Peggy's 'hidden gem'

Peggy Falbo and her Donegal family

Peggy Falbo arrived in Donegal in August 1998 as part of a student exchange. We caught up with her and asked her to share her story.

I had never been to Ireland before and I really didn’t know what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect to fall in love with Donegal or fall in love with a Donegal man. I suppose that was a bonus.

At first it was all a bit of culture shock; the language was hard to grasp. The Donegal accent took some getting used to and there were a lot of “lost in translation” moments. While working part time in a local pub, I met my future husband and made a lot of friends but I never intended to stay, and after I finished my school year I went back to France.

However it wasn’t long before I came back, Donegal has a way of pulling you back.

It was hard to settle and find a job.. But what made it easier for me was the people.  Donegal folks are friendly and helpful. There is a real sense of community here. (Something that is missing on the “continent”).   I love the fact that things move at a slower pace, and life is a bit less complicated. Now married and a mom to a beautiful boy, I am able to appreciate this way of life.

I really fell in love with the landscape. Donegal is blessed with amazing scenery, the coast line is incredible.  The landscape is ever changing, hills, beaches and forests.  We love going for walks in Glenveagh National Park, Ards forest park. And we are spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches!

Donegal has it all. I am glad Donegal has managed to retain all its ruggedness. It’s like a hidden gem.

Unfortunately with all love relationships there are ups and downs. 16 years later, I still haven’t been able to appreciate the weather.  It is true, that 4 seasons can be represented within an hour, hail, wind, rain and sun. But when the sun is shining you forget about all the bad days. And I really wouldn’t like to be anywhere else.