Emigration..and why you should do it!

I’ve been meaning to write this blog for quite some time now, but things kept getting in the way, like half price beer and wings night, or more recently my horrendous birthday hangover. But, finally, I am ready so here it goes. Firstly my most sincere apologies to Mark and Miriam as I did promise them this blog at the weekend, and I know they both spent their weekends checking their phones to see if I had blogged yet – sorry guys but here it is!

So as the heading suggests this blog is about emigrating. Why am I am writing about emigrating, well for a few reasons,

Nooooo don't make me leave Ireland!
Nooooo don’t make me leave Ireland!

obviously because I myself emigrated from Ireland a few years ago, and have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences to date, but mainly, because in recent months I have read so many blogs and articles casting a negative light on Irish people emigrating and it really pissed me off (sorry for the language if you;re reading this Ma!). I noticed a few of the Irish newspapers running articles on emigration and one in particular really annoyed me. It harped on about how tough it is for young Irish people who have had to emigrate because of the economy, whether it be to Australia, Canada or anywhere else in between.The reason it bothered me was that the article kept mentioning these “poor Irish” that were forced to move to a different country and how awful it is for them, stuck in a new country, all alone, no family, no friends and worst of all no Taytos (don’t get me wrong I love Taytos!). The article basically made Irish people out to be a nation of pathetic people who cannot cope with change, do not have the ability to make new friends or deal with new cultures and worst of all, who cannot go a week without a hot chicken roll and a pint of Guinness! I mean come on. They painted this picture of the poor Irish twenty-something year old living in Sydney (or wherever) huddled up under their bed covers crying all day every day because they were so scared of the big bad world outside of Ireland. Pathetic.

But do they have Taytos there?
But do they have Taytos there?

Then, to annoy me even further I listened to Tommy Tiernan being interview by John Murray about his comedy tours which he brought to Canada and Australia. One of the first questions John Murray asked him was about how the poor Irish that had to emigrate to these countries are coping (with their awful new lives) and thank God Tommy Tiernan said “there’s not a loss on them” and that those very same poor emigrants are having the time of their lives. THANK YOU TOMMY!! Why does everyone presume that it’s so horrible on the people who’ve left Ireland. So to add to my angst, I then read not one but TWO blogs which were on the Journal.ie written by Irish people who are now living in other countries, one of them in Korea actually and the other one somewhere in Europe (like for God sake she’s not that bloody far from home). And those two blogs moaned about the troubles that we emigrants face, one of them was even titled “the dark side of emigration” or something equally as stupid. Now, I’m not saying that everyone isn’t entitled to their own opinion, but when that opinion is so clearly wrong then yes, I am saying you shouldn’t have one (I joke I joke!). But seriously, these were both young girls in their mid to late twenties and all they can write about is how hard it is to emigrate, and how Facebook only shows the good side and not how they really feel etc etc. Instead of writing about the amazing experiences they are having (or should be having), the things they are doing and seeing.. I just don’t get it

Don’t get me wrong, I realize that living in a different country can often times means sacrifice, missing important events from

Wild tiger on safari in India.
Wild tiger on safari in India.

home and of course you are away from your friends and family. Since I’ve been away I went 2 and a half years without seeing my parents, I missed my Grandads funeral, I missed my sister’s hen party and all the wedding planning, the picking out of the dress but the good far outweighs the bad. Emigrating today is not like it was back in the day where they held a wake for you because you were never coming home, never going to see your family again. It’s quite the opposite, these days people emigrate for a few years, travel, experience new things and the majority of them move back to Ireland when it’s time to settle down, have children and lay some roots so to speak. Plus, to those people who are whinging about how hard they’ve got it living on a beach in Melbourne, or living in Seoul – probably the best city I’ve ever been to, then it’s pretty simple – go home. Go back to Ireland. Stop your moaning. The economy is getting better, there are some jobs to be found in Ireland now and if you hate new life in Europe so much, hop on a Ryanair flight home. Nobody forced you to go in the first place. I have read that most of the young people who left Ireland in recent years actually had jobs and even if you did leave because of the arse falling out of the economy, it sounds like some people would be happier at home drawing the dole than trying out something new.

So I’m here to right the wrongs that I have read, I am here to shine a light on the positive of emigrating and why everyone should do it – you never know, if I’m really lucky maybe some Irish newspaper will run my blog?!!

