Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The end of the trip

G'day Everyone,

I am nearing the end of my pilgrimage to find my roots and travelling through a bit of Germany. At the moment I am in Berlin (hence the reason I have internet access) visiting a good friend Matthias Walter.

I have had a great week so far tracing my roots, I've got plenty of pictures and stories which I will post when I get back to Holland. For the time being I will put up a few pics so you can get a taste of what I have been up to.

I'll be in touch again soon.



Monday, June 15, 2009

Heading to Germany

G'day Everyone,

Well ... the time has finally come. Tomorrow I am picking up my Crazy Campervan (painted in vegas style) and heading to Germany. I will be in Germany for 10 days checking out the village that my forefathers came from and visiting a good friend in Berlin.

It's gunna be some adventure and I am going to try and do at least 1 post while I am on the trip. When I get back I will be sure to put up lots of pictures and stories about how it all went.

A big hello to all my old work mates at DLA PIPER. Hope you are all doing well, miss working with ya all.

I'll be in touch again soon

See ya


Friday, June 5, 2009

Aussie meets Dutchie

Almost 2 years ago a beautiful young Dutch girl (called Hester) ventured "Down Under" to visit her brother who was studying in Australia. As it happens that brother was my house mate as I was sharing a house with 4 Europeans (2 Dutch, a German and an Italian). Hester and I shared an amazing "click" in the 4 weeks that she was there but because of the circumstances and distance we never thought anything of it.

6 Months later I never forget that beautiful Dutch girl and the click we shared. I decided to email and Skype her and see what she was doing. Things went well and I decided I wanted to see what life was like off the big island (AKA Australia).

I worked hard and saved my Aussie dollars for another 6 months before I packed up my things and headed to Europe in July 08. I was looking forward to experiencing "culture" and "history" but was also keen to see the beautiful young Dutch girl.

Anyway to cut a long story short things went well and after being in Europe for 2 months we started an amazing relationship. I decided to stay in Holland for a full 12 months to experience her culture and enjoy our relationship without a 16,000 km distance between us. Soon after I decided that she is definately worth moving to Holland for so I decided to settle down a bit and get a job with the intentions of staying longer (possibly forever).

Well almost 1 year later plans have changed a little. Hester and I still share an amazing relationship but she is just finishing her bachelor of social work. After that she wants to come to Australia and experience life "Down Under" and see where I come from. So we are taking a 10 month trip to Australia to meet family, experience Aussie culture and see what life is like in Aus for us.

May next year we plan on returning to Holland for her brothers wedding. By this time we might also decided which country we want to settle down in (Australia or Holland). So the distant future is uncertain (where we will live) but we are living and enjoying each day as it comes.

Experiencing Dutch culture and meeting Hester has changed my life. I've learnt so much from the Dutch and have enjoyed 12 months here. I have so many stories and experiences that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

If you told me over 2 years ago that I would meet a Dutch girl, fall in love and live in Holland for 1 year I would have laughed. But 2 years later I can't imagine it any other way. Who would have thought my best friend and soul mate would be born and live in Holland.

Anways ... This is getting really long and a bit too intimate for a blog :p

I've met some amazing people and made some great friends here in Holland. I hope to stay in touch in the months ahead. Keep an eye on this blog for more details of our adventure in Australia.

Keep on smiling ... See ya

Matt Walter

Monday, June 1, 2009

Writing history and finding my "roots"

G'day Everyone,

Some time ago (while sitting behind a computer in Australia) I thought about the fact that I am Australian. As you will know I am not a native Australian (Aboriginal), so somewhere in the distant past my ancestors must have come from somewhere else in the world. This sparked an interest in tracing back my family tree to see how I became Australian.

As many of you would know Australia is a British colony. At one stage Britain sent thousands of prisoners to Australia because they were having problems containing them in their own country. I am happy to say that to this point I haven't discovered any of my relatives to be "criminal".

As I spent countless hours tracing back names and dates I have made some amazing discoveries. I have seen how a dozen or so families have endured hardships and trials, in order to have better future for themselves and their families. I have seen them leave family and loved ones in Europe and make the often fatal 3 month journey to Australia, often losing family to disease on the boats over.

I have also read stories of success and triumph as these people started life in a foreign country. Through lots hard work and perseverance many of them became successful, often pioneering different regions in parts of Australia. In doing this they wrote history and laid the foundation for future generations to build on.

These people and their stories are the roots of the very tree to which I belong. All the victories and hardships that they endured helped to give me the life I enjoy today. They are all part of the past which helps provide me with the present I enjoy now and the future I enjoy tomorrow.

The present (today) I am living and enjoying now is also significant. I am writing history!! My life is writing the story that future generations will read about. Each day and every choice are becoming part of the roots that will nourish the tree for my future generations.

Every day is a gift, a new opportunity to add a new page to the story. What an amazing opportunity as each of us has. We are holding the very pen that will tell the story of our families’ history. Even if we can't bear biological children of our own we can still choose to provide roots that will nourish the tree for future generations.

Our lives are a living story that can touch and change the lives of people in the future. The trials and success that you face today will provide inspiration and a future for generations to come.

What story are you writing today? It's never too late to write a happy ending!!



My Great Great Grandparents James & Anna Mary Curtis with their family

James migrated from England to Australia by himself when he was 17 years old.

He married Anna Mary Pedersen and had many children. One of which was my Great
Grandfather John Curtis. John grew up and went on to start a successful sawmill in
the Wide Bay Distract of Queensland, Australia.

Anna Mary is the daughter of Jens Pedersen who migrated from Denmark. Jens

lost both his wife and his only child on that trip to Australia. Later Jens remarried
after meeting another Danish immigrant called Mathilde Margrete
(the mother of Anna Mary)

Jens went on to become a succesful farmer in Wide Bay region of Queensland,

Australia. Members of his family still own and operate the farm today.