This week our Rebel Rambler is model and entrepreneur Eimear Varian Barry who has been globetrotting in her own unique Cork style for the past four years. From Friar’s Walk originally, she swapped the sights of Montenotte for the glamour of Manhattan and now is firmly ensconced in Australia.
Name: Eimear Varian Barry
Where in Cork are you from? Friars Walk
How long has it been since you emigrated from Ireland?
Almost four years now
Why did you decide to leave Cork?
I love Cork. It’s a beautiful city to be raised. It is a cliché, but I wanted to explore. I got an amazing opportunity to work in the fashion and movie industry in New York, so I grabbed it. I immediately decided to make it happen and within a couple of weeks (and with a good lawyer) I was there.
What made you emigrate to the place you live in at the moment?
My visa came to an end after spending a few years in Manhattan. I travelled around America doing everything I had ever wanted to do. I worked at the famous Tea & Sympathy in Manhattan (where my love affair with hospitality stayed alive and the determination of owning my own little cafe grew even more) while I travelled frequently to Louisiana and in Philadelphia photographing designers work and musicians. I did heaps of fashion styling and PR work in New York and TV presenting in California, so after that, going home wasn’t an option. I wanted to move to a city where I could still feel like I was in New York, but have more space. Working in the cities fashion industry was like working in a Wall Street…for women. A bit like going to war. With a bunch of fake women. I loved it. I was happy. Leaving, I was dragged kicking and screaming. But honestly,I knew it was time to close a chapter and move onto the next. I woke up one morning, eyes half closed, booked a one way flight to Melbourne, then Google imaged it to see what it looked like. Bit mad!
What’s your favourite thing about your new home?
Impossible to choose one. Firstly, Melbourne is an incredibly creative city. It has impeccable style. I instantly fell in love with its vintage industrial aesthetic feel. It’s open minded and it lets you be. I live in Fitzroy, which is North of the river. It has elements of Europe, Asia, LA and New York. The vintage is incredibly good and super cheap also.
What do you miss most about Cork?
I’ve never felt that homesick or missed anything about Cork since being in Australia because there are so many Irish here. In ways, it is very similar to Europe, because of the English influence I guess. Bourke St in Melbourne even reminds me a lot of Patrick St. America was completely different. When I was in New York, I would get super homesick for the accent, the craic, the Irish sense of humour, Lennoxes (obviously) and just that lovely little homely feel that New York didn’t have.
What do you miss least about Cork?
I don’t miss walking home from the pub and seeing my friends get their heads smashed in because they’re wearing something that is “gay”. That’s what I don’t miss.
How did family and friends react when you emigrated?
My parents have travelled a tonne, especially my mother. So evidently, they were always keen on us all shipping off at some point.They’re thoroughly supportive and always told us do whatever we like, once we’re happy. Growing up, she fascinated my sisters and I with her travel stories. From moving to London at 17 to living in a Kibbutz with the Bedouins in Israel’s Dahab. She would tell us she nourished her mind and her heart with worldly experiences. I guess that’s what I ended up doing too.
Do you plan to return to live in Ireland anytime in the future?
Who knows? But definitely not in the near future.
Would you like to raise your family abroad?
Again,who knows? If I do, I could definitely see myself having a family abroad.
Do social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Skype make it easier to move abroad?
Absolutely. I made tonnes of contacts through Facebook before I moved to New York and the same with Melbourne which helped me build a life so much quicker. I guess I don’t know any different but sometimes I think of how difficult it was for people moving abroad without them. Years ago, in many cases, once you were gone, you were gone. It was almost like a death. I’m still fascinated with Skype. I’ve only been home once for a few days in the time I’ve been away and with Skype, It’s almost like not being away at all.
If you would like to be a Rebel Rambler, or know someone who fits the bill, contact Peter Horgan at email@example.com