My childhood was spent in a sunburnt country.... school holidays were for building cubby houses or exploring the local creek. I attended a small rural school and applied myself to my studies. English was my best subject because I love words.
I moved interstate when I was 18 and went to university. I completed a communications degree and worked in various positions. It was around this time that I bought my first camera. A Minolta SLR with manual film advance. There was something satisfying about moving that lever after taking a photo. A sense of ceremony. Shortly after that, I completed a black and white darkroom course. I still remember the excitement of watching the proof sheet develop before my eyes. Magic.
I've changed jobs a few times and moved house. My current job means shift work, 12 hour shifts, but the annual leave is great and sometimes I can swap a few shifts for a mini-break away. Every year, sometimes several times a year, I travel. I try to visit someplace new on every trip.
People talk of wander lust or the travel bug. I can relate to that. When I return home from a trip I feel a little flat. Travel sick. Travelsyk [sic]. The only antidote is to plan another trip. Or to write about my previous trips. That is why I started this travel blog. Precious heartbeats. I plan to take an interesting aspect of my travels and flesh it out into a short article. This fuses together three of my favourite things: travel, words and photography!
I don't have a travel bucket list. I am lucky, I have visited all of the places that I ever dreamed of going. I travel now because I'm curious about the world and like being exposed to new ideas, be it theatre, fashion, art, craft, architecture, or design.
I meet up with like-minded people. I take photos every single day. I learn things that aren't found in books. I am out of my comfort zone. I am constantly stimulated by the new and interesting.
I find it easy to be 'in the moment' when I travel. At home I am lazy, relaxed. I do a lot on automatic pilot. Although, sometimes that can be relief after a really big trip. It feels like I'm coming home for a rest!
I regularly travel to new countries. I don't think of it as 'country counting'. I think of it as a geography, sociology and history lesson. As if I was mapping a new continent or researching a history of the world.
Thus far I have travelled to 166 countries. Every country in Europe, North America, South America, Central America and Oceania. I'd like to travel to every country on earth and I hope I have more than enough 'precious heartbeats' to achieve that goal.
I have more trips planned. I have just 24 countries left to visit in Africa and only four in the Middle East. I will be travelling outside of my comfort zone, but you know what, the older I get the less that bothers me.