About Azure

 

 

As a teenager, I had been fortunate to travel to Ecuador and the Galapagos, Europe and South Africa and while in college, had the experience of a lifetime traveling around the world on a ship with Semester at Sea.
 

After graduating from The George Washington University in 2006, I quickly realized

that all of my pipe dreams about traveling after college and securing grants to perform

anthropological work in the Pacific Islands would have to take a back seat to the

immediate need to secure a job that payed well enough to begin repaying my student

loans. So I began what turned into a nice little career in conference planning, which

took me to beautiful hotels in vibrant cities all over the US, offered me the opportunities

to meet and hear great minds of our times speak, and provided me with just enough

money to pay my bills and secure a nice little "shoebox in the sky", as I lovingly referred

to my tiny studio apartment. I dated a wonderful guy who made me laugh, was actually

friends with my colleagues and I brunched, reveled in my 3 weeks of annual vacation

time, and happy-hour'd the days... weeks... months... years... away.

 

 I was for the most part, very content, even happy, most of the time. But there was something missing. Something that caused me to feel short of breath every now and again, like the air was being squeezed out of my lungs. Because I was about to miss out on something. And so, when a dear friend mentioned that he could set me up with a job working the wine vintage in Australia, I jumped on the opportunity. Ended my lease. Sold my car. And packed all of my belongings, but for what I could fit in two suitcases, into storage into my family barn in Vermont. It turned out that I loved getting my hands dirty, loved being a part of the natural miracle that is grape juice becoming wine, and also loved living outside of the USA.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I returned home to catch up with family and friends, drink eggnog and ring in the New Year, and then jetted back to Australia where Roel and I reunited and I managed to secure a two year sponsorship working for a phenomenally talented winemaker in the Hunter Valley.

 

 

Something clicked when said winemakers little girls dubbed me

"The Girlfriend"... because I was the girlfriend of Roel who rode the

motorbike. I tried to just chalk it up to children being fascinated with

machinery, but it didn't sit right with me. I wanted to be a girl who they

looked up to. Not delegated to the role of 'the girlfriend'.

Besides, I had long been pondering safety considerations when we

would go out for rural rides two-up on the Africa Twin: if somethng

happened to Roel, there was no way I would be able to quickly get

help. And so the seed was planted that I would eventually get my

motorcycle license and my own bike.

 

With the end of vintage came new beginnings and Roel

and I spent the next year traveling throughout Australia, Malaysia,

Indonesia, Holland, France, Belgium, Germany and New Zealand.

We returned to Australia to work another vintage. And then we

decided it was time to travel to the States to surprise my mother

for her 60th birthday. 

 

I enrolled for a motorcycle safety course upon arrival in Florida.

And I found my perfect motorcycle in North Carolina, so now we are riding with two bikes... double the maintenance but definitely double the fun!

 

And yes, speaking of love, I fell in love. Just as I was

preparing to wrap up almost a year in Australia and

return to America for the holidays where I would have

to decide between begrudgingly returning to corporate

America or trying to make a go of it in the Australian

wine industry, I met a handsome Dutchman while diving

the Great Barrier Reef, who I happened to intercept

amidst his overland motorbike trip around the world.

We rode through the middle of Australia together. I

relished the connection I had with my surroundings

while on the bike. Freshly blossoming lilies, the heat of

bush fires, the way I had to learn how to hold my breath

as we passed roadkill and make sure to exhale through

both my nose and mouth after we had passed well

beyond so as to expunge any remaining scent. I grew to appreciate the simplicity of living out of a small box on top of a bike, only wearing 3 of the 4 shirts I had packed and found meditation in hand-washing my socks and underwear every few days. I knew after that trip that I needed to keep traveling. 

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