From as early as I can remember I always was fascinated with adventure and far away places. I guess its a right of passage for small boy growing up without either…
One of mum’s favourite sayings was “you never know you luck in a big city”, but I think I took it literally. Even then I thought, “well, if that’s where the luck is then I’m definitely going to live in a big city”. 🙂
Mum could feel my restlessness from an early age, and tried to dissuade me from getting too far ahead of myself, tempering my enthusiasm to be more realistic I suppose.
It was her way of trying to ensure I wasn’t disappointed with not being able to live the type of life that she knew I was imagining and dreaming of. I suppose it was that obvious!
Clearly it was a very different era, and after being mired in poverty for so many years it was difficult for her to see beyond the disappointment that comes with living a life under these circumstances.
She thought that the best cure for me would be to take a trip, albeit small, and get it out of my system once and for all.
And so after I left University and had my first teaching job she encouraged me to take a trip.
My first trip on a plane was to the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise which is situated in Queensland about 2 hours flying time from Melbourne.
My moment of truth had arrived and I was both excited and scared all at the same time, okay, so maybe a little more scared than anything else. That first flight was a white knuckle affair, luckily for me I was seated next to a nun who just smiled and held my hand – that definitely helped. 🙂
Clearly it was obvious that it was my first time on a plane…
However, after arriving back from this trip I was totally hooked and immediately began planning and saving for my next trip…much to mum’s disappointment.
And so it went, getting a little more bold each time with the destination (all still within Australia at this point).
After each trip mum would ask me if I had a good time, but I knew what was really on her mind.
Are you cured yet? Have you had enough?
One of her common refrains went something like this “It’s a waste of your money? You know its money you’ll never get back, you should be saving up and settling down…like everyone else”.
Unfortunately, with each successive trip it only made me want to travel more. Rebellious or curious is the question?
After a handful of these smaller trips it was time to really get outside my comfort zone and although I didn’t know it at the time just how impactful this trip would become in my life.
I remember driving to school (yes, I was a Phys.Ed teacher in a prior life) one morning in Darwin and I had the most overpowering sensation to quit my job and travel the world…
After spending much of the morning mulling over my finances and options I resigned my tenured teaching position later that day.
Impetuous some might say, but seriously the inclination to stop what I was doing and change course was that strong that I just listened to my gut and went with it. Crazy…right!?
It didn’t take me long to take action and in less than a month I was on a plane bound for my year long backpacking adventure.
To fund my trip I liquidated everything I owned, and either sold or gave away everything I possessed and brought my airline ticket.
Fortunately I had been working a couple of part time jobs plus making a decent amount playing football so I had some good savings. Enough to last me a year without having to work…
After my year away I literally arrived back in Australia with only a couple of dollars in my pocket, but wouldn’t change a thing!
This experience was priceless and irrevocably changed the course of my life…
If only my mum could see me now (she passed away in 1987), and the incredible life I’ve been able to create for myself, and especially her two smart, healthy, brillant grandchildren that she never got to meet…
My dream of creating a life full of travel and adventure has come to fruition.
Admittedly, there’s been a lot of hard work and planning to get to where I am today, but it’s exactly the type of life that I envisioned for myself as a small boy.
And the most amazing thing is that I’ve gotten to share it with Zach and Sam, and pass on my love of travel and adventure to each of them. Feeling very blessed!
Remember, that “it’s not where you start in life that’s important, but how you live your life everyday to attain your dreams that is”.
I’ve found that living a life filled with positivity, purpose and passion has changed my outlook on life completely!
Well, that’s how I feel anyway 🙂
Until next week