Another year older – and hopefully wiser
Twenty eight today!
Another year older (and hopefully a little wiser.) It’s been a huge year with many highs and lows. I’ve lost my way and found a new path many times over. Over the past year I feel like I know myself better and appreciate myself so much more. I know who I am – I am happy with who I am – and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I am a very emotional person and I had always thought of this as a weakness – but it’s not. It’s a strength and one that I am so grateful to be blessed with. Yes I am a cryer – yes I am sensitive – but I wouldn’t and couldn’t have it any other way. My creativity is fuelled by my intense emotions. I’ve done all my best work in times of great happiness and great sadness. I am no stranger to heart break. But for me heartbreak doesn’t just happen in a romantic interest. Heartbreak most often comes in the form of a friendship – someone who I love and care for and give and give and give to as that is my nature – someone who lets me down. I will never change – I never want to. I want to fall in love with new and wonderful friends every day from now until forever. I want to love and nurture them – care for them and support them in their dreams and help them achieve all the wonderful things I know that they can. If those friendships then fall apart – drift away – or go in a new direction I am now okay with that. I just feel lucky to have met such wonderful and exciting people on their own incredible journeys and adventures. I’m so happy to be a part of their journey – a character dancing like a maniac in a story that they will one day tell.
For today I am grateful and so humbled to have so many people from all around the world who have made me feel so special and so loved. I appreciate every letter – comment – photo – everything. I’m feeling the good vibes coming my way and intend on giving all that love back out again to all those beautiful souls I’m blessed to cross paths with in this period of my life.
So thank you to everyone for your kindness and your love today and every day. I am honoured to have such magical people in my life.
Until next time wanderlusters x
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OBSERVATIONS ABOUT ENGLISH MEN
How naughty of me – indulging in such fun generalisations. I’ve been involved in many discussions about English men over the past year and thought it’d be rude not to share my findings with you. Note to all English men – this is all based on my personal experience and that of my friends. I’m certainly not saying that you’re all like this – but there definitely is an emerging pattern.
- They are far more gentlemanly. This one particularly applies to the northerners (YORKSHIRE) – they open doors, buy you flowers and make sure you get home safe. Bless their little cotton socks.
- British men tend to have a lot more emotions (yes I’m serious – read on) that they have absolutely no idea how to deal with and certainly can’t talk about – they isolate themselves in their minds and wait for it to all go away. I’ve never met an Englishman who is capable of openly discussing what is upsetting them. They are chronically emotionally constipated.
- They are not particularly sexual beings. I’m not saying that they don’t enjoy sex , they are bad at it or they don’t want to have it. But they tend to want it less frequently and be less of an animal in the bedroom. British men have the least sex in Europe. Fact. In a recent survey English men were voted the second worst lovers in the world mostly for being lazy in bed (German came in at number one for being too smelly). However 11% of British men in their 20s-30s have paid for sex (probably because they can be lazy when they’re paying for it).
- They are terrible people during the World Cup – and even worse when their team inevitably looses.
- They don’t like it when you try to pay for dinner. I’m a bit funny about this particular point – I always like to at least pay my way especially when it comes to dating – I hate the idea of someone thinking that I owe them (I am a strong independent woman and I don’t take shit from no man).
- They avoid awkward conversations up to the point when it becomes in issue. Literally – they make it worse by not talking about it and wait for it up come to a head and then they apologise. They are very apologetic – even when it’s not needed.
- They are excellent flirts and have great banter. You can almost never get bored chatting with a handsome Englishman – oh so cheeky.
Let me know what you think wanderlusters – english men – yay or nay? Go on – indulge in some cheekiness x
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Where to Next? Working Holidays for Australians
With 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.
- Republic of Cyprus
- Hong Kong
- Republic of Indonesia
- Republic of Ireland
- Republic of Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
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.
**Keep in mind that the visa requirements are different for each country so you might not be eligible for every one.
Energy & illness
After months and months of absolutely abusing my body an trying to do too much with the little time I had – I decided that it was time to be kinder to myself and my body.
I started with making sure I was eating loads of healthy nutritionally dense food, drinking lots of water, practicing gratitude, moving my body, meditating more regularly, not drinking other than the odd beer (just one) after work… And then I got ill. Just when I was starting to look after myself properly again.
It’s made me think about how much I tend to give all my love and care to other people and how little I give myself. I’m sure this is something that many people do and it’s just no good for you. I was so worried about everyone and everything else that I honestly believe I’ve managed to poison myself in the process. I am letting go of all the negativity I’ve been holding on to and focusing on all the good and wonderful things instead (such as the exceptionally handsome doctor at the hospital).
Inhale love ; exhale hate.
Peace and love wanderlusters – it’s good for you.
Italy will probably make you fat
Hoorah! I have arrived in Italy – one day in and I already love this place to bits!
However – I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to look the same when I leave as I did on arrival. The food here is AMAZING and there’s just so much of it! I mean – all the best foods are Italian ; Pasta, pizza, gelato, canolli… the list goes on.
Sorry Mum and Dad – looks like i’mma be single for a little while longer.
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follow my adventures on instagram @jessicaswanderlust x
I want a fairytale. I’m not ashamed to say it. But my fairytale doesn’t involve your stock standard Prince Charming, a white picket fence, two kids and a house in the suburbs. In my fairytale we fall madly in love and travel the world having adventures and changing the world in our own special way.
