Abby Lewtas is an Adventurer, Life coach, Speaker and Blogger. She works with adventures and travelers to help them find their purpose, harmony and lean into life of the road.
Abby’s entire outlook on life changed when she ditched her successful sporting and professional career to travel and live abroad, returning three and a half years later to a world which she couldn’t relate. Abby has now found a way to live and breathe adventure into every day.
She works with travelers and wanderlusters who return home and find it hard to create harmony back in their ‘reality’. She lives life to its full potential through her adventures, passions and curiosity. Inspiring others to do the same by challenging their status quo and getting creative with their path forward.
You say that adventure has been a part of your life since you were a child, as you come from a very adventurous family. What are some of your earliest memories of travel and adventure?
My memories are of our family holidays we spent 3 months travelling around Australia in a caravan, every day there was something new to learn about Australia and something new to see. My memories of this trip include mining for opals at Cooper Pedy, visiting the Red Centre and Uluru (which I climbed, but probably would not do today out of respect for the traditional indigenous owners of the land), swimming in thermal pools at Mataranka, visiting canyons, gorges and waterfalls in Kakadu and Litchfield National Park, the West Australian Coast and driving across the Nullarbor. Our family also adventured close to home and we would do day walks in search of waterfalls in the Otways and go camping often.
How do you think those early experiences shaped the course of your life, and brought you to where you are today?
They taught me that there is so much to see and learn about the world. Around the corner is another adventure and another amazing place. I learned to be curious and wonder about what is out there and ultimately that the world is a playground but, we must make a choice to go and explore it and see what it has to offer. You won’t always know what your in for, but thats part of the excitement.
You also had a sporting career that took you all over the world. Can you tell us more about that? How did that influence your way of seeing the world and how you live life?
Growing up I lived at the beach and so at 7 I started in the surf safety program during summer “Nippers.” After a few years of nippers I started competing in the sport of surf life saving and was naturally talented as a beach sprinter. I explored this further and started to train and was selected in State and National teams, as a result I travelled to many of Australia beaches racing and competing. The sport was fun, we spend days on the beach, with team mates. From here I was talent IDed into Bobsleigh and went on a whirlwind adventure to North America and Europe with the hope of qualifying for the 2006 Olympic Games, it was the first time I had seen snow and been on such a vast traveling journey. This gave me a snippet of what was out there and curiosity was sparked and I just knew I wanted to return and see more of the world.
One of the themes in your podcast is the return home after traveling for a long period of time. How did you see your home in a new light? What changed?
I had a much greater appreciation for home. I am so fortunate to have been born and live in Australia, it truly is the most incredible country. As funny as it sounds, when I returned home I saw how vibrant and colourful Australia’s land was – from the deep blue oceans to the green trees and bushland and the red and orange cliffs and the rich pink, purple and gold sunrises and sunsets. I loved being amongst this colour as it has so much energy.
I realized that I had changed a lot and had grown into quite a different person, I was at a different stage of life than a lot of my friends were so re-connecting with them made me realize that everyone grows and evolves onto their own path and that will be different for everyone.
Where do you call home now? What makes it feel like home to you?
I have learned that home is wherever I am, as cliche as that might sound. I know my life is full of rich adventure and that means moving around a lot to experience it all. I have learned to be adaptable and get comfortable in different spaces. As much as one day I will create a base, my home is inside me.
I’m currently living on the south coast of Australia in a town called Anglesea but am about to move to the Mountains, Mount Beauty. I will always be amongst the nature, the energy it offers fuels me up!
What have been some of your most memorable stories to this day?
2005: Being talent IDed into Bobsled and having this incredible adventure travelling and racing in the northern hemisphere. There was so much to see and experience in the tour that I did. It was all about learning and stepping out of my comfort zone to do something almost completely unheard of for an Australian. My team didn’t qualify for the Olympics and I returned home to be selected to represent Australia in Beach sprinting so that was a pretty amazing 6 months of my life.
2011: Packing up my 9-5 city life and leaving a good job behind to travel to South America with no plan! I followed my intuition as it was tugging at my heart strings. I was so afraid to go it alone but the adventure was a pivotal turning point in my life. I lived in Argentina and travelled South America meeting so many amazing people and having rich experiences of culture and nature. I decided to go to Canada where I ended up living and creating a new life for 3 years. I worked, snowboarded and travelled around the US, Canada and Central America.
2015: Attempting to paddle across Bass Strait one of the most traitorous stretch of open ocean in the world between Australia’s mainland and Tasmania. I had never sea kayaked before and this was certainly an epic adventure. It was challenging to gain really good group dynamics and it was the type of expedition where anything that could go wrong, did! Including our kayaks filling up with water, spending 11 hours of paddling on the ocean because one team member was sea sick and being stuck in the middle Kent Group Islands due to inculcate weather conditions. We were not able to make the crossing due to weather and charted a yacht back home arriving on Christmas eve.
I have so many stories that are memorable and I wish I could tell them all but these ones stood out for me today.
Why do you encourage people to get out of their comfort zones and travel?
Because thats where the ‘juice’ of life is, the good stuff. You know they say that everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear – its true. I was so scared to leave my comfortable life in Melbourne to travel solo to South America but growth, learning and adventures it gave me, I can not put a price on and have really shaped who I am today.
As humans to truly get the most out of life, we should be growing and evolving. Getting out of your comfort zone and travelling, in my opinion is the best way to do this.
How has travel changed you?
It’s taught me to see things from a different perspective and to have an open mind. This is not always easy to do and sometimes I still find myself being closed off, however nothing like before I started traveling. It gives you such a world perspective and shows you how fortunate you are. It teaches you how people from different culture approach life and some of those ways are definitely worth adapting into your life.
How do you want to inspire others to live their dream life?
I want people to know that they can achieve their big audacious goals and have their dream life if they own them and choose them. The more you start stepping towards that life you ultimately want, the more the universe will help you get there. Things may seem big and outrageous…. like when I saw the article to trial for the Bobsled team, or drop my entire life and pack it into a backpack to leave for South America or deciding to paddle across Bass Strait but when you just go for it, you realise that you can make it happen.
The only way you can influence other people is to be the truest most authentic version of yourself and live by example. So often we wear masks or try to be something we are not, we are all unique in some way and thats what makes people so interesting.
Where is your next big adventure?
Unless something pops up in the meantime, Im off to Costa Rica in December, I have been once before and am very excited to go back and spend more time there. I always have ideas brewing and currently that involves a road trip around New Zealand, a snowboarding trip to Japan and a 5 day hike on a beautiful island off the north east coast of Australia. Life is so rich and I seem to find my adventures in Travel, but not everyone does and thats ok. I hope for people to seek out adventures, whatever that means to them.
Visit her website: www.abbylewtas.com
Follow her on Facebook: /TheWanderlustersMind
Follow her on Instagram: @abbylewtas
At This Adventure Life we celebrate the lives and stories of the people who live life fearlessly. #livefearlessly