A decision to leave, and to find myself again…

So this isn’t a decision I’m making lightly – indeed – it is something I have been pondering about for a long time, gradually building up to and finally feeling comfortable enough to do.

I have decided to leave Twitter – to find myself in the “real world”.
Honestly, I would leave Facebook as well – but – I don’t think I’m there yet – it is a vital clog in the machine of networking with friends and family, a social tool in our bustling world – however, I am going to be using it much less.

I’ve decided that if people truly desire to get in contact with me they can email me, or text me, or ring me.

I am going to focus on the meaningful relationships outside of cyber-space.
It is time to move on from the world wide web – and yes – I get the irony of saying that here on a website – but – meh – I am an author, I gotta write somewhere into the void.

I’ve just had enough of Twitter. I’ve had enough of the online world I’ve immersed myself in, I find it lonely, sad, depressing and it builds up such negativity in my life that it does far more harm than good. I know I am not welcome there, so, why stay somewhere I am not welcome – and – no one is going to miss me and those that do, well, they know where to find me.

They can find me here, they can find my Chronicles of the Children Facebook Page, and my email address. If, eventually, I do entirely rid myself of Facebook, Youtube and Instagram – which – is my hope someday – and to just fade away back into being an author that just writes for the joy of it – then – my email will always be open, just like it always has been.

So.

That’s been my decision.

To those of you who know me, fellow online author folk of Twitter, if you have books coming out and want me to read them and review them – please send me an email and let me know so I can buy the books when they come out.

Well, that’s it from me. I’m heading off into the real world to talk to people face to face again. Wish me luck!

Happy reading,
Happy writing,
KL

Turning 30

Today I am thirty.
There is so much I wish to tell fifteen-year-old me.
Things like – you won’t make it. It’s all a lie. Your dreams are just a shattered mirror on the floor. Don’t fool yourself sweetie, aim for something smaller, easier.
Don’t be stupid.
Don’t be an idiot.

Hah, hah – that marriage thing.
Yeah…
Well, guess what kiddo, you’re going to be thirty and pretty much the embodiment of Rapunzel stuck in a Tower.

I don’t feel like I have really “achieved” anything in my twenties. I feel like I am a burden on my parents. I feel like I am a waste of resources to the world. I feel aimless, plotless, useless.
And yet, for the past few months I have been asking myself “What?”
“What, just WHAT am I supposed to BE doing?”
There is NOTHING to do.
My Dad said to me the other day while I was in one of my moods. “Without a career, husband or kids, what is a woman to do?”
I answered, “Nothing, we do utterly nothing.”

(Dear feminists, don’t take this as a challenge or anything, this was a hypothetical question that my Dad and I were discussing, we do this often. Please don’t shoot me with fiery darts from hell.)

NOTHING.

So then, I remembered something my Dad also told me quite often, “No one ever really achieves anything in life. We all live mundane lives in a mundane world. We live, we die.”
He wasn’t meaning it to be discouraging, on the contrary, he was meaning it to be uplifting – and it is – in a manner of speaking. Life is made up of the nothingness – like the universe is formed of dark matter, or some mumbo, jumbo like that.
It is the mundane moments that gradually fold together, the little moments, those precious little moments, that become the long string that is LIFE. The repetitive motions you do every day – waking up, eating breakfast, going to work, smiling at people in the street, talking to family, not talking to family, going for walks, watching tele. It all gradually forms a mosaic. It’s the coloured pieces of that mosaic that eventually clustered together to become something meaningful.

Often we think of life as the HUGE big moments.
Marriages, and holidays, Christmases and buying houses – the big things that tend to be events.
But it’s the bits in-between those big events that truly craft us into the people we are.

I still have utterly no idea where I am going in life.
I have no idea what direction I am supposed to be taking.
I feel like a lost girl, struggling to find her way in the woods, stumbling over broken branches. I don’t know the way forward into whatever terrifying darkness that is ahead – that future before me – I am so scared, I am so afraid of what unknown lies before me.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t even feel like I have a lantern to direct me.

