As told to Elisabeth Easther

I grew up in Waipawa in Hawke's Bay, a typical rural town. I hadn't even been to McDonald's till I was 16. I was so excited when I went to university in Palmerston North - back then I thought Palmy was the big smoke. After graduating, I set off on my OE as soon as I could, working in banking and project management in London for several years, but back then I was never as excited about work as I was about travel.

My first proper trip was to Morocco with four friends. In a