I’m writing this in Rockhampton in Australia where it all started. My life that is.
Time out from life in London in the same home where I spent my first 20 years has given me a chance to look back. And the signs really are obvious. As a kid I loved to explore, discover new things, take risks, meet new people, set out on adventures, push the boundaries and lose myself for hours on end. As an adult in my early 30s, I still love and do these things… just in different countries across the world.
Context: I grew up in Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia. My parents owned a mango and paw paw farm (and beans I’ve now been told!) out of town where I spent most of my weekends and school holidays. At age 11, I switched time on the farm for time at the beach when my parents sold the farm in exchange for beach units.
Here are the early signs of becoming a life-long traveller that stand out for me:
- Climbing a large pile of rocks on the farm with a pink picnic basket searching for fools’ gold
- Swimming in a water hole on the farm formed from inches of rain, only to flee soon after we spotted a snake swimming towards us
- Having to be rescued by lifesavers because of rock-climbing too far out into the water in a changing tide and oncoming storm (made the local newspaper!)
- Exploring each and every sand dune to see what I could find which included someone living there with a large fresh water supply and clothes hanging on the tree branches
- Making a cubby house out of sand and palm leaves and hiding away from the world
- Rummaging through beach erosion barefoot and getting taken to hospital for a Tetanus shot after stepping on a rusty nail
- Searching for ghost crabs on the beach at night with a torch to light the way
- Sleeping in strange places for sleepovers with friends like boats and even a tent pitched on the front lawn for perfect viewing of a blood moon
- Riding my bike much further than the block I was allowed to (when I first started riding)
- Packing a backpack with food and water for a day of riding our bikes around Rockhampton (and there were no mobile phones then!)
- Getting grounded for 1 week (felt like the worst possible punishment at the time) because of getting home later than the agreed time with Mum
- Disappearing constantly to visit the neighbours and their pets
- Sitting in the car waiting and ready to go long before Mum and Dad for our family adventure to Cooktown
- Looking for wombats on the side of the road (because if there’s one, there must be more!) on our snowy trip to Tasmania
- Getting a job and licence as early as I could for independence!
Written in August 2016