A huge part of my transition is to do with David. My big brother. He died two years ago, at age 30, from a heart defect. This January, I realised I was older now than he’d ever be. Every second I had, was time he’d never be granted. Death smacks you awake, raises questions and makes you examine who you are and where you’re headed. I felt and feel like I’ve done very little with my life… I have to make this time count.

Unlike me, David was a student of the world, he eschewed the conventional route. He wanted more than what he perceived as the suffocating monotony of a 9 to 5, rush hour, 2.4 kids life, he sought something deeper than the simple, shiny surface. I can understand that, the older I get. He spent his twenties solo traveling, bumbling from one adventure to the next, making friends wherever he went, mixing with locals, creating hilarious and beautiful memories. Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Australia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia.. I’ve probably left out a few.

However, David would never brag or bore anyone with his travel stories… His photos though, artistically captured the reality of the life and culture, and I always wondered why he didn’t have a travel blog or become a professional photographer. He was incredibly humble but so inspiring and I was in awe. And more than a little inadequate. I’ll always regret not going to South America to meet up, I guess I didn’t have the balls, but also because he had a head like a sieve and was likely to be in the wrong country, strumming his guitar absentmindedly while I landed somewhere randomly, with no ability to speak Spanish…

David was a free spirited wanderer. Incredibly eloquent and an independent thinker, he was fiercely fair and aware of global injustices. He was a beautiful and sensitive soul. He knew life was short and he lived more than anyone I know. Part of me wants to visit where he has been, feel that same sunshine on my face, the same sand under my feet, hear the buzz of the bustling streets or calm lapping of the ocean, get lost in those breath taking views and sunsets. But, I suppose, part of me wants to step out of his shadow and forge my own path.