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‘I Enjoyed Freedom from the American Hustle Culture’ – Woman Shares Her Experience Living in Ireland

Source: kayshaynee/Tiktok

A Tiktok content creator has opened up about her experience in Dublin, Ireland, after moving from the United States. She described the amazing benefits she got from escaping the American hustle culture during her 4-year stay. 

Kayleigh Donahue had her first taste of Ireland when she went there on vacation in 2015. She fell in love with the place, the kindness of the people, and the “good vibe in the air.”

She had another opportunity to reunite with the Western European country just a year later. This time she was there as a college student studying psychology and theology. She had spent only a semester there, but her love for the country grew even stronger. She vowed to return whenever she had another opportunity. 

Luckily, her wish came true a year later. She moved there for her internship during the summer of 2017. Then after finishing college, she went there to stay, this time for 4 years. She worked as a social worker and had to stay through the Covid-19 pandemic. 

While working full-time, she noticed the sharp contrast between the American hustle culture and the Irish laid-back approach to work. She narrated that her first introduction to Irish work culture came during break periods. “I would stay at my desk through lunch because I felt that was what would be expected of me in the US, but this was totally different,” she said. 

Her colleagues were stunned by her actions. “My coworkers would ask, “What are you doing? You need to leave the office. That’s so unhealthy,” she said. Slowly, it dawned on her that the Irish don’t share the American work culture of working hard and for long. 

A Gallup report revealed that the average American full-time worker puts in 47 hours of work per week. This is significantly higher than what obtains in Western Europe. 

The Irish also take more rest than the average American worker. “Back in Ireland, I had 29 paid vacation days per year. In the US, I’ve only had four paid days off in the past year,” Kayleigh said. 

For Kayleigh, the Irish style of work was the clear favorite, both in terms of comfort and efficiency. “Even though I was taking more time off, I found that I was more productive because I got to reset,” she explained. 

For the past few years, Kayleigh has been sharing her experience as an expatriate worker in Ireland. She also gives her 97,000 TikTok followers tips that will help them relocate abroad comfortably. 

One of the biggest concerns of her followers with relocating abroad is companionship. But Kayleigh doesn’t think that’s a big challenge. “Lots of people say that they are held back by the idea of being away from family and friends. But in my experience, it’s not as hard as people think to make new friends once you move,” she says. 

Even though she is back in the US, which she regards as her home, she and her boyfriend plan to return to Ireland. She believes that anyone who can take the step has nothing to lose. “Ultimately, the worst that can happen is you don’t like it and you decide to go back home,” she assured.


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