Day Two: Meditation adds so much to my life. I feel more present and less stressed. Today I did a guided meditation via the Hay House Meditation podcast. Davidji – Stepping into Clarity – it was quite energising and a great way to break up a busy day of work. I then sat down to a healthy whole food lunch which I ate on my own in silence – really taking the time to appreciate each bite.
Day Three: Journaling is such a wonderful practice. So many thoughts are bouncing around my mind all the time. Problems become bigger – worry increases. Once you take the time to write it all out and organise your thoughts on paper slowly and purposely they seem to become much smaller and more manageable. From this place you can create your own action steps in to solving these tiny little “problems” by making little action lists.
Day Four: I love to hoop! For those of you not yet aware – I’ve taken up hula hooping! I love the element of play. I can hoop and hoop for hours on my own – practicing new tricks and transition. I went with one of my friends to buy her first hoop and get something a little lighter and smaller for myself. We then made our way over to Abbotsford Convent and hooped our little hearts out and finished the day with a delicious Lentil As Anything feast. Good hoops – good food – great company. Today was a great day.
Day Five: Podcasting like a boss again! I’ve been reading the minimalists blog for a long time now – it’s definitely something I get a lot of value out of and now they’ve started podcasting too. I’d been missing a few episodes here and there so today I spent some time catching up on the ones I missed out on.
Day Six: Yet another HOOP DAY! Today I dedicated to learning a new trick – and then took my hoops to a party for the first time. I didn’t really know many people there so it was nice to have something to play with in between meeting new people and making new friends. I took three hoops with me and everyone had a go. Loads of fun!
Day Seven: I love to cook – but haven’t been doing much of it recently. Today I made a delicious dinner with a friend. Good food + good company = happy wanderluster.
Day Eight: Life Admin day – seems boring (and it was) but I’m now organised! All those little things that I’ve been putting off finally got done! I took to each task with gratitude and really just got it all done.
Day Nine: I hadn’t caught up with one of my best friends in a little while. We keep pretty different schedules. Today we finally got the chance to catch up and had a gorgeous healthy dinner together. There really is nothing better than sharing a meal with someone you love (especially when they’re as good a cook as Miss Katie).
Day Ten: It’s been a bit harder than I expected this little month of love challenge. Changing my focus back to me and my wants and needs has been pretty tough. I’ve been very emotional and today I let myself have a big ol’ cry. I really needed it. I tend to keep myself pretty busy and expect a lot of myself. Today I just let myself feel all those emotions.
Hope you’ve all been loving yourselves too.
Wanderlusters it’s been a while. Sorry I’ve been away from you all so long. It has been a bit tough adjusting to being back in Australia again. I’m still going through the process of finding my place in the place I called home for oh so long. But I’m back – with a mission.
February – the month of love.
Like I said – I’m finding it tough to see where I fit in all the madness. I’m starting all over again. I feel like I’m stagnant – inspired yet unmoving. I don’t like feeling this way so I’m taking action. This month I’m going to make myself my absolute number one priority. I’m going to love myself first every day this month. It’s not a big task to be honest. I’m just going to take time every day to mindfully do something nice for me and periodically fill you all in.
Wish me luck – send me love.
DAY ONE : Febfast! After killing my liver in London for two years and then arriving in Melbourne during the silly season I recognise that I need to give my body a break from drinking and raise some money along the way (DONATE HERE). I’m hoping that it’ll also motivate me to generally be more active and healthier in my everyday life and kickstart me in to creating more positive and healthy routines for everyday life. Today I also decided to document my month of self love here – something I absolutely love doing but haven’t been giving time to since I’ve moved home.
I look forward to seeing where this little self love-fest takes me. Thanks for coming along for the ride. I’d love to see more people get involved in this little journey. So please get in contact with me. You can tweet me @jessicaswander or find me on instagram @jessicaswanderlust
Here are a few tips on how to reduce your impact on our planet 3-5 times a day just by stuffing your face with deliciousness.
1. Buy Organic. Organic food is higher in nutrients, free of neurotoxins, free of pesticides, hasn’t been gas ripened, supports biodiversity and generally just tastes better. If you can’t afford to do a full organic shop start with what you can afford and make sure to always wash non-organic food in a mixture of water and apple cider vinegar to remove the majority of the pesticides.
2. Buy Local. Reduce your food miles.Food miles refer to the number of miles between the farm your food came from and the place you bought it. For example if you bought a delicious mango from your local supermarket that has come from Mexico that’s roughly 5551 miles as the crow flies! Find your local farmers market and see what you can buy that is close to home.
3. Cut out processed and packaged foods. I’m not saying that you need to cut out all junk food and never have chocolate again – but think about all the unnecessary packaging that just goes to landfill every time you buy a multi pack bag of crisps from your local Tesco. Bake your own treats! Home cooked meals are generally healthier, encourage mindful eating and most importantly you know what you are putting in to your body.
4. Say no to tuna! I know what you’re thinking “but Jess – tuna is delicious and comes in very convenient easy open cans”. This may be true – however it’s also true that tuna is being hugely over fished which is devastating for the marine life. Also it’s full of heavy metals such as mercury – there is even a possibility of heavy metal poisoning from eating too much tuna. Also dolphins.
