When I was young we moved a lot – I mean a whole lot… We travelled all over Australia, far and wide, and settled for short periods of time in each of the far corners of the country.
The ocean and green hills, the brown dryness of the outback- all these things I shared with my sibling, who was my travel companion and my friend, as well as being my sister.
My memories of games in the car with her and the world whizzing by are some of the most exciting as a child. I cherish the thoughts of falling asleep in the back of the car and waking up in a whole new place, sometimes beautiful and sometimes dry and arid. It was magical at times. I recall opening tins of peas, beans and baby potatoes and seeing thousands upon thousands of tiny butterflies appear from nowhere to drink the juice which we tipped out of the cans. I remember my father, sleeping under the car to avoid the searing heat and a full water bag, which hung on the front of the car and miraculously produced cold refreshing water to drink.
I’ll never forget the night, pitch dark, with only the lights of the white Kingswood to guide us, where dad decided to stop just before what he thought was a large playing field in a park, for the night. What appeared to be a huge expanse of grass, wasn’t and in the morning we woke to find a massive lake instead. What a relief he stopped driving.
I remember the morning he decided that the engine needed cleaning, because it had accumulated so much dust from the road. He completely doused the motor in petrol fuel, before we set off for more driving and when he turned the key the engine burst into flame. Mum still doesn’t find that story funny.
There was another time, when we were pulling a trailer, full of all our earthly treasures, up a steep winding mountain range. Suffice to say, the trailer wheel slipped just over the edge of the road, jumped off the tow ball and proceeded to careen down the edge of the mountain and into the valley below. Mum didn’t find that funny either.
I remember new houses and apartments, van parks and roadside stops, exciting places to explore, towns and cities which thrilled me and new people to meet, but most of all I remember the adventure – being free – starting all over and living life to the full.
It was a wonderful way to spend my childhood and joyously I have travelled almost the entire length and breadth of Australia. These days I stay still in one spot, a spot I love, on the Gold Coast in Queensland, but every now and then the wandering spirit takes over and I need to go on a road trip.
Dad has passed away now – a year ago the other day – and I miss his smile, his laughter and the way nothing was ever too hard for him. He loved us with abundance and made both my sister and I feel like princesses. Thankfully we still have my mom. She is an inspiration and has lived a hard life, but she also showed us the beauty of the world – how to make fairy dresses from tissues, how to leave little trinkets for them in magic gardens, how to find joy in the little things. She gave me all the reason I needed to write a fantasy fairytale…
They were beautiful days – good memories – which inspired me to write and to share the adventure of life.
I hope you enjoy your own adventure as I did, and still do, mine…
Love and blessings,
Ashlee North – Author http://ashleenorthauthor.com/