WHAT MAKES ME "B"
The best of life cannot be bought, who our hearts beat for, feelings, moments, smiles and laughter, Mum and Dad taught me so much about what matters most. I’m Bridget, or B to those who know me, I'm one part Mum, one part Dad and one part you two are wonderful but I’m a bit myself too.
Mum taught me compassion, resilience and determination, she inspired me to give my best. Dad taught me resourcefulness, humour and optimism, he ensured I wouldn’t suffer fools. I try to make the best of difficult situations and to rationalise when tough decisions need to be made. I know what I am capable of and will find a way or change course. I am passionate, tactful and intuitive - optimistic, with a healthy dose of reality.
I know happiness comes from within, I’m equally content with my own company as spending time with family and good friends. I will happily lose myself in my own thoughts for hours on a long drive or lose an evening to good conversation with great people. I am comfortable with who I am, I feel at home having a beer in an outback pub as having a glass of wine in one of Australia’s top restaurants. I enjoy good food, meals out where local produce is exquisitely presented yet look forward to a sandwich or sushi on the run with comparable enthusiasm.
Limited by my own fears I proceed with more caution than spontaneity but I’m grateful to be marginally more determined than afraid - the reason I’m restless if there’s no flight booked or plan in place to explore somewhere new! I’m willing to move (marginally) out of my comfort zone to learn and grow. To be curious, creative, persistent and make my own luck is as innate as my trepidation, and desire to co-pilot all flights so I know what's going on.
I crave the freedom of travelling by road, the time to write, and to recapture a childlike wonder, an appreciation for simpler things.
Well before blogs became the virtual travel journal I was writing in note books from the road. I have books of scrawl, letters with extra limbs that dart from the pages. The bus would fly over a bump or sink into a pothole without warning and I learnt early on not to rest my head against the window. Across twelve countries the roads didn’t discriminate - except maybe in Germany where there were no bumps or potholes.
I wrote about jumping on trampolines in the snow and squeezing into a clothes dryer in New Zealand. Of running the gauntlet across the Champs Elysees and using bolt cutters to get into my own pack in London. I wrote about the bulldog in Amsterdam thinking my leg was a post, of falling flat on my face in front of a capacity lunch crowd in Barcelona and being told off for eating my sandwich in the outdoor gallery in Florence. For the toilets of Beijing, I dedicated a whole page.
In 2010 I created a blog, it was going to be so much easier!
I was about to set off on the first stage of The Bold Line, an Australian adventure by road to honour my Dad who had been killed in a road accident seven years earlier. It was a place for family and friends to follow the journey, but over the duration of the five year project it became much more than that.
The Bold Line has been completed but a journey of a different kind is about to begin!
"You wind down the window, a hot breeze blows and dust rises in your wake. You grasp the wheel with both hands, you marvel at the weather-beaten expanse before your eyes, your mind grapples with the sheer scale of the country and your heart pounds hard in your chest, you push on. There's a magic to these remote landscapes, it feels sacred out here, freedom overcomes you, wildlife astounds you, life becomes simple, you are on the road."
Bridget Mahony 2015
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
THE BOLD LINE
LINES DRAWN ON A MAP . WRITTEN ON A PAGE . MEMORIES ETCHED IN MY MIND . A NEW ROAD AHEAD
It was a bitterly cold Sunday in July 2011. With an all-encompassing sense of anticipation, she removed her bags from the boot of the car and carried them inside the terminal. Who was Edward John Mahony and why was his daughter standing at Hobart Airport with 20kg of luggage and thousands of kilometres on her mind?
I only ever remember Dad working in the transport industry. While it was hard work in remote areas of Australia and certainly difficult at times, he loved it. He appreciated the landscapes, enjoyed time with the characters he met and delighted in their recounted stories, which he would share each night over the phone.
Ten years later and in a devastating fashion, it was this line of work that served to remind everyone of the risks. On July 22, 2003, Dad was travelling south on the Newell Highway, bound for Melbourne. At 10.20pm he rounded a bend near the town of Moree. In that same moment, two trucks – one travelling in front of him and another travelling north, collided. Together they were out of control and left Dad with nowhere to go. He died instantly.
Eight years on I stood at the airport, more aware than ever of the significance of the map wedged between my laptop and the notebook in my backpack.
Dad’s aim was to see as much of Australia through his work as he could. So much so that, given the choice, he took the job that sent him in a direction he had never been, on roads he had never driven. The map I refer to had for years hung on a wall at home; each time he returned from a trip, he would trace the line of any new roads while I looked on with admiration.
I’d had this image in my mind for years now, and consequently it had become my aim to complete it: to join the bold lines he’d drawn and travel to those parts of Australia he so longed to see.
I can say hand on heart that each stage of The Bold Line was completed to honour Dad, keep his memory alive and fulfil his dream.
After 21,000kms on the road and some of the best experiences of my life, it’s time to take The Bold Line in a new direction and keep the dream alive.
Throughout the journey I learned much about myself - what truly makes me happy as well as my limitations. I rediscovered a love of travel, a passion for writing and developed a keen interest in photography.
I'm well aware there are millions of talented people, far more adventurous who love to write, take photos and travel the world, but not all uncovered what they love through a journey so close to their heart and that’s something I'll aways be proud of.
It’s true that I feel closest to Dad when I'm travelling by road and inevitable that I wouldn’t want this feeling to fade. I love being with my own thoughts in Australia’s vast landscapes or losing myself to the bustling energy and culture of a foreign city.
The Bold Line will always be in memory of Dad but stories, as do brands, evolve and change in form as time goes on. After promoting the completion of the loop as the pinnacle, I'm not comfortable taking the original concept and shifting the goalposts for what would now be more about my own happiness.
So it’s time to begin the transition with a journey that will still allow me to cover some of the roads not marked on Dad’s map all the while changing the face of The Bold Line for the future.
MY ARTICLES ARE SEEN IN
THE BOLD LINE
PROUDLY PROMOTES AND SUPPORTS THE WORK
OF THE LAYNE BEACHLEY AIM FOR THE STARS FOUNDATION
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