The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

As many of you know I left Ireland in May 2010 to move to Korea to teach English, I left in September 2011 and then lived in Australia for 2 years and I’m now living in Canada since May and hope to stay here for 2 years. I have highlighted in the previous paragraph some things that I missed out on because I emigrated, but here’s what I’ve done: I’ve bungey jumped, I’ve bathed naked in a bath house full of Koreans, I’ve eaten food I’ve never heard of, I’ve partied all night long in private karoke rooms, I’ve been to mud festivals (yes it is what it sounds like, a festival of mud), I’ve been to a park full of statues of giant penises, I’ve been followed around by Korean kids and asked to have pictures taken with me because I’m white, I’ve snorkelled with Manta Rays and sharks, I’ve stayed on islands with no electricity, I’ve seen a tarantula up close – in my bedroom! I’ve been up close to a glacier, I’ve sky dived over one of the most scenic towns in the world, I’ve ziplined, I’ve done white water rafting, I’ve seen geysers explode hundreds of feet into the air, I’ve been to the top of the tallest building in the world, I’ve done a desert trip, sand boarding and snowboarding, I’ve been within meters of a wild tiger, I’ve had an earring stolen by a monkey, I’ve seen lepers dying on the side of the road, I’ve seen dead bodies being burned by the Ganges and thrown in and I’ve seen people bath in and drink that same water, I’ve seen the Taj Mahal, I road tripped around New Zealand for 3 and a half weeks, I’ve driven through the outback (when I say “I’ve driven”, I really mean Phil!) I’ve seen a slum, I’ve seen a child with no legs beg in the middle of the road, I’ve been on a camel ride and an elephant ride, I’ve been axe throwing, I’ve stayed in a 5 star resort and I’ve stayed in a place where you had to wash with water from a bucket. I’ve done a lot, but most of all as a result of emigrating and living in new countries, I’ve learned about the world, I’ve learned that there’s more to living than just being in Ireland and ‘having the craic’ (don’t worry I still love having the craic!), I’ve learned about other cultures, religions, beliefs and customs. I’ve learned about myself because you don’t even know the real you until you move outside your comfort zone and see what you can handle. And most of all – I’ve made great friends along the way.

So instead of the media and every portraying Irish emigration as a bad thing and feeling sorry for the poor craters who had to

Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

leave, we should be focusing on the great things, the new experiences those emigrants will have, how they will learn and how they will grow, how they will enjoy their new lives and their new surroundings, and how when they return to Ireland they will be more open minded and creative as a result and surely, that can’t be a bad thing can it?

Until next time 🙂

Life back in Ireland…4 years on!

Rebecca and me!
Rebecca and me!

Hello! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, but never fear, I’m back! So I know I haven’t blogged about any of the places myself and Phil visited on route home to Ireland, and I will, but I decided to skip ahead and do a blog about living in Ireland again after nearly 4 years… I’ll cover the good, the bad and the ugly!

Let’s start with the good, because I’ve a feeling that’s a shorter one than the bad 😉 I suppose the first thing

Me as bridesmaid!
Me as bridesmaid!

I’ve realised since being back in Ireland is that there is a certain banter and a kind of craic that you really can only find in Ireland. I’ve never really been homesick over the years, and since I moved in May 2010 I only had a short 2 week visit for Christmas last year, so it wasn’t really long enough to realise there were some things about Ireland that I missed. Whereas now I’ve been home for almost 3 months and I have realised that there are some aspects to Irish life that you really don’t get anywhere else in the world. Simple things like the friendly banter between strangers in a pub, I haven’t come across that in any other country and once you come back home, it is great to experience that again! I don’t care what anyone says, Irish people have a sense of humour that is hard to find anywhere else in the world! And it’s nice to come home to that. Then there’s the “hello’s” that pass between strangers,that may sound silly but it is something I’ve noticed. In Ireland everyone says hello to everyone whether they know each other or not. I’ve noticed this when I’m out walking with my ma, people nod, smile and say hello to each other. It’s is a very small and simple thing but you don’t get it in Australia, and definitely not in Korea either and you know what, it’s really nice! Aside from the obvious missing family and friends, people who know me will know that the main thing I’ve missed from home is…CRISPS!! Wow, it’s amazing to be able to get my hands on tayto, monster munch, meanies, hot lips and all those other delicious crisps I have missed so dearly – and not for exorbitant prices either 🙂

Now onto the bad and the ugly side to living in Ireland again. One thing I’ve noticed since coming back is all the

Me and Phil @ the wedding!
Me and Phil @ the wedding!

stories of corruption and other horrible things in the news. When I hear these stories, it’s like I never left Ireland because it seems that some things never change and corrupt politicians and officials seem to live true to this. Hearing about the CRC and that whole saga was just disgusting. And the sad thing is it seems this sort of thing is always happening in Ireland. I wonder is there anything actually being done about the corruption within this country. Everyday there seems to be a new story about some form of corruption, the CRC, the rehab lotto etc. After all this country has been though in the past few years and yet there are people literally stealing money from charity!!! Then there was the recent homophobia saga, which is still ongoing, and rte paying out that money so quickly. I didn’t see that episode of the Saturday Night Show, and it’s been hard to locate it online since rte seem to have permanently deleted it, we talk about China and North Korea having crazy censorship laws, but that seems like censorship to me. It seems rte have a bit of explaining to do in regards to paying out that money so quickly, and I’m sure that story will remain in the news for a while to come as they are remaining so tight lipped on this legal advice they received. I’ve been reading about this Mars One Mission to send people on a one way ticket to Mars and I reckon we should be allowed nominate people for the trip. I for one would be sending all those corrupt politicians (including Bertie Ahern), the corrupt bankers and property tycoons, a few rte executives and Joe Duffy (I’ll explain that in a minute!)

