Nature

Can’t sleep – lunar eclipse 

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 Please excuse the terrible shiny crappy photo that I took from my front door. It’s the middle of the night and I’m sitting in my front doorway watching the moon that happens to be keeping me up. I’ve been lying in bed awake for hours thinking about sleep, meditating, doing breathing exercises and nothing seems to be working. I’ve finally given in and decided to view the incredible phenomenon that’s keeping me sleepless.

She’s a beauty the moon – so bright and shiny. As I sit here I think back to my teenage years when I would lie awake in the yard looking up at the moon and ponder life. I wanted to understand why. Why does it all exist. What is conciousness.How can anything really be proven other than your own existence. What are we meant to be doing here? What really matters in the world. I’m still asking myself these same questions now – a decade later. I’m glad that I am – it means that I’m at least keeping myself in tune with nature and not really getting caught up in what i’m buying, who i’m spending time with and how i’m earning a dollar.

Living in London for the past few years I’ve been missing having a real and true connection to nature. I find myself yearning to swim in natural bodies of water, getting lost amongst the trees, searching for critters big and small just to watch them go about their business. I want to forage, frolic and explore new places that are wild and free unlike the urban jungle I’ve been calling home.

Thank you moon – you’ve given me much to think on. Now how abouts letting me get a bit of shut eye?

If you’re sleepless like me tweet me @jessicaswander or instagram me @jessicaswanderlust

Until next time dreamers… x

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Another year older – and hopefully wiser

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Image courtesy of Matt Hill Photography
Image courtesy of Matt Hill Photography

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

Tweet me @jessicaswander or follow me on instagram @jessicaswanderlust

You never forget your first (traveling) love.

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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.

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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.

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Stephanie and I on the ferry on the way to Koh Phangan.

 

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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Why the bees are dying

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“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 
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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.

x

What is Sustainability?

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We live in a world of excessive consumption, unnecessary production, that is completely full of man-made waste. Currently we are taking more resources from the earth each year than she is able to reproduce which means that sustainability has never been so important as is it right now.

So what does sustainability really mean?

The dictionary defines sustainability as the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, or confirmed. In environmental science sustainability refers to the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance.

It’s currently estimated that 50,000 different plant and animal species will become extinct in the next decade – the destruction is so relentless that 60,000 plant species could be lost by 2025! Just to put that into perspective for you that is 25% of the worlds total plant life. Just imagine the effect that will have on the individual and interlinking ecosystems around the world. Not to mention the erosion, pollution, lack of food, quality of water… I could go on.

I believe we all have a responsibility to act in a sustainable way – take sustainability into consideration every day of our lives – because it affects our lives in every way – think about it when you eat – when you drink – when you travel to work – when you take a holiday – when you shop… because I know I want future generations to be able to enjoy the beauty of this world – the diversity – the people – even the food and unless we all start to shift towards living more sustainable lifestyles that just isn’t going to be possible.

I’d love to speak with you about sustainability and hear your thoughts – so please leave a comment below or tweet with me @JessicasWander.

Peace and love wanderlusters x

Stargazing – Our Amazing Universe

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I don’t think there is a person on earth that doesn’t look up to the night sky in awe. It’s just one of those things. It’s beautiful, haunting, unreachable, enchanting and mind boggling. I know I’ve often spent hours and hours just staring up at the stars and thinking just how mind-boggling it is.

We are on a tiny little planet rotating around what is comparatively a tiny ball of burning gas suspended in nothingness. We look out to billions upon billions of other stars – some of which have their own planets and moons rotating around them. We do live in a very small world. We can travel it all quite easily and see the world at our leisure. We’re all connected by this modern technology and it’s as easy for me to contact someone in Semporna as it is for me to contact someone in Australia. There are people who view my blog that are from countries I’ve never heard of before – but somehow we are all connected. That much I can grasp in my mind – but when we look to the stars we realise just how small this world is.

When we look to the stars and think of the hugeness of the universe it makes me think of the earth as a whole – no countries, no boundaries, no races or religion. We’re just one.

Chew on that thought for a while Wanderlusters. x

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One more reason why travelling changes your life.

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I had an “ah-ha moment” a few years back when I was in Bali for one of Eoin Finn’s YES (Yoga Ecology Surf) retreats.

It was the final day of the retreat and I was getting dressed for our last dinner together in one of the bigger houses. I’d already packed up my backpack in preparation to move on to beautiful inland Ubud for the next week or so and I realised just how little I had with me and just how little I actually needed.

Fast forward to November 2013 when I was packing up my bags and getting rid of all my possessions. It was absolutely liberating. I don’t want to waste money on trivial things like more handbags, ornaments, clothes, shoes, jewellery, cosmetics or perfumes. When you really think about it how much do those things actually add to your life? How many hours working did you spend to be able to afford that watch your wearing to make sure you catch your train on time? Now I’m not saying I’ve gone all minimalist and have gotten rid of all my material possessions because I haven’t. I just realised that some of the best things in life are not all that expensive and I’d rather spend my money on a grand adventure than a grand gown that will sit in my closet until I find somewhere to wear it. I’d rather work hard at what I love doing then spend each day commuting in to a job that I don’t enjoy just so I can afford the Claude Maus jacket I’ve been lusting after.

Less is almost always more,

Jessica xx

 

p.s. I always love to hear from you guys, so please leave a comment below, or tweet with me @jessicaswander

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