To Travellers Who Have Dared To Live Their Dreams

Bounty Brassware South Passage in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race.

“Did you imagine you would really be travelling the world and earning your living from your travels?” one of my dearest and oldest friends Becky wrote in an email to me the other day. “It’s quite extraordinary when you look back,” she wrote. “It probably seemed like an impossible dream to many.”

While travelling the world has been a dream since I was a kid, working as a travel writer came much later in life. My dream as a ten year old was to write books (yes, I was a very serious little girl) and by the time I was fourteen I wanted to be a journalist. In my first year at uni, I began the courses I hoped would prepare me for newspapers – politics, philosophy, psychology, and fine arts – and then I went and changed my career aspirations. A year later, I switched universities to pursue my new dream, to become a filmmaker. Over twenty years later, I’m working as a travel writer.

Life takes us places we could never have imagined. That’s what’s so wonderful about it. In the process of living – through a combination of events, encounters and interactions, from moments, meetings and minds that inspire us – we begin to form ideas, to shape goals and to create dreams for ourselves. But how many of us ever get to live those dreams? It takes imagination, spirit, determination, stamina, passion, verve, and some kind of magical combination of circumstances – along with a little serendipity – to live a dream.

My dear friend Becky has a wonderful life. A husband and four children she loves, family and friends who love her, successful businesses, a career she can be proud of, academic success that would be the envy of any student. I’ve known Bek since we were 14 and starting a new school together with another dear friend who was also a new kid in town. The three of us bonded and we’ve been loosely bound together ever since, even as our dreams and our lives have pulled us apart and tossed us all over the world.

As teenagers, Becky and I knew everything about each other. Living in the same neighbourhood, at times it felt like we spent more time with each other than we did our own families. We rode our bikes or caught the bus to school together, we spent weekends on the beach, and we slept over at each other’s houses. My parents treated Becky like a daughter. I was one of her bridesmaids and made a speech at her wedding. Becky came to visit me in Dubai when she was pregnant – just weeks before she was to give birth! Yet, as close as we were and have always been, I never knew about Becky’s dream…

Today my dear friend Becky is fulfilling a dream. Becky is one of a 23 all-women crew sailing the only tall ship, the South Passage, a 100’ gaff rigged schooner, in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race. Around 308 nautical miles, it’s Australia’s second biggest ocean going yacht race after the Sydney to Hobart, and it’s on the international yachting calendar.

The race will take Becky’s team about 40 hours to complete. They left Brisbane at 11am today eastern standard time in Australia and they will sail into Gladstone Harbour on Easter Sunday, the 8th April. Around 60 yachts will compete and the difficulty of the race depends on the weather. They’ll travel up to 40 miles off shore, so they’ll be well and truly in the rolling swell and away from safe harbours.

Becky’s team is called WomenRace4…Redkite. WomenRace4… gives 23 novice female sailors, of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to participate in the race. While an experienced crew of seven oversees the journey, the 23 women sail the ship, handing it back after they cross the finish line. (If you’re in Australia, you can watch the coverage on Channel 9 on Good Friday.)

Becky and her gutsy team-mates are using the journey to raise money for Redkite, a charity that supports families of children and young people with cancer by providing practical, financial and emotional support. In Australia, around five children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every day, yet at the time of diagnosis only one in five families know about Redkite and access its support. Becky wants to increase awareness of their service and raise funds so Redkite can expand its coverage.

So far, the 25-member crew of WomenRace4…Redkite have raised A$11,000 through Everyday Hero and their goal is to hand over a cheque to Redkite for more than $20,000. Becky herself has raised $2500 and she has a personal goal of $50,000. There’s still time to donate to this important cause, and it is a great cause, and you can donate as little as $5 or $10.

“Thanks for your interest, encouragement and support,” Becky emailed me the other day. “I have had some interesting responses from different friends and I can tell you, it is opening my eyes in so many ways. It’s a journey of the spirit for me – but then, I think, everything is!”

So, to all my traveller friends around the world, the people who share Becky’s same sense of adventure and see travel as a ‘journey of the spirit’, the people who have dared to live their dreams, even when those around them didn’t understand why they wanted to pack a bag and get on a plane or boat to see the world, if you can spare $5 or $10, please click here Thanks in advance x


About the Author:

Lara Dunston is a Cambodia based Travel & Food Writer and has regular gigs with: The Guardian, CNN, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Feast, Delicious, The Independent, Telegraph, National Geographic Traveler / Traveller, Get Lost, Wanderlust, Travel+Leisure SEA, DestinAsian, AFAR. Read more here.


  1. desert safari Dubai April 7, 2012 at 4:30 AM - Reply

    Great post Lara I enjoyed reading your post, nice one : )

  2. Lara Dunston April 7, 2012 at 1:53 PM - Reply

    Thanks! Much appreciated. Going to head a donation Becky’s way? It’s for a good cause 🙂

  3. Becky Moloney April 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM - Reply

    Thanks Lara, you have a beautiful way with words and I treasure you. The race was a wonderful experience. South Passage is a tall ship, a 100 foot gaff rigged schooner, built in the old style. We worked as a team to sail her up the East Coast of Australia, we picked up a couple of trophies and met some wonderful people. Most of all, we raised thousands of dollars for Redkite. Thanks for your support, it means the world to me.

    • Lara Dunston April 25, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      Becky – so sorry to take so long to respond to this. It’s been a really hectic few weeks. Thanks for your comment. And congrtulations! I’m so proud of you 🙂

  4. Luray Caverns Cabin Rentals April 17, 2012 at 5:18 PM - Reply

    Becky, you and your team is really doing a great work using your journey for charity funding I like this idea and hope you generate more money especially for the children

    • Lara Dunston April 25, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      Thanks for your comment – I’m sure Becky appreciates it.

  5. Taupo Accommodation April 18, 2012 at 2:55 PM - Reply

    Very inspirational story! Nice article indeed 🙂 thanks for sharing…

    • Lara Dunston April 25, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Thanks, guys! It *is* inspiring, isn’t it?

  6. Blog Me Travel May 20, 2012 at 2:49 AM - Reply

    Not only is the story of your friend inspirational, but so is your friendship. It proves that a shared passion for travel can solidify old friendships and create new ones… it does matter if those new ones only last a day, a week, or a month or if they make it into the sacred bond of ‘lifelong friendships’ like Becky and you have, because they still add to the joy of travelling and exploring new cultures.

    • Lara Dunston June 26, 2012 at 8:00 PM

      So sorry I am just getting to this – hectic days! Thank you so much for your comments – so true. But I think when we were young at school it wasn’t so much a passion for travel that drew us together, but just a passion for life. It is sacred in a way – it’s a friendship I truly value – and I am so fortunate to have a handful of friendships like this one. All friendships are wonderful, but they are very very special. Thanks for dropping by!

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