Firas Massouh's hunger for travel was started by his father who as a communist activist moved to Russia from Syria where he met his wife.
With baby in tow, the family began a lifelong journey of travelling, which was continued by Firas when he decided to continue his father’s travels and move to Melbourne.
NARRATOR: When I was little, my father used to leave Beethoven's music playing on the Soviet made vinyl record player while I slept in my mother's arms. He even used to carve up little sticks out of wood for me to imitate symphony conductors. He read poetry to me, taught me how to play chess, and used to tell me about rare stones.
He was a geologist. His life was not an easy one, but it was my mother who told me stories of his part as a Communist activist during the late '60s in Syria. They were both arrested several times.
He moved from Damascus to Moscow to write his doctoral thesis. He met my mother, a medicine student, at Moscow University. They shared a similar past and they wanted to share a future together.
They married during one Russian summer. Then I was born. I became their new travel companion from Russia to the Ukraine, to Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Lebanon, and finally, Syria. My father was once again in a place they did not understand him.
He wanted to leave again. Australia, he said, the bottom of the world-- warm, quiet, and peaceful. But an opportunity to work in the Emirates had presented itself and we moved there instead. Australia started to become more of a reality while I was studying.
My father's fancy about that magical continents perhaps treated me to take the initiative to move to Melbourne and to live his dream. My ambition to travel and study was a choice that was provided to me by my parents, a choice that is rooted in a desire to pay tribute to my father, to thank him by continuing the spirit of discovery that he started. And one day, he will still make it here.