“Around seven years ago, the company I was working for in Ireland succeeded in winning a large client in Sydney. They chose me to help set up and manage an Australian entity for our company. I had never been to Australia before, never even planned a holiday here, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a new country this way. While my family may have wanted me to stay closer, they still encouraged me to seize the moment. I believed it would be a twelve to eighteen months gig at the max, but look at it now!
The move to the other side of the world ended up being the best decision I could have made. There is a much healthier focus on work-life balance here, which was a welcome change from working for the weekend. People here work hard, but most know they need to switch that mode off and head home when the clock hits five.
Right from the day I arrived, I fell into a great group of friends who made sure I got exposed to the best of Sydney. When I moved, I planned to “live the Aussie life” and not rely on the Irish connection, but I connected with some of the Irish networks both personally and through work. I found it very easy to make friends and connections as most had been through the difficulties of adapting to a new country, so they knew how to guide me. On days when I feel more distant from family and friends, I surround myself with these people who remind me that those are very rare days, and it’s mostly a gift to be here.
Along the way, I’ve made some life-changing memories. I ticked more things off my bucket list in a year than I had in the previous 30. I tried skydiving, bungee jumping, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, swimming with sharks and lots more. I considered the move to be something of a gamble back then, but I don’t regret a thing. I’ve ended up in a great job, a great family of friends, and a great relationship here.
When you move abroad, you can do so with a mindset of how long you’re going to be there, what your plans are, and what your goals are. And when you get on the ground, it can completely change as it did for me. I came here to get my head down, do some work and then move on. But I quickly fell in love with the place. From not knowing how much I even needed to unpack to getting my Australian passport shows how much life Down Under took hold!”