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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Urmenyhazi

Rediscovering Roots: A Journey from Childhood Adventures to Tour Guiding

Updated: Apr 19


Boy with a snake

Recently, a blast from the past found its way into my inbox — a Facebook message from a long-lost neighbor, Adam, whom I hadn't heard from in roughly four decades. His reminiscence took me back to the days when I used to take him bushwalking, a sweet memory from around 40 to 45 years ago, captured in a photo of me with a blind snake. Little did I know then that this early experience would pave the way for my journey into tour guiding today.


Growing up, my childhood was a tapestry woven with adventures in the bush. It was a boundless playground, ripe for exploration with friends. Amongst the towering trees, hidden caves, and babbling creeks, we'd while away the hours, catching eels and turtles, and uncovering a menagerie of creatures lurking beneath sandstone rocks.

Ah, the blind snake—a harmless creature more akin to a worm than its namesake. I recall their faint odor of prawns when disturbed, as they nestled beneath the rocks we'd eagerly overturn. Alongside them, the eels lurking in the creeks were a different story—formidable creatures with mouths adorned with hooks, proving a challenge for even the most daring of us.


Amidst these escapades, my love for art blossomed. From a tender age, I was drawn to the world of creativity, winning local art competitions and even seeing my drawings featured on early morning kids' shows.


Inspired by the wanderlust tales of an adventurous Canadian backpacker and fueled by the pages of "The Art of the Spud," I embarked on a year-long hitchhiking journey around Australia—a transformative adventure that left an indelible mark on my soul.


Upon returning to Sydney, I delved into careers in design, animation, and eventually, video production. Yet, amidst the glitz and glamour of the industry, I found solace in sharing the joys of the bush with my children and scouting groups—a respite from the stresses of the corporate world.


Last year, I bid farewell to full-time video production work, disillusioned by the industry's cutthroat nature and dwindling rewards. Instead, I found myself drawn back to my roots, leading bushwalking tours and sharing the wonders of Sydney's natural landscape with guests from around the globe.


In a way, it feels like I'm repaying a debt to the countless strangers who once extended a helping hand during my hitchhiking days—a full-circle journey back to where it all began, 40 years ago.

And as I traverse the familiar trails with newfound purpose, I couldn't be happier.


Koala close-up

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