Mental Health Speakers for youth | Melbourne | Luke S. Kennedy
Now... that... was... huge!
Okay, I know I've said in the past that I've had some busy tours away, however this one was the biggest motivational speakers for schools tour I've had.
It spanned 3 states, and all of it was behind the wheel of my own car. It was my first speaking tour where I had a bit of a hicup and almost didn't make a gig.. almost :)
On my guest speakers for schools tours, I usually uber to airport, fly to destination, grab a hire car at different spots, and then fly back.
Why did I drive this time?
Well, I planned my itinerary so I'd speak at spots on the way down the coast, then head back up the coast and speak on the way home.
Looking at the itinerary it was jam packed with school speakers talks, parent evenings, and teacher stress workshops.
How the tour looked...
Leave Coolangatta at 5:30am QLD on Sat
Drive 50 min to Byron
The trip to Byron was a stop off... not to rest, but because I just love Byron. I'd do Yoga and brekky before hitting the road.
Leave Byron at 10am
Drive 10 hours to Syd
Stay overnight at Syd
Drive 7ish hours to Albury.
Stay overnight in Albury
Leave Albury at 6am for 2 hour drive to Eskdale Public school
Hold a motivational speakers for schools talk for yrs 3-6, then a parent mental health speakers event in the evening.
Drive back to accommodation in Albury to get 4 hours sleep before leaving at 2:30am for 7 hour drive to Irymple (this is when something didn't go to plan). It was a big day after a mammoth drive, I'd have 3 motivational speaker for high school talks back to back, then another big drive.
6 hour drive to Warnambool where I'd Stay overnight to speak at Warnambool East Primary school for yrs 3-4 & then 5-6
Before another 5 hour drive to Heidelberg where I'd Stay overnight to be guest speakers for schools the next day at Heidelberg primary school. At Heidelberg primary, I'd have two primary school students talks and then a parent evening.
After the parent evening I Was staying at Heidelberg and then a 10 hour drive back to Syd on the Friday.
I'd get some needed chill time over the weekend before being guest speaker at an Islamic primary school in Kingsgrove, Arkana College, and then an hour drive to Willoughby girls to speak to Yr 8 students.
A 2 hour drive to stay on the central coast to speak at kincumber high on Tuesday and then stay again on the central coast before an hour and a half drive to Plattsburg Primary for two speakers for schools talks to yrs 3-4 & 5-6
After that, it was a 7 hour drive home
Told you it was big!! Just writing that took it out of me!
So, let's start from the start.
Waking early on Saturday morning, I already had my car packed so I was good to go.
Chucking on my homeboy Eckhart Tolle, I was set for my cruise to Byron. Byron is my fave spot in the whole world, and cruising while I was sipping on my coffee mixed with coconut oil, I was feeling absolute bliss.
I was excited for my motivational speakers for kids tour ahead, and also for my stop off in Byron.
I booked in a 90 min yoga session at Creature Yoga in town which started at 7am. Arriving at a new yoga spot used to be nerve racking for me, but now it's just exciting. Arriving at the spot, it was pretty packed with a bunch of beautiful energy people with bright smiles. I met the instructor, who was obviously another amazing soul.
The session was unbelievable! I've had the privilege to participate in some love filled yoga sessions across the country, and it seems as though each one delivers a uniquely positive experience for me. I adored the frequency in that studio, went outside after it, dripping wet from sweat, dried off a bit, and headed to my fave spot to eat and coffee on Byron, Combi Cafe. They've got great Vegan food, beautiful souls working there, and more than fair prices! Love it!!!
I walked around Byron for a bit just to get as much of the town in as I could before my drive to Sydney. I like to put the cruise control right on the speed limit (okay, 2km over) and relax while listening to podcasts (LISTEN TO MINE, The Stabbed Ego Project HERE), or chilled beats.
I'm not one to rush a road trip, and will stop as often as I like to grab a feed or go to the toilet.
Being on the road a bit for my speakers for schools tours, I'm lucky to always find an Oliver's organic food spot. It's so good that there's now healthy vegan food out on the road, and I'm now a regular customer of Oliver's.
After having my final feed, I settled in for the remaining few hours to Sydney.
