After initially setting off on a year long holiday to travel though Asia and Australia, Sinead Keenan found a place in Sydney and Bondi Beach to call her own and now works for one of Australia’s top recruitment firms. Despite missing home from time to time, the weather appears to be a constant comfort to this Ballincollig Belle. Sinead Keenan from Ballincollig is this week’s Rebel Rambler.
Name: Sinead Keenan
Occupation: IT Account Manager – Randstad
Where in Cork you are from: Ballincollig
How long has it been since you emigrated from Ireland?
I left Ireland in November 2009 to travel South East Asia for six weeks and then on to Australia for a year with my good friend Gill “Polly” Power. We arrived in Australia just before Christmas time and spent the first year working in Sydney and travelling the East Coast. Nearly three years later I’m still here, whereas Gill is now settled back in Ireland.
Why did you decide to leave Cork?
My main reason for leaving Cork was a lifelong dream of going to Australia. I decided to follow in both of my sister’s footsteps and do what they did by spending a year over here. I know this is pretty cliché but I spent my childhood (and adulthood) growing up watching Home and Away and I just loved the way Australia was portrayed. Beautiful beaches, beautiful weather and I wasn’t one bit disappointed.
What made you emigrate to the place you live in at the moment?
When I arrived back in December 09 some of my friends were already here and living in Bondi – it just made sense to settle in here too and stay close to who I knew. There wasn’t much of an argument on my part – Bondi has to be one of my favourite places in the world. It’s widely known that Bondi is the sterotypical place for Irish people to settle, that and Coogee. It is so different from where I grew up, which is a major attraction. Also, everyday is different all the time, but then again there’s no place like home.
What’s your favourite thing about your new home?
God that’s a tough question! It would have to be the weather definitely and of course the amount of beaches we have to choose from, in such close proximity to each other. One of my favourite things to do at the weekend is the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, and of course go out on a Saturday night – there’s always somewhere different to go however Sydney is very expensive! I am surrounded by great people and have made loads of new friends over here, admittedly mostly from Cork, but you can throw in a few Aussies and Kiwis too!!!
What do you miss most about Cork?
My family, without doubt, it’s very difficult at times being so far away from home and at times you wish you could be back there for a few days just to sample the home comforts and get a hug from your Mom or Dad. Family and friends are equally missed – the great thing about my friends is whenever I do see them nothing has changed. That’s so important to me, it’s like we haven’t been apart and that to me is great friendship.
What do you miss least about Cork?
Well considering whenever I talk to home, the first thing they like to get out of the way, is the weather complaints so that would have to be number one. Other than that not much else really. I didn’t leave Cork because I didn’t enjoy living there – it was a decision to travel that materialised into a great opportunity, I never planned to stay here. I’d never have a bad thing to say about Cork or Ireland apart from the obvious – the weather.
How did family and friends react when you emigrated?
It was a working holiday initially so they were excited for me and happy to see me go and enjoy my year away.When I decided to do the second year after my three months farming they were pleased for me to carry on. Then I decided to try and get sponsored, they were very supportive of me, they knew I had a great opportunity to get a good job and some experience so overall everyone was happy for me, but I do think my Mom was a bit sad… well I’d like to think she was!
Do you plan to return to live in Ireland anytime in the future?
Never say never. my sister Claire gets married this December and my other sister Elaine is due to get married in May 2013, so when exciting events like this are happening, I do wish I could be there and involved. They’re great though, they send me pictures and emails and we Skype so I do feel very included. At this stage I’m happy where I am, but I would never rule out going home!
Would you like to raise your family abroad?
Yes I mean why not, it’s a fantastic lifestyle, the weather is good 9-10 months of the year and generally people are always friendly and in a good mood. On the other hand raising a family on the other side of the world without the support of my own would be difficult. I’m glad I don’t have to think about this just yet.
Does social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Skype make it easier to move abroad?
Absolutely, my Mom is a Facebook and Skype expert now, which is great – finally nearly three years later. It also enables me to keep in touch and see what my friends are up to and what’s going on in their lives. It’s a connection and I feel closer to them because of social media – so for me it’s fantastic!
If you would like to be a Rebel Rambler email Peter Horgan at firstname.lastname@example.org