This is a collection of memories and possibilities and dreams.



childlike wonder


Watching summertime movies and reggae bands in the tiny village square at Takaka

Joining the throngs of would-be-wizards for the final screening of the Harry Potter Series

Having bonfires with the neighbours

Driving only by the light of the moon

Hearing Elton John play Benny and the Jets live, after years of dancing with my brother in our pajamas to my parent’s Elton John CDs


Finally finishing my Year 13 Scholarship project one rainy weekend, and dancing around the empty sewing department to Florence and the Machine

Visiting Queen Elizabeth's tomb at Westminster Abbey with mum, and realising that this icon I had studied was once a living, breathing being

Feeling pure joy all the while in Florence, as I studied the paintings of Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi and Botticelli

Getting my article and a few pictures of my artwork published in Bride and Groom magazine 

Deciding to follow my heart, and choose to leave fashion school to study history

Spending many hours of my summer vacation at the university library, prepping for next year’s classes

Breathing in the smell of old wood paneling during long lectures in the geography and archeaology department

Laying on my favorite bench in the small hidden garden beside the music department, the sounds of a piano wafting out from a nearby room. Watching the clouds roll by

Beginning a reading and movies list. Rediscovering for myself the classics - those stories and films that changed our world. Getting to know the friendly librarian in the process

Reading The Return of the King in ONE DAY

Reaching my goal of a full year of University A-pluses, nothing less


Running full-tilt across a grassy hill singing the theme tune to the Sound of Music, after finishing my exams



a love of learning

{ school and university years }





becoming my own person

{ leaving home to study abroad }


Visiting Steamboat hotsprings at night, the snow on the trees formed into weird shapes by the steam, and skinny dipping after dark


Grabbing the tire-tubes, and going sledding on fresh powder that graced the big hill near Oliver's place in Colorado


Listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, in the complete darkness, while taking a shower

Becoming engaged to the sweetest person I ever met!


Sneaking onto a very private French island-paradise of ancient abbey ruins and red roses


Walking the length of the Catedral de Cordoba with Uncle Jason, and marvelling at the twists of history


Steaming, showering, lathering, getting thoroughly scrubbed and very nakey, and making friends with a Parisian and her elderly mother at the Hammam


Sketching the boats moored on the Seine, from that small jardin that Hemingway used to visit


Running all those stairs from the metro to Sacre Couer, at 6am, to see the sunrise. Then watching the patterns of light dance from the windows inside the church


Watching the sun rising over the rooftops of Paris, everything in a pink haze


Gazing upwards at Sagrada Familia with Rita, tears in our eyes


Laying down in a graveyard, and feeling at peace


Performing a Haka with Penny in front of the Notre Dame


Sneaking Maylena, and then Rita, into that one hostel in Paris, when they had nowhere else to stay


Giving the full tour of Versailles to the gang, and lazing on the meadows of the Petit Trianon in the afternoon


Dancing in the deserted streets of Lyon at 4am


Being skint and sleeping at the only 24/7 Macdonalds in Paris with Rita - one of us on bag-guarding-duty as the other slept. 


Laughing with Rita over smashed easter eggs at the supermarket

Always taking the long walk home, past the flowering lilac-strewn houses in Oullins


Racing through a fountain, barefoot


Getting to know Paris like a second home


Receiving a standing ovation upon entering class, from all two hundred of my class-mates, for writing up and sharing my notes before the final test

Going doubles on a Velo'v bike with Nicole, careening down the Croix Rousse with a smile and no helmet

Strolling through a mist of rain, following the river along the quais of Lyon, humming La Vie En Rose

Knowing all the metro stops on the Gare D'Oullins line in Lyon

Sketching the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Reims, and listening to the advice of a religious nutter 

Practicing yoga with nimble French countrymen in an old barn

Meeting a new friend on the train home to Lyon, hanging out, drinking a spot of absinthe (for the first time) and finding myself with a group of Irish people at the end of the night