Living in Ireland again is a bit of a shock to the system, I’m back living at home which is strange in itself. I haven’t lived in Portlaoise since I went to college in 2005 and it can be pretty boring. Although I must say, me and ma have a nice little routine of going to the gym, going into town and going for frequent coffees or lunch! It is also very weird not living with Phil anymore, he’s now back living at home in Galway so we see each other every week and a half to two weeks. That’s quite difficult after living together for over 2 years, but it’s nice to go to Galway for a change of scenery. I suppose the weather doesn’t help settling back into Ireland either, I mean seriously, it’s

Myself and Claire @ the wedding!
Myself and Claire @ the wedding!

been shit since Christmas!! This weather is really making me miss Australia. I mean you really do take the weather for granted over there. It’s only when you come home and realise how much the weather can affect you and your life that you realise how good we had it in Perth. But I suppose no point in complaining about the Irish weather, it is what it is!

So you’ll remember in my last blog I started a section about things that’s infuriate me, well, the thing that has infuriated me most since I came back is Joe Duffy. I can honestly say I hate that man and I hate his radio show. I don’t actively listen to it but unfortunately sometimes I hear it. One such time being in a taxi in Dublin and I kid you not, this is what Joe and his caller were talking about – the caller, a lady, rang in to complain about the way she was treated after she saw a mother in a shopping centre throw a mars bar belonging to her child in the bin because the child was misbehaving. The woman intervened and told the mother, who she didn’t know by the way, that it was very harsh of her to throw away her son’s bar. Sitting in the taxi listening to that rubbish, I was actually amazed, number one at the fact that Joe Duffy actually thinks such shit is newsworthy and number two that there are enough people in Ireland who continue to listen to his show. The show carried on and other people were actually calling up to give their opinions on that story, most of them supporting the caller who had intervened!!! You would think that even Joe Duffy at some point would draw a line somewhere about what he will discuss on his show. I mean was there nothing more important going on in the world, or in Ireland on that day that they could have spoken about?! That is why if I had my way Joe Duffy would be on that shuttle heading for Mars never to return to Earth, or radio, again! HE IS SOOOOOOOO INFURIATING!!!

Anyway as most of you will know myself and Phil were planning on going back to Australia but the sponsorship has fallen through, so that’s the end of that. Our new plan is to apply for visas for Canada so at the moment we are waiting for the visas to be released. It’s a very secretive process as no one knows when the applications for the visas will open in Ireland, we have to keep checking online for this mysterious announcement that will give 24 hours notice. Rumors have been flying around since last November abut when the visas will be released, and still no sign of them and we’re into March. It’s very frustrating and my life literally revolves around those visas these days, sad, I know! Once the visas are released (if they even exist!) they are given on a first come first serve basis, so you have to be very quick in applying. Fingers crossed we get them, but until they are released it’s just a waiting game! In other news my good friend Mark was home from Dubai for a holiday last month so a few of us met up in Galway that weekend and went out. I promised Mark and Miriam Dennigan (who are both avid readers of my blog!) that I would give them a mention, so here you go guys, you know you’ve made it when you’ve been mentioned in my blog 😉 haha. My sister Rebecca got married nearly 2 weeks ago to Phil no. 1 – very confusing in our family with the two Phil’s! So we all headed up to Dublin on the Wednesday for the big day. The wedding was Thursday, and we didn’t get home until Sunday and I’m only just about recovered! It was a brilliant few days, the wedding was gorgeous and Rebecca looked stunning, but I think I can safely say that both myself and my liver are glad that these family events only come around every once in a while!

My good friends Mark and Miriam-in Taaffes where else!
My good friends Mark and Miriam-in Taaffes where else!

Well I think that’s all from me for the moment! Until next time 🙂

Time to say goodbye to Australia

Hello everyone, I’m doing pretty well with the blog this time, only been a month since my last post! So, firstly I should let you all know that I’ve decided to add a new section to my blog called “What infuriates me”. I got this idea from The Footy Show (rugby league) believe it or not. I know most people will be like WTF Rachel like rugby league?!! But calm down, I don’t like rugby league but strangely enough I love the rugby league footy show!! Anywho, there’s a segment on it where Big Marn talks about what infuriates him and I love it so I thought I would incorporate it to my blog, as many things infuriate me!! More on that later…!

So, what’s being going on in my life lately you ask, well, the answer is not a lot! Myself and Phil got the bad news that we have to leave

A reminder of our trip to home and away!
A reminder of our trip to home and away!

Australia in November a couple of weeks ago. Up until that point we were hoping that we would be able to stay. We met with a migration agent to see what our options were and basically our only hope was if my job sponsored me… so I asked them and swiftly was told no, and that was the end of that! It’s unfortunate as we are really happy here, both enjoying our jobs and both of us wanted to stay, but it wasn’t to be 😦 So to soften the pain of being kicked out of Australia, we decided that we will go travelling for 5 weeks on the way home!!! The plan is to go to Bali, the Gili Islands, Sri Lanka, and then India for 3 weeks, so we are pretty excited about that and will hopefully be booking our flights this week!!Wuhooooooooo! Then it’s back to the misery of Ireland haha I joke, it will be good to be home and see everyone, and of course we will be home for Christmas so that’s great. I am however, very worried that it’s going to be near on impossible to find work at home, but we’ll wait and see. We are going to apply for visas for Canada in January so fingers crossed we get those, and if that works out, well then we will be beginning a new adventure next year!!

