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“I guess two years ago, our son came along and the compass turned towards the west, and both our parents are here, so that was calling us. We were considering the cost of living and the benefits of the west.”

John Savage recalls the moment he and his wife, both 33, decided there was more to life. They called time on an enjoyable five years in Dublin and seized the career and lifestyle opportunities available in the West.

John Savage and family who moved to the West of Ireland

John started a new job with US technology firm Overstock in June and because of the Covid-19 pandemic, he has mostly worked from his new home – in the coastal village of Rosses Point, Co Sligo.

Having worked in Dublin for five years, and Chicago for five years before that, John, a data scientist and his wife Julie decided to make the move to the north west before Covid-19 became a reality.

Though enjoying life in their twenties in the capital, John said priorities changed when his son Luca came along.

“We’re not getting the benefit of the buzz of Dublin, so we said we might as well do it in better scenery of the west.”

John Savage at work in in Sligo

Since the move, the couple haven’t looked back. “We couldn’t get over it. We knew life would be easier, but we couldn’t get over the time we have now. We have a lot of support here. And we have so much time here.

In Dublin we had to split the day, one of us would have to work in the morning and one in the evening, that alone has been such a big change,” said John, a runner and hiker.

“Now people are really reconsidering, spare time and a taste of the good life. We did enjoy aspects of city life, but it’s only two hours down the road if we miss it.”

Adjusting to his new working life hasn’t proved too difficult and John attributes that to the welcoming culture he’s experienced at Overstock, which employs 100 people at its European base in Sligo.

Asked what stopped them from making the move north west before now, John said there was always a sense of apprehension about career progression, something which has now been dispelled.

"I think the major thing we were worried about was the career change, with remote working as an option now, the fear of 'what would the next job be' isn't there, the not knowing if you left a job in Dublin would you get a good job here, but we're enjoying it. My wife works remotely and I've got into a world-class company, it's just so positive."

With remote working ever-increasing as the new normal, John and wife Julie now have a new community to get involved in and have free time to enjoy it, John has even got a chance to dip his toe into open water swimming.

Two people who moved West sitting on a bench on a hilltop in Sligo

“I thought we would have a slower pace of life, but our social life is busier, and we’re able to take advantage of it.

Reiterating just how positive the move has been, John said it’s only when they moved they realised how less stressful their life could be.

“The community, the free time, the cost of living, you don’t realise how much of a stress that is in Dublin until it’s gone.”