I know I’m not alone when I say I miss being a kid. Building sandcastles, powering through colouring books and religiously watching The Wiggles are activities we’re all familiar with and perhaps will relive one day with our own children.
While I was too busy being a kid back then to realise it, growing up on a 40 acre farm was an absolute dream come true. My cousins lived right next door, which was so awesome because I had my two best friends and my sister to play with. There was always someone to help build a cubby house or ride my bike with.
Flicking through old photo albums, the nostalgia really sets in when I think back to all the wonderful memories, the lessons learnt and mistakes made – I am thankful for every moment. And while it’s almost impossible to narrow down my favourites, these are just a fraction of the things that have helped shape who I am today;
The best part about having lots of land is exploring it all. I can recall going on countless walks down the hill, where we have an old orange tree farm, and my cousins and I would drive paddock bashers around, play hide and seek in between the rows of trees, or explore the bush across the creek.
One of the best memories I have is our whole family trekking to the mountain opposite our houses. It took all day to get there and back, but we could see our house and our back veranda once we reached the top, it was an unforgettable view.
Being around horses
My Mum grew up with a love for horses, and so it was natural that she’d pass it on to me when I was born. Although almost every little girl goes through a horse-obsessed stage, it was really awesome to have our own right in our backyard. And of course, with all those paddocks, someone had to cut the grass, right?
And a variety of other animals
From snakes sneaking into the chicken coop to wombats digging up the front lawn, over the years I’ve had the privilege of being around lots of wildlife. We’d always had a lot of pet birds, however every now and then a stray one would turn up on the side of the road – like the kookaburra below – or fly into the windows, and we’d always do our best to look after it.
There’s one animal that turned up about 6 years ago, and hasn’t left since – a peacock. Not long after my Grandpa – who lived on our property with us in the house next door – passed away, he turned up on the doorstep, wandering around his garden. He’s been here ever since, taking shelter on our veranda and sun-baking near the washing line. My Aunt once said she suspected that perhaps Grandpa came back to be with us in the form of a peacock, and as the years go by, and the bird continues to keep us company, I wonder if she might be right..
When I wasn’t building Lego creations or slopping some glue on my next artistic creation, Bratz and Barbie dolls were keeping me occupied. Bianca and I would put in so much effort rearranging chairs and tables to create shops, making paper food and signs and building little houses for our dolls. It seems silly now, looking back, but it was one of my favourite things to do as a kid, and my parents were very patient considering we cluttered up the biggest room in the house…
Particularly in my kindergarten days, the best holidays were when we went camping. We always went to the same place every time, and we’d play card games, ride the rapids on our air mattresses and build little dams on the riverbank.
My Dad was in his prime whenever we pitched a tent and lit a campfire, and I love that we went camping so often growing up because it’s definitely given me a deep appreciation of nature and just being outside.
Adventuring on the PlayStation 2
Rather than sneaking out and rebelling my parents, I spent my pre-teen days playing Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot. I don’t quite know what it was about those characters, but I was obsessed. Every weekend when Bianca and I went to Dad’s house, we’d have our friend Chloe over and we’d try to level up collect and unlock absolutely everything. So many long nights were spent eating ice blocks and sitting in front of the television set, and I regret nothing.
While I always try to stay mindful of the present, sometimes it can be helpful to look back on your past. Reflecting on my childhood has helped me appreciate my family and friends and everything they’ve done, and continue to do for me.
Take some time to dig out the photos albums, watch some blurry home videos and read old birthday cards – you may even find a gem worth Instagraming! #ThrowbackThursday