JOSEPH Mawson left Australia a year ago to try his luck on the European kart racing circuit.
The Hinchinbrook teenager came home last week to catch up with his parents Troy and Bertha after living for the past year in Milan.
He is taking a break after a demanding year of racing, training and travelling throughout Europe.
"It's been a long year," Mawson said.
The 17-year-old said the experience in the professional ranks has seen him mature.
"My mother said I to me when I got home that I have grown up," Mawson said.
"I lived with a family relative which was very good and provided me with a stable environment.
"Living overseas certainly made me appreciate life and to take nothing for granted. Kart racing is very big in Europe, you have to be based there to compete."
After racing in the world under-18 championship circuit in 2012, Mawson decided to move to Europe to be in the fast lane.
He competed in 11 races this year with the Top Kart Racing team.
"My best finish was 11th," Mawson, who started kart racing when he was seven, said.
Over the years there were several state and national title victories
that catapulted him into the limelight.
Mawson said he would like to go back and race again.
"I will see what happens over the next few months," he said.
"Australian Karting Association communications manager Lee Hanatschek says Mawson is a promising racer.
"He's done well racing overseas on the world under-18s circuit and now against the professionals," Hanatschek said.
"Joseph is very mature for his age and has a good attitude."