She’s an agony author


An agonising attack of appendicitis couldn’t stop author Danica-Lea Lar­combe talking about her literary debut.

The Kiwi writer called Mountain Scene last Tuesday from Queenstown Medical Centre while waiting for an ambulance to rush her to hospital in Invercargill.

She was sorry she couldn’t make a scheduled face-to-face interview – but she insisted on soldiering on with a few words about her newly released book until the flashing red lights turned up.

Larcombe, 42, who lives in Perth, Australia, is doing a spell as a trainee teacher at Wakatipu Kindergarten.

Her book Pushing the Boundaries: A Mission to See the World charts her solo backpacking adventures through 15 countries.

“I was a 35-year-old single mum with two teenage boys off my hands when I made the trip,” she says. “For two years I had a wish-board pinned up in my house with all the countries I wanted to visit and eventually just bought a round-the-world plane ticket and went for it.”

Larcombe, originally from Wanganui, visited Asia, Europe, North America, Mexico and India during the year-long journey. And despite being hounded by sex-pests and beggars, she insists running out of cash was her biggest worry.

“When I arrived at Heathrow Airport in London from Spain, I didn’t even have the bus fare into the city,” she explains. “I had no credit cards and made reverse charge calls to friends back in New Zealand and Australia until I found someone who could deposit a few dollars into my bank account.

“I slept in the airport until I could eventually get my hands on some money.”

She adds: “If I can give any advice about going on an OE, it would be to make sure you have access to funds or you could be in for a very uncomfortable time.”


My Top 3 stopoffs

  • Santorini, Greece: “It has to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world. The views are just awe-inspiring.”
  • Paris, France: “I loved the Palace of Versailles and there’s so much I’d still like to see and do in Paris.”
  • Andalucia, Spain: “I was really taken with the feel of historical cities like Granada and Cordoba, and the bustle of resorts like Marbella.”