As long as I can remember I’ve always had a deep love of horses. Despite not coming from a traditionally “horsey” background, my parents only interactions with horses involved using them to farm the land in rural Western Ireland, it just felt like something was calling me towards these beautiful creatures. As luck would have it, or perhaps it was divine intervention, my opportunity to learn to ride came about early in my life when at the young age of 6 years old I found myself living in the Horse Capital of Ireland with a riding school next door. And thus my love affair began………….
My second passion in life is travel…..in fact my main motivation during my years of school and university was to qualify, get a good job, save some money and get on a plane!! In 2007 myself and my dear friend and partner in crime boarded a plane in Dublin airport to travel the world for a year………….we followed the traditional backpackers route, a couple of weeks in Southeast Asia, 10 months travelling the length and breath of Australia and New Zealand and some rest and relaxation on the paradise beaches of Fiji and Hawaii before boarding a plane in LAX bound for Dublin and a return to reality. For some people such a trip gets the restlessness out of the system, but for others it only just whets the appetite……..and alas I was firmly captivated by the travel bug, addicted to the nomad life, longing for the feel of sand between my toes and wind in my hair, I felt trapped in a mundane routine of work, work and more work. I felt unsettled in every crevice of my life, my gypsy heart and soul needed to fly.
Again, divine intervention happened when I stumbled across the world of equestrian travel…….a way to marry my two great passions in life, travel and horses. My first trip was to Botswana in 2009 and from that first moment on horseback in the wild African Bush I was hooked. I’ve lost count of how many kilometers I’ve traveled on horseback, each trip has been amazing for very different reasons…….wide open spaces and far away places, deserts and mountains, beaches and rivers, getting off the beaten track to hidden places where the best and only way to experience it is on a horse.
I live between two vastly different worlds……..my “normal” life where I undergo the daily grind of working long never-ending hours and sacrificing many weekends in order to finance what really matters, the stuff that makes my heart beat faster and my eyes glow………I work to travel. My other life, the one I feel most alive in is spent sitting for countless hours on a horse, exploring this world from my equine alter, living as a desert Bedouin or a Nomadic Ethiopian Oromo, reveling in the beauty and wonder of this amazing planet.
Somebody once told me that you should always write about what you know, that way your passion lifts from the page and beckons the reader in, making them part of your story……..so I invite you to be part of my story, travel the road least taken with me as we cross deserts, climb mountain ranges and gallop across wide open spaces in far away places.
“They are strangers to airs and graces, and scornful of power and pride- the women of open spaces who rule the world when they ride.”