But I’m just going to keep stumbling forward.
Keep trusting that somewhere, somehow, I’ll find my way home.
That the nothingness will turn into somethingness. That the moments I’ve gathered into a mosaic have already formed a beautiful piece of art.

I have incredible parents, amazing siblings – a family that is supportive and loving – I’ve travelled abit, I’ve got friends across the world thanks to the internet, I’ve had adventures I never thought possible thanks to my Books.
I am so grateful to the community that has gathered around my stories, to the fans and friends I have found in my journey to become an author.
I have a house – a house I love – a house I look forward to someday making into a home with a husband and kids.

I still have dreams, hopes, and a future ahead.

I mean.

I’m only 30.

So, fifteen-year-old Kylie – it’s going to be okay. You’re in a bad place. You’re in a really, really bad place right now, but, you’re going to survive. Things get better. You pull through. You make 30. I know you don’t think that’s possible – but congratulations, we did it! WE DID IT!

Perhaps, don’t be so hard on yourself. Don’t think you’re fat when you’re obviously not. Wear that pretty brown dress like you’re a queen, cause, girl, you’re only going to be size 12 for like, three years. Flaunt it.
Don’t listen to women who tell you that you have ‘so much time,’ because, apparently we don’t.
Also, that whole there is ‘a lot of fish in the sea’ – yeah – about that…
The headaches are going to get worse before they get better, but, GOOD NEWS, they get better, you can look forward to that.


Finally, sweetie, don’t take life so seriously.
Enjoy yourself.

Just.

Really, really, enjoy yourself. Live.
Watch your anime. Dance to your songs. Write your stories. Play games.
Someday you’re going to be a thirty-year-old woman who is a little bit more cynical about everything.  

From the Past to the Present

From the Past to the Present

I want to read you all something I found today while sorting through my journals:  

I really am just so lost,

And it is really awful.

I just want this year, this horrible, horrible year to bring some happiness by the end of it.

I’ll keep stumbling forward in the dark.

I don’t know the way, but I’ll keep stumbling.

I really don’t have any other choice. 

This journal ends as it begins, with me being lost in a lonely abyss of despair. 

Nothing changes. 

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 3/7/2017

Several months later I began a new journal in a NASA themed notebook – 29th of December 2017. This is a quote from the first page.

It is amazing to be able to start this journal off so very different from all other journals that have ever come before…

Yes – the House is mine (sorta).

But I HAVE A HOUSE to live in and to make my own, and I am so, so happy.

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 29/12/2017

Change. Change happened. Indeed, the small journal that sits between the 7th month of 2017 and the 12th month is packed with a considerable amount of content. I was rapidly reaching the end of my tether, but without realising it, I was also spinning towards a resolution I could not see.

My journal’s are a fascinating journey – some are very repetitive – but others are absolute gems into my life, and frankly, the life of my family. There are things in them that I have entirely forgotten about – events that lead into other enormous, earth-shattering events (such as my older brother’s heart attack). I started writing about my brother’s symptoms THREE YEARS before he had his heart attack. I had no idea I started writing about his symptoms so early. That just…that just freaks me out…
There are car-crashes, cars being stolen, trees falling on the house, pets dying, my siblings going on dates, camping trips, me betting with my sister who will get married first (she owes me 50 bucks!).  


Have you ever wondered what your teenage self would say to you?
You know, like those letters that sometimes pop up on the internet:
Sixteen-year-old me writes a letter to thirty-year-old-me” 
Well – having a journal is a little bit like that. 


What captured me tonight was a journal from 2004 – when I would have been fifteen. I started reading this journal because I expected something a lot more depressing, following 2003 – a very difficult year upon which I left face-to-face school, and went on anti-antidepressants, and if it wasn’t for my journals, I would have NO recollection of 2003 due to those drugs.  So, what did I discover from 2004, after my mother pulled me off Zoloft, due to its…ah…side-effects? I discovered a brilliant, articulated teenage girl who loved God. 
I know this might sound a bit…awful to say about myself…but for the longest time, I have had a very poor opinion of teenage me. I felt I caused immense amount of strife for my family, and I have been deeply ashamed. 
So, reading back a journal and discovering a teenager full of such happiness, such life, such enthusiasm and love  for her family just fills me with gratitude for that young girl. 
That was me – once upon a time – and if that was me once upon a time, doesn’t that mean that is still me now? 

