How did a South African find her way to a women’s networking group in Mount Waverley, Melbourne?
Hi, my name is Tracy and next year (2018) I will turn 50 and it will be my half-way point, 25 years in Australia and 25 in South Africa. My family immigrated to Australia when I was 10 years old and lived here for 4 years. I often say I went home to find a husband. On our return to Cape Town, aged 14 I started working in a café (milk bar is the best Australian equivalent) and it was there that I served my future husband Andrew, who would regularly come in to buy the newspaper for his dad. A few years later we found ourselves in a carpool to uni. He was studying land surveying and I was doing Psychology. The carpool eventually disbanded, and it wasn’t until seven years later that we met by chance and a romance blossomed. We had both finished our studies, travelled and worked overseas (UK & Europe) and established our careers. Andrew had also been to the army (national conscription), where he met Trevor, who became a good friend, travel buddy and housemate.
On 13th June 1997, Andrew and I took a bold step and boarded a flight to London on a round the world trip, intended to end in Australia, where we would create a new life and home. As Trevor waved goodbye at the airport, he handed over a small piece of paper and in scruffy handwriting was the name Glen, a phone number and an address in Box Hill. He told us that his brother lived in Melbourne and we should look him up.
After our travels through the UK, Germany, Spain, US and NZ, on the 28th Sept 1997 we took a very early flight from Auckland and arrived at our destination, Melbourne. Our worldly goods were in two backpacks and we didn’t know a soul in Melbourne but still had this little worn piece of paper that offered the promise of at least one person that we could possibly meet. We did make a call to Glen and have enjoyed many years of friendship with him and his wife.
About 5 years ago, after a major health scare and the loss of my brother, I started a career coaching business. Glen suggested that I contact Mi, his former colleague from Health Super. I met Mi for a coffee at the Glen, felt a connection with her, told her my life story and accepted her invitation to join her and Meg’s networking event: Monday Connections. At the little Connections Café and later at the Bruce Country Hotel, many new connections began. Mi also hooked me up with Naren (but that’s a story for another time) and so the cycle continues…
So, in this case it was just three degrees of separation between Mi and I. Interesting how the world is such a small place and I love thinking about the sliding doors, which change our experiences and life forever.
But some things are just meant to be.