My Prince Charming is two tons of fun, sustainably minded, loves all the critters big and small, and smiles often. We challenge and inspire each other to do more and be more. A life full of laughs, adventures, and stories to tell.
And they lived adventurously ever after.
tweet me @jessicaswander or find me on instagram @jessicaswanderlust
Winter in London – Shooting with Swedish Photographer Maja Johansson
Photographer: Maja Johansson
Model: Jessica Nicole Griffiths
It was a cold and dreary London winter day… everyone got rained on… But we still managed to create something beautiful.
tweet me @jessicaswander or find me on instagram @jessicaswanderlust
Giving Kindness – Careful or Careless?
The other day someone said to me that he is careful about who he gives his kindness and friendship to – because if you give it to everyone you won’t have enough of it left for the people who matter most.
This i found to be a very interesting view – and a rather unexpected one at that. Generally (and I do understand that this is a huge generalisation) it’s impossible to get any English man to discuss anything to do with emotions. Not only this but it was organically given out as his perspective without any coaxing from my nosey self…
I completely understand his perspective – particularly when taking in to account his line of work – which results in huge numbers of women lining up to try to get in to bed with him week in – week out. But this way of viewing relationships (including friend and family relationships) in general is certainly not one I share.
It got me wondering how other people view such things. Me being the hopeless romantic that I am – I throw everything in to all my relationships – friends, family, work and otherwise. I imagine that I have this endless pool of love that I can keep giving and giving from and never asking for anything in return. My friend and yoga teacher Eoin Finn says that love is the ultimate renewable resource and i know myself this is something that really resonates with me.
I accept that we all have different views and opinions on this matter and that different things work for different people – but if I took this persons approach to relationships it would make me completely and utterly miserable. I love to love – I love other peoples love – no matter what form it takes. It breaks my heart often to be the way that I am but I wouldn’t (and couldn’t) have it any other way. I am most creative when I am filled with emotions – both the good and the “bad” – I am happy and loving and do my best to be kind and giving. People do take advantage of me for it – but I can sleep well at night knowing that my intentions are good, my soul is light and i have an endless pool of love to keep giving out. Sometimes I’m exhausted from loving so so much – but the pool always regenerates itself and I have faith that good things happen to people who do good things. Working hard and sending love to the world one heartbreak at a time.
What’s your view on relationships? How do you tackle this unanswerable question?
Until next time wanderlusters x
Dreaming my life away
About six months ago I woke up in the middle of the night knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I ripped off my covers and walked naked over to the window of the loft bedroom. I opened the window and sat cross legged staring up at the unusually starry London sky with infinite gratitude – I could feel the cold seeping in to my bones and I’d never felt so happy and so alive. It felt so surreal and like everything had just shifted in to place. Now I have something amazing to work towards – something that drives me and inspires me to do better – to be better. I am ready for the challenge.
Wish me luck wanderlusters x
You never forget your first (traveling) love.
You never forget your first love. That right there is a fact. Those first awkward moments – the butterflies – the first silly arguments – the sweetness and excitement of it all. But that’s not what I want to talk about today.
I want to talk about first traveling loves. Those relationships I find can be equally as important – earth shaking and core shaking.
My first traveling romance began on Haad Rin beach in Koh Phangan on November 23rd 2007 I couldn’t forget that day if I tried. It was my first international adventure as an adult. We had been in Koh Samui for a few days we had our accommodation booked for months in advance. I’d convinced my friend that we could just jump on the ferry and make our way over to Koh Phangan and find some accommodation when we get there (back then you couldn’t book accommodation in koh phangan through a travel agent and all the hotel websites we looked at seemed pretty dodgy). I was so excited bout the idea of doing this – not knowing where we would stay and what we would do seemed all very romantic and exciting.
Once we arrived in koh phangan we trudged around with our backpacks looking for a hotel that didn’t look like someone was going to come and harvest our pre-pickled organs in the night – we eventually settled for a tiny little room above a seven eleven on Haad Rin beach. Not the most tranquil of areas but we were teenagers in search of a good party and wild adventures.
Once we had settled all our bags down we made our way to the beach for a cheap cocktail and some sunshine on our skin. The beach was packed – people were playing volleyball and ping pong on the sand – everyone was young and tanned and having a great time – it was everything we’d hoped for and more. We found a vacant patch of sand and settled our towels down – exhausted and grateful for the cocktails. There were a group of boys on the beach laughing together and taking turns to swim while someone watched the bags. We all got to talking – three of them were English and two of them were Danish. We chatted away and swam and when it was time to leave we arranged to meet up with them again that night.
Steph and I went to go get some food (I lost a bet and had to eat the hottest chilli I’ve ever eaten in my life) got prettied up and went out to experience the legendary Koh Phangan night life. We found the boys at a beach bar drinking buckets of cheap thai rum and coke. We sat on cheap plastic chairs smoking shi sha – laughed and joked together giggling through our language barriers and somewhere along the way we shared a kiss and my heart was a flutter.
We bonded more and more over the next few days and parted ways sweetly in Koh Phangan – knowing that we would see each other again in a few months.
He occupied my brain and my heart and I couldn’t evict him if I tried. He was my first traveling love all those years ago and will forever hold a special place in my wandering gypsy heart.
Fast forward to 2014 and we’re still in contact (as friends) and I even stayed with him on a recent trip to Copenhagen.
Tell me your love stories wanderlusters x
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