the other side of those photos that we see on Instagram, and also a resource for people who are thinking about going to these countries, but also thinking about coming home as well.”

Key the podcast is that relatability, which comes from Hannah’s guests. In telling their own personal stories, they prove ‘in the particular is contained the universal’, as Joyce put it.

“I’d never want to just have a specific type of person, or someone who has done this type of thing before – I want this conversation to be open to everyone.

“These people might never have been on a podcast before, and it’s really cool, because that’s where the authenticity comes from,” Hannah adds.

She admits that having these conversations has brought her comfort, having previously felt what she says was a false sense of being left behind due to her decision to stay in Ireland.

And wanting to share that comfort is what drives the podcast: “My hope and my intention is that the right people hear it and feel a little less alone in the confusion of it all.”

And they are hearing it. Hannah jokes that after putting out the first episode back in mid-February, “it took about 33 weeks for it to become an overnight success”.

She credits the sudden surge to a viral TikTok, but the result is that she now has listeners in over 41 countries and the podcast has hit the charts in Ireland.

As the name suggests, Greener Fields is about unpacking the old adage: Is the grass truly greener on the other side?

“I ask a lot of my guests this, so I’ve heard a lot of different answers.

“For me, the grass is always going to be greener where you water it,” she says.

“I think having that conversation with other people, that can be wherever, but it’s easier to believe the grass is going to be greener on the other side because it takes pressure and expectation off yourself to make it greener where you are.”

But how should one go about watering where they are? Hannah adds: “These conversations have really highlighted the importance of trying to get the fundamentals right when it comes to your health, wellbeing, community and connection, no matter where you are.

“If we can build those strong foundations in our 20s and 30s, that can take us anywhere.”