I grew up in the small surf town of Oakura, Taranaki, Aotearoa (New Zealand) with it’s black-sand beaches, lush mountain ranges and picturesque sunsets. A child of passionate, talkative, nature-loving parents, my childhood was filled with outdoor adventures, after school beach swims, and a lot of opinions. Our kitchen table was a place for telling stories, making art, political debates and eating homegrown vegetables. By day, my sister and I rode our ponies along the beach; by night we put on performances in the lounge for our parents and any number of their friends at dinner parties. We had dance routines, songs, little plays, and opening speeches to our childhood birthday parties. Words and laughter were always flowing, and the power of stories and language got under my skin.
In 2010, as an 18 year old this passion for words took me to Victoria University of Wellington where I spent 4 years studying English Literature. It was during this time that I also discovered my passion for travel; in 2012 I spent 4 months on a university exchange at Lancaster University in England. Studying in England meant I got to travel Europe in my weekends, popping down to London for concerts, or taking long weekends in Ireland or Amsterdam. I finished off my time in Europe with a 6 week, solo backpacking stint which gave me a brief glimpse of life in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, the Czech republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Italy and France. This journey taught me loads about myself, unlocked new cities and cultures, and opened up a whole new world to me: life on the move.
I returned to New Zealand in January 2013 and spent the rest of that year completing my Honours degree in English literature. While I physically spent that year studying in Wellington, my mind was often elsewhere, remembering the places and people I had met in the previous year, or dreaming of where I wanted explore next. My preoccupation with travel even emerged in my dissertation; I spent a year studying and producing 10,000 words on how one of my favourite authors, E.M. Forster wrote about travel and tourism in his stories.
With my studies complete, and my bank account empty, in 2014 I got a job in Public Health insurance in Wellington were I worked managing the rehabilitation of injured, elderly people. What I initially saw as a way to earn money became a challenging and rewarding way to make a living. But after 2 years of spending 40 hours a week sitting in an office, in January 2016 I decided to leave my job in the pursuit of balance, independence and adventure.
2016 was an incredible year. I spent February – April still based in Wellington, working part-time as an early child-hood teacher and completed a certificate in Teaching English as a foreign language. This allowed me more time to focus on some of my passions: teaching, song-writing, cooking and hiking.
In May 2016, I left New Zealand with a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires Argentina. This was the start of 7 months of unplanned travel and volunteer work which saw me travel through parts of South America, and take the long way home via 2 months travel in Europe.
I arrived back in New Zealand in December 2016, in time for Christmas with my family in Oakura. Having reconnected with my home, my family and my friends, I’m now starting to design the next chapter of my life: one that continues the ongoing pursuit for balance, independence and adventure, with travel and writing at its core. I have a heap of stories, tips and lessons-learnt to share, and a hunger to keep fueling my tales with more adventure!