Maybe that's why high school couldn't hold my interest, I must have driven the teachers mad, I'd either be wagging school to head to the beach, or dreaming up new adventures to be had. At 15 I talked my Mum into letting me head up to Surfers Paradise for two weeks on my own to hang out with some older mates. A round trip of nearly 4000 kilometres on a bus. That was my first experience of travelling on my own, living on a few dollars a day, most of which was spent on entry to Bombay Rock and beer.
After that adventure I returned home with the pressing need to make some money to fund my next adventure, passing a bus yard one day on my pushie I noticed a guy loading up the bus with camping equipment, so I rode in and said G'Day. It turned out that the guy loading the bus owned the company which ran tours to different parts of Australia with a fleet of six or so buses, seeing my interest he offered me a job straight up, he needed someone to help prepare the buses, I was sick of school and wanted some cash, perfect. Until I was 16 I juggled school during the day and working on the buses at night and on the weekends, once I got to the legal leaving age I didn't have to worry about school any more!
Working for the bus company was great for a young bloke with a sense of adventure, we would quite often do school tours with kids my own age, and I was getting paid to travel. The job also taught me the principle of wealth from toil, when preparing the buses I would get paid per bus, the harder I worked the more I made. All went well for a couple of years until Mum mentioned that a family friend who worked for a large multi national was having trouble finding good workers. Before I knew it I was working days in a factory and nights for the bus company. My next adventure was on the horizon though, after a couple of years of that I decided to pull the pin and head off
We had the time of our life travelling around and living out of the back of the panel van, but as the days went by I found myself thinking about Sam a lot, in the days before the inter web and mobile phones I was keeping in contact by letters and postcards. With the money starting to dwindle I got a message to call my old boss at the multi national, once again he was struggling to find suitable workers and wanted to know if I'd come back. Within one week I went from camping in the deserts of Central Australia to snow skiing back home.
I've worked for that company now for 27 years and I've been married for 25. That didn't stop the travel though, I now had to sometimes settle for smaller adventures and quite often I'd be planning for two. Over the years my wife and I have criss crossed the country in our Toyota Troopie, from the tip of Cape York in the north to the bottom of Tasmania in the South, from Byron Bay in the East to Steep Point in the west and all the deserts and mountain rangers in between. We can now afford to head os and we enjoy those adventures as well, trying to fit a trip in every year or so.
So why do a blog? Firstly, with 50 approaching faster than I'd like, I need to keep my weight under control. I've always been a big bloke I'm 6 foot 3 inches tall and as write this I'm 124 kilograms (why do we use imperial for height and metric for weight?), Now that might sound like Homer Simpson but its not quite that bad, picture a rugby front rower and add a few years (quite a few years). I'm hoping writing a blog will keep me motivated to get out and enjoy new adventures as well as revisit old ones. Which brings me to my next reason, with 40 years of extensive travel in Australia I've seen a lot of changes, if you believe the over whelming majority of scientists (and I do) the next 40 years will bring a lot more changes. I thought I'd like to document what we have now for my own memories, in my lifetime I've seen massive changes to the areas around my home state. The last reason is I like to share with my friends and family, if anyone else stumbles upon my blog and gains some enjoyment out of it well that's all good!
Your author on the second last day on the GR20 in Corsica, consuming a breakfast of champions, a can of Corsican cola!