Most of my ancestors within the 2x Great-Grandparents and 3x Great-Grandparents bracket were immigrants (hello, New Zealand history!), but it is actually my great-grandfather Leonard Charles Utting that I find possessed the most wanderlust.
In 1902, Charlie was serving as a Seaman in the British Royal Navy aboard the HMS Archer. The Archer was serving on the Australia Station from 1900 to 1903, and in 1902 made a voyage to Wellington, New Zealand.
According to the official documentation, Charlie was discharged from the Navy on December 9, 1902 in Wellington "at own request". The family story goes a little differently.
According to Charlie's daughter—my great-aunt, Betty—and my grandmother (his daughter in law), he and several of his shipmates "jumped ship" while the Archer was docked in New Zealand and were "overstayers". This wasn't an uncommon scenario in Australia and New Zealand at the time; anyone who was classed as an "overstayer" was classed as Missing at Sea by the Navy as they did not want to admit that their soldiers were deserting them. Most families presumed their sons to be dead, including Charlies.
Then came the Great War.
During this time period, the British military who were in Australia and New Zealand (even though Aus and NZ technically had their own military, they were all essentially British as both countries were still British colonies) announced that any "overstayers" in Aus and NZ would be granted citizenship if they enlisted to serve during the war.
Charlie enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force as a Linesman in the 15th Reinforcements Wireless Section, and then the 2nd Wireless Corps on 11 July 1916 before being discharged due to illness contracted in Mesopotamia on 25 January 1918.
It was actually the announcement of his enlistment in British newspapers which alerted his family in Norwich that he was still alive. Following his service, he was granted New Zealand citizenship, and he passed away in Auckland on 25 September 1965.