Myself and Rick!
Myself and Rick!

We have been keeping quiet since we found out that we will be leaving, as we need to buckle down, tighten the purse strings and save hard for the next few months! I was out last week for Rick’s last night before he headed north to do his regional work, we went to the casino and it’s safe to say I paid the price the next day with a hangover that kept me stuck to my bed until 4pm, I swear I’m getting too old for that craic! I cannot mix drinks even a tiny bit anymore, it’s a sad state of affairs! I remember back in my hay day when I was young and spritely, I could drink everything and anything and I would be fine the next day, these days if I even smell a drink my head is like a construction site the next day! The joys of ageing!A reminder of our trip to home and away!

So let’s start with things that infuriate me, I did touch on this in one of my previous blogs when I had a rant about screaming kids sitting near me on long haul flight – a subject I feel very strongly about! So this week the number one thing that infuriates me is bus drivers. What is their problem?! You know when you’re running for the bus, as fast as you possibly can in your pencil skirt and heels, and you’re thinking you’re going to make it, you’re just about there, about to place your foot on the step, and the bus driver looks at you, slams the door in your face and drives away?? Like WHAT THE HELL??? The driver clearly saw you but he nonetheless decides to humiliate you at the last possible second. I swear it’s a game they play, just to amuse themselves. IT’S SO INFURIATING!!!
The second thing that infuriates me lately is charging my phone. I understand phones need to be charged, that’s fine, what infuriates me is that these “smart phones” need to be charged every day, or even twice a day sometimes. I really hate when I’m about to get into bed and I go to plug my phone in and then all of a sudden, it dawns on me – my charger is in the sitting room from when I was charging it for the first time that day, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, I don’t want to walk back to the sitting room to get the charger, it’s SO FAR (not really but I’m lazy). If my phone was so “smart” it would go and get the bloody charger for me. Now that REALLY infuriates me!

In other news the episode of Home and Away that we saw being filmed was on tv during the week, that was not as exciting as I thought it

would be! I also feel I have to share with you the fact that I was in the gym this morning at 9.20 am, yes you read correctly, Philip Skelly is

The budgie!
The budgie!

doing his best to put an end to me sleeping in until 11am on a Sunday, and I’m afraid to say, I think he’s succeeding. I shall have to put a stop to that craziness though…! A strange thing happened a couple of weeks ago in our apartment, Phil came home from work and headed off to the gym, and when he came back, there was a budgie in our house – cage and all! When I came home I didn’t know what was going on when I was greeted my chirping as I came in the door, anyways it turns out our landlady was minding him for a friend. He stayed with us for the week, and let me you, budgies are loud, very very loud, all he did was make noise but we discovered that if you covered his cage with a towel he thought it was night-time and went to sleep. So that’s what we did! That’s about it from me I think, I’ll probably do one more blog before we leave Oz for our travels, or maybe I won’t who knows!

Until next time 🙂

Guess who’s back?!

Shelly 'working'!
Shelly ‘working’!

I’m back in the blogging world! I’ve been pretty slack with the old blogging the past couple of months so let’s give this another go!!
Firstly, I promised another friend of mine who didn’t get a mention in my last blog (she was SO angry!), that she would get a mention in this one! So here it goes….. SHELLY O’LEARY!!!!! Now, are you happy? Haha Shelly had just left Australia to go home to Ireland when I wrote my last blog, and I think she was upset that my last post wasn’t in honour of her, so Shelly, I dedicate this blog to you! Shelly and I worked together in Just Magazines, and my god did we get each other through some loooooong days (5 hour days but I swear sometimes it felt like a 12 hour day). So thanks Shelly, if it wasn’t for you I don’t know how I would have survived those days of calling ‘no answers’ all day 🙂

So you are probably wondering what the title of my blog is all about, well now that I have a new job and am earning god money, moneybags Keogh is trying to take over my life and spend all my money!!!! Ok so now I need to update you all on the past 4 months… a lot has happened! Myself and Phil went to Sydney for a holiday, I got made redundant (while on that holiday in Sydney), I consequently spent 6 awful weeks searching for employment and watching terrible day time tv, and then I finally found a new job which I am thoroughly enjoying!! Backtrack to Sydney.. We had an amazing time, we were there for Paddys Day – which was great craic! We stayed with Dalton, Cathal and Qualter (thanks again guys) so that was brilliant and they had a great location as well! Sydney is a really nice city and it is massive in comparison to Perth.. returning to Perth after being in Sydney is like heading back to a little country town! Syndey is alive, busy and bustling and there is so much to d

o. It’s full of sky scrapers, great shops,iconic buildings, nice park areas and of course Sydney Harbour and Darling Harbour, which are pretty spectacular. As I said, there is so much to do in Sydney you would never get bored, but you would get poor quite quickly! We saw so much while we were there; the zoo, the wax museum, the aquarium, the top of the sky tower, the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a dinner cruise on the harbour, not forgetting there was a paddys day sessions squeezed in there and also a few nights out, which were of course quiet, haha..

