Live Your List - Getting Back on the Bike
Since her early 20's, this Bar Beach not-for-profit founder has wanted to ride a motorcycle. The seed was sown while living in Broome and seeing a girl on a postie bike. It then grew to a Vespa, as her love for Italy became deeper with each movie, documentary and book she consumed about the country.
Then on her birthday in 2017, Melissa Histon was gifted a red Vespa.
"It was a dream come true. Now I had a bike but no licence," said Melissa.
The Got Your Back Sista founder, and Hey Soul Sista podcaster passed the two-day test for her learner rider licence. For a year, she buzzed around town on her Ls. Then Melissa went for her P's – the motor operator skills test – and failed.
The one-hour riding skills test included weaving through cones, accelerating and braking, accelerating and dodging obstacles and 180-degree turn in a tight space; all without using a foot on the ground for balance.
"I put my foot down three times and failed. I cried and thought I am never going to have a license - something I always wanted. For a week, I really struggled - scared to fail again,” Melissa said.
"It was the biggest head mission to get back on the bike and try again. I realised, if I didn't, it would be the biggest failure as I did not dare to face my fear."
So, Melissa pulled on her helmet, jumped on her scooter and practised every day for an hour. Within a fortnight, she fronted up for the second test feeling anxious, nervous and sick.
"I wanted it so bad – it was a lifelong dream. I did the test and passed. There were tears of joy and relief."
Melissa now has her full license and loves zipping around the city. Occasionally, she rides further afield to Broadmeadow or Belmont.
"I love being on the road, off on a ride – there is nothing better than the wind in your face. There is a real sense of freedom and adventure."
Earlier this year, Melissa registered for a three-day motorcycle fundraiser to the Mid North Coast via Stroud/Dungog. It was, unfortunately (like so many other events) cancelled due to COVID.
"I was so excited to go on this bike adventure. It will happen, and I'm absolutely going! I get a taste for something, and then I want more."
At school, Melissa aspired to be a professional photographer, and in her 30s, it happened. As a photographer, reading National Geographic, she saw some photojournalism stories and craved to do an overseas assignment.
"In 2014, I was asked to do the photos for a documentary on 3 Angels Nepal, an organisation that aims is to stop human trafficking in its country."
Other dreams accomplished include going to Italy, holding a Got Your Back Sista event in Sydney, and attending a conference in New York.
"Recently, I updated my bucket list and added: to produce a short film for an international not-for-profit; live in another country for six to 12 months and buy a beach house."
Melissa believes in intention setting, especially writing it down. On New Year's Day 2008, she listed the countries she wanted to visit – including a desire to travel to a different destination every year.
"It seemed like a pipe dream, though by writing it down, you do bring it into existence. I have now visited every country and travelled once or twice a year overseas – except for this year due to the borders closing."
In the pipeline, she had a Tuscany Trek as a Got Your Back Sista fundraiser. However, it had to be postponed to September 2021.
"I'm really looking forward to more overseas adventures. Once the borders are open, I will be on a plane. I have never been to New Zealand!"