Regina Petra Meyer
In her mid 30s and trying to make sense of her floundering relationship, Regina is restless. Throwing caution into the wind, she books herself a one-way ticket to the Caribbean and joins the crew of a small, vintage racing yacht to satisfy her growing appetite for adventure.
Once aboard the old yacht in Antigua, Regina and her fellow crew members work tirelessly under the watchful eye of its cantankerous owner, as they prepare for the passage back to Australia.
During a sultry sunset party on a clifftop, Regina encounters an alluring man. When her sailing trip is abruptly cancelled, Regina sets course for Europe aboard another boat, leaving the budding romance in her wake.
Released from former ties and without a home, Regina returns to the Caribbean. She moves into a rustic shack and as the only white resident in the tiny community, she must forge a new path.
A new life beckons, but are her dreams worth abandoning the comfort and security she has back home?
This is a true story of Regina’s wanderings in the Caribbean, her passion for sailing and the unexpected, of love lost and found, and her search for freedom.
Let's talk about it
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I am a courageous person and an adventurer but what not many people know is this: – I will not consider decisions for a long time, instead, I just jump right in and once I ended up in my chosen scenario I often feel overwhelmed and out of my depth. – Even though I like experiencing new things and situations, I find myself often riddled with self-doubt. This is one of the hardest things for me to overcome (and also applies to the book publishing process!)
Why did you choose the themes in your book and were you aware of them from the start?
When I set out on my travels all I wished for was to fulfil my dream of sailing a major ocean. Little did I know then, that this would turn my life upside down and that, indeed, I would not return to Australia as planned. I remember thinking numerous times that I should record all the weird and wonderful moments, but it took me about 8 years to commit to the process. Writing the book, viewing my experience from the perspective of both the witness and remembering the person that lived through it, was both a healing and nourishing experience.
How difficult was it for you to write this book? Did you face any obstacles?
I very much enjoyed writing this book. When I first set out to write I simply wished to record my memories of a turbulent, confronting and adventurous period. But as I wrote I often found myself laughing, feeling heavy in my heart as I recalled challenging situations and could taste the joy that I felt when setting sail or succeeding in securing a job in a completely new country and culture. Living as the only white resident in the local community was often eye-opening and had me consider my own situation and privilege and I am immensely grateful for having had the exceptional opportunity to experience life from an entirely new perspective.
Do you always write in this genre or do you like to break out of the box?
This is my first work and it is a memoir. I have a vivid imagination, so do not rule out dabbling in fiction in the future.
What are your writing habits or idiosyncrasies?
When I commit to writing I am focused and largely enjoy the process. I view writing as a form of active storytelling and enjoy watching and seeing the story unfold from my fingertips. I love ‘word-smithing’ and looking for concise and detailed descriptions that paint a vivid and engaging picture.
What would you do differently next time?
I am writing my second book and I have started incorporating more structure into the manuscript from the onset. This will make the editing and structure of the story tighter and less wordy.
With hindsight, what would you say to yourself as a fledgling writer?
YES, of course. Although, I have always loved writing blogs and newsletters. I am also an avid reader, so try to learn and get inspired as I read in and out of my genre.
If you worked with a professional editor, what was the experience like?
It was amazing to see my manuscript become more condensed, more engaging and more personal (by writing more about the emotions involved). At times it was challenging to accept certain changes, but on the whole, it was a fantastic learning experience.
What’s next for your writing?
I am writing a follow-up memoir and also am producing a large number of articles to promote my current book.
Regina Petra Meyer was born and raised in Switzerland and worked as a travel agent for several years. Her curiosity was piqued by coordinating trips for her clients to all corners of the globe, and eventually she packed her own bags and adopted a globetrotting lifestyle. Regina has adventured across all continents, enjoys meeting people and trying new foods – providing she can distinguish what’s on her plate. She has lived and worked in Antigua in the Caribbean, the USA, New Zealand, and currently calls tropical Cairns, Australia, her home. Regina has no children, remains unmarried, and cherishes the freedom her life offers. The memoir Change of Course is Regina’s first book.