I’ll leave you with some wisdom from fifteen-year-old me: 

You are a beautiful young lady. Smart and intelligent. 
No matter what, never give up.
You will get somewhere in this world.

Kylie Leane’s Journal – Dated 16/12/04

Author Kylie

I am Weak and that is Okay

Yesterday, Sunday 16th of September, was the City to Bay Fun Run here in Adelaide and I participated in the 12km walk. 
I wasn’t feeling particularly ready or confident about it. The weekend before I did a practice walk with my Dad and that resulted in a nasty blister on the sole of my left foot. 
On the plus side though, I was FINALLY going into a walk with both my knees fantastically fine and fit. 
But my feet – my feet were shockingly awful. 
And frankly, I hated every step of the 12km. Half way through and I was crying silently to myself, forcing myself to go faster, just to make it stop. 

The result? I actually almost finished the 12km in 2 hours, I was just three minutes short. Considering I thought I was going to be 2 hours and half an hour, that was pretty good! I sliced off a bit of time on my year before! 
But, ah…ahhhh…
My feet? Oh…boy…
So, you know that blister, yeah…about that…it got worse. 
And I added to it, it’s got a friend, a HUGE friend, the biggest blood blister I have EVER seen in my ENTIRE LIFE. 
I am used to the feeling of walking on knives, that’s pretty normal for me, but this was hot knives. Very painful. 
And let’s add a migraine to that, just to top off the day. So I got home, could barely walk, and was vomiting into a bucket.

I just cried and cried under my cold pack. (I don’t know what hurt more, missing a family movie night that I had been really looking forward to, or the migraine/blisters… ^^;)
Why do I do this to myself? 

Why do I push myself so hard to a point of damaging myself? I really don’t know. I wish I got enjoyment out of exercise, but I don’t, it is far to painful – I get enjoyment out of the feeling of achievement after it I suppose. The feeling that despite everything my body throws at me, I can push myself beyond the agony, beyond the pain, and do something, is a powerful one.

There is a Twitter thread going on right now about how women and girls aren’t weak, and how everyone is tired of that stereotype. Well, to be honest, I feel very weak. Yesterday as I was talking along, silently crying to myself, I felt so weak, so defeated, and so, so alone. It is exhausting forcing myself to not show my pain, to sit in small group with a smile on my face, to not wince when someone claps me on the shoulder. 

One of my characters in my series talks about pain being the long and lonely walk that gradually decays hope. To be honest, I still haven’t figure out his arc yet, perhaps, because I still haven’t figured out my own arc. 

All I know is that in my weakness, I am not weak, I am in fact made stronger through that weakness. I force myself forward through some unseen, crazy force that propels me to just keep marching forward no matter what. 
Hope.
I think that force is Hope

Talking About a Clementine Ford Article

Yesterday I was browsing Twitter, ignoring the mountain of work that I have to do. Twitter is an awful place. It really is – I find it’s like watching a disaster unfolding around me, and I cannot look away. I am utterly fascinated by the hatred I sense towards people like myself. People who have *gasp* different opinions. And yes, it is hatred. I have had to work hard on not feeling like I am a worthless, disgusting, awful person due to the things I read, hear and come by due to Twitter. It is like being slammed by a constant barrage of people screaming how much they hate your existence without even realising they’re doing it.
I came across a Tweet promoting an article written by Clementine Ford – “The men’s march organised by a woman” Now, I am terrified of Clementine Ford. She scares me, so much. Yeah, I’ll admit it – I am down right scared and intimidated by her. The values I uphold as an individual, she rips apart. (I’m sure she’s a really nice person IRL.)

Don’t get me wrong, she has VALID points to make – always. I am not here to argue over that. I was raised to not walk outside at particular times at night, I was raised to carry my key’s in my hand when I did. I never questioned why. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t. I just presumed everyone protected themselves. At my one and only self-defence course my male teacher took me aside and told me “Kylie, the first thing I am going to teach you is the first thing I teach every woman. How get out of a guy’s grip.” 
I never forgot what he taught me. He drilled it into me. Time, and time again, he made sure I knew it.

