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  • Writer's pictureLinda Schlencker

Is travel in my DNA?

Is travel in my DNA or is it a learned habit? I'm not sure, but I do know that all my earliest childhood travel memories are of out of the way places and experiences of camping, canoeing, jumping from Tarzan ropes into rivers, swimming on secluded beaches we reached by 4x4 and even attending nudist clubs. It was an interesting childhood...

In 1970 in our back yard in Brisbane (Queensland Australia), my Dad Robert and my Uncle Bruce set about building a campervan to go on the back of our green Ford 250 truck. This would be the vehicle of many of our holidays in Australia.

The greatest adventure in this green machine was in 1978 where we set off on a four month round Australia adventure. My parents had my sister and I fill in a daily journal into which we stuck in post cards and Polaroid photos of the trip. My Dad doesn’t throw much out, as you would know if you ever went into his shed, so 40 years later I discovered he still had my journals.

It was pretty tight in the cabin of the truck all seated on the bench seat. Dad behind the steering wheel, me next to him with the gear stick between my legs, then my older sister, Kristine and my Mum, Joyce on the other side of the truck.

Our family 4x4 and my first car

We also explored Australia in our pink Holden Kingswood and a small Suzuki 4x4 which eventually became my first car when I was 17 and finally was allowed to get behind the wheel myself.

My first overseas trip was to Asia when I was 19. Soon after that I purchased a world map which has been on the wall of every place I have ever lived. It even went with me to New York for two years when I lived there in the mid 1990's. I have been putting another pin in the map every time I visit a new destination. Many hours have been spent staring at this map planning the next adventure.

"The" map - there's still a lot to explore

So far I've been able to "pin" around 45 countries. I have a list of about 65 more that I want to tick off, so I am not even halfway there. I think if my follow my parent's form, I think I have a few years left in me to get a good way through this list. My Mum decided in her 70's to pack up her home and to drive by herself in a motorhome around Australia for 3 years and that my Dad and his wife Helen are almost in their 80's and still exploring in their old fire brigade vehicle that, of course, my Dad converted into a motorhome.

I was lucky to meet my husband Mike in 2005. Meeting Mike has eventually led to us to starting our business Self Drive Adventures which means that my passion for travel is now my profession. We have enjoyed many adventures together my foot, motorbike, kayak and 4x4 and there are still plenty more in the planning.

As much as any child usually hates to admit they are like their parents, it's a little hard to deny that when it comes to travel, I am a "chip off the old block". I do thank my parents for setting me on this path from which I have learned and experienced so much. I hope that in writing this blog I can share information and inspiration with others to starting adding another pin to their maps too.

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