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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Urmenyhazi

A little bit about me...

Updated: Oct 12, 2022

A few weeks ago I received a Facebook message. It was from a next door neighbor of mine from long ago, I hadn't heard from Adam in perhaps 40 years or so.

He commented that I would take him bush walking when he was little. I worked out that was about 40-45 years ago, roughly the time when this photo of me was taken with a blind snake. Childhood was spent with friends foraging around in the bush. It was an infinite playground to grow up in. There were trees to climb, caves to explore, creeks to catch eels and turtles in, and beneath every flat sandstone rock was a lizard, snake, scorpion or centipede. Blind snakes are pretty harmless little things, in fact they're more like worms than snakes. They have no teeth and from what I remember, they stink like prawns when they get upset. They live on ants and termites and shelter under the flat rocks we'd lift up.

The eels we caught in the creeks were much scarier. Some were as thick as our weedy, shaking legs and they had hooks hanging out of their mouths. Many kids tried to catch them, but failed. I was good at art and loved it. I had my heart set on that career from about the age of 7. It was easy for me and fun. I'd win all the local art competitions run by the bush fire brigades. A few times I hit big time and saw my drawings on early Saturday mornings kid shows. When I finished school I had a year off to explore Australia before settling into a career. I was inspired by a book called "The Art of the Spud".

I also met a fearless 18 year old Canadian backpacker when I was 15. He hitchhiked around Australia and told me about the joys and frustrations of being on the road. I wanted that that too.

I ended up hitchhiking right around Australia for 14 months. It was one of the biggest, most exciting adventures of my life. I still have good friends from that trip.

Back in Sydney, I took up careers in design, animation and then video production. I also evolved into a goofy, doting dad and husband.

I spent my weekends with Scouts as a youth leader, showing my kids and others the joy of the bush in the backyards of Sydney. It was also a relief from the stressful world of video production.

I left full time video production work last year. The glamour of design, animation and video production had worn off. The competitiveness and low wages brought on by advanced technology in everyone's phones and DSLR's had made it unsustainable field to work in. And now...

... I go bush walking with a phone, streaming live video to my international guests, whilst lifting up rocks, or exploring caves with them. If I'm not doing an online tour, I spend a day with guests exploring the natural wonders of Sydney.

In a sense, I also feel like I'm repaying a forgotten hitchhiking debt - to all the people who looked after me when I started traveling. I'm right back to where I started 40 years ago.

I couldn't be happier! :)

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