Okay. So. I’m going to all tell you the story of how I was almost kidnapped by a sex offender when I was fourteen. I have never shared this story, because, well, I don’t really have anything to back it up – but it’s life:

This was back in the day of MSN, Elfwood and dial up internet, before I was aware that there was strangers lurking on the web who meant harm. I was a very innocent, naive little girl. I was, frankly, stupid. I started talking with a guy online, had no idea who he was, but gradually, as time went on, he shared some photos and kept asking to meet. I was like, yeah, nah, I can’t, I don’t have that sort of freedom. Which I didn’t.
I was a very, very lonely, depressed girl – but I rarely stepped out of my comfort zone.
With my refusal to meet up, I thought, well, that was the end of that odd friendship.
Hm. No. It wasn’t.
I had a routine back then – due to everything that had happened to me at face-to-face school, I had started doing home-schooling, and I took walks to the local shops, pretty much everyday. I knew my area VERY well and if there was one thing I did pride myself on it was being very hyper-aware of my surrounds. I might have even stupid online, but I was hyper-aware in-real-life. Which is why, on one particular day as I was walking home from the shops, with the rain beginning to pick up, I sensed a large four-wheel-drive pull up.
A man wound down the passenger window, urging me to pause. “Hey, you live on ***** don’t you? How about you jump in and I’ll take you home, it’s raining.”
I froze. Dead on the spot. That wasn’t my street. That was a fake street I gave out to people who I didn’t trust (oh, did I forget to mention I did that? Yeah…)
This man looked like an ordinary man, in an ordinary car, but his fingers keep twitching on the wheel. I really didn’t like his hands. I had never seen him in the area before. I had never seen the car in the area, and I prided myself in knowing faces and cars from all my walks. I smiled. “No thanks. I like walking.”
With that, I turned away and continued walking.
Now, I bet you’re asking yourself “KYLIE, DID YOU GO TO THE POLICE?!”
No. Actually. I didn’t even tell my parents. I was fourteen…I just, sorta shrugged it off and never really thought about it again until I was in my early twenties and it hit me what could have happened that day.
There was another occasion in the city, after a friends birthday party. I was dressed up to the nine – in an outfit I would NEVER fit into anymore. I looked gorgeous. I wish I could tell twenty-one year old me she was beautiful…
Anyway…
I was standing on the curb waiting for my parents to pick me up, my friend had gone off to continue the night clubbing and I didn’t drink or club so, it was an early night for me.
A group of drunk men walked past. Stopped. And walked back. I could tell they had every intent of making a total scene and I – being the most inexperienced and sheltered person on the face of the planet – had no idea what to do. I kid you not, two police men took that moment to walk right across the road and plant themselves on either side of me like guards. They did not say anything to me, they just stood there. The drunk men walked away grumbling.
Those police men stayed with me until my parents came.
Heroes. They were my heroes.
The point I am trying to make is that if you dig deep enough, women have stories – women have lived life. So, I do understand where Clementine Ford comes from, I just do not understand her hatred and her viciousness. It is perhaps that misunderstanding that makes me fear her. I doubt she would be welcoming to my position either, after reading the above article and seeing how hostile she is with women who don’t toe-the-line. I mean, obviously I am not a Trump-Loving-Aussie (that’s a bit weird if you ask me) but I do wish we allowed for a little bit more leg-room and less mob-pitch-fork destroying in society.

My grandmother has been staying with me for several weeks while having radiotherapy for breast cancer. During this time, we’ve had many discussions about what life was like back in her day. When I was a little girl, one my earliest memories of my Grandmother was of her reading me feminist literature. I basically learnt about feminism and the Suffragette Movement from my Grandmother.  Frankly, women today have little concept (I feel) of what living under a patriarchy means. The stories my grandmother has to tell from just her lifetime is chilling, and that’s not even mentioning the stories of my great-grandmother. We have come so far in just several generations, these are things to be celebrated and yet, all I see is a continuous tearing down. However, perhaps this is just because I have always been overly sensitive – I don’t like to see people hurting.
I was once told that I saw things in black and white because I only saw the pain people were in and I wanted to instantly help those people. I thought it was an interesting observation to be given.

