While enrolled at THINK Global School, students are encouraged to be creative during the course of their studies and travels. When the students document these thoughts, we are often delighted with the results. In his personal reflection, “Growing up ten minutes from nowhere,” 11th grade student Cameron L. writes fondly of his childhood home in the Australian countryside. It was on this rural farm that he was able to take a break from the rigors of travel and let his imagination run rampant.
AUSTRALIA (a land in which only locals know the capital city) is where I grew up. It’s where I learned that the best type of sandals are a pair of thongs, and that there is nothing better than a sizzling snag on a hot summer’s day. It’s where I learned that a salty black paste does go well on bread and that there’s nothing better for breakfast than 4 squares of compressed wheat with milk. It’s also the place where I learned what a lamington (Australian dessert) is, and where I learned about the heated debate on the pavlova’s (another Australian dessert) place of origin. It’s where I learned that you CAN wrestle crocodiles if you’re crazy enough. It’s where I learned that even if you have Buckley’s chance, you can still make it. It’s where I learned that one man in a suit of armor, even if he’s fighting the law, can make a difference.
A city is where I was born, but a small town is where I grew up in a house ten minutes away from nowhere. My childhood consisted of constant travel, and I’ve been rotating between my parents’ houses since I was four. I have a mother that worked constantly until I was five and a father that has suffered from severe depression from the moment of my birth, which led to me being partly raised by a nanny. Lawrence was his name, and he came with the motto, “you can always have more.” I grew up with my mother and have lived with her since I was five, only visiting my father once every few months. The distance meant that planes became a second home. That and my mother’s intention to see everything that could be seen.
The house where I grew up could not be called just a house; it was a place where my imagination ran wild. The house was located on a farm consisting of 124 acres that were guarded against the road by a river lined with towering trees. It’s where I decided that I was a knight, a pirate, a ninja, and part monkey as I scaled trees to get to the crow’s nest of my own ship. I would run through a paddock with a long stick to slay the dreaded thistles that were invading the land, becoming a mud-man in the process. I remember swimming through the river and wielding a saw in one hand and poison in the other to get rid of privet along the creek from as early as I can remember. Running through the paddocks with a whipper-snipper to attack the tussock grass.
I always remember the blessing I had of being an only child. It allowed me to bury my head entirely in books. I could hide in my room in the attic with no noise but the dogs outside. A room that was perfect for a small child, as the edges are only a meter above the floor. The center of the room is the only place that I can stand up now. There were countless bumps on the head from supporting beams. It didn’t matter though as they just gave me the opportunity to curl up with my book.
There were always chores and jobs like collecting eggs and letting the chickens and dogs out. They were always so happy to be out of their enclosure that they would jump through the orchard to the house as if the ground were a giant trampoline. It was always good if it were a windy day because the wind would dry the morning dew on the ground. There was no better feeling than letting the dogs out in the morning and then lying down on the grass just after sunrise. Rain was good too as it flooded the causeway and meant I couldn’t get to school. If it were too hot, the creek was available to go for a swim. If it were too cold, I could curl up by the fire at night with a book.
I grew up ten minutes from nowhere.