The moment Hamish Blake leant forward to touch my knee on the set of Hamish and Andy’s EuroGap Year in London decided it for me. Hands down.
I was one of 16 lucky people randomly chosen by to be filmed as part of the pub crowd in episode twos ‘Gap Byear Ad’ ad. As fate had it- I was on my gap year too! Although eager to highlight this coincidence- when it came to it, I was star struck. Who cares if the casual brush of Hamish’s hand was in jest of my incomprehension of one his brilliant moments of impromptu hilarity, or that the rest of the crowd were laughing AT me? There in the dishevelled Lord Stanley Pub, strewn with lighting cables, microphones and one solitary camera set up in improvised disarray consistent with Hamish and Andy’s shows, my passion for a career in media ignited. And like a wildfire through scrubland it has gained momentum ever since.
My gap year reinforced my career direction in many other ways. Born and raised in country Bowral, a sleepy town known only as the birthplace of Don Bradman where gossip travels faster than the gaggle of grandmas on their electronic scooters, I was suddenly faced with a world of opportunities that stem from independence. For a year my life followed the travel junkie’s motto- ‘If it’s Monday, I must be in Switzerland’. I relished the opportunity to immerse myself in the unique melange of sights, sounds, smells and customs each country presented.
So here I am- 17 countries and one year later – ready for my next adventure, ready to follow a career driven by my passions. And whether this ends up being in broadcasting, reporting, hosting a children’s TV show or working as a foreign correspondent in France, my outlook on this indecision is expressed perfectly in the well-known quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Life is a journey, not the destination” (1). Take time to smell the roses and to have some fun.
(1) Ralph Waldo Emerson was a 19th century American poet and philosopher