Anyway.
It’s always interesting to see how the world keeps rolling on, how the internet is causing us to pull further and further apart and form ever more increasingly hostile sides.
I am gradually becoming more inclined towards the idea of leaving it all behind to become an author who just sits quietly in the shadows, watching everything pass on by.
It sounds much more peaceful.

Keep well,
KL

 

The Spirit Prevails

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Can I write a review of a book I published and written by my Nana, Gwenneth Leane?
Yeah. Sure I can, when I feel this strongly about the subject, I think it’s okay.

The Spirit Prevail’s is the type of novel I wish had been around when I was doing Aboriginal Studies at school – instead I was just doing boring sheet work, and getting told off for not being PC enough (apparently my Aussie slang was, well, you know, slang. And yes, I have never forgotten being called out in class, even if it was over the phone, and being told off, because of my country slang. This memory is with me for life.)
I wish we’d had a book like this: personally dictated by an Aboriginal but transcribed by a White Australian*, therefore making me, a White Australian, able to grasp the incredible and profound world that opens up within the pages of the book. It is eye opening. I highly recommend this book. It is a really fascinating journey, learning the life of an incredible woman who stood up to great oppression and fought for her people.
I am honoured that I got to meet her, and I just love hearing stories from my grandparents and parents about their times travelling with her.

*I really don’t like using the term “White Australian” – I’d much rather say European Australian, or just break it down even further, but, in terms of understanding this book and the cultural significance of ‘white Australian culture’ at the time this book is set, it is the most fitting term, even if it has been co-opted in our most recent generation.

You can pick up the paperback version on Amazon.com and for the Aussies Amazon.com.au

You can also find it at my Etsy shop, The Comfort Library, if you’d like a signed version from my Nana.

Scribbling Characters

The Mirror’s of Tikal is the second book in Northland Rebellion– the sub-series to Chronicles of the Children that started with Orphans and Outcasts. I’ve been having a lot of fun rewriting it – as I finally feel like the merging of Chronicles of the Children Book 3 and eventually what transpires in Book 5, is slowly coming together, and it is all very, very exciting. I can’t wait to write it all. It fills me with so much excitement.

If you have read my series, you’ll know a lot of what goes on has been spread over a long period of time – and Chronicles of the Children is really set in just a fraction of Livila’s history.

The focal character of Orphans and Outcasts and The Mirror’s of Tikal is Denvy Maz; the old Dream Master of the Northlands, who has lost his immortality due to a binding yoke placed upon him by Twizels. Denvy is one of the environmental programs created by the Zaprex Nefertem to replace the Elemental Titans after the Thousand Sol-Cycle War. It is Denvy’s history, why he fled the war, and what happened between him fleeing the war, ending back in Pennadot to be captured and shipped off to Utillia that is pretty much the immense chunk of history that needs to be filled in.

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I often get asked ‘Why Chronicles of the Children?’ It sounds like it’s a series written for children. It’s actually really simple – the over all series is about the children of the Zaprexes, and the family’s that emerge out of those children, and the impact those children have on a world history. And I’m not always referring to biological children either.

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In The Mirror’s of Tikal I decided to start weaving in some of the history that shaped Livila after the Thousand Sol-Cycle Wars.
In the ‘prologues’ before each chapter, you’ll be meeting Disgleirio – an ancestor of David and Daniel – who took it upon himself to raise up Pennadot after it’s collapse from the vacuum left by the fall of the Zaprex Empire.

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Disgleirio get’s his own ‘Prologue’ novel called ‘The King who Wanders‘ – but you know with how much writing I have to do, I don’t know when I’ll write it, so this is the best I can do to weave the story quickly into the narrative – as past events have ripples that alter the future. (For anyone wondering, Disgleirio is Malik’s younger brother…and it is to protect Disgleirio’s children that Malik establishes the Mahvash.)

