My dad was a navy pilot and we moved a lot as I was growing up. I quickly learned that I enjoyed going to new places but my passion for travel only really ignited when I was 20 years old. My brother was backpacking around Europe so I decided to study abroad in Prague to be closer. While in Prague I became friends with several Australians and decided I just had to go there.
After graduating from college I made the big move and based myself in a university surf town called Wollongong, south of Sydney. I worked at a whiskey bar and got to travel the country. From Tasmania to Port Douglas and everywhere in between, I fell more and more in love with the country. After Australia I went on and backpacked around Southeast Asia and Central America for six months, but getting back to Oz was always on my mind.
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I'll never forget when…
For as long as I can remember, I've been scared of sharks. My parents visited me in Australia and we spent a week on a boat on the Great Barrier Reef to get scuba certified. On our last evening we did a night dive. Dozens of sharks were circling our boat as I was told to get in. Several black tips were an arm's reach away and throughout the dive I could see green eyes nearby. Though I was terrified, I was happy I did it and oddly, feel less afraid now about being near sharks.