IN January RTÉ news reporter Caitriona Perry travels to the US to take up her “dream job” — the prestigious post of Washington Correspondent.
“Professionally it’s an amazing gig, it’s a real privilege to get to do it,” says the 33-year-old.
The new post will mean a huge upheaval — she’s married for starters — but the award-winning journalist is not in the least bit fazed.
Having spent five months in the States as part of her undergraduate journalism degree and with a masters in international relations, she has a deep affinity for the country, its politics and people.
“The office is in DC and you’re based there but if something big happens you hit the road. I’d be anxious to is to get out of DC and to tell the stories we don’t often hear. To meet people who are going about their daily business, who are not caught up in politics.”
Though it’s all she’s ever wanted career wise, the move comes with a personal cost.
“I’m at the age when all my friends and family are having babies so you miss being there — you’re going to be the Skype auntie or Skype friend.”
In true ex-pat style, her door will always be open. “I put the message out there that all and sundry are welcome. Hopefully they’ll take up the invitation.”
It’s unlikely they’ll need to be asked twice.
What shape are you in?
I’m a bit of a fitness junkie. I run a lot that’s my thing. My best time for the marathon is 4hr 6mins. I also do swimming and cycling, Pilates, yoga and a bit of weight training. I’m always on the go.
Do you have any health concerns?
I don’t, touch wood.
What are your healthiest eating habits?
I would have porridge for breakfast all year round with berries and linseed. Even if it’s the middle of summer I’d still have to have the bowl of porridge. I did a fish cookery course recently and of course I’m big into fish at the moment. I love food, I love eating. I try to eat as healthily as possible.
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
The sweet stuff. I can’t have a cup of tea or coffee without having a bit of chocolate — Terry’s Chocolate Orange is my favourite at the moment.
What would keep you awake at night?
I’m a bit of a worry wart. I got a good tip many years ago: keep a note book and pen on the locker and to write down whatever is on your mind, leave it there and worry about it tomorrow. I find that works.
Who would you like to invite to your dream dinner party?
Bill Clinton — he’s got to have some great stories to tell; Steven Speilberg; Mary Robinson — she’s fantastic; Daniel Day Lewis — I think he’s a stunning actor.
What is your favourite smell?
Fresh laundry — the smell of nice clean clothes hanging and airing. At the moment I’m wearing Jo Malone’s Nectarine and Honey Blossom fragrance.
What would you like to change about your appearance?
Nothing. I’ve realised at this point in my life everything is the way it is. When I was younger I used to wish I was taller but you get used to it and now I’m quite happy to be on the petite side — I’m between 5’2” and 5’3” depending on the hairstyle.
When did you last cry?
My sister had a very premature baby boy — he arrived seven weeks early — so we were all quite worried about that for a while.
Thankfully, everything is fine now.
What trait do you least like in others?
Negativity. Bad things happen and sometimes a lot of bad things happen to some really amazing people but a positive outlook can get you through most things. People who are negative tend to drag everyone down with them.
What trait do you least like in yourself?
I probably over-think things. I could do with being a bit more relaxed.
What would cheer up your day?
World peace. But in the absence of that: Lyons tea, chocolate and good chats with good friends and family.
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