Christian Stucki's lust for travel has taken him from Africa to India and back again, but he's finally settled in Tasmania.
A born adventurer, Stucki tired of school at 16 and set off by bicycle from Bern to Paris to join the French Foreign Legion - an ambition that was foiled after a week of hunger and a fruitless search for the Legion's collection-centre.
Defeated, he headed home, but his wanderlust was undiminished. "I've always wanted to know what lies around the next corner," Stucki said.
Tasmania via Africa
Shortly after finishing an apprenticeship as a motor-mechanic, Stucki left Switzerland and spent several years fitting diesel engines to machines in mines in South Africa and Zambia.
"I've taken a number of jobs where I didn't know quite what was laying in wait for me," Stucki says, laughing. "But it always seemed to work out."
The same was true of his long homeward journey. With a friend, Stucki bought an old VW, rebuilt it and drove back to Switzerland through Africa, by way of India.
After marrying his Tasmanian girlfriend, Geraldine, and successfully finishing Hotel studies in Switzerland, Stucki moved south to Australia.
Today he runs a restaurant with his wife called "Stuckis Farm House" in Tea Tree - a small town in Tasmania. The food is considered some of the best in Tasmania.
As cook, Stucki has worked in a number of exotic locations. He has prepared meals on an oil-platform in the East Timor Sea, kept Antarctic researchers fed and become intimate with the chef's galleys of several Tasmanian ferries.
Stucki admits his wanderlust was always a search. "I still haven't found what I'm looking for," he adds.
After all the time abroad, Stucki says his relationship to Switzerland has become mixed. "In Switzerland I'm more an Australian. Living here in Tasmania, I feel more Swiss."
by Christian Messerli in Tasmania
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