Arriving at Sydney at about 7pm, I passed straight out and had an 8 hour sleep. Perfecto!
The next morning, I didn't want to start driving straight away and arrive at Albury early. A lot of my peeps are in Sydney, so I caught up with a couple of them for brekky. Before having brekky with them though I went to the gym and trained legs. Probably not the best move before a big few days of driving. I suppose I'll never learn though :)
After brekky, I got in a cheeky snooze before leaving Sydney at about 2 in the afternoon. The drive to Albury seemed to go pretty quickly, so next thing I know (about 7:30pm), I was checking into my hotel.
The next morning I woke up at 5, had a feed, then drive to Eskdale. It was a spot I've never even heard of, and after driving through some breathtaking, green country, and up and down a few mountains, I reached a quiet little town.
It was the students first day back after holidays, and after meeting the schools principal and hearing about what the school and community was about, I was ready to get into it.
The students loved the talk and afterwards asked some insightful questions, and then came up to me and gave me a fist pump or high five. Some of them told me that they were going to make sure their parents came to the parent mental health event that evening.
Finishing my talk at 11, I wasn't due to speak until 6pm for the parents. I asked where a good spot for lunch was and was told to head to Mitta pub. I laughed when the teacher told me it was a bit of a drive for lunch as it was only 20 or so minutes. After my driving lately, 20 min was a walk (or drive) in the park.
I'm so grateful that I went to Mitta pub! The food was fresh and filling, and I got to sit outside next to a fresh running stream. Can't ask for more than that!
After lunch, I purposely got lost on the way back to the school just so I could experience more of the pristine environment.
Driving arrive the country, I saw, and nearly ran over, a snake! After a few more minutes of driving, I felt my eyes start to feel heavy which they often do after speaking and driving. I found a safe spot to park, shut my eyes, and woke up fresh 2 hours later.
Having a snooze between gigs really recharges my body, and relaxes my thinking. After being a speakers for kids, my body and mind is pretty stimulated. Chatting to teachers and students afterwards really gets me excited, So having a snooze is golden!
The parent mental health speakers events can be unpredictable with numbers attending. Being a small town, I wasn't expecting too many. To my happy surprise, all seats were filled and the principal pulled more seats out, and they were filled too! It's a credit to the supportive culture of Eskdale.
Some of the parents told me about the feedback from their kids, and it always warms my heart hearing about the young ones going home and telling their parents their perspective.
While we were waiting for others to arrive, I had an open chat with the parents and told them about the snake I saw! They laughed and told me it was a regular occurrence for them.
My talk was due to finish at 7:30pm, then questions before my drive back to Albury. I had to get up at 2am to leave Albury, so to be honest, I was hoping my talk would be on schedule.
After the talk, there were a few questions and then the principal purchased copies of my book, Stabbed Ego (GRAB YOURS HERE).
Driving in the dark back to Albury, I had to slow a few times as Kangaroos were bouncing around. I also wanted to play some relaxing music so I could go to sleep easier once I got back to accom. Like I said, I'm pretty stimulated after a talk, and usually take a bit of time to relax my thoughts and body before going to bed. There really wasn't an option for this, because after showering when getting back, I'd have about 4 hours of sleep before another massive drive.
I wasn't leaving myself too much time for error, as my ETA stated I'd arrive at 8:45 for a 9:15am start. With all going to plan, 30 min buffer was easy done.
Waking the next morning at 2am!! I crushed some brekky, and doubled up my shot of coffee and coconut oil. Taking off, I really had to be focused as around those areas in the dark, Kangaroos are off their heads! It was about 5 hours of driving in pitch black before the sun would rise, so this time frame is the most popular for our kangaroos to be bouncing across the road. Driving at 100km, to then hit a poor kangaroo is something neither of us would want.
I was about 4 hours in, and then glancing down at my GPS, we were right on schedule to get to school at 8:46. My GPS told me to take a right to save about 9 minutes, and taking the right, I found myself on a dirt road. Being in a Merc Coupe (without sounding like a wank), driving on a dirt road really isn't the best.
While I was driving on the dirt road, Kangaroos were jumping out of everywhere, and I had the thought of what I'd do if I hit one and broke down. I'm nowhere near mechanically sound, and I hate to admit it, I've never changed a tyre, or been present enough to care and at least have half an idea on how to change one.
