I talked last month about my trip to Western Australia to meet my long-lost cousins. Well Sally and her family weren’t the only cousins I spent time with there. I had also traced a more distant cousin called Mary who lived about 250 miles north of Perth. 
When I originally told Tanya about Mary, it turned out the two women had already known each other for about five years but had no idea they were related – an incredible coincidence! They were both overjoyed by this fact and admitted that it was a good job they liked each other! 
Having no children of their own, Mary and her husband Bob have become surrogate grandparents to Tanya and Klaus’ daughters, Kiara and Bella. 
Mary and Bob took me on an Aussie outback experience I’ll never forget. They showed me some spectacular coastline and I got to swim in a coral reef. I was introduced to the vast expanse of north western Australia – a red desert dotted with shrubs, spinifex and huge termite hills. 
Our destination was the homestead in the middle of nowhere where Mary lived back in the 70s. The single-storey, three-roomed shack is now a derelict shell (see photo below), but Mary evoked fond memories of simple home pleasures and the happiest days of her life. 
For Mary this is an annual pilgrimage which encapsulates the pull of our roots and our innate desire to feel connected to our loved ones. I felt honoured that she wanted to share it with me. 
We spent a couple of nights sleeping under the stars in the bush, watching the sun set over the desert to the chorus of cicadas and being dazzled by a galaxy full of stars. 
Experiences like this really are good for the soul. 
If you enjoyed this blog and it has inspired you to find out more about your family, click here to take the next step. 
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