sydney 037

While there I also got to fulfill one of my life long ambitions… we went to Palm Beach aka HOME AND AWAY!!! And how amazing it was, we rented a car for a few days to head down further south from Sydney, but firstly, we went in the opposite direction and headed for Palm Beach. Needless to say, Phil was dragged there kicking and screaming, but I think he secretly enjoyed it! It was great, the beach where they film is a gorgeous beach but low and behold it was empty, there were no Braxtons catching a surf, and no Romeo running on the beach.. I was devastated and tried to convince myself it was ok ‘at least we saw where they filmed’ I kept telling myself, but who was I kidding, that was never going to be enough. As we wer

e about to leave, we spotted a road behind the surf club and Phil suggested we drive down there, so off we headed, and suddenly who did I see out the window? None other than Alf Stewart!!! I started screaming at Phil to stop the car, but by the time I ran over, he had gone back to filming, but that was ok, at least I had seen him in the flesh! I also got to see Roo, Sally, Maralyn and Harvey.. sadly no Braxtons, maybe next time!

sydney 063

So as I said I got made redundant while in Sydney, actually pretty much straight afer we got off the plane I got the call! what a great start to our holiday! As soon as we got back to Perth, I started job hunting, but my god, it was a slow process. No employers wanted to even give me an interview when they heard what kind of visa I was on. I was applying for anywhere between 5-10 jobs per day and not hearing anything back. I was sick of being stuck at home, and having no money (although I didn’t mind spending Phil’s money!!) and then finally, 6 weeks later I got a job with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) and I started at the end of April and I’m loving it there; it’s really busy and really interesting!

Aside from that, it’s just been the usual, work all week and then we go out some weekends. We went to Cirque du Soleil recently, which was amazing. You wouldn’t even imagine some of the things these people could do! We also went to the Lions warm up game that was in Perth, which was good. Now that I have a good job and am earning the best money I have since we arrived in Australia, moneybags Keogh is really making an appearance, she’s trying to convince me to go to Bali in August… so we’ll see what happens there!!!

Well I can’t really end my blog without mentioning my grandad, who passed away last week. He was 97 years old and all his life he was determined to make it to 100 to get that cheque off the President, but it wasn’t to be. I have no doubt in my mind that I will never know a man like him, he was so strong, so positive, so funny and my god could he tell a story! It was very strange to be over here when it happened because I felt very removed from the whole thing, but thanks to modern technologies I was able to watch his funeral online! Portlaoise church is very advanced and they show their mass online. It was strange but I’m glad I got to see it as now I don’t feel like I missed his funeral completely. So grandad, I’ll miss you, I’ll miss your stories and your jokes, RIP.

Until next time 🙂

Xmas, New Years, Ireland and 2013 so far!

Hey, welcome to my first blog of 2013!!! Said I’d better get cracking on this now or it would never be done! So this blog will cover my trip back to Ireland over Xmas, New Years celebrations and my return back to the sweat box that is Perth these days!My visit back to Ireland was AMAZING! I had such a good time, soooo good to

Surprise welcome home cake from Chris and Sibh
Surprise welcome home cake from Chris and Sibh

see my family and all my friends after so long, and I can definitely say I will never stay away for that long again!But before I arrived home I stopped off for a quick visit with Mark in Dubai! I was only there for 2 full days really so it was very short but it was great to see Mark and I had already been in Dubai so had all the touristy things done anyways! My highlight of the trip (besides seeing Mark’s smiling face!) was Ferrari World. We spent a day there and went on the biggest rollercoaster in the world (no big deal) and my god, was it fast. It actually rained while I was there which poor Mark was very embarrassed about- who knew it rained in the desert!! Mark is living in a new apartment since I last visited and it is fab- the view from the balcony is amazing! So after my few days in Dubai I was homeward bound 🙂

I must mention here that on my flight I was seated at the emergency escape,

Me, about to go on the fastest rollercoaster in the world!
Me, about to go on the fastest rollercoaster in the world!

which you would think is great because you get extra leg room, yeah, you would think. Unfortunately, this is not the case and warning to all- it’s where they seat people who have kids, REALLY SMALL KIDS!!!! So I had to endure the screaming, crying and general annoyingness of about 4 kids all under the age of 3 for my flight- it was torture, even turning the volume to the max on my tv didn’t drown out their high-pitched screams. So if by any chance anyone who works with an airline is reading this, here’s an idea- HAVE A SEPERATE AREA OF THE PLANE FOR PEOPLE WITH KIDS!!!! I can’t understand how this hasn’t been done yet. Ok rant over (phew).

