MY AUTHENTIC

Being born in a small town in New Zealand then growing up on a self-sufficient farm in Tasmania (Australia’s southernmost island) I spent my childhood in the wild hunting (rabbits with my bow and arrow) and gathering (wild herbs and berries from the surrounding hills).

A Swiss mother with Spanish roots ensured life maintained a golden Mediterranean context that felt entirely foreign growing up in 1990s Australia. This European influence gave me an appreciation of unfettered generosity, passion and a spirit filled with the good life. These traits were combined with my father, born and raised in wartime New Zealand with his 20s spent performing missionary work in the Pacific Islands and backpacking around Asia and South America when travel was exclusively for the wild adventurer.

From this base of cross-culture intersections, my own life followed a similar path of fusion. Moving to Melbourne, possibly the most multicultural city in the world, I set about exploring all of its diverse corners. But I couldn’t stay still and started filling my passport with stamps, a popular pastime for anyone that grows up on an island, no matter how big. I traveled the length of Sweden for a taste of Scandinavia’s natural cool, immersed myself in Hong Kong and Singapore soaking up the addictive buzz of neon-lit streets, stared up at palm trees in Samoa for a taste of island life, ¬†stood back in awe at the seemingly controlled chaos in Tokyo, then immersed myself in Spain, the country that I would later call home, from Tarifa to San Sebastian, Galicia to Barcelona, and everything in between. Combined with stints in San Francisco, New York and LA, Moscow, Tel Aviv, London and visits to all of the European cities included on the Ryanair flight map, I was ready to accept a life of fusion.

Moving to Barcelona was the most drastic step in this journey as the people I crossed paths with exposed me to yet more cultural context and chaos. Italians taught me about la bella vita, Mexicans brought creativity and style, Israelis revealed a cultural depth, and a Dutch contingent proved that hedonism is not dead. And all the locals that let me call Barcelona/Catalonia/Spain home offered a constant reminder to squeeze maximum pleasure from every day.

I absorbed these interactions, internalising the familiar and new, while never forgetting my own authentic origins. But I was restless and there was a world waiting to be explored.

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