I grew up in Sydney, Australia, in a family that considered international guests a matter of course and took an interest in cultures from an early age. I began travelling at 16 with a short exchange to Japan with Labo and later spent a year in Japan as the AFS Sydney Nagoya Sister City Scholar. The AFS values of peace and understanding and the exchange student’s motto ‘it’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s just different’ have guided me through life. In 1998, I began travelling in earnest, living and working in Japan, Belgium and Bhutan, collecting stories and trying to understand the why of behaviours in different cultures.
Along the way I found a passion for writing and began sharing my experiences by email, this blog and travel articles. My first published book, Dragon Bones, was released in March 2011.
Having lived and travelled in developing countries, I have seen the damage done by outsiders imposing their values on local cultures. I strongly believe in the need for people to identify their own problems and determine their own solutions. I do what I can to support local organisations in their efforts.
I am currently back in Australia, where I completed a Masters of Applied Anthropology. I volunteer with AFS and continue to learn by hosting young cultural explorers. As soon as I can, I will head back out into the world to help local organisations and collect stories for more books.