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Salute to American Dreamers

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The Big Move from Australia to the USA (Liam Bourke's Story)

Posted by American Dreamer 1392235042.253

This April, it will be 2 years since I have lived here in the United States.  The decision to move here was one that was not made easily.  I was leaving a job that I loved (as head of the Orthaheel and Scholl Footwear business in Australia and New Zealand); I was leaving my family, my close friends and my relationship at the time.   And I was moving to another country, on the other side of the world, where I didn’t know a soul.  It would be fair to say that it was a decision that put me well outside my comfort zone.

I’ve been lucky enough to have known and worked with many of the team at Vionic Group for a number of years – in fact I am proud to say that some of my dearest friends are the people who I work with (Steve Mabb and I have worked together and have been great mates since 1998).  From a work point of view, that made the decision to come over a lot easier.  The culture at Vionic Group is one of support, and corporately and personally, they did everything within their power to make the transition as easy as possible, and make me feel welcomed. 

There were many challenges in getting settled into the East Coast.   Everything from finding a place to live or setting up a bank account to knowing the best place to get a pizza or where the nearest drycleaners are.  Moving to any new place can present these types of challenges, but doing it in a new country takes it to a whole new level.  This is where I was so thankful to my new family – the people who I am lucky to work with everyday.  As soon as I walked through the doors at QVC, I was made to feel welcome in an instant.  

The other guests, the studio team, the hosts, the buyers, the models, and the sales team – everyone was genuinely concerned with how I was settling in and all offered any assistance they could to help me out whenever it was needed.  I must say that I have also been lucky enough to have met some great people outside of the QVC building, who have also gone above and beyond to make me feel welcome; people who I am very proud to call my friends.

It is hard being away from my family in Australia. Although I lived in another state, I still knew they were only a 2 hour flight away.  What I miss the most is missing out on some of the special occasions.  Whilst I always get home for the big events (I was in Australia in early November to celebrate my Mum and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary),  I miss out on the little things – birthdays of my nieces and nephews (there are 12 of them), catching up with my 2 big brothers for a boys weekend, sitting down with my dad to watch the mighty Wallabies (that’s the Australian rugby team) play, or just having lunch with mum and listening to all the stories of what the grandkids have been up to.  Whilst these are certainly things that I miss, I must say that being so far away has shown me that it’s more about the quality time you get to spend with the people you love.  Things like Skyping or even just being in email/text message contact means that I’m kept in the loop and still have that all important connection. Seeing pictures of the birthday parties and any other fun times that they’re all having back there makes me feel included.  I also still enjoy the occasional care package of Vegemite being sent my way.

Living here in the USA has been a great experience, and one that I can only hope continues. There are many more things that I want to see and do here. I have my bucket list and I’ll hopefully get a chance to tick some more adventures off it over the next 12 months. I see myself as being very lucky, because now I have a whole new family. The best example I can give on how caring people have been can be best explained over the recent holidays. Everyone I knew was so genuinely concerned as to where I was going to be for Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year. So many people invited me over for lunch or dinner.  I can honestly say that it was the most humbling feeling I have felt. However, it’s this kind of openness, these kinds of gestures that make me love living here so much.  There has not been a day since I have been here where I have had a negative experience with anyone.  There has not been one day in the last 2 years that I have ever regretted taking up the opportunity to work here in the USA.   If you asked me 5 years ago where I’d be today, I can tell you that living in the states wouldn’t have been on the radar.  However, if you ask me now where I’d like to be in 5 years, it would be a very different answer.  Australia will always be my home, but I am thankful everyday for the people I have met here, because I’ve been made to feel at home here in the USA too. 

 

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Check out more stories from our other “Salute to the American Dream” blogs

Dane Short from Zymbol

Robin Sydney from Twiddle

Meredith Laurence from The Blue Jean Chef

Scott Grime from JAI Jewelry

Barbara King

Mark Charles

Carolyn Pollack

Tara McConnell from Temp-tations

Susan Graver

Judith Ripka

Mally

Isaac Mizrahi

Jamie Kern from IT Cosmetics

Aimee Kestenberg

 

 

For even more, take a look at our President’s Day Event Page!

