Time and time again throughout history the youth of the day have been responsible for some of the greatest achievements on record. Think Joan of Arc leading the French to victory over the English at the age of 17, Louis Braille inventing the Braille system when he was 15 and more recently the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who created technology empires at the age of 19.
I can safely say that some of these stories are responsible for my own journey, and without doubt the feats of many others.
The beginning of my desire to undertake on something that was challenging, adventures and hopefully inspiring to others began when Jessica Watson returned from her round the world sailing journey.
Jessica sailed around the globe at the age of 16 and inspired many including me to chase what might otherwise seem impossible. Like me, Jess also hails from the Sunshine Coast and to me I felt a connection with her story, another local, and it made everything she did that little more real. I remember the day she sailed back into Mooloolaba Marina, I knew that a journey of a similar proportion was possible.
The idea of flying around the world, rather than sailing, came to me in 2013, although it wasn’t some great epiphany or anything like that. It was literally thrust in front of me when 60 Minutes ran a story called ‘Flyin’ Ryan’, complete with an image of a young man and his Cirrus Sr-22.
It was fellow Australian Ryan Campbell who took the world record of youngest pilot to circumnavigate the globe solo, in a single engine aircraft that same year, and it was then that I found what I was looking for.
The amount of effort and preparation it would take to organise a similar challenge at that point hadn’t occurred to me. All I saw was a challenge, a monumental challenge, but I had time on my side, I was young enough to break Ryan’s record, and his achievement alongside the chance to go one better, was the inspiration that kick started this dream.