Driving along the dirt and rocky road, I really slowed my pace down to avoid big stones and also Roos. Looking down at GPS, my ETA was now 8:49. I was losing time. I ran over a big ditch and it felt like my car was going to snap in half. After regaining my composure after my Evel Knieval jump, I felt and heard big lumpy bumps ever second.
Please! This can't be my tyre! I still had 13km on the dirt road and was hoping the clunky noise was just the dirt road. My check tyre pressure signal had been on for a few weeks and was told it was a minor fault in the sensor. That being on, was no indication for me as to the real state of the tyre. I guess my hope filled mind tried to convince me that the bumping noise was nothing to worry about, and when we got out on the smooth road, all would be okay.
Finally getting out on the smooth road I drove for a couple of hundred meters, smelt smoke, saw smoke, and pulled over.
Needless to say, I was driving on the rim.
I freaked out for second as trucks flew past, Kangaroos trotted around, and the sun was peeking over the horizon.
I have been reading a book, The Surrender Experiment, and I suppose I just surrendered to the experience, knew whatever happened was meant to be and just got into action. I calmed my breath but still quickly moved my body.
I honestly didn't even know if I had a spare. I opened my boot, pulled all my luggage and other stuff that's accumulated in my boot over time, and pulled up the flooring. There was a spare!!! Now, what to do with it?
I tried to pull it out, but embarrassingly, I couldn't even work out how to do that. It was secured tightly with a thing on top of it that held the jack and other parts that, to me, could've been from another planet.
I jumped in the car and found the instruction book, and finally found how to get the thing out. Apparently you had to turn that thing on top clockwise.
The books description on how to change the tyre was hopeless. It may have not been, but I was running out of time and my patience for being guided to different pages was wearing thin.
I've also never used a jack before (I know... I know...) and didn't know where to place it under the car.
I had one bar of reception, and YouTubed how to change a tyre. I followed it step by step, and to my astonishment, I changed my first ever tyre at 34 years old! Also, while changing the tyre, I put my glasses on the ground because they were fogging up from sweating. Not being able to see them, I stepped on them and shattered my glasses.
The spare tyres air was extremely low (is it meant to be?), so I quickly stopped at a service station and filled it up.
My new ETA was 9:16 which wasn't too bad considering. I emailed my contact at the school and told her what happened. A flat tyre is the oldest excuse in the book, so luckily for me, my white shorts had a heap of grease on them. I received a response telling me not to stress as the day has been cleared for my visit.
I arrived at the school at 9:15! Washed the grease off my hands, went to the toilet, and walked into a room with a few hundred year 9-10 students.
I delivered big time, and afterwards was told by the teachers it was the best guest motivational speakers for schools talk they've seen for the students.
I then had a 20 min break before my next talk, and then delivered another cracker to the students of Yr 8.
For the first time in years, I could feel my throat feeling a bit croaky, and I just put it down to all the speaking. After being guest speakers for students in yr 7's, my energy level was gone, I was sweating, and my throat was like sandpaper. I haven't been crook for years, but I think the non stop driving, speaking, and lack of sleep the night before, took it's toll.
I obviously pushed through, but afterwards I was buckled. I had a big drive ahead of me, and was tired, crook, and hungry. I've gotta time my spots well, because being a vegan, it can be tough finding food in rural communities.
Driving along, I stopped at a spot that had no options for a vegan meal so I just grabbed some nuts and a banana to give me something in the stomach.
It was soon dark, and the Roos were bouncing around again. I was cold but sweating, and was looking forward to laying down for a good sleep in Warnambool. Arriving at Warnambool pretty late, the hotel had to leave the key for me under the door matt. I dragged my suitcase out, took it in the room, returned to my car for my box of water, feeling fatigued and weak, I crawled into the shower, coughed my way out, threw on some hot clothes and jumped in bed. The sleep was pretty rough because I was coughing all night. Not being able to train for the couple days was playing a little on my mind as well. I'm an active guy and if I don't get to do my yoga or lift weights for a while, it gets to me a little.
Waking the next morning, I went for some brekky at a spot I've been before when I was in Warnambool.
My sickness was getting a hold of me, but I had two speakers for primary schools talks back to back and had to really dig deep.
