• Question: From your education section on your CV, it sounds like you've been travelling loads! Was that a specific decision you made to travel or did it just happen like that?

    Asked by spacefan226 to Andrea on 21 Jun 2016.
    • Photo: Andrea Boyd

      Andrea Boyd answered on 21 Jun 2016:

      Specific just for the first trip then that opened up lots of ideas and I had friends to visit!

      It started because my Mum is Italian and when we visited our grandparents for lunch every Sunday my brothers and I had no idea what they were saying (they lived in Australia but didn’t speak English) so I wanted to talk to them and decided to go away as an exchange student for a year to Italy.

      In Year 10/11 I was in Italy (age 15 & 16) and over there I made friends with lots of Italians of course plus other exchange students from different countries. Then when I was 18 I did a Europe trip to visit all of them and actually I went to school for a day or two in all of their countries too! At the end of that trip I’d organised a summer job in Russia because I was curious to know what it was like there. (That started with my Mum suggesting it might be fun to work at summer camps in the USA and I wasn’t keen but I looked up their website and saw it had USA and Russia so I shouted Mum!! I’m going to apply for Russia! And she said.. hmmm… ok. I’ll help you. We’ll tell your dad later πŸ˜‰ ) After that it was a constant cycle of working in Australia and saving money for my next overseas trip, going overseas, coming home to study/work&save again etc πŸ™‚ All of the space industry was outside Australia so I knew I needed experience overseas to figure out where to work later. Plus I applied for some other jobs and internships overseas and on the ship and volunteered with the international space group from the UN and did another student exchange (like Erasmus) to study university in South Korea and won some awards/scholarships to help pay for trips too. And lots of space conferences in different countries. So from life/work/study I have friends in almost every country in the world.

      I didn’t always win scholarships/awards – I applied for so many things that I missed out on, but I kept applying and won some of them in later years or won different ones. You can’t win them all, but you have to try. It definitely helped financially! As a student doing afterschool jobs the pay rate was dreadful so it took forever to save for plane fares and all my savings went to that – I never had the latest phone or clothes like my friends – I lived for world experiences instead.

      And now I live in Europe! Crazy good budget airfares like Ryanair and Easyjet. AND you can drive to a ton of countries, which is just bizarre for my brain still…. In Australia the closest city to mine was 8ish hours drive one way if you didn’t stop. You could drive for 5hours and still be in the same State! πŸ™‚ Here in Cologne I can pick a direction, drive for an hour and be in Belgium, Netherlands, France, Luxembourg… Amazing.