Skri
You’ll also meet Skri Mazaki – a distant relation to Skyeola and Chans – an outcast Tech-Talker of the Batitic Empire, one of the few remaining Tech-Talkers left after the Dragon ordered the execution of all technomancers during the Thousand Sol-Cycle War.
Have you been wondering where that Dream Stone Skyeola and Chans have, came from? How it relates to ANYTHING in this saga? Well. Oh. Well. Wonder no more, readers. In The Mirrors of Tikal you’ll learn about how and why the Mazaki Brother’s have a Dream Stone, and in Book 3 of Chronicles of the Children just let…let…it sink in…
Also, pay really close attention to any further mentions of Skri Mazaki because I promise you, his existence is practically the most important thing to the plot of Chronicles of the Children Book 5. Yes. It’s going to get complicated.

World-building – world-history – character scribbling – and eventually writing everything down into a narrative is truly satisfying.
Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to tell you my stories and share my world with you.

 

Tolerance

Tolerance fascinates me.
What tolerance has morphed into fascinates me, it also frightens me a little, but mostly, I am fascinated by things. As an author I tend to be very fascinated by changing cultures, by the world in general. I really enjoy thinking…a lot…I can just sit and spend time thinking in silence.
Thinking is a lot of fun.

Anyway.
Tolerance.

What does that word evoke in you?

For me, it used to mean two people of differing opinions having a level-headed discussion. It means respect no matter who you are. It means treating another person as you, yourself, desire being treated. It is acceptance on both sides, despite each others differences. We learn this – or should have learnt this – from a very early age, within kindergarten, play school and eventually high school. But, I don’t know, maybe I was lucky in living in an environment where I did learn it.
Tolerance is a foundation stone for a multi-cultural society.

Tolerance of today has become something vastly different than what it was. It is now far less of a respect now, it has become a demand, and it is a lopsided demand. There is no equality to the tolerance of today – there is inequality – we are wanting a society that desires more equality, but we are losing our tolerance.

I want to be tolerated again. If my opinion is different, ask me why, let me explain, I will have a reason – I think a lot – and if you don’t like my reason – that should be okay – I am neither going to harm you with my thoughts, my words or my rationality.
But then I remember – we live in a society today where apparently words are as sharp as swords, and someone can find themselves facing a prison sentence for saying something that might be deemed as “hate speech” so – perhaps – my fears are just. Maybe I should just continue to pretend to be who I am not, for I know that the courtesy of tolerance is not returned – that though I accept, respect and listen to everyone I come in contact with, even if they are saying things that scare me, goes entirely against everything I uphold, that tolerance would not be returned in the slightest.
So instead I wear a mask. I feel like I end up lying, and I hate lying.
What then, I am left wondering, is worse?
Being unable to voice my true opinions to people who I wish would accept me as I accept them, or lying to keep myself safe.

Have I become part of the problem?

Maybe this all come out of me thinking to much. I do have a lot of time to think. However, it really does fascinate me.

 

Happy Birthday

So. Here I am; twenty-nine years old.
My Dad called me this morning and asked me if I felt twenty-nine . Nope. My sister say’s I’m only allowed to whine about getting old when I reach thirty. Okay. Now. That number just scares me. Not because it’s old or anything, it’s because I feel like by the time you’re thirty you’re supposed to at least have…I donno…gotten married, had kids, or done something like that, right?
My mother commented the other day while we were driving to see my little sister, after mentioning my birthday, just how vastly different our lives were. She was married at nineteen, had all her four kids by thirty. ALL HER FOUR KIDS BY THIRTY. ALL OF THEM.

So yes. Needless to say; my mother and I have walked very different paths.

However, there are things I have done that my mother hasn’t done, and it is good to sometimes look back on those memories and remind myself that even though I haven’t fulfilled the dream of settling down with a bunch of little kids running around yet, I have had some pretty great adventures despite my difficulties.