So as most of you know I surprised my ma by arriving home a few days early- this was hilarious! My dad and sister (and pretty much everyone else in Portlaoise) knew I was arriving home early, but poor mammy was left in the

Ma's famous banner!
Ma’s famous banner!

dark! My dad brought me and Rebecca home from Dublin and I rang the doorbell while Rebec and dad hid behind the wall. Mammy opened the door and I was all “hiiiiiiiiiiii” and really excited and mammy was just like “oh, hello”- she looked really confused and I’m not messing it took her a full 2 minutes to realise it was me!!! She then shouted “Rachel??” and took a few steps back in shock haha! It was priceless! In surprising her, I dodged a massive bullet- she had made a welcome home banner for me which she had planned to bring to the train station when she collected me. Now this was no ordinary small banner, this was a gigantic banner that she had made in the shopping centre. If that was waiting for me at the train station when I arrived back in Portlaoise for the first time in 2 and a half years, I would have got back on the train!!! Poor mammy, it was a lovely thought. For those of you who haven’t seen the banner yet, I have posted a pic here for you!

 

Girls reunited for Stephen's night!!
Girls reunited for Stephen’s night!!

So I only had just over 2 weeks at home and had sooooo much to fit into those 2 weeks, so many people to meet up with, family members to catch up with and places to visit!. I was flat-out for the 2 weeks and I don’t think there was a single night I wasn’t  out boozing. I won’t lie, by the end of the trip, I was exhausted and excited about heading back to Perth to relax without fear of someone calling me and asking me to go out!! I had a night out in Dublin, I had a weekend in Galway with all the college gang, I had lunches here there and everywhere, I had a wedding on New Year’s Eve, I had a night away in a hotel for a spa treatment with ma and Rebec and I had many nights out in Portlaoise! As tiring as it was, it was brilliant and I wouldn’t have changed it- I enjoyed every minute of it! My brother and his wife were home from India too so it was a full house and it was great! Rebecca got engaged on Xmas eve so I was SO happy to be home for that event as I think I may have felt homesick if I had have been in Oz when she got engaged. Cannot wait for the wedding and my first time to be bridesmaid!!! I wasn’t too sad leaving Ireland this time as I know I’ll be back again either towards the end of 2013 or early 2014!Needless to say Phil had a great Xmas too over here in Perth what with the old ball and chain being away! He had a lot of nights out and did a lot of drinking and didn’t miss Ireland at all!

Xmas and New Years and Ireland all seems like it was ages ago now! When I came back to Perth I just got straight back into the swing of things here, although I did find the heat a bit overpowering for my first few days back! It has been so hot here for the past couple of weeks, it’s uncomfortable.We don’t have any aircon in our bedroom so we might as well be trying to sleep in an oven for the past while! It’s a case for celebration when the temperature drops low enough to actually use our duvet these days!!!

We’ve booked flights to Sydney and are heading there on March 14th-24th, so I can’t wait for that! Needless to say we will be visiting Palm Beach aka Summer Bay and I am very excited about that! As most of you know a life long dream of mine has been to appear on Home and Away, and this could be my chance! I have a plan to ensure I get a role- I feel Home and Away doesn’t really reflect current-day Australia, as there are Irish backpackers EVERYWHERE in Australia, yet, are there any on Home and Away?? I think you’ll find the answer is no! So I will approach the directors of Home and Away and point this out to them, then being the kind and generous person I am, I will volunteer to be that Irish backpacker who arrives in the Bay- I’m sure Irene will take me in! My aim for 2013 is to have Alf Stewart say “Well lads, what’s the craic?” on one episode of H&A- then, I will have completed my mission for Oz and can leave a happy woman!!!

We’ve mainly been saving money for Sydney so haven’t been up to a whole

Australia Day fireworks in Kings Park
Australia Day fireworks in Kings Park

lot, it was Australia Day at the end of January and that was a lot of fun. We went to King’s Park to watch the fireworks display and enjoyed a few beers!

Well I think that’s all for now, I will update again after our Sydney trip, seen as we’ll be there for Paddy’s weekend- I’m sure we will have some stories!

Until next time 🙂

My blog comeback!!!

Hello friends, sorry about my lack of blogging, been soooo busy over the past few months, nah, I’ve just been lazy about it. But here’s to new beginnings!!!

So last time I blogged we had just arrived in Perth, hmmm we’ve been here 7 months now so that really was a long time!!! A lot has happened since then, but I will try to keep this short and sweet!

Cottalsoe Beach
Cottasloe Beach

So we ended up living in the hostel for slightly longer than planned- 3 months! Don’t get me wrong, it was a good hostel, it was fun and there were really great people there but my god, 3 months was waaaay to long for me. We were in a 4 bed dorm room (we couldn’t afford the private room at like $500 per week!!) and after a month hostel living begins to wear you down! No privacy, nowhere to hang or put your clothes (did I mention, I hate living out of my suitcase!), shared bathrooms and showers, queuing in the kitchen to cook in the evenings, and worst of all- NO control of the remote control haha! So after 3 long months we moved out, and into a house with Eugene, he had been living there for a few weeks at this stage… and more on the story of this house later!

So I eventually got a job after 4 long weeks of applying for everything and

Our new apartment!

anything, no one was even responding to my cv so I was getting pretty p*ssed of at that stage! I am now…. wait for it…. a telemarketer!!! Your favourite kind of people, calling a phone near you soon!!! So I’m working for Autotrader/ Just magazines selling private advertising. Yes I get hung up on a lot, or shouted at, or some guy swearing at me, one guy even took it so far that he kept calling my phone back to yell “cu*t” down the phone at me 5 or 6 times- that was a good day! I’ve made some good friends there but I am searching for a new job as I need somewhere that will sponsor me so I can stay here longer! Phil was working in a bar for about a month, owned by my second cousin’s husband!!! But now he is working with Eugene doing something called “piling”- and maybe he will get on this at some stage and explain that cos I’m not going to attempt to!!

