I flew on my first aeroplane at the age of two, whisked away to the United Kingdom along with nothing but a few small suitcases and carrying with us the reluctant farewell of grandparents and friends. While there, I was lucky enough to travel around Europe with my parents, which was not so lucky for them, because…well, its me. However it taught my parents many ‘unusual’ skills, and called upon their creativity when dealing with rather odd situations, heck, its not every day you have to pee into your dolls diaper in the back seat of a car at the unfortunate age of six. But I survived, slightly scarred, but well educated in all areas ‘need to pee, no toilet’.
Having only lived in the UK for five years, I was generously bribed with a bright pink suitcase and convinced to pack up and leave my two favourite pets, Peter the rabbit, and Charlie the canary. On our journey home to New Zealand, I experienced yet another, knicker soaking experience – now at the even more unfortunate age of eight, when accidentally skiing down a black diamond slope in the harsh mountains of Calgary, Canada. Needless to say, using my past experience, I was able to cover up my misfortune, blaming the odd smell in the small, airtight gondolas, on the poor cleaning standards of the snow stations staff.
Settling down once again, in the retired city of Tauranga, New Zealand, shifting into my sixth home – also known as ‘the barn’, attending my fifth school, and owning my eighth pet, I thought this was it. Walking distance from school, a short bike ride from my friends and a long but worth it walk to the dairy with the best dollar mix of lollies in town, my childhood had reached its prime.
Four years in, and I had finally made my way up the ranks of Intermediate, with the promise of a position in the ‘cool group’ for the following year. Ecstatic and ready, I awaited the summer holidays to be over, that was until my mother sat me down for ‘the talk’. Furious and newly hormonal, I dealt with the impulsive decision of my mother to homeschool me. That’s right, we weren’t moving, yet, we were entering a whole new realm of ‘wtf’. Not only was I missing out on my newly prized position in the cool group, I was now being taught by my mother. The best way to describe that year, would be this quote I just found on google, “We learn from failure, not success” – and boy did we learn… and then move.
New school, new friends and new neighbourhood, I had this sh!t on lock. Little did I know, I was officially a little fish in a very big pond. Having grown up in small English villages, and slow retired (barely a city) Tauranga, I was introduced to the ‘big smoke’. Not only was I the new kid in town, I was the new kid in a very posh school, who had just finished homeschooling in Tauranga – it is a miracle I found friends.
Five years on, graduating with nothing but a framed photo of me dressed up as Dorothy to remain in the college halls, I had made it. Still in Auckland, I had found my home, my life-long friends and my favourite indian take-out. Growing up, constantly moving, I swore I would never travel as much as my parents, dreaming of one day settling down on a farm and looking after horses – even though I am genuinely scared of them.
Yet, it was only months after leaving school I found myself departing on a plane, alone and unsure of what lay ahead. Challenging my understanding of travel and the knowledge that comes with branching out of what is comfortable. Every period of time away from home throughout these past four years, I have seen the biggest growth in my maturity, character and waist-line. Here I am, four years after graduating, and I am on yet another grand adventure, fulfilling the yearning to switch it up and challenge my ‘small world’ view.
Needless to say, I have unfortunately become like my ‘can’t sit still’ parents – wtf