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living a dream: prologue


At the end of December, 1995, I left the snow-filled streets of Minneapolis with a backpack, $500 cash in the back pocket of my Levi’s, and a work visa, and boarded a plane to Australia. I was 23 years old.

I had never been out of the country, except for a stint in Mexico my senior year of high school, and I had just graduated from UW-Madison with a degree in journalism and no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  I had time on my hands and dreams in my heart. I wanted to see the world.  And learn how to surf.

I intended to travel for three months and ended up staying a year. I would have stayed longer, but the lady who worked at Qantas Airlines told me if I didn’t leave by December 30, 1996, my flight would expire.

As my plane departed New Zealand, through which I hitchhiked for a month at the tail end of my year in the Southern Hemisphere, I vowed that I would return to that magnificent country with my someday-family.

22 years later, on January 2, 2018, I boarded a plane to New Zealand with my family–my husband, our 12-year-old son, and our 10 year-old-daughter, and we spent six weeks rambling through the North and South Islands of New Zealand in a camper van.

This is the story of living a dream…(stay tuned)



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