You often hear stories of incredibly fearless humans.
You know, the types who climb Everest without oxygen, who circle the world on a bicycle, or who swim the Bering Straight with nothing but a bathing suit, goggles, and extremely shrunken genitals. Conquerors. Pioneers. Stoic superheroes.
I am not one of them.
Almost every time I begin something new, I fret. “What if I get lost? Injured? What if a horrible flesh-eating worm burrows into my eyeball?” And so on…
But I’m also deeply curious about this world of ours, and I don’t want fear to be the reason I say “No.” Plus, we’re all going to die anyway, right? Eyeball worms be damned.
I believe that life is art, and every time you get out of bed, you’re creating your own life story. Travel and adventure is one way to make art with your life. All the experiences and emotions and joys and hardships of travel (especially the eyeball worms) fill the creative piggybank. In short, I live for art.
I have a book coming out this year called Love with a Chance of Drowning. It was originally self-published, but it sold to five publishers and a movie producer. It’s a truly bizarre story. I mean, I’m pretty sure that happened. Or maybe I dreamed it…
What to expect
Er… it’s probably better if you don’t have any expectations.
I write on a whim and speak from the heart, which means I’m sometimes cheeky, sometimes reflective, but always honest. My subjects span from adventure, to mishaps, to writing, to fear, to art, to love. Consider this blog to be a literary potluck party, Mad Hatter style.
I’ve been told that I write like a man. I don’t know what that means, but it could have something to do with my gratuitous use of the word “balls.” My parents taught me that it’s okay to swear as long as you’re using language consciously. That said, my mother once grabbed a pair of goat’s testicles at a children’s petting zoo and yelled out: “I wonder how much these weigh?” So yeah, maybe I was just overexposed to balls.
Anyway, my point: if you can’t stand the occasional bleeeeep, then click that little X in the top left corner of this page and go Google some unicorns. (Spoiler: Unicorns have balls!)
How it began
I first started blogging in 2004.
Back then, there was no Facebook or Twitter, and blogging was known as “Talking smack ’bout yo’self on the interwebz.” (Not really. Nobody ever said that except me, just now, regrettably.) However, like a tree falling in empty woods, there was nobody there to hear it.
At age 24, when I took off overseas on my own for the first time, I began a website called valiantvoyage.com as a way to share stories and pictures with friends and family, and—most importantly—to reassure my mother that I was not dead. This was especially important after I fell in love and decided to sail home to Australia from the United States with a man she’d never met. More on that later.
This is my ninth year of blogging about my life. I’m not sure if that’s an accomplishment worthy of an award, or a level of chronic narcissism that’s worthy of psychotherapy. Probably both.
Either way, it has been fun. Big things have happened. I landed some book deals. I’ve angered some people. I’ve met some generous, inspiring, and downright lovely folks, and I’m forever grateful to my readers, who karmically guarantee themselves worm-free eyeballs whenever they *Like* a post.
At age 24, I found myself bored with life.
I had all the must-haves of a grown up person: friends, a career, a car, a kick-ass wardrobe, a romantically lacklustre relationship. But something was missing, so I packed my bags and left my Australian home to see if I could find it in San Francisco. What exactly was I was looking for? I still don’t know.
I certainly wasn’t looking for love. But one drunken night, I met a 31-year old Argentinean man in a bar who turned out to have a humble sailboat and a dream to set off exploring the world. Given that I suffer from Thalassophobia—a chronic fear of the ocean—I can tell you now that cupid was being a bit of a dick that day.
Opposites attract, blah, blah, blah, and I found myself head over heels.
When he offered to chaperone me back to Australia on a year-long voyage, via a string of tropical islands, I said, “No way!” I couldn’t imagine anything more horrifying that crossing the world’s largest ocean on a tiny boat.
But eight months after our first fling, the time came for him to set off on his planned adventure, and I had two choices: head off with him, or watch the man I was in love with sail away forever.
Lured by the South Pacific islands—which would act as stepping stones between the US and my Aussie home—I swallowed my fear and jumped aboard. Somewhere mid-Pacific, I found myself adrift in a storm on a leaky sailboat struggling to keep an old boat, a new relationship, and my floundering sanity afloat …
And so, the Fearful Adventurer was born.
- I am 32-years old.
- I earn my bacon through freelance design and illustration. My job gives me the freedom to work in my robe and slippers from anywhere. I create things like this and this, and after twelve years, I still adore my job.
- I’m now an author and a freelance writer, though I still struggle to call myself the ‘W’ word.
- I’m a dual citizen. I was born and raised in Australia, but my parents are American. This, combined with the fact that my family is outright peculiar, means I’ve never fully identified with any culture. But that’s okay.
- I have five sisters and no brothers.
- My dad is a scriptwriter and my mum is a singer. I was brought up to value art, self-expression, stories, and good times above all else. “You’re here for a good time, not for a long time,” they often say, generally while pouring the third round of tequila shots. So yeah, maybe that was bad advice too.
Browse through my list of favorite things.
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