Chris O’Connor (Moycullen to Frankfurt, Germany)
Chris O’Connor moved to Frankfurt in 2011 where he holds the position of Senior Consultant in the International Valuations team of the Valuation Advisory Services department of DTZ.
Name: Chris O’Connor
Now living in: Frankfurt, Germany
From: Galway City
Chris O’Connor studied Property Economics at GMIT. In 2011, he moved to Frankfurt where he holds the position of Senior Consultant in the International Valuations team of the Valuation Advisory Services department of DTZ. Life is good for Chris in Frankfurt, although, there are certain things he will always miss about Galway.
As a chartered surveyor with DTZ in Frankfurt, my responsibilities include acting as Project Manager – overseeing valuations of commercial property portfolios and single assets, as well as providing investment analysis and strategic development advisory services to institutional investors and asset managers as well as to international banks and global corporations. I also coordinate Cross-Border Valuations with our global DTZ counterparts.
I have to say Frankfurt really is a great spot to live, and very different to what I expected it would be like. I’ve been here since February 2011, and really love the way of life. The city has a lot to offer and has a huge international scene on account of all the international companies and ECB being based here. It’s definitely a welcoming city for newcomers as there are so many of us in it, if you could still class me as a newcomer. There’s a huge social scene and everyone is keen to get to know others in similar circumstances. The street festivals in the summer are really when everything comes to life over here and there’s one almost every second week, so you definitely wouldn’t be afraid of getting bored over here!
Frankfurt is also much smaller than most people think, and is really easy to get around. It has all the benefits (and jobs) of a big city and yet is very handy to get around at the same time. Work is 10 minutes away with the subway for me and I get virtually everywhere in the city with a bike in no longer than 15 minutes. I know I’d definitely miss that if I was living somewhere else. The German clichés of being hyper-organised or always on time are just as often untrue as they are true. I probably wait for a delayed train or bus just as often here as I would back home! The same goes for being organised, I’d say there’s just as many people on both sides of the spectrum here as there are back home. It’s all much of a muchness really, except for the weather. There’s definitely a lot less rain here, something which I am of course very grateful for coming from the West of Ireland! Saying that, a sunny day’s relaxation at the Spanish Arch or along the Prom is something I certainly miss.
The other thing I probably miss the most about Galway is the laid-back culture and easy-going nature of people, and of course the vibrant pub and live music culture too. Taffes or Tigh Neachtains were two of my favourites for a nice pint of Guinness and a bit of trad. Most people only realise it when they’re away for a couple of years that there’s something really quite unique about the city and its flair that is like no other. Things like the buskers and often overcrowded pubs which pour onto Shop Street really create an atmosphere that you would very rarely get anywhere else in the world, never mind in Ireland! My family and friends are of course also missed, but I think that should go without saying.
Whether I’ll ever return to live in Galway is honestly all open at the moment. I’m really enjoying it here at present and my job keeps me quite busy and challenged. I could imagine returning to Ireland in the mid to long-term, back to my friends, family and everything else familiar. All things I could definitely look forward to in the future, but for now, I guess I’ll just take it as it comes.