As it is Mother’s Day today and my dear mum’s birthday at the end of May, I thought I would dedicate a little post to the two most important people in my life. I feel so blessed to have the best parents in the world. Their support for me has never wavered; even from across the seas. As I have gotten older, I think back to my childhood with gratitude for the travels we took as a family. I know I probably didn’t thank them enough, albeit at all at the time, but I know the adventures we had then helped shaped me into who I am today.
Although I am as pale as Nicole Kidman and resemble a ripe tomato when in the sun for too long, I have always loved the beach. From the beautiful beach five minutes walk from our house in Western Australia, swimming with the seals, the pristine Cable Beach in Broome, Townsville’s stinger nets to the Sunshine Coast’s waves, we have swam in them all. Back then I loved building sandcastles and collecting shells, now I just love dipping my toes into the soft sand and letting the salt water wash over me.
We travelled around Australia in a caravan for three months when I was eight, and met a lot of people in the van parks, including other families, solo travellers and older couples. I know now that fellow travellers are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and it was of course the same then. My mum and dad still keep in contact with a few people we met on that trip, who have seen us grow up as well. My parents always loved to have a chat with their counterparts and doing as they did has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone in more ways than one.
I loved our family adventures, and today I still try and seek out the little-bit-less-ordinary places on my trips. Some of the places in Australia that I always think about include going to hot springs off the beaten track in Western Australia and sitting in an old water tank. Bizarre but serene (for families that don’t have two kids). Meeting “Mad Mick” in Barcaldine in Central Queensland was another weird highlight, that included a ride in the back of his rusty ute (pickup truck). Closer to home we used to go bush bashing as we called it when I was younger, which translates to exploring our backyard and wherever our car lead us. We built forts out of sticks; played in waters that were only ours; learned to ride child-sized motorbikes and took family out for picnics in the bush. These memories always come back to me at random moments in my life. I was a lucky one.
My parents took my brother and I on our first overseas trip to Bali in 2005. It was where they had honeymooned and it always had a hold of their hearts, so they decided to share the love with us. Going to a different country for the first time was amazing: I was in awe of the noise, the smell, the people, the food, the culture. I loved making friends with the Balinese and getting my hair braided and shopping for useless items. I simultaneously fell in love with travel and Bali on that trip, and haven’t looked back since.
So thank you, mum and dad, for sparking the travel bug inside your little girl. For allowing me to see so much of my own country when I was young. For sprinkling adventure into everyday life. For your unconditional love even when I wasn’t the greatest child growing up (I wasn’t the happiest kid when I didn’t get my way). For your reassuring Skype conversations during many moments of personal crisis/mini breakdowns that we can shake our heads at now. Thank you for being my rocks, rock stars. I love you x.