And Just Like That Two Years Went By In A Flash
Two years has gone so fast – the last 8 months has been the best time of my life. I’m so grateful to all the wonderful people who made it so amazing.
I’ve learnt that you can choose your family – that people are generally kind and loving, that home does have a heartbeat, that sometimes love is tragic and magical all at once.
My heart is split in two. I’m glad to be back in Melbourne for the time being but I miss my soul brothers and sisters more that even I can believe. Family dinners and adorable little sleepovers, late nights and early mornings, I miss the way our lives just seemed to flow effortlessly and intertwine. I miss the jokes and all the laughs.
But most of all I’m just grateful that I had them in my life at all. This eclectic group of people make my heart sing. I’ve learnt so much from each of them and love them all so deeply. One day I’ll see them all again – but I just don’t know when.
Sending love and sunshine from the other side of the world.
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.
100 Days of Living Out of a Bag
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.
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
Settling in to London life
As of today I’ve been in England for 45 days.
I’ve been up to York and walked along the walls, seen York Minster, Walked up on the North Yorkshire Moors, been to lots of pubs, been welcomed in to people’s homes to spend Christmas and New Years. I’ve been driven through old towns, slept the night in a dilapidated manor in the name of art, wandered the streets of London, partied till dawn and practiced yoga with one of my idols and made lots of new friends…
Needless to say its been a wicked time.
But now I’m ready to get settled in to living and working in London. The whole reason I decided to move here was because I just wanted to change the focus of my life to what I wanted rather that the life I was leading previously which was wholly focused on what other people wanted. That might sound a little selfish but I know that changing my life focus to be on what makes me happy I will then be in a position to actually help others more.
So now the challenge has been finding something that I want to do and finding someone who will give me the opportunity to do it. My work experience has been mostly in Finance Administration and not much else but I’m hopeful that the right opportunity will come along.
I feel like I am exactly where I need to be right now. I love London. I love my new friends. I love my old friends who have settled here and I love getting to know my cousins. Now is the time to get settled in, put my backpack away and create the life that I think I deserve…
Now back to finding the perfect flat…
The Kindness of Strangers – Arriving in London
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.