Ulster women find the perfect mix of town and country on the Isle of Man

Rachel Lucas and Derbiled Boyle were both born in Ulster, but their paths never crossed until the Professors moved to the Isle of Man. Rachel is from Carrowdore, County Down, and graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with an undergraduate degree. Derbiled is from Saintfield, Co Down and also studied at QUB. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, they both moved to the Isle of Man, crossed paths and now live together and teach on the island

Neither Rachel Lucas nor Derbiled Boyle imagined, when they left their hometown of Ulster in 2019, that a few years later they would have moved to a new home on the Isle of Man. Sharing the experience with someone who grew up so close to her was perfect, says Rachel Lucas.

“After obtaining my undergraduate degree in Belfast, I moved to Liverpool to do my Professional Postgraduate Diploma in Education. I am from a small village in Co Down and decided to move to the Isle of Man in August 2020. Having lived in the countryside all my life, I was not too fond of big city life because it seemed a little claustrophobic to me. , Lucas said.

“It’s funny how things go, I was planning on going back to Northern Ireland, even though there was no guarantee of jobs there for geography teachers, when the director of the Ballakermeen High School in Douglas on the Isle of Man gave a presentation on the island. It really pleased. After doing my research, the Isle of Man seemed like the perfect mix of urban and rural life and a brilliant place to start my career. I took the plunge and ended up finding a job.

Rachel Lucas enjoys teaching Isle of Man students

“At that point, I found out through my tutor at the university that Derbiled had also been offered a teaching position on the Isle of Man and was looking for a place to live. Derbiled and I had never met, although they are both from the same county and we study at the same university. Our university tutor suggested that we live together and get in touch. It worked really well and it was so heartwarming to have someone else by your side when you move to a new place.

“The move was really easy. My homeroom teacher Adrienne even organized property tours for us and had furniture delivered. She went out of her way to help and the island immediately felt like a natural fit.

Boyle agrees. “Rachel and I traveled together on the ferry from Belfast. The boat arrived at 4.30am and it was dark, but the welcome was warm and you will remember that. Even at this time of the morning, Rachel’s new face was there to meet us and we followed her car to our new home.

They both quickly settled into island life. “We are both great outdoors enthusiasts and it was amazing to have a friend to explore and have this adventure with.

“I am an avid rider and enrolled in a local riding school as well as a running club. It was great to meet new friends. I wasn’t even running before I came here, but there are so many beautiful areas that running was a great way to see them all. I know Rachel was also impressed with the level of Manx hockey and she plays in one of the local clubs which was also a great way to meet people.

Lucas says they were both “in awe” at the prospects for a teaching career on the Isle of Man. The couple had no idea of ​​them until they settled there. “The rate at which you can progress here is clear, with opportunities to gain experience in all areas of school life and the possibility of applying for additional roles within the school. All the schools work together, so you have the opportunity to meet other teachers. On top of that, she says the student-teacher ratio “is better than in the north, which means you have more time to focus on the students.”

Super outdoor Derbiled Boyle (left) and Rachel Lucas (right) have settled into island life

Super outdoor Derbiled Boyle (left) and Rachel Lucas (right) have settled into island life

One of the first things that struck Lucas and Boyle was “the welcome everyone was at school and the sense of community both on and off the job. We didn’t really have any preconceptions, so take each day as it comes. What we can tell you now, however, is that it offers a safe and relaxed lifestyle. There are also many benefits for teachers, such as monthly housing payments. It all helps. “, she says.

Boyle says anyone considering a move to the Isle of Man need only consider their experience. “For us, it’s the best thing we’ve ever done. The people, the work, the experience are once in a lifetime. Everyone here is so welcoming and you are a whole new family on the island, but getting there from Northern Ireland is so easy that you never feel too far from home. She says it has been heartwarming during the pandemic.

“We now look forward to more of our friends and family visiting to show off our new home,” Boyle says.

If you live overseas and want to share your experience with Irish Times Abroad, email [email protected] with some info about you and what you do

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