thailand

Koh Phangan in pictures

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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.

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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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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Tropical Rain

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Tropical rain is just magical. It rained all last night starting from when we were out for dinner on the beach. We all sat up at the bar at Coco Gardens making new friends and having a few sneaky cocktails. The rain continued all through the night and the sound of it on the roof was so comforting. The rain stopped when I was having breakfast on the beach and all day it’s been overcast. It looks surreal and I just wanted to share this little bit of magic with you. x

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Exploring Koh Phgangan by moped

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What an incredible day this was. Breakfast on the beach at Coco Gardens where I’m staying followed by exploring the local area on the mopeds. We swam in waterfalls, stopped off at random beautiful beaches, ate lunch on the beach, found random tire swings and watched the sunset from Amsterdam Bar. I’m really appreciating my time here. I definitely needed a break and a bit of a holiday! Now to create a life that I don’t need a break from…

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Beaches and tire swings

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Loving being back in Koh Phangan again. We took the mopeds out for the day and discovered this little gem of a beach and this fabulous tire swing. It’s a much different experience from my last trip that’s for sure!