Speaking back to back can be pretty exhausting because I give every talk my all. After speaking to the students, I was done.
I had another big drive, and turned my heater up full temp, and wanted to sweat it out.
The drive felt longer than it should've, and once I reached my hotel, I dived into another hot shower, turned the heat up in the room, and jumped in bed.
The next morning I felt a little better, and the swelling of my throat started going down.
It was great to start feeling better because the final day of Victoria was the biggest!
2 motivational speakers for schools talks to the primary school students.
Teacher stress workshop
Parent mental health event
The day went great! I got to have a needed snooze before the parent evening, and afterwards I was well enough to go out into the city and try a nice vegan spot I've been wanting to go to forever! Smith & Daughters and the food, location, staff were all perfecto!
And afterwards I was feeling even better!
I went back to my room to have a good sleep before driving back home. I'm not sure if it was the vegan dinner I had or the good sleep but I woke the next day feeling great! Good enough to plan a stop off in Albury on the way home to go to the gym!
I drive to Albury, trained chest, got a feed and then got in my car for the rest of the drive home. It actually worked out perfectly, and I'm now going to do gym stops each time I'm on long drives. It makes me feel fresh and awake for the drive (and clears my head of course).
I got to Sydney with time remaining in the evening to have some dinner with a friend and then chill out.
It was nice to relax in Sydney for a couple of days after the big tour of Victoria and all the driving I was doing.
On the Monday, it was game on again.
I woke early to drive to Arkana collage in Kingsgrove. I was guest speakers for kids there last year and loved it! I was excited to be back. It was actually first day back after the holidays in NSW, and the students were all seated in the hall. Being first day back, we had some issues with the projector, so one of the teachers was keeping the students occupied while we were working on the computer to get It working. Being first day back, the students are already restless, so having to move them upstairs to another room, really rustled their feathers.
I could feel the restlessness in the students before my talk, so my opening had to really dig in to get their attention! It did so, however about 20 min in, I could see them shifting in their seats. I had to raise my energy, and vocal a bit and really drive home with my points. It was a great talk, however it had to take a lot of my energy to hold them.
I then had an hour drive to Willoughby Girls High School where I was guest speakers for students in Yr 8 at Willoughby girls high school.
I loved this talk!! I felt a strong connection with the students, answered some cool questions, sold some books, and chatted afterwards. I was told by the teacher that some of the other teachers commented that they'd like me to come back and speak to their year groups. I enjoy hearing this :)
I drove up the coast to stay in Terrigal for the next day where I was returning to speak at Kincumber High school. I was speakers for schools there earlier in the year and created a strong shift with the students there. I like returning to speak at the same school as the ongoing energy drive really impacts the school as a whole.
I woke early, grabbed a nice feed in Terrigal, went to the gym, then arrived at Kincumber High school to speak to the students of Yr 11.
The talk was strong, and afterwards I sat down with the organiser and we outlined a plan for a few visits next year.
I left the school, and with the sun beaming down, decided to go to Avoca beach for a swim and lunch.
I'd never been to Avoca before, and was really amazed at how beautiful it was. The water was crisp and after drying off, drove further up the coast to stay near a spot I go to for yoga while I'm there.
I went to yoga in the evening, slept early, woke early, ate a great breakfast at HEREEEE and then drove further up the coast near Newcastle to be Motivational speakers for schools at Plattsburg primary school for the kids in Yrs 3-4 and then a talk for yrs 5-6.
It was the last day of the two week tour of Victoria and NSW, and to be honest I was excited to get into it, leave a great impression on the students, then head home to chill.
The talks went great again, and all the students were excited and asking a lot of questions. There was a really high buzzing energy and it was the perfect end to what was a hugely successful tour.
After the talk, I then had an 8 hour drive up the coast. It was the final leg, and when reaching home, it felt like the last two weeks was just a really big dream.
The two weeks was filled with driving, speaking, driving more, speaking more, changing tyre, booking into hotels, searching for vegan food, fighting off my sickness, speaking more, answering questions, and trying to sneak in yoga and gym sessions..
Another beautiful tour that I will never forget x
Do you have a group of kids that need a push in the right direction? Let Luke inspire your kids.