London

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.

x

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

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Winter in London – Shooting with Swedish Photographer Maja Johansson

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Photographer: Maja Johansson

Makeup: Zaida

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.

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tweet me @jessicaswander or find me on instagram @jessicaswanderlust

 

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Dreaming my life away

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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

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas (Apparantly)

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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.

Christmas with the Pleasance family 2013
Christmas with the Pleasance family 2013

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

Express Your Gratitude Workshop – Clapham North

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Adrianna-Emily-Gratitude-Yoga-Health-Jessicas-Wanderlust-Jessica-s-Nicole-Griffiths- 2Breathe deep – let all the air out of your lungs and think of all the wonderful things you already have to be grateful for.

Last night I was lucky enough to attend the first Express Your Gratitude Workshop in Clapham North. Put together by two beautiful and inspiring women – yoga teacher Adrianna Zaccardi of Infinite Beings and Emily Riggs of The Gratitude Journals.

The 2.5 hour session started with a sitting meditation where each person was asked to focus on just one ting they were grateful for that day – we continued to focus on our breath and hold on to that feeling of gratitude. This really helped me relax and let go of all that had been worrying me before entering in to the  studio that day. I was lost in the rhythm of my breath and the gratitude in my heart.

We began to move – all the while focusing our breath and Adrianna reminded us to focus on what we are grateful for. It was a truly wonderful class – physically challenging and giggle educing. Adrianna has an incredible ability to describe how to get in to each of the poses correctly – allowing us to focus inwardly and on our breath. It was time for shavasana – I closed my eyes and surrended my body to the mat. Adrianna came and covered us in blankets and talked us though a guided meditation focusing on each part of the body and what we could be grateful for. We finished by chanting Om three times – feeling the energy vibrate through us almost bought tears to my eyes.

I-am-grateful-for-gratitude-jessica-nicole-griffiths-model-jessicas-wanderlust-yoga-mandala 2We all sat cross legged in a circle – enjoying some home made healthy snacks and herbal teas while Emily introduced us all to the wonderful world of gratitude. Craft supplies were passed around and soon we were each making our own personal gratitude journals – complete with gratitude mandalas. It took me back to the craft days I remember having at my aunties house as a child.

After the class I walked home – full of appreciation and child-like enthusiasm – ready to use my new gratitude journal for the first time.

I can’t wait to see what their next workshop will bring.

Big love wanderlusters – I am grateful to each and every one of you x

 

Just let it be fun

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Sometimes you just have to go with it.

Have fun.

Be silly.

Enjoy the moment…

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Calling Festival – Clapham Common 2014

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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