Road Trip

Follow your passion. Follow your dream. Do what you love. Who hasn’t heard it in one form or another? Maybe you even said it yourself. But what is your passion? What do you want to get out of life? Those are pretty big questions with some searching for the answer their entire life. It’s always easier said than done. Not that I want to discourage you from finding yours, quite the opposite actually. I want you to find your passion, to have the courage to go after it, to seize it.

Leaving high school all my schoolmates seemed to know which career path they were going to take. Me on the other hand, it took years to figure it out. There was a small part of me that knew which direction to take, but I was too scared to turn that way. My passion always lied in the creative arts. Acting, singing, painting, writing, crafting, designing, decorating, photography. Really anything creative and practice orientated. 

After high school I got my Working Holiday Visa to go to Australia (I’m originally from Germany). That was my plan since year 10 after one English lesson about Australia. For six months I travelled around Australia and New Zealand.

Pit Stop. Byron Bay.

I thought I would figure it all out while travelling on my own. I didn’t. I was drifting like an unmanned surfboard in the current of the ocean. During my road trip through Australia, I stopped in Byron Bay for a couple of days. I had never seen anything like it. If you have no ambitions in life and just want to chase wave after wave, this is the place to be. On my day trip to Nimbin, I remember the bus driver asking us to rate the trip to encourage people to book it otherwise he will have to “go and get a real job”.

Today you can turn almost anything into a job or a business. But it’s not going to be easy. I knew very early that I was going to stay in Australia. So, for my career I had to pick something that was in demand and affordable (I won’t be getting into international student fees here).

Nimbin, New South Wales, West of Byron Bay.

My choice was childcare. I studied a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, got a job at the centre I did my placement at and two years later I did my Diploma. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, I love being an educator, I love making a difference in children’s life and watch them grow. That is why I went with childcare. But I always wanted to do something creative, something that would challenge me mentally. Once I got my permanent residency I looked into different degrees and found creative writing. 

Pit Stop. Cairns.

I have been writing diaries since I was eight years old. In high school I would often write ‘flash fiction’ (a term I learned at university) on the edge of newspapers for my mum to read. However, publishing books is very competitive. There is no guarantee for success. No one can give you the guarantee that following your passion will work out. You will meet doubters, inside and outside your head, and outweigh the risk.

Ronja Bartel
Read Time

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‘Very low crocodile risk’. Think about it and decide for yourself.

It’s like going to Cairns and considering whether to go for a swim in the ocean and potentially meeting a crocodile or not. An obstacle is not the end of the world. There are plenty of beautiful waterholes nearby. Follow your passion, turn off the doubts, take the risk. If there’s an obstacle move around, through, under or over it or eliminate it all together and just go for it.

But beware. They can get hangry.

Pit Stop. Victoria River.

At one point during my road trip, I found myself glaring outside the window of a bus. We were taking a short stop in the Victoria River region in the Northern Territory on the way to Kununurra. I barley took in the white bark of the trees, the thirsty leaves, the dust against the red dirt. This is how I pictured Australia. Red dirt and wide landscapes. I felt lost.

Victoria River Region, Northern Territory. Red dust particles as far as the eye can see.

There will be a time you will feel lost or overwhelmed. And you will question yourself and why the hell you are doing this. But I ask you – how are you ever going to find yourself if you’ve never been lost?

Pit Stop. Coral Bay.

When searching for your passion things can become blurry. I was lying on the beach in Coral Bay, sunbathing. My blue travel towel that folds up very small and dries ridiculously fast between me and the white sand, the ocean in front of me and the campground across the road behind me. I was at peace when a seagull pooped on me.

Coral Bay, Western Australia. Your mind might be foggy right now, but soon enough it will be clear. As clear as water.

Going after your passion is unpredictable, things will go wrong. A lot. Don’t let it discourage you and stay focused on what’s important. Shit happens. Eventually it will get wiped away and things will clear up again like the water in Coral Bay.

Pit Stop. Rottnest Island.

On my day trip to Rottnest Island, I was surprised by stunning coastal sections surrounded by sand-coloured cliffs, deep blue water, mint green grass and rare wildlife. I walked up the wooden steps of a lighthouse and watched seals floating on the surface of the water. Things don’t always go wrong in a bad way. Some surprises are a welcome change. Avoid lingering on the bad stuff and look out for the light in the distance.

Rottnest Island, Western Australia. There is a light at the end of the horizon. A lighthouse.

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Pit Stop. Adelaide.

One of the stops on a sightseeing tour through Adelaide will be the Adelaide oval. From the Riverbank Precinct Pedestrian Bridge crossing the river Torrens you will have a great view.

Adelaide Oval, South Australia.

Playing sports nurtures teamwork skills, determination, courage and confidence. These attributes are essential in making your dream of turning your passion into a career come true. To get better and be consistent it takes practice and persistence. You don’t need to know the answer to everything. 

Pit Stop. Uluru.

Facing challenges, obstacles and doubts can be difficult, overwhelming and tiring. During those tough moments it can be helpful to go back to your roots and remember your strengths. Remind yourself why you are doing what you’re doing. If you are persistent your efforts will pay off in the end.

Uluru, Northern Territory. Cultural heritage landmark in the middle of the continent.

Pit Stop. Twelve Apostles. 

Driving along the Great Ocean Road you will eventually end up seeing the Twelve Apostles. These rock formations are a must see and consist of limestone. Due to the ocean, the waves and weather conditions their form changes over time and some have already crumbled down.

Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road, Victoria. Go with the tides.

Change is unavoidable and even though it often has a negative connotation change is not always a bad thing. Being open to change and adaptable is vital if you want to be successful. Unlike the Twelve Apostles you can get back up.

Pit Stop. Tasmania. 

On my road trip through Australia, I also made it to Tasmania. Sitting on the grey and white pebbles at the edge of the lake looking at Cradle Mountain is the spot where you would want to exist to feel in line with your mind and body or sing along to ‘I Made It’ (song by Tones and I from True Spirit) once you’ve reached your goal.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania.

To reach your goal after you put your mind, heart and soul into it is one of the greatest satisfactions in life.

Pit Stop. GRAVITATE Digital. 

As part of my bachelor’s degree majoring in Creative Writing, I am interning with the marketing agency GRAVITATE Digital. GRAVITATE Digital provides many different services including social media and email marketing and the team works alongside businesses to reach their full potential. 

The team at GRAVITATE Digital is a bunch of down to earth and fun people. Even though they’d rather hit the waves or go snowboarding they work hard to support their clients.

If you have a passion or a business idea, you don’t need to know how to do everything. You can take courses, ask for advice, or reach out to someone you look up to and ask them to mentor you. 

On your way to finding and following your passion you will meet supporters and doubters, move past obstacles and feeling lost, say ‘shit happens’, see the light at the end of the tunnel, return to your roots and strengths, acknowledge change and find satisfaction. 

You Made It.

Want to learn more? Reach out to the GRAVITATE team today for a chat.



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Frequently asked questions

How did you discover your passion for creative arts?

What was your experience like traveling in Australia and New Zealand?
How did you manage the transition from childcare to pursuing creative writing?
What advice do you have for someone feeling lost in their search for passion?
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Barely anything gives me more energy in the morning than watching the sun rise.