Travel

Duck & Waffle London – what a view

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My gorgeous wandering gypsy friend Simone Smith came to London for a visit so we decided we’d go check out the mad view of London from Duck & Waffle located on the 40th floor of Heron Tower. Unfortunately my phone died and I didn’t get to take many pictures but you get the idea.

Later we ended up somewhere in Shoreditch drinking cocktails and dancing like absolute mentalists. Rad views. Rad people and all in all a wicked night.

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Simone, Alex and I at Duck & Waffle – note the Gherkin in the background.
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Cheers for the excellent view London!
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Where to Next? Working Holidays for Australians

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working-holiday-visa-expat-wanderlust-travel-live-abroad-adventure-travel-wander-wanderlust-jessica-nicole-griffithsWith my time in the UK quickly coming to an end I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’ll head to next. I love Australia and there’s a fair chance I’ll end up there in the long term but life is for living and exploring and experiencing.

Ernest Hemmingway said ” It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it’s the journey that matters, in the end.” I want my journey to be a grand adventure full of laughs and love and yeah – a few palm trees, beaches and ridiculous love affairs wouldn’t hurt either.

On that note – and because I like lists here is a list of countries that have a working holiday programs for young Australian adventurers.

Where is your next adventure wanderlusters? Have you lived in any of these places? I’d love to hear about your experiences so please get in contact and tweet me @jessicaswander.

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**Keep in mind that the visa requirements are different for each country so you might not  be eligible for every one.

Rome: The Colosseum

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Rome is an incredible city with loads to see and do – but you just can’t go there without visiting the Colosseum.

The colosseum is absolutely thought provoking. For those of you with active imaginations like myself it’s easy to see past the seas of selfie stick wielding tourists and imagine the horrors that took place in this incredible amphitheater. Make sure you either get there early to line up if you don’t like waiting or buy a skip the line ticket (or book a tour). Entry is free on the first Saturday of the month – but get there damn early.

Entry prices

€7,50 for EU passport holders (lucky bastards) and people between 18-25. Make sure you have your ID with you.

€12,00 for everyone else (like me)

FREE for people under 18 years old and on the first Sunday of the month.

FUN FACTS (so you don’t have to pay for a tour guide)

  • It’s the number one tourist attraction of Rome.
  • Building started in 72AD and was completed in 80AD (olllllld!)
  • Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre – something about the Flavian Dynasty Emperors.
  • It’s the biggest amphitheater in the world and is listed as a wonder of the medieval world.
  • This giant concrete and stone building is considered to be one of the greatest feats of architecture and engineering.
  • Could hold between 50-80,000 spectators.
  • The last gladiatorial fights took place in 435AD.
  • Festivals and games sometimes lasted up to 100 days (now that’s a party!)
  • Mini naval battles were held there.

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London Street Art

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One sunny day in London Drew and I went off to explore some street art.

It was a Saturday and neither of us had any plans – which was a nice change.

So off we went on a little adventure – this is just the tip of a very large iceberg that is London street art…

What and where is your favourite street art?

Leave me a comment below or tweet me @jessicaswander or instagram @jessicaswanderlust  xx

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100 Days of Living Out of a Bag

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Oh dear wanderlusters, it has been a while… I’ve missed you dearly I promise.

I’ve been mega crazy busy – I finally found an incredible job! I’m working in digital marketing and events management for a company called Gertrude & Ivy in Battersea. It’s a big career change for me but a very welcome one. If someone wanted to pay me to be a full time wanderlusting gypsy princess/blogger then that would be fantabulous – but until that day comes I’ll content myself by organizing super fun events and creating engaging content for our clients.

Settling in to London is taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I’ve been looking for a flat and viewing lots of places that seem promising – which means I’m still living out of a bag and staying at friends places. I’ve learnt to accept peoples kindness – which was a surprisingly hard lesson to learn. I wasn’t really accustomed to people giving so much and I’m eternally grateful for the lesson and to them of course.
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Another surprising discovery is my desire to have a place to call my own. I have always been a little bit nomadic with my sleeping arrangements even when I was settled in Melbourne and working full time – I’d sleep over at friends houses or go visit family for the night and then commute back in to the city the following day to work but I always had a space that was entirely mine to call home. It was a tiny space in a tiny room… but it was my space. It’s where I kept my treasures – my photo albums, my journals, my sentimental belongings. It’s a comfort that I didn’t realise I so desperately needed.

As always I do love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or tweet me @jessicaswander

The Kindness of Strangers – Arriving in London

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I arrived in England just a few short days ago on the 16th of December and since that time I’ve been incredibly amazed by the kindness of strangers. I had been warned that people weren’t as friendly and to expect rude people everywhere in London but my experience has been quite the opposite. Our plane flew in to Heathrow at 6:30 in the morning and my friends Dad came to pick us up from the airport. He had offered to have the four of us stay the night. We drove to his house which was in the Cotswolds a beautiful place with amazing old buildings. We all showered which was incredible after 48 hours of travelling from Koh Phangan and then went out for lunch at a cute old local pub. That night we had a delicious roast dinner and just sat around the table talking and laughing. The next day it was time for me to head to London. I caught the train in to London and it was a little overwhelming. I was still exhausted from travelling and my backpack is VERY heavy. I had to find a New Oxford Street to go pick up a letter and then I had an appointment to set up a bank account that afternoon. I asked many a kind stranger and no one seemed to know how to get to New Oxford street. Eventually I met a nice man who looked it up on google maps for me and I was on my way. Now I can’t stress enough that I look hilarious with my backpack on. It’s big and its heavy and I’m a little girl. I got on to the underground to make my way to tottenham court road and nearly fell over a lovely lady. She then offered to help me sit down with my backpack on so I could have a rest. She then asked me where I was going and if I needed any help. I explained where I was off to and she said that once we get off the underground she would check her phone to make sure I’m headed in the right direction and even offered to walk me there. I declined once I realised that I could see the building I was looking for when I left the station and thanked her for her kindness. I arrived at the visa office, picked up my letter and was off to the bank. The bank manager was so kind (and young) we spoke about travel and adventure, parties and art. I left the bank with a smile on my face. I am absolutely astonished at how wonderfully kind people can be.

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