Years ago my daughter, Lisa, all of 14 years of age, pushed the button to travel overseas with her mum, Viv, for a variety of reasons. Viv, with her artistic background, had long dreamt of visiting Europe, with all it’s cultural and historical significance, but it was a big ask financially. So off they went together for three weeks and it was indeed a wonderful experience, not only from the travel perspective, but also from a mother daughter bonding point of view. Not long after their return, Lisa announced that she and I should one day do something similar.
After finishing school, Lisa worked for two years saving her pennies and then enrolled in a double degree in Tourism and International Studies. To be perfectly honest, she was not really the serious academic type at school, but more than made up for this with her motivation and forward thinking. Lisa has always had an affinity with overseas travelers and was more than happy to live in backpacker accommodation for her first six months of study in Sydney, much to my chagrin. Two years later she entered a Commonwealth Bank Facebook competition and won a trip for two, worth $25,000, to join an Antarctic Islands expedition with researchers and scientists, on the Russian icebreaker, Shokalsky, to commemorate Douglas Mawson’s expeditions. She asked me to join her, which of course I did and so the second part of her previous ambition was fulfilled. Words will never express the experience we shared together.
A year later Lisa planned to visit us back home for a month or so over the Xmas period by driving her little red Hyundai across the Nullarbor, most of it on her own. Sleeping in the back of the car, alone, on deserted sections of the Nullarbor, is every parent’s nightmare for their daughter, but she managed it in her own way. When she arrived, we were renting out our house in Gracetown and camped up in the slide on camper out at Jim Nilsson’s place. Lisa arrived and immediately announced that we should really think about relocating to a small rural place and coincidentally she has spotted the perfect location, just outside of Gracetown. Initially I was totally against the idea, but went and had a look just the same. In less than six months we had sold up, moved in and the rest, as they say, is history.
Lisa has now spent a year of her course studying in Chile, immersing herself in the South American culture and we can only await the next moves once she finishes this final year of study back in Sydney. One thing for sure, she won’t die wondering. On her very last day in Chile, while surfing a remote location at dawn, on her own, another guy paddles out and they strike up a conversation. Turns out he works for a company named Chimu Adventures who specialise in tours to South America, Antarctica, one of their partner vessels is the Shokalsky and their motto is ‘Live For Today’. Lisa called it a lucky twist of fate, but I call it someone making things happen. She has already written up her letter of introduction and resume to push the next button. Go girl!
To answer last week’s question, Donald Campbell’s world water speed record at Lake Dumbleyung in 1964 was 444.71km/h. This week’s question is, “When and where did Donald Campbell make his final, fatal, water speed record attempt?”
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