So back to the house with Eugene, to cut a long story short, our landlady was mental, she could walk into the house whenever she wanted, she used to live in the house and still had all these weird creepy pics of her kids EVERYWHERE- who does that?!! And, oh yeah, she left her cat in the house when she moved out so that was still there! She wouldn’t let us use the electric heater we bought ( this may surprise you but Perth was cold for a while!) and when we complained it was too cold she eventually gave in and let us turn on the heating in the house for 2 hours every evening. But only one housemate was allowed to touch that button to turn on the heat- enter Uval-a 41 year old Israeli guy who is studying here and enjoys Salsa dancing! So Uval is trustworthy and in charge of the heating. If Uval was ever out of the house and one of us turned on the heating, when he came home he would give out to us for that. Uval is also the type of guy that tells you to turn down the tv at 6 in the evening, and then 2 minutes later he leaves the house for the night anyway, so yeah to sum it up he was a pain.
 
Kevin, Eugene’s cousin moved in with us then also. Now here’s

Miriam and Cathal’s visit

what happened next, Miriam & Cathal came over to visit and they stayed with us and by the time they had left- we had been evicted!!!! But I won’t blame them! What happened was we had been out drinking all day Sunday, and we came home and decided to carry on drinking in the kitchen. I must make a note here that Phil was in bed asleep as he had work the next morn at 6! So we were chatting, listening to Eugene talking shit, and obviously we were a bit loud cos we were drunk. Uval comes out and tells us to keep the noise down so at this stage I head to bed. So the next morning we are evicted! Uval had complained to the landlady, she comes over and tells us she wants us out, we have a massive argument with her saying that’s not fair, Uval sticks his big nose in saying we are always rude to him because we leave our clean cups and dishes draining on the sink, and we leave our laptops in the sitting room and that somehow prevents him from watching tv, I call Uval a child, he gets angry and that’s the end of that!!!

 
Myself and Phil were lucky we found a place the next day and its the sweetest deal ever, we live with our landlady, who is really nice and not at all mental, but she works long hours and goes away every weekend Fri-Mon! So we see her maybe once or twice a week and it’s a really nice apartment in a great location!
 
I’m trying to quickly squeeze the last 7 months into this blog, I went to see

All scrubbed up for Carley’s wedding!

Lady Gaga perform- amazing, we’ve been to the beach a lot (but yes I’m still as white as ever!), we went to Irish day at the races (all lost money!) , did the Fremantle night time prison tour when Miriam and Cathal were over (yes I screamed my head off, a lot) , went to the casino for my birthday (yes we all lost money again!) myself and Phil saw MatchBox twenty perform. We’ve basically just been enjoying ourselves and Perth city. I was at Carley and Debby’s wedding a few weeks ago, and that was amazing, David, Darragh and Rick were over so was great to see them and needless to say a good bit of drinking was done!

 
So that’s been the last 7 months of our lives squeezed into one blog. Now the countdown is on for Christmas and my return to Ireland wu-hoo, I can’t wait!! 2 and a half years has been way to long to not see my parents and my friends so I’m really looking forward to it! I’m stopping off with Mark in Dubai for a few days on my way home so that will be great too! Unfortunately Phil isn’t coming home for X mas as the flights we so expensive we couldn’t afford for both of us to go home. So Phil is staying in Perth… with Eugene… hmmm should I be worried?? Haha I’m sure they’ll have a great time!!
I promise to keep this blog more up to date from now on and not be so lazy!address>

 
Until next time 🙂
PS I didn’t want to write this in italics, but my laptop (yes the same one that the ‘t’ button fell off) decided that it had to be in italics and wouldn’t let me change it! #ithinkitstimeforanewlaptop

Life after Rainbow!!

It’s been a while since my last blog, apologies but before I get started let’s have

my “friend profile” for this week!! Ok my friend of the week for this blog is Stu. I

Stu
Stu

met Stu in Korea, he was also an English teacher (although he taught in a public school, so he had a cushy number!). Stu is from Canada (yes that strange place where they talk funny and say “eh” a lot) and he was the baby of the group, hence his nickname, Baby Stu (I hung around with very creative people in Korea). Some things you need to know about Stu-hmmm, he has been known to walk up to girls, tell them they are pretty and then run away, he enjoys eating little potatoes cooked in the shape of smiley faces and he once threw his flip-flops under a car in Seoul in a fit of rage! Stu is one of those (annoying!!) people who loves doing “stuff”, he especially loves dancing among trees naked in weird little forest areas when he’s drunk! Stu is a man with many different personalities, fun Stu, really slow texting Stu, bus Stu, subway Stu, dancing Stu and our  all-time favourite- beach Stu!!! 🙂

After leaving the metropolis of Rainbow we headed to Mildura for a few days. Mildura is on the Victoria/ NSW border and is a haven for backpackers who are fruit picking. We stayed in a motel for the few days we spent there, and despite all of the locals in Rainbow harping on about how great Mildura is; there isn’t much to do there! We went on a cruise of the mighty Murray river on an old paddle steamer and met up with the Swedish girl we worked with in Rainbow. Other than that, there’s not much to say about Mildura.