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Look at me being so contemplative…

In 2009, before we really knew what was going on with my health, and just as I was starting to deteriorate – we went on a family holiday to New Zealand (my third favourite place in the whole world). This family holiday has remained one of my fondest memories. My parents noticed my lack of odd stamina on this trip, which I suppose helped in some way towards my eventual diagnosis – I also fell down the camper-van stair and twisted my ankle and created the family-meme that I *always* fall down stairs.

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My little sister, Melissa, little brother, Michael, (Me) and older brother Andrew. Hah, I just realised we should have done this by age, but we didn’t. Mel should be in the middle with me. We’re so short compared to our bros. 

Somewhere between 2010 and 2011 I went on a trip to England, Ireland and Scotland. I actually can’t remember the year…I have it recorded as 2011 but I don’t trust that anymore after my computer lost it’s hard-drive.
This was my adventure of a lifetime – and – in TRUE Kylie fashion what did I do? I tripped over and busted me knee (see, see!) I ended up in a hospital in the middle of London at Midnight for an x-ray. The ride in the ambulance was fun though, as the paramedics were really, really lovely. The whole experience was actually pretty interesting.
My poor parents though – second day in and they get a phone call from me, “Ah, yeah, um…I’m in hospital.”
Anyway, a wrapped up knee layer and a pair of crutches had me right back on track and I was on my tour. So I couldn’t really run around as much as I had hoped, but I was going to make the most of being in in the countries I loved so, so much.

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Before I did my knee in. ^_^

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I know this picture doesn’t look like much – but I am the happiest person in the world right in this moment. I am in Scotland (my favourite country), surrounded by wonderful people, and we’re in the Highlands, and I’d just bought that hat. My favourite souvenir from the whole trip.

I have so many stories I could tell from my trip to England, Ireland and Scotland. It was such a marvellous adventure. I cherish the memories dearly, and I often think of it randomly – the memories just pop into my head and make me smile. I had never seen grass so green, I had never seen fields so fresh, and streets so tiny. When I got lost in the cobbled stone roads of St. Ive, hobbling around on my crutches, crying and crying, wondering if I would ever escape, it felt like a nightmare but now, looking back, I laugh at the hilariousness of it all. All I wanted was a Cornish pasty.

My next adventure was back to New Zealand for the release of the first Hobbit movie – can you believe this was in 2012. WOW. I travelled to New Zealand with a group of Lord of the Rings and Narnia fans for an epic trip to see all the movie sights. Made some good friends. My favourite part was probably getting the most epic tan ever waiting at the red carpet (mostly because it didn’t require me moving…at this point, I knew my stamina was bad and I just couldn’t do everything everyone else and it sorta sucked, okay, I hated it, so if I could join in something that meant standing still, I was totally there.)

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Yeah! Red carpet event! Whoop!

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The best day – by far though – was the visit to Hobbiton. If I can someday get my garden looking this wonderful I will be a happy, happy little Hobbit girl. This is my favourite photo from the trip – standing in front of Samwise’s house. 

Later that evening at The Green Dragon we were the first tour group to ever have a meal there. These are the wonderful things memories are made of.

 

We had an amazing guide – Mike.

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Then – an adventurer came to visit me.
My most wonderful, best friend, Anouk headed all the way to Australia from the Netherlands. There are friendships that shape you, and define you, and bring out the best in you and the friendship I have with Anouk is one of those. We’ve been friends for…oh gosh…almost, I think it’s almost ten years now. I think. Meeting someone you’ve only known online is incredible. It was profound. It makes the world so much bigger, and so much smaller, all that once. The moment she left was heart breaking, and I couldn’t stop crying.
I am very grateful the internet opened the doors for me to meet such a beautiful person.

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Now I am heading off on another adventure in a week or so. Off to Melbourne. I know, I know, it’s not another country or anything, but it feels just as epic in my mind. I have never really travelled outside of South Australia much and this will be my first time in another Australia’s major cities.
I have a wonderful, amazing group of people I am heading off with for Supanova, and I am so looking forward to the new memories to add to my collection.

So I might not have done what I dreamt of as a little girl – fulfilled the dreams of my childhood – but looking back – I’ve had a pretty good run of it and I am so grateful to everyone I’ve met along the way who has shared these moments with me.

Thanks everyone.