My name is Gemma Louise Pap and i was born on a small island of the south coast of England called the Isle of Wight.
With Gypsy blood and an avid imagination, not to mention a huge fan of the Eurovision song contest, it didn’t take long for my feet to start itching away.
Starting off gently with places not to far away from home for a young girl to visit on her own, i started to explore my backyard so to say.
wales was my first brave step out of England, then on the Scotland, Ireland and northern Ireland as well as all the far reaches of England from rolling green fields in the south, to mountains and lakes in the north. I always remember how excited i was to see my first mountain, after all the isle of wight isn’t exactly the Pyrenees.
But that still wasn’t enough, as a little girl, i used to stay up late at my granny’s place watching the Eurovision every year dreaming about visiting all these exciting places that i could barely pronounce.
After a weekend in Prague i had whetted my appetite and wanted to try further afield.
So then one day my friend came over with all these big plans to go to Australia, now i had no intention of going anywhere near Australia at the time, i had grown up with crocodile Dundee and Steve Irwin. all i knew of Australia was hot, dry, dusty and everything even the plants had it in for you.
Add to that my huge phobia of ants, also to be found in abundance in Australia.
So you can see why i wasn’t really up for the idea. but i did have a lot of friends in New Zealand and it look like such an amazing place, plus the whole no deadly animals was a great selling point.
So we agreed to get our visas work in Australia fruit picking for 6 months make some cash then go touring around New Zealand for the other 6 months. But as it goes with all grand plans they never work the way you planned them. My friend pulled out at the last minute . but see as i already had the guidebook and plane ticket i decided to go by myself.
so that is how i ended up arriving in Australia 9 years ago, and yes i’m still here and all of my preconceptions have been proved wrong, yes there are a lot of dangerous things over here but contrary to the myths the red back spiders don’t hide under your toilet seat waiting to bit your bum,
The drop bears i.e koalas don’t drop out of the trees and attack you, if you see one in a tree and it actually moves your lucky, although they do make some very strange noises at night which can be a bit unnerving when you camping…
Although the center is red, dry and dusty, it is still incredibly beautiful, the people are amazingly friendly, and the coast is just unbelievable it was defiantly a very well kept secret, although i think the cat is out of the bag nowadays.
I met my husband by a twist of fate, after buying a bargain package holiday deal in Byron bay. Just $300 for a Fraser island trip, a Whitsunday sailing trip, 6 nights accommodation up the coast and a free husband. You cant ask for a better deal then that.
Ok so i did have to put a bit of effort in but the planets were defiantly lining up the day i bought that ticket.
my husband original from former Yugoslavia moved over here with his parents as a teenager. he was running a sailing tour in the Whitsundays, which i had unknowingly bought a ticket on.
So i did my trip as a very happy customer, loved it, came back as a volunteer, he hired me as the hostess on the boat, and then it was downhill from there.
We have now been together 9 years and have had all sorts of adventures.
So basically that’s how a young girl with no intentions of ever coming to Australia, ends up not only visiting but falling in love, marrying an Australian and becoming one herself..