After those few exciting days in Mildura, we got the bus to Adelaide, capital

Glenelg Beach, Adelaide
Glenelg Beach, Adelaide

city in South Australia. You have to go through a checkpoint on the border between the 2 states to ensure you’re not sneaking any fruit or vegetables across, although I’m sure some rebels manage to get an apple or two over the border! Adelaide is called the “City of Churches” and rightly so, they are everywhere, luckily, I love churches so that worked out well!! Both myself and Phil really liked Adelaide, it’s smaller and more compact than Melbourne, easy to get around and is close to the beach. It reminds me of Galway in some ways, it has a bit of a hippy feel to it. While we were there the Adelaide Fringe Festival was on, so the city was really busy and bustling. There were loads of free shows, and street performances going on, aswell as some big productions that you had to get tickets for.

We were searching for jobs while we were there, as our plan was to work there

Signs along The Nullabor Plain
Signs along The Nullabor Plain

for a few months, but unfortunately, that didn’t work out! We both applied for some jobs, but didn’t hear back from them, and after a few days we couldn’t even find any jobs to apply for. All of the restaurants, bars and cafes had hired people before the Fringe and so were not looking to hire again. We stayed there for 2 weeks and then decided to head to Perth for work as our money was starting to run low (again!!!).

We got a really good relocation deal ona  camper van so we decided to drive

The view we could see ahead while driving the Nullabor
The view we could see ahead while driving the Nullabor

from Adelaide to Perth (I say we, I really mean Phil drove!). The camper was only $1 per day, and we had it for 6 days, so we just had to pay a bit for insurance and then pay for fuel. The distance to Perth from Adelaide is about 2,700 km; about the same as driving from London to Moscow! It was an interesting journey, but at the same time one of the most boring journeys of my life! There isn’t much in between Adelaide and Perth and on our second day we entered the Nullabor. The Nullabor is latin, meaning “no trees” and that’s exactly what it is, small little bluebush and sand! The true Nullabor stretches about 700km, but for about 100km on either side of it is pretty much wilderness aswell. So we were basically driving through the outback for about 1000km. The whole we were travelling it was just one straight road and then the outback on each side of us, stretching as far as the eye can see.

There are signs all the way along saying wild camels, kangaroos and emus for

Our $1 a day camper!
Our $1 a day camper!

next 100km, but we didn’t see any camels, we saw a few emus and we saw 2 live kangaroos, the rest were all squashed in the middle of the road. Obviously you have to be careful when driving this way that you don’t run out of fuel, because there are no towns along the way. Usually there will be a roadhouse where you can get fuel, food and water and a place to sleep every 200km. All of those roadhouses had campsites too so that’s we were parking and sleeping! Along the course of the Nullabor they have the world’s longest golf course! It’s just literally a tiny green with a hole, and they occur every 150km or so, it’s really just to encourage people to get out of their cars and stretch their legs on the long drive. When you’re driving through the Nullabor, there is a compulsory wave that you must give to your fellow drivers. Everyone on that stretch of road has been driving for days so it’s common courtesy to offer them the “bush wave” !!

When we finally drove through the Nullabor, we decided to freedom campoutside the next little town we came across, because if you go into a

Superpit view of Karlgoorlie mine
Superpit view of Karlgoorlie mine

campsite you have to pay obviously. So we got to this town called Norsham at about 5 in the evening and went to buy stuff for dinner before we parked up for the night. It was the strangest town I’ve ever seen! It was tiny and like a ghost town, it had such an eerie feeling, it was like something out of the wild west! All the shops and pubs seemed to be boarded up and nothing was opened even though it was 5pm. We found a little supermarket that was opened and as we were walking in, 2 men standing outside bore holes into us with their eyes until we had gone into the supermarket! It was so weird, I don’t think they had ever seen “foreigners” before. Anyway, remembering the move Wolf Creek, we quickly decided that this could be a town where backpackers get murdered and decided to camp in a secure holiday park that night!!!

Anyway we have been in Perth for almost 2 weeks now. It’s a really nice city and we love it so far. We are back hunting for jobs ( I’m sick of job hunting at this stage!), Phil has got a job in a pub in a suburb outside the city and I am still unemployed! I’m currently working 3 mornings a week in our hostel, cleaning, making beds etc in exchange for free accommodation so that’s something. Hopefully I’ll find a full-time job soon. Everybody says Perth is booming and it’s the best place in Oz to get jobs, but it’s actually very difficult to find work. Employers can be REALLY slow getting back to you, and there are so many backpackers (when I say backpackers, I mean Irish backpackers!!)  looking for work here it’s ridiculous. I definitely think it’s easier for guys to get work in Perth, because of the mining industry and construction industry. Fingers crossed I get something soon, and if not, I’ll just send Phil to the mines and live off him 😉

Until next time 🙂