I write a weekly column for my local paper; The Torres News. The column is called Ailan Yarns (translates to Island Chats) and it focuses on sharing positive stories from within the community. It also shines a light on local issues to give the community a chance to voice their opinions. Enjoy.
Published in The Torres News
Printed: 1st June 2018
Author: Kantesha Takai
The way Neru-Retehia Beckley appreciates life and opportunity can be credited to the worldly experiences she has gained after visiting 17 countries in the past three years.
Confessing her love for the travel industry, Neru explained that she has always dreamt of being a flight attendant.
“My desire for flight attending started in high school, and I even completed work experience with Barrier Aviation to get a feel for the industry.”
After finishing school, Neru moved to Brisbane in 2009 to study at the Aviation Australia Cabin Crew School. However, after graduating, she struggled find work as a flight attendant. But, even that couldn’t diminish her desire to travel and see the world.
Neru’s first adventure was relocating to somewhere she never expected to live.
“After a phone call with my cousin, I spontaneously decided to move from Brisbane to Ayers Rock.”
“Never in my life did I think I would move to such a rural area. But, I took the opportunity and threw myself into the deep end.”
In her new hometown, Neru secured two part time jobs; one at the Ayers Rock Airport and one with tour company; AAT Kings. It was no coincidence that both jobs were in the travel industry. And, soon enough, Neru became a successful tour guide.
“I met people from all over the world. Some where tourists and some were my colleagues. I made lots of international friends, who I still have contact with today.”
One of Neru’s friends was returning home to London and extended an invitation for Neru to visit. Taking advantage of the discounts and incentives from AAT Kings, Neru booked her first solo adventure to Europe in 2015.
“I was in the line going through customs and I called my Grandma and broke down in tears because I was terrified. She reminded me to go with God, always remember to pray and be safe.”
Although it was scary to travel overseas on her own, her grandmother’s reassurance was a blessing that reminded Neru of her strength and resilience.
That European tour was a trip of a lifetime. Experiencing things that you only see on TV or in the movies, learning about different cultures and trying new cuisines was eye-opening for Neru.
“When I came back, I don’t know, I think something in me shifted. My whole perspective on life changed.”
Neru was working long hours and saving with no immediate goal in mind. So, she decided to invest in new travel experiences.
“Seeing kids trying to sell you something so that they have enough money to eat or seeing poor struggling villages trying to make do with what they’ve got really upset me but at the same time, made me appreciate my home and my life.”
Since Europe in 2015, most of Neru’s trips have been solo adventures and her goal is to visit 30 countries before she turns 30. She also encourages others to travel and see new places and experience different cultures.
After four years of living in Ayers Rock and traveling around the world, Neru developed a deeper appreciation for her home, the Torres Strait and realised that it was time move back home to Horn Island. She now works at the Horn Island Airport.
“My travels made me not care for the little carry-yarns or small issues in my life because there’s so much more going on across the world.”
Despite always wanting to be a flight attendant, Neru became the intrepid traveler who always has a boarding pass. And, when she explores, she goes beyond her comfort zone to really experience what it’s like to live in another country.
If you’re ever wanting to travel overseas and need some advice or tips, Neru is your go-to-girl. Here are all the countries that she’s explored so far:
- United Kingdom
- Czech Republic
- USA (Hawaii)
- Cook Islands
- New Zealand
Neru’s next adventure is yet to come.
Eso for sharing your story Neru.