Joining in with an improvisational singing group, on a whim, in the beautiful Roman Amphitheater of Lyon

Picking out a silver, leaf-patterned ring at Tiffanys in Paris - my engagement ring. Our very large and unwieldy backpacks sat in the corner of the sparkling store


Skinny dipping with Oliver in the camp pool, at night, during a wild lightning storm, just outside the forest of Fountainebleau


Gazing, mouth ajar, at the size of the dome at St Peter's in Rome. It gets me every time


Getting completely lost in the Tuscan countryside, walking between small villages, and looking for water before taking a dip in a bright blue pond amongst the grape vines


Having our flight canceled, then spending 19 hours on trains, through three countries, to get to Barcelona. Sleeping on the floor of the train station with many other vagabonds


Dancing with Oliver to Cuban Music among the sure-footed locals of Barcelona


Hammocking in the Parc de la Ciutadella, buying beer and samosas from the hawkers, and watching the hippies slacklining


Sleeping in the car in Annecy, after arriving too late to find a campground. Waking and walking to the market, buying fresh food, then picnicking, boating and swimming on the lake


Driving with Ollie all over Europe, but especially on those hair-pin bends in the Swiss Alps, with Monsters and Men blasting from the little car stereo

Shooing away curious cows-with-bells, and getting thoroughly lost in the mountains of Tirol

Weaving wild strawberries into a leafy crown, while wandering the Austrian mountainsides

Breaking into Spree-Park, that most popular of abandoned theme parks in Berlin, then getting caught within the first fifteen minutes


Sneaking into that abandoned sanatorium on the outskirts of Berlin


Spending two days at Europapark, camping for free on the grass in a spare lot, and rattling our brains on the rollercoasters


Having the whole top-deck of the night bus in Edinburgh to myself


Having a heart to heart over a simple meal with a homeless woman named Sarah

Returning to America as a new person. For the first time in my life, I had more questions than answers. I had glimpsed something of myself, something more than the person I was simply expected to become.





Learning Bellydancing in a small studio by St Kilda


Learning to make all kinds of origami creations


Slowly but surely learning to paint, to draw, and to create what I envision


Teaching myself to write with my other hand


Baking a steamed Christmas pudding from scratch


Teaching myself to sew, then slowly perfecting my art until I could sew a couture wedding dress by hand


Building a nine-story card tower


Learning to shoot a basketball from the 3 point line


Sketching in front of my favourite paintings at the:
Musée D'Orsay - Musée du Louvre - Musée de l'Orangerie - National Gallery, London - Uffizi Gallery - Sistine Chapel - Vatican Museums


Learning enough French to hold a five-minute conversation with strangers over the cheese course


Learning enough Spanish to understand simple dinner conversations at Oliver's house


Learning history at the top-ranking University of Edinburgh

Using an original medieval manuscript in my history research


Learning more about my family and my ancestry by going back to my roots



Giving myself a classical education, across many subjects

Creating my own school of magic, the teacher and the student: me

Learning through reading - engaging with the literary origins of our world

Savoring every book on my reading list


Building our Hobbit Hole of a house, then building my very own Lothlorien-esque city of treehouses


Learning enough Spanish to speak with Oliver's family

Learning enough Italian to get by in Rome for a few months

Refining my French

Learning to play the piano


Learning to cook all kinds of world cuisines


Learning the art of calligraphy


Continually learning from the wisdom of others




Painting en plein air


Keeping my grass plant alive


Camping on the tippy-top of Montserrat, Spain


Hiking to Hohenzollern Castle, through the Black Forest, and meeting some lovely Swiss strangers


Swimming on the salty Coast of the Cinque Terre, and narrowly missing a swarm of jellyfish


Boating in the eery light of the Blue Grotto


Romping through fields of flowers, wherever I find them


Dipping my bare toes into brooks and streams and lakes


Scrambling behind the waterfall at Hanging Lake, CO

Climbing Mount Elbert, the highest summit in the Rocky Mountains

Seeing the Northern Lights for five nights glorious on the edge of a Glacier Lake in Iceland, while living in our tiny rental car

Standing behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall

Wild Swimming: in the Reykjadalur valley, in Iceland

Soaking in delicious hot springs all over Hungary

Camping at both Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks

Traveling as nomads, on and off, for years. Free as the wind

Road-trippin' through the U.S. of A. with only Ollie, myself, and a little yellow van to call home.



