For me the Melbourne Cup aka “the race that stops a nation” is a very special day, but in a very different kinda way. It’s not so much about the horses, the fashion or the entertainment – although this is what ignited my quest to move permanently to Australia back in 2013.

About 7 years ago, I came to Australia for the first time. I was on holidays travelling on my own from Ireland. My first stop was in Cairns, followed by Sydney before heading out to my last stop in Melbourne.

I was in Sydney on the Melbourne Cup. I didn’t even know back then what the day was or the what the story behind it was. I was in Circular Quay catching the ferry to Manly as a tourist, I wanted to go sightseeing!

It was around midday, on the way to catch the ferry when I saw all these people who appeared to be corporate professionals working in the CBD, in their suits and business attire getting merry at midday – during work hours, drinking out loud, having a jolly good time!

I was intrigued!

I loved the great atmosphere in the city, it reminded me of a place in Dublin called Temple Bar where there are lots of pubs and tourists, you get to talk to everyone and anyone, pub crawling from one bar to the next, and by the end of the evening you are all friends – so it felt a bit like home.

The difference was people in Sydney where doing the exact thing – but at midday! and they were not tourists either! They were all outside their office buildings at noon, during work hours drinking and just having lots of fun!

I wanted some of this action!

If people can just leave work in the middle of the day and go out drinking, I wanted to be part of it – it must be true what they say back in Dublin about Australia being a laid back country – were my feelings at the time!

I remember being outside the two highrise AMP buildings on Circular Quay where the drinking crowd was and this thought came to me “I want to work here, I want to work here” I just heard myself saying over and over. 

I went on to catch the ferry to Manly and continued to enjoy the rest of my trip in Australia but that thought never left my head.

the race that stops a nation


So when I went back to Ireland I started the grueling visa application process right away. 

At the time I was working as Accountant in Dublin and I was doing really long hours in my job, in a very demanding role – but in the back of my head I had always been on a look out for that work life balance and some freedom.

I wanted a role that would offer plenty of freedom and flexibility, so the “Corporate professionals drinking at midday in Sydney CBD” scene did it for me!

I started dreaming of a new life in Sydney!



Fast forward 2 years later my visa application came through and I arrived in Sydney with my PR visa. Luckily for me the recruiter I was working with at the time managed to arrange a job interview only a few days after I landed. It was one of those same day interviews – no much notice!

I was so jet lagged but was keen to start working right away, so I agreed to go for the interview.

The recruiter briefed me about the role, gave me the address and names of who I would be meeting and everything else.

In my zombie disoriented state, I dragged myself from the recruiter’s offices at Bond Street and followed the map on my phone for directions to the interview location. After about 15 minutes or less my phone indicated that I had arrived at my destination.

I looked up and to my surprise I found myself standing outside the same location where I had that “I want to work here” moment 2 years back – at the exact same spot! Outside the AMP building in Circular Quay!

I went in and met the interviewer at AMP, I had this huge grin on my face, sitting there in disbelief of what had just happened, all in my fatigued, weariness state.

I was offered the job – my very first job in Australia, at the exact location where 2 years ago I declared that “I wanted to work here”


Back then I didn’t know anything about working for yourself, starting a business or entrepreneurship.I didn’t think it was even a possibility for me! I was just a dreamer looking for some work life balance and was willing to travel countries to find one!

The job at AMP wasn’t the only role I had in Sydney but it was a start of my quest for freedom and has brought me to where I am today.

To this day, every year around the Melbourne Cup I am reminded that our dreams can actually come to fruition.

If you have a dream, a passion or a goal you would like to pursue, go after it. Don’t be afraid to dream. Don’t be afraid to fail. Follow the ques that your heart gives you.Your heart will continue to remind you of your dreams, your job then is to stop the thinking, pro and con-ing, over-analyzing and to just do.

I truly believe that our paths will eventually be revealed to us but its our job to keep our dreams alive.


Written by Epiphany

Goodbye Corporate Hello Freedom