Well 2018 is here and it is time to sit down and put pen to paper - well not literally as my handwriting is atrocious. But our story must be told - in fact, it needs to be told - for many reasons.
We want to encourage families to travel first and foremost. We want people to know that whatever may be thrown at them in life, they can overcome - we are literally living proof of that. We ran out of money, fell ill on numerous occasions and broke down in every country (except Belize and Honduras, but that doesn't really count as we were only there for a day in each one). But despite all that, we made some amazing friends, had many wonderful experiences, got to see the kindness of strangers play out over and over again, and got to show our kids just how beautiful the world really is. We learnt a lot about ourselves (and others) in the process as well.
So there is no time like the present to get to work. And, of course, never doing anything by halves, I now have a wonderful mentor in the form of Kim Dinan, the author of the The Yellow Envelope, who is going to help me with my book proposal to publishers once I get things in place. If you haven't read her book, you really should.
So if you don't hear from me, you know that I am working behind the scenes writing a book proposal and working on the manuscript.
I will keep you updated as to my progress.
Not content to have just one book in the works, I have started working on our travel book entitled "And Off We Went". The book will follow our journey from South America to North America - 2 adults, 2 children, 1 VW Kombi and a whole lot of adventures.
'“Why not”, we thought. It probably wasn’t the most ridiculous idea we had come up with in our 10 years together. So we had no money to speak of, no vehicle at this point in time, but surely a road trip with the four of us from Cusco, Peru to Niagara Falls, Canada wasn’t impossible.' - Michelle Tupy
I love maps. I always have. Growing up in a small Australian sheep shearing community with less than 1,000 people, I constantly dreamt of my escape. In my room I had a small desk with the world map laminated on the top. I spent many hours looking at the map (instead of doing my homework), imagining that I could one day visit these mysterious countries I had only read about in my books or seen on television. My childhood heroes were Amelia Earhart, Gertrude Bell, Nelly Bly, Louise Boyd and Mary Kingsley. Strong women – independent pioneers – I wanted to be like them, to travel the world without fear.
Africa, South America, Asia, Europe; you name it – they called. As a child, if you had asked me what I was going to be when I grew up, I had no idea. All I knew was that I was going to visit each and every one of these continents given the chance – to me they were all well within my reach.
My mother always taught me to be strong and independent like so many other women pioneers before me. This was my life’s challenge – laid out by the women who dared to do. I was entranced by movies like Roman Holiday, African Queen, The Last Emperor, Death On The Nile – exotic destinations filled my every waking moment…
Fast forward 30 years and here I am living in Cusco, Peru – a far cry from country NSW. Yet some things never change – I still have a map in my room although this time it is a beautiful hand drawn creation of South America courtesy of the King of Maps. My children are entranced by it, asking me question after question and I hope it inspires them as much as my little map did when I was young.
I am using my map for inspiration for my next journey – a road trip across South America. Cusco is the starting point and I have no idea where the end point will be. Destinations unknown…it’s all in the journey.
“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Maps allow us to dream and plan and conquer our fears. The landscapes are in our imaginations, the locations peppered on the map for us to seek out and explore. And as beautiful as this map of mine is at present, hung on the wall; I know it will become all the more beautiful when I have embarked on our journey allowing my family and I to seek out our lust for adventure and enhance our knowledge of the world.
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