Since becoming an avid reader of romance novels, I always wanted to visit my favourite author Jane Austen's house. I waited for someone to travel with me but it just didn’t seem to pan out. If I wanted to go I’d need to do it on my own but the idea terrified me. Looking back I can see how I gained the confidence to travel alone to the other side of the world. First I got up the courage to travel to the other side of my home country, Australia.
I live on the south east coast in Melbourne but the cousin I grew up with had moved to the Pilbara in Western Australia. So when her daughter was being married down in Perth, I needed to plan a trip that covered the entire country including a very wide sandy desert. Was I up for driving across the Nullarbor Plain? Nope, but determined not to miss out I booked a flight.
The time came round for me to pack my fine clothes and some not so fine and get a lift to the airport. I arrived in Perth and with jangling nerves. Adrenaline clouded my thoughts but I managed to find the hire care and set off for the B&B. After a couple of wrong turns I found it and from there headed over to the party house my cousins rented. Whew.
We were all meeting in Perth because all the guests, except for a few, were flying in from various parts of the country. The house, rented for a couple of weeks only, became known as the 'The Big Brother House' as it served as a hub for us out of towners.
The wedding took place in a lush green garden. The bride and groom looked adoringly at each other and we had a feast and lots of fun speeches. It was an inspiring celebration but too soon it was over and the group was breaking up. I decided to drive down to Fremantle for a mini holiday. I got lost, badly and it ended up taking an hour more than it should have to drive the short distance from Perth to Fremantle but I decided, so what, I just saw more of the country side.
I walked around the town visiting the many designer shops and the craft market. Later, I splurged and stayed the night at the very grand Esplanade Hotel and the next morning ate eggs Benedict in my room with a stunning view of the Fremantle Harbour. A long road running along the spine of the spit protecting the harbour called to me. So after breakfast I drove out onto the narrow stretch of road and wound down my window to breathe the fresh ocean air. On either side of me water slip/slapped against the rocky base. Bright sunshine and warm, wind driven fluffy white clouds enchanted me. My heart pumped up into my throat from the excitement of adventure. I kept going till I reached the very end.
An emergency block of chocolate from the glove box got eaten with the door wide open, as I sat surrounded by water and as far away from anyone or anything than I'd been in a very long time. In that moment, the self made chains limiting me from experiencing the parts of the world that had called to me for so long dissolved. It didn’t matter that I got lost. It didn’t matter that I was completely alone. This was fantastic. The idea bloomed that I could do anything. My dream of going to England to see Jane Austen's house became a real possibility.
Romance author and lifestyle blogger
My whole life is inspired by romance. I write romance novels of course but also love creating DIY's and decorating in a romantic style. I'm rejuvenating an old garden, including rescuing a couple of old rose bushes and planting new ones.