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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
John Respondek – Surf Photographer
I find it endlessly interesting to find out what people love – what inspires them – drives them and what feels like home. Everyone has a wonderfully different way of experiencing the world. I recently asked Sydney based surf photographer John Respondek a few questions…
Jessica : How long have you been a surf photographer?
John: Umm… about 15 years now.
Jessica: What inspired you to pursue it as a career?
John: I have been a surfer since i was very young and then got into photography in high school… so it was just a natural progression to mix them up.
Jessica: What is it about surfing that you love the most?
John: Thats tough. There are some many good things. But just simply being around and in the the ocean is best. And then surfing in it is so thrilling.
Jessica: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
John: I couldn’t really say there’s one highlight. Just the ongoing fun travel adventures are all highlights.
Jessica: Who inspires you the most and why?
John: I really couldn’t say a couple of names that inspire me. Its always changing. It depends on where I am, who Im with, what I’m doing. Etc. I am inspired daily by different people for different things.
Jessica: What does home mean to you?
John: Home is the best. You really learn and appreciate that when you spend so much time on the road.
Jessica: Where is your favourite place in the world?
John: Australia is the best country in the world… but other than that I love Fiji and Indonesia. For hanging, surfing and shooting.
You can see more of Johns beautiful photography on instagram.
Who do you find inspiring wanderlusters? Let me know – I’d love to ask them a few questions too.
Shooting with Jeff Tuliniemi
Photographer: Jeff Tuliniemi
Hair & Makeup: Anitka Mua
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Apparantly)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas apparently – but for me (being Australian) I’m still trying to get my head around the fact that it’s freezing cold and I’m wrapped up like a mummy for most of my waking hours.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas recently – mostly because it’s December but also because last weekend was my annual family Christmas party. 70 of my relatives head to a caravan park by the beach to wish each other merry Christmas, celebrate the silly season, play volleyball, tunnel ball, beer pong, announce the winner of supercoach, and see how Santa makes his entrance for 2014 (previous entrances have included fire trucks, speed boats, Harley Davidson’s, tractors… the list goes on!). The family Christmas party is hands down my favourite day of the year. My family are completely mad in such a loveable way – functionally dysfunctional and the most loving, caring, kind, hilarious people I’ve ever had the good fortune of knowing and it was the first time I’ve ever missed it.
This will be my second icy Christmas in the UK – last year I spent it with the Pleasance family up on the North Yorkshire moors in a very sweet little place called Fangdale Bec. It was all so foreign to me. I’d never experienced cold like that before. I was out walking with my friend and his beautiful little sister and their gorgeous little puppy uno and I saw one of the things that makes my inner child smile more than anything else in the whole wide world ; a giant puddle. I was wearing borrowed wellies (gumboots for my Australian readers) and a Barbour wax jacket (they took pity on me for not having any idea just how cold it gets up there – it’s practically north of the wall you know) with a big grin on my face i did a big run and jump in to the giant puddle. I was very surprised to find that it wasn’t actually a puddle – maybe it was at some stage in its life – but it now was just solid slippery ice. I fell and slid across the ice and then stumbled around like an awkward baby giraffe until I made my way to the edge and back on to solid ground in a giant fit of giggles. We took walks through the forest and up on the the seemingly endless moores – it was a little bit of magic.
Christmas Day was everything I thought a British Christmas should be. It was cold, we had hot cups of tea, two open fires and were all huddled around the Christmas tree handing out gifts one by one and watching them open them. I love buying Christmas presents – it makes me so happy to see someone enjoy a gift that I spent time (weeks) searching for. I bought Ell a vintage film camera and film, a hand pressed flower necklace in resin for his mum, a turquoise ring for his sweet little sister, and a selection of craft beer for his brother. With the exception of Ell I’d not met any of them before – so it was nice to see them open and enjoy their presents. We all are our fill of Christmas food – and I ate Yorkshire pudding for the first time. I am so grateful that they took me in to their home and let me spend Christmas with them.
This year I’ll be spending Christmas with my cousin Cazz, her husband and their three little girls at their home in East London. Spending the day with family including three little sugar filled devils will be fantastic! On Boxing Day we are going to see the local Panto too. Such fun!
Stay jolly wanderlusters – sending love and happy Christmas vibes to you all x
Embrace The Weird – Love The Strange
Crazy times. I feel like a crazy person (not actually crazy). My mind and my body are going at 100 miles ( or 160.9344 kilometres in case you’re interested) an hour – I feel inspired and mental all at the same time. Loosing my marbles and then finding them again (and more) – I don’t know where to start and I love it!
Embracing the weird – loving the strange.
Enjoy the craziness in your lives lovelies
Why the bees are dying
“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
― Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee
I was chatting with someone just the other day about bees and why they are dying and I could barely string a sentence together (embarrassing much!). So as to redeem myself I thought I’d put a brief summary up here.
There are so many different theories on this topic – and lots of finger pointing at various industries but from what I can understand there is a number of contributing factors – and hence a number of different things that need to change so we can save the bees from extinction and ourselves as a result.
- The widespread use of pesticides and insecticides used in the modern farming practices is believed to be killing bees. Granted some of these are meant to be ‘bee friendly’ but the jury is still out on this one.
- Home gardens also use pesticides and insecticides available over the counter. Refraining from using these products as well as planting native plants and flowers will help in encouraging bees in to your garden.
- In the UK the introduction of non-native bees is believed to have compromised the native bee population.
- There are a number of different parasitic mites that can quickly spread disease amongst a hive. In addition wax moths and small hive beetles also pose a threat.
- Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is a strange phenomenon where the bees seem to just completely disappear. There have been numerous studies on the topic but no strong conclusions have been drawn.
Thanks for reading – I’d love to know what you think about this issue so please leave a comment below or tweet me @jessicaswander.
Some people are just magic
People will forget what you do but the never forget how you make them feel.
Note to the wanderlusting reader… This is something I wrote a long time ago – I had to remove it from here for personal reasons – but it’s an important piece for me and I really needed to share it. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.
My thoughts have been continuously occupied by someone for months. They most probably have absolutely zero idea about it either. It’s like a high school crush magnified by a zillion billions. I’ve been daydreaming and night dreaming and can’t seem to make it stop. I’m not even certain that I want to. I don’t think it’s healthy to be so completely smitten from a completely unsustainable distance. My heart is aching and breaking and swelling up to the size of the sun all at once.
They have inspired me – asked me about my passions and what makes me tick. Helped me to realise my own potential and re-focus my aim and put myself first. Their dedication to their own passion was inspiring. Their philosophy on life was the most incredible aphrodisiac and their morals just beautiful.
When we first met I originally thought – way out of my league but was quickly slapped across the face by my best friend who said there’s no one out of my league ( but she would say that because she loves me).
What feels so ridiculous about this whole situation is that we really didn’t spent that much time together in the scheme of things. But I guess we always remember the how people make us feel and especially those that make us believe in our own worth.
So thank you – I endeavor to inspire others the way that you’ve inspired me.