This use to be in the third person, it seemed like the right thing to do. Reading your own voice as if it was someone else's felt so peculiar though. Upon reflection and a large cup of coffee I decided it was time for a rewrite, from an authentic personal perspective.
Note: the "sixty second version" is on my LinkedIn.
It's been a privilege to work with a growing list of international clientele ranging from corporate to grassroots.
Clients have included UNICEF, Campos Coffee, The North Face, Red Bull, Freeride World Tour, The University of Utah, National Parks Traveler, American Alpine Club, Pac 12 NCAA, ChildFund Laos, Fujifilm, Backcountry, Trojan Holdings (NZ Ski), Goal Zero, Visit Idaho, Nat Geo Adventure, Ford, Utah Tourism, Ski Utah, Tesoro Corporation, and Evapco.
My journey started in the South. Depending on your geographical location and nationality, that may mean different things. To be specific, I was born in Georgia, USA.
As a "Southern boy" I grew up outside with the woods on my doorstep, and a coon dog as a companion. I’d spend hours after school exploring and riding my bike until the fireflies lit up the dense pine scented air. The weekends were full of backyard football, church on Sunday, and boating in the Summer. Biscuits came with gravy, and BBQ generally meant slow cooked pork perfection. Apologies in advance to the reader, I talk about food a lot. Thanksgiving was (and still is) my favourite holiday. In hindsight, it was an idyllic and picturesque American childhood.
When I was 11 years old my family moved to Brisbane, Australia where my step-father’s family resided. I would spend the next decade embracing Australian lifestyle and culture. Flip flops became thongs, sausages became snags, the metric system was a thing, and words like breakfast and afternoon were shortened to breakie and arvo. I learned that "a pie" wasn't always sweet, definitely wasn't pizza, and should be eaten with tomato sauce (ketchup) even if it was 20 cents extra. By the way, ketchup and tomato sauce taste different, it's the vinegar. In Australia a BBQ, or "barbie", is really more of a social gathering than a food group. Oh and the backyard football? It became footy, as in rugby, though technically rugby league. The terminology depends on what part of Australia you're in! Don't get me started on AFL or "Soccer" (yes, it's SOCCER!!!). Different conversation. Anyways, I can well and truly say I'm an Aussie now, mate.
This all said, for years I was conflicted on my nationality and identity. In Australia I was “The American”. In the U.S. I was "The Australian”. While living in New Zealand, well, they just knew I wasn’t a Kiwi. They may have suspected Canadian who'd overstayed his Australian Working Holiday Visa.
Along the way my accent and identification has undergone variations; politics, geography, and present company have always played a part.
In my late teens I was accepted to the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, studying the International Baccalaureate Diploma, a challenging academic program based out of Singapore. Here I began to embrace the notion that being different was in many ways an advantage to thinking critically and evaluating a range of views and perspectives.
However, while return trips to the U.S. where frequent to visit family and time spent interning at an agency in Los Angeles, I yearned for an extended experience (and proper Mexican food). So in my 20’s I journeyed back across the Pacific to Salt Lake City, Utah to broaden my academic studies at the University of Utah and work professionally. I fell in love in the American West, in more ways than one.
Whilst working and studying, I expanded on my passion for the great outdoors, and built a community of lifelong friends. I also built on a set of athletic, technical, and team management skills becoming accomplished in skiing, guiding, rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and other outdoor pursuits which allow me to get as close as possible to the action. I utilize this skill set every day.
Today, holding dual citizenship, I’m proud to say I identify as both American and Australian, hence the term American-Australian. I continue to work in both countries, or on assignment abroad.
So, let’s get in touch, I would love to hear from you. Every project starts somewhere.