Confession: we’ve been following Marie Strong’s adventures with her beautiful family for MONTHS already via her Instagram @strongs_gone_wild, and we are SO JEALOUS! In these crazy COVID times, it seems hard enough to have a quick holiday, let alone a year-long journey around Australia by caravan! But that’s exactly what Marie is doing with her partner and two gorgeous kids, and the icing on the cake so far has been her birthday treat: The Kimberley Ride!
When we saw her ah-mazing photos, we knew we had to share them with you all. So here, for your vicarious globetrotting pleasure, are the words and images of Marie Strong, mother-globetrotter-photographer-explorer extraordinaire.
First off, can you tell us a bit about your family’s current adventure?
We have decided to pack up our daily life and travel around Australia in Siegfried, our caravan, chasing the sun and finding as many adventures as possible! It has been the best thing we have ever done.
What was your first Globetrotting ride?
My first ride was the beautiful Glenorchy Back Country Ride and I am slowly but surely addicted to the beauty and thrill of exploring the world with Globetrotting through the ears of a horse.
What made you take the plunge and sign up for a Globetrotting holiday?
I knew it was such a unique way to explore this beautiful country and the world. And I am so glad I took the plunge. You make friends and memories for life!
Were either of your Globetrotting rides celebrating or marking a significant moment/milestone/achievement in your life? And if so, would you mind sharing?
The Kimberley Ride was a birthday ride for me. This region of Australia has stolen my heart and I would love to come back again. It has been the best birthday I have had so far and it might become a new tradition!
How have horses influenced or changed your life?
Horses ground me and give me this feeling of happiness that is hard to explain. The sense of freedom and peace is something very special, and when I am on horseback I think of nothing else but that moment in time.
What is your earliest memory of horses?
I was about five years old when I first rode a horse and as I grew up I loved pony club. I cleaned stables and groomed horses to earn some time on horseback, but really any time around horses was special to me.
What was your childhood pony called?
I remember building a very special bond with a snow white Icelandic Horse called Yeti, who I could ride bareback through the forest and canter along long stretches of grass while holding onto his beautiful thick mane. He is certainly one of the reasons why I am dreaming about joining the ride in Iceland.
What does riding or being with horses mean to you?
Freedom, joy, memories and happiness.
What have horses taught you the most?
Horses have taught me to be patient, caring and not to give up. The more you care for a horse, the more they care for you. It is all about the relationship you have. And even if you have setbacks, you can build up your trust in yourself and your horse again and have more special moments together.
Why choose this type of travel? As in exploring new places from the back of a horse?
It gives you a whole new perspective of the region you are travelling through. It is fully immersive and you take in the smells, sights and sounds in a unique way.
What is your most memorable Globetrotting moment?
Being chased by a one-tonne bull through the Kimberley!
We were cantering through the high grass and I was at the back of the group while one of the other riders had my GoPro on her helmet filming me. During the canter the camera came off, so we stopped and let the rest of the group know, who stopped further away. When I got off the horse to pick up the camera, our guide Laura kept calling out, ‘Behind you, behind you!’ and we finally realised a short horned bull had come out of the bush and was stalking us! I jumped back on the horse and the bull started charging, which certainly kicked us into gear, and we galloped back to the group. Then another guide, Chilli, chased the bull back into the bush like a true Aussie legend. It was certainly an experience I will never forget and apparently the closest call they have ever had. I have never mounted a horse that quickly – I think I am well and truly ready to ride in Africa now!
Who is your favourite trail horse of all time and why?
Tough question, but I must say Doobie from the Glenorchy Back Country Ride was a favourite! I would have brought him home in a heartbeat. He is one special boy!
Which Globetrotting rides are you dreaming of now?
Iceland, Africa (e.g. Kenya & Botswana) and Mongolia are at the top of my list! When it comes to Australian rides, I’m keen on The Margaret River Ride, the Craig’s Hut & High Country Ride and the Tassie Tiger Trail.
A tip that every globetrotter should know before going on a ride…
Invest in a sheepskin seat saver, haha! Although I was made fun of at times, I was certainly super comfortable and the one laughing in the end!
Talk about #goals! A huge thanks to Marie for taking time out from her adventures to share her Globetrotting story with us!
Keen to follow in Marie’s footsteps? Check out The Kimberley Ride here.