Born and raised in Brisbane, Australia. I grew up in a world where it was safe and common for parents to kick their kids out the door (not literally mind) and simply say: don’t get into mischief and be back before dark. Sometimes me and my mates achieved both. Not always. When I left school I chose to follow a trade. Faced with instant work and a wage, or 3-4 years of study at Uni half way up the Queensland coast fending for myself, the phrase ‘show me the money’ springs to mind.
After four years as an apprentice ‘sparky’, I finally found myself up the coast doing a year’s stint as a tradesman, in a place called Mackay (known for sugar cane, holiday islands and lots of coal mines). But working a trade didn’t hold a big attraction – travel did. So I jacked it all in, and went travelling. The usual Aussie overseas adventure. Although not the Contiki/Top Deck Aussie booze bus holiday. I hitched, worked, backpacked and made my money last long enough to see out almost 2 years on my own. According to my calculations (and one Facebook’s many apps), I’ve logged visits to over 50 countries (classified by at least setting foot in the country – outside the airport) between school and now. But that’s another blog, another story, another time. Definitely maybe.
My one random and fun fact is that I once held the keys to a Scottish castle when in my early 20s. I’d been hitching around the UK and landed a job as Assistant Manager at grand Carbisdale Castle, the largest Youth Hostel in Scotland. Ghost tours and escorting residents back across the railway viaduct from the pub, were just two of my duties. I did 6 months in my first year, before exploring Ireland, more of England, then heading off to the Middle East, and then I returned for a few more months. I came to regard it as a second home.
I survived 2 1/2 years in New Zealand. I wear that badge with pride. It was a time when the Kiwis were whipping us at everything: Rugby (nothing new there), League (very unusual), Cricket (sad but true), and host of other sports (netball, Olympics, etc etc) – yes folks it was a tough time to be an Aussie in NZ. But I loved the place none-the-less, backed packed (they call it tramping) and hitched from one end to the other and in the process gained a wonderful new family.
So, now I live in London. Been in the UK for about 18 years. Yep, I still miss home, not so much the sauna like summers, (though I’m not a big fan of wet, grey, cold winters wither) but hey you can’t have everything. What keeps me here is a good but challenging job working for great company (check out Moonfruit), good friends, London’s endless cosmopolitan vibe, and easy access to a lot of wonderful European countries.
Lastly, I’m a triathlete, a diver (Dive Master) – last dived Iceland 2012 (wow that is a long time ago), cyclist, marathoner, skiier (sorry snowboard – you don’t treat me nice), and I like cooking (but prefer eating: curries). Shit, where am I going to find time to bloody blog about stuff. Hmmmm…