Hiking the Camino de Santiago to Compostela

Living in a cave, even if only for one night


Working on my 'green-thumb' and growing my own veggie garden


Walking the width of New Zealand


Making a long and nerdy pilgrimage to all of the Lord of the Rings movie locations in New Zealand, and finishing with an arduous trek to 'Orodruin'


Boating and reading poetry on a lazy day


Hiking to Angel Falls, Venezuela


Seeing midnight sun in the North of the world


Gazing at the reflections of the sky on the salt lakes at Salar de Uyuni


in a hammock - and on a beach - and under the stars in Arizona


Wild Swimming:
- in the blue pools and limestone caverns on the Côte d'Azure - in the Dead Sea - in the Devil's Pool atop of Victoria Falls - in the fairy pools on the Isle of Skye




Spending a week in mindfulness with the wonderful Sangha at Plum Village


Listening to Thich Nhat Hanh speak about happiness


Hearing the Dalai Lama speak in person


Studying the magic of the ages, through the original texts

Applying myself to practical studies of various spiritual practices, in a self guided exploration




Awarding myself my own PhD in the study of French and English Gothic and Neo Gothic Cathedrals

Writing a study on sacred spaces, the temples of nature and mankind

Publishing some of my stories and poetry

Becoming fully self-employed

Buying a huge piece of land in NZ, to preserve and protect. Creating a space of stability for ourselves, as well as a space of learning for those who want to remember their connection with nature

Living in France for a while


Living in Italy for a while longer

Perhaps buying a lovely little place in Italy


Undertaking the pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
- to walk, to think, to learn


Teaching English in Japan for a few months


Joining an expedition


Hearing Eric Clapton play live


Chasing a wild storm - seeing a tornado with my own eyes


Publishing an article in an academic journal


Reading all the books on my reading list


Journeying into the Peruvian Amazon


Seeing Uluru on a day when it is raining


Experiencing the flavours, sights and sounds of the grand bazaar in Istanbul


Getting lost in the back streets of Morroco


Traveling through Russia


Walking to the very bottom of the Grand Canyon


Traveling on all seven continents



Committing a petty crime (and getting caught too)


Getting well and truly lost in a new place (many times over)


Listening intently to the ramblings of a religious nutter


Driving the wrong way on a one-way road (twice)


Making a gingerbread house every Christmas


Reading Lord of the Rings every year, for six years




Getting kicked out of Walmart for causing a ruckus


Participating at a nudist beach


Busking for my dinner 





Sneaking into the abandoned Cargill's Castle (twice)


Bungee Jumping at Kawarau, NZ


Jumping into the Shotover Canyon, NZ


Driving at over 140km/h on a German Autobahn


Laying down in the middle of the road, at night, when it is quiet




Bungee Jumping the Verzasca Dam, Switzerland


Sky-diving, anwhere, anyhow


Finally undertaking the Nevis Bungee, NZ

Walking the Caminito del Ray in Spain

Climbing the via Feratta of the Alps




Holding a Harry Potter party, in true nerdy fashion


Watching the Nutcracker ballet at Christmastime


Celebrating a white Christmas in the North of the world




Experiencing Diwali - a festival of lights in India


Traveling to Lapland and to the Santa Claus Village


Making my own lantern for the Pingxi festival in Taiwan


Participating in Burning Man, in Nevada


Getting into the spirit of a Hogmany New Year's party, in Scotland


Throwing tomatoes with abandon at La Tomatina, in Spain