 

Blog Author Posts
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Mrs Chris P1392477855.237112 PostsRegistered 10/7/2011
Liam, this is such a great story! I'm so happy for you that you've been made to feel so welcome and at home here! There are great people everywhere and your story proves that. I always love to see you on the Q, I am a customer and have found the shoes to help me very much! So thank you for that and for sharing your story! I'm glad you're here and hope you get to see a lot more this year! :)

Tinuvial1392478960.043 PostsRegistered 2/15/2014

You are very brave to make such a life changing decision. Glad to have you as a part of QVC, and I'm sure the ladies are happy to be working with you. Welcome, to you and your fine shoes. Hate snow yet? Tinuvial

patty1231392480261.3034 PostsRegistered 1/28/2013

Liam,

So glad you feel so at home here. I can see how that's possible because all the hosts are so down to earth and friendly.I feel like we could be friends,too.You take care and welcome to the good old USA. Patty{#emotions_dlg.thumbup1}

FLIP FLOP ­GIRL1392483224.021 PostsRegistered 2/22/2012

What an awesome story, you seem like such a truly nice person and I am glad you have had a wonderful experience here in the US. I love watching you on the Q, you have brought such a great product to QVC, I own many pairs and I thank you for making my feet feel fantastic !!! I know you miss your family but as you said its only so many hours away. I am glad you have had a great experience being here.

Tascha1392483569.8658 PostsRegistered 9/6/2008
Liam, as a former Pennsylvanian, I'm from Pittsburgh, I can honestly tell you that you would never find a friendlier state to live in. We welcome all as friends we've known a long time. There is no such thing as a stranger in Pennsylvania. We don't just tell you how to get somewhere we'll take you there! Welcome to the USA and the QVC team.

beauty que­en1392493435.253291 PostsRegistered 1/11/2008

Liam, the U.S. is lucky to have a great guy like you on their soil. You will always be an asset to the U.S. and QVC also. I love Orthaheel and Dr. Weil and his teachings. You should try to visit other states in the United States, some are very beautiful. If you ever feel adventurous, come over the Staten Island and me and my family would love to show you some of the sights. Welcome again. Debbie

CZLady11392528839.44720 PostsRegistered 7/9/2012
Bless your heart, Liam. What a huge step you have taken, bustee are happy you did. Your smile is so genuine when on camera. I'm glad you have come to America and brought Orthaheel Heel with you.

Cats30001392589901.88395 PostsRegistered 10/7/2013

Decades ago, we visited NZ (along with Australia). We were in Wellington and Auckland. We found the people to be warm, friendly and simply wonderful. I was ready to move permanently. My SO was not. But we have very fond memories of NZ.

ROMARY1392605435.2117083 PostsRegistered 4/28/2010

Welcome to your second home! Lots of nice people in both countries. People mirror your nice personality. A genuine smile is worth a thousand words........{#emotions_dlg.rolleyes}

Yellow Rose

DebMatOly1392646358.727 PostsRegistered 7/13/2013

I read your blog yesterday and dreamed about you last night!

Last edited on 2/17/2014

katamb1392662816.91712 PostsRegistered 3/6/2012

Cool Story! Can you make your shoes in an E width? I really want to try them but have always had extra wide feet. Even if they're more expensive - I'm use to that. Thanks.

