With a ‘round the world’ ticket in her pocket and a dream to travel for 12 months, Claire Toher left Wicklow in 2011.
Having spent some time in Thailand, New Zealand and New York, the majority of her trip consisted of living, travelling and working on the East Coast of Australia.
Originally from Bray, Claire had been working in her job in Dublin for seven years and in her words, she was “tired of the daily commute from Wicklow Town to Blackrock. I was tired of long winters and little sunshine.”
With little keeping her in Ireland, she chose to leave her job as she felt she was missing out on something “and needed a break from the daily grind.”
“My friends were settling down and I wanted an adventure so decided to travel on my own.”
After her year as a backpacker, Claire returned to Wicklow and to her job in Dublin. However, “I knew I wasn’t ready to settle back into ‘normal’ life.”
She returned again to Perth in 2012 and was fortunate enough to get the visa needed to stay for an extended period of time. Claire has now been living in Perth ever since, working in a family law firm. She even met her Australian fiancé there in 2015, and their son was born in May of this year.
While she’s currently applying for permanent residency with a plan to make Perth home for the foreseeable future, she says: “I do miss Wicklow and every now and then feel homesick. I try to get back as often as possible.”
“There is quite a big Irish community in Perth, and there is no shortage of Irish pubs and Irish treats in the shops these days for anyone from back home who needs a ‘quick fix!”
“To be honest, I didn’t appreciate the beauty of Wicklow until I travelled. The community feel and general friendly atmosphere in Ireland is hard to find in other countries.”