In this series, Donegal woman Shauna Scanlon will be sharing the story of her move to a new life abroad. Here is how she took the first step in the move to Australia:

Shauna Scanlon is a 25-year-old English teacher from Ballybofey. She has spent the last three years working in Glasgow, Scotland but has recently emigrated to Australia. Here, Shauna shares her experiences of leaving everything for a new life on the other side of the world.

Big decisions are never easy to make, especially those that can change the course of your life. Last year, I decided to take a chance and leave everything I knew for an Australian adventure.

My generation is often reminded of the importance of going to college, getting a degree and securing the ever coveted permanent job. By the age of 23 I had achieved all this and more and had built a life for myself in Glasgow. However, my feet became increasingly itchy and I knew that I was not ready to settle down in one place and work in the same job for years to come.

Some were surprised at my decision to give up what others strive for. Why would someone like me go to Australia? Wasn’t that just for people who couldn’t find work at home? For me, this was an opportunity to see the world and experience new things at a stage in my life when I had no ties.

As I wrote my letter of resignation, the dream of Australia became a reality. Typing out the words brought everything to life, it was actually happening.

Although I was excited about the opportunities that lay ahead, my mind flooded with doubt. I started to question if I was doing the right thing or if it was just a silly idea that had gone too far. These thoughts continued as I taught my final class, packed up my flat and left Glasgow.


Before I left for Australia, I spent time at home in Donegal preparing for my big move. As I ordered dollars and filled my suitcase, I realised the enormity of the decision I had made.

Drinks with friends and time spent with my family carried an extra sentiment as I could no longer hop on a plane and return home in a matter of hours. Each day, relatives and friends sent messages of support and good luck. The uncertainty and anxiety I felt slowly crept away and excitement set in.

On a sunny September afternoon I met the girls I am travelling with in Dublin airport.  We savoured our final moments with our families and left together for the long journey ahead. Leaving my brother and seeing my mother cry was the hardest part of this whole experience.

As I stepped onto the plane with my friends by my side, I looked forward to what awaited us. No matter what happened, I was taking a chance and trying something new instead of wondering what could have been.

Follow Shauna’s series on Donegal Woman in the weeks to come.

Do you have a story to share from a life abroad? Email