JazziM1392664265.0413 PostsRegistered 1/7/2008

It was really interesting reading your story and learning that everyone around you has been so supportive. Years ago I moved from one state to another here in the USA. While this is othing like moving to another country, I had no friends or family in the new state. It definitely makes a difference when those around you offer a friendly hand or an ear to listen. I'm adding my belated, WELCOME to those you already received. May you continue to enjoy your time here.

bagbab1392686807.1633 PostsRegistered 1/1/2014
Liam, your post brought me to tears. My daughter did the same as you in reverse. Meaning about six years ago she made the decision to move to Australia. When she quit her teaching job in Maryland (I live in Delaware) packed two bags one of which was a back pack and headed to the other side of the world, something inside of me died. I'm still unable to come to grips with the fact that she has made a life so far away. I'm happy for her. She has the same feelings for Australia that you have for America. No I've never been. Will someday. I pray that people "down under" are as kind to her as they are to you. Isn't life funny that way. Welcome. All the best to you.

ButterflyWV1392733665.3339 PostsRegistered 8/10/2008

I believe you can purchase Vegemite at Wegmans stores. I think there are several in the area of QVC.

Reva1393882551.487885 PostsRegistered 6/9/2005

Liam...loved reading your post. I had no idea you had moved to the U.S. permanently. I'm so glad you've had such a warm welcome and that QVC has done so much to make you feel at home here! QVC is the greatest and you are an awesome vendor, so informative and enthusiastic and...love, love, love the beard! Reva

JERIR1393962840.18310 PostsRegistered 12/30/2011
Liam. I enjoyed reading your story about your new life here. Because I am a White Sox fan from Chicago, I was a bit dismayed to see the picture of you at Cubs park! (Ha ha)Oh well, maybe next time you come to Chgo I can take you to the home of a World Series Winner!(The rivalry between these two teams can be a bit harrowing sometimes! I am glad to have watched your many presentations on the Q. I own at least 6 pair of shoes and 4 pair of slippers from Orthoheel. I have even turned 4 friends into Orthoheel fans. I have one big problem that I was hoping that you could help me with:The thin soles on last year's Tsv (A230080 Molly) were so painful to wear in the heat of the summer that I couldn't wear them outside of the home! I had broken them in at home and loved the feel of them and the support they offered. However, w when I wore them to church I had to hurry home because of the pain on the soles of my feet as I walked across the parking lot! I need a pair of sandals for this summer but I cannot determine which pair has a thicker sole on it. Are the Albany shoes any thicker or are they just as thin as the soles of the Molly's? Please get back to me! Thank you. I look forward to seeing your upcoming show later this week! Jeri

Last edited on 3/4/2014

Ms QVC1395601044.53726 PostsRegistered 11/26/2007

Hi Liam

My husband and I both are nuts over this brand - I just bought my husband this third pair and he is a difficult fit but he loves them and can wear them straight out of the box - I can see that the women's line is definitely expanding - sure hope to see the same happen with the men's line -

So glad QVC picked up this shoe line - also love that you bring the smaller men's sizes as well - my husband wears and 7M which is not easy to fine but they fit him perfectly and he loves the arch support I do as well and I definitely think this line does wonders for people that suffer with plantar fasciitis as well

Keep them coming and so happy you are enjoying the US !{#emotions_dlg.thumbup}

shylobster1396712188.6710 PostsRegistered 2/15/2013

Hi Liam. My best friend and his family live in Sydney, AU and I have been there myself. Fell in love with the place. I love your shows so glad you are on QVC.

KATIE421402176977.4236 PostsRegistered 3/5/2014

Liam,

I knew I loved Vionic's the first time I put them on. I now have 6 pair.I even bought my husband a pair for his birthday. I knew even more that I loved them when I found out your last name was Bourke.My maiden name was Burk. I have been to Australia 3 times and loved it. We rented a car and drove from Melbourne to Adelaide. My husband was in International business and traveled to many countries (31) Even though our last name is spelled differently, I am sure we must be related somewhere down the line. Welcome to our beautiful USA.

Last edited on 6/10/2014

KATIE421402432018.9776 PostsRegistered 3/5/2014

Hi Liam

I sent you two blogs and did not get a response on either one of them. It is extremely important that I delete the second one if possible. I do not want to cause any problem but this is extremely important that I speak with you about this. PLEASE REPLY.

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