5. Learn to cook. I hinted at this one before. I have been really surprised to discover over the past few years that there are so many young adults who have no idea how to cook. Cooking connects us with our food. We appreciate it – we learn to love the process and want to know more about the food we are preparing.
6. Eat seasonally – your body best assimilates food that is seasonal and local to where you live. Get back to the ol’ farmers market and then get in the kitchen.
7. Grow yer own! Grow something. Anything. I live in a little flat with a little garden in London and I have five edible plants growing in my little temporary space. Five! It was lovely harvesting the elderflower a few weeks back – or making myself a nice fresh mint tea straight from the garden. Growing your own also helps attract bees to your garden and bees are our friends.
8. Be prepared. Cut out the convenience foods. It’s not often you’ll find me in a food free environment. I usually always have a piece of fruit on my person. I get hungry. I’d rather eat fruit that some highly processed food like substance.
9. Get involved with meat free Monday. The meat industry alone contributes one-fifth of man made greenhouse gas emissions. Reduce the amount of meat you eat – take a day off and enjoy the benefits of eating vegetarian for a day. You’ll find your tummy will thank you for it too. Don’t believe the lies about protein. It’s impossible to be vegetarian and be protein deficient without also being calorie deficient. #JustSaying
10. Forage – hooray for the free food movement. Look up local foraging groups or maps online and see what you can get for free from mother nature!
Vote with your food dollars! Every dollar you spend on local, organic food is one less dollar spent on the industrialised food system. We all have the power to change the way the world eats – one meal at a time!
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
After months and months of absolutely abusing my body an trying to do too much with the little time I had – I decided that it was time to be kinder to myself and my body.
I started with making sure I was eating loads of healthy nutritionally dense food, drinking lots of water, practicing gratitude, moving my body, meditating more regularly, not drinking other than the odd beer (just one) after work… And then I got ill. Just when I was starting to look after myself properly again.
It’s made me think about how much I tend to give all my love and care to other people and how little I give myself. I’m sure this is something that many people do and it’s just no good for you. I was so worried about everyone and everything else that I honestly believe I’ve managed to poison myself in the process. I am letting go of all the negativity I’ve been holding on to and focusing on all the good and wonderful things instead (such as the exceptionally handsome doctor at the hospital).
Inhale love ; exhale hate.
Peace and love wanderlusters – it’s good for you.
Breathe 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.
We 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
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
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
I was staying with my friend in her Clapham apartment. I’d only just arrived in London and I was spending my days and nights looking for flats and jobs and daydreaming of adventure. I spotted a Facebook post from Rebecca Litchfield. She was upset because the model that she’d booked for the job had pulled out at the last minute. I messaged her immediately and she said she’d love to have me involved. We’d both been wanting to work together for a while so it was almost like it was meant to be.
I met Rebecca at Clapham Junction and we caught the train out to a station nearby the manor house we would be shooting in the next morning. Matt and Richie met us at the train station. It was the first time Rebecca had met either of them but they all knew each other from urbex forums. We did the standard introductions and then we were off. It was only a short 15 minute drive to Bull Manor. We weren’t technically meant to be there so we parked the car around the corner and then under the cover of darkness we quietly snuck down a muddy path and… that’s where we came across out first obstacle. All the winter rain had turned what was previously a large ditch in to a rather deep creek. Luckily we came across a fallen tree and we all took turns in crossing the rotting log on to the opposite bank. Richie went first with his sleeping bag in one hand and his camera and clothes in another. He made it nearly all the way across before slipping on the rotting bark and falling in to the water. He pulled himself out pretty quickly but the main concern was the camera. We needed to get in to the manor first before checking the damage. After Richie had slipped we all knew to be extra cautious and we passed all our camping gear across the creek before crawling along to the other side.
Once we crossed we then had a whole new challenge to face. As silent as could be we had to climb a rusted old fence – the boys being such lovely gentlemen helped me across silently we crossed fields and jumped more fenced this time they were covered in barbed wire. I must admit that I was a little apprehensive when we approached the house and I saw the razor wire that surrounded the building. Luckily my new friends knew the way in. The rest of our entrance I’m going to have to leave out but it was very challenging and took us a rather long time with all of our gear.
When we entered the house the first thing that surprised me was all the stuff! No one ever moved out of there. All their things were just there. Left to rot. We couldn’t see much in the night and we didn’t want to turn our torches on just in case someone saw us – so we set ourselves up with a few candles for light and sat around chatting in to the wee hours of the morning. Everything in the house was damp so we sat on bin bags to keep the moisture out. It was a freezing night and I was very grateful to be dry and in a very toasty sleeping bag. Sadly the same couldn’t be said for Richie – all his clothes and his sleeping bag were damp from his fall in to the creek. We chatted late in to the night and they all exchanged stories of their adventures. I listened intently – they certainly fanned the flames of my wanderlust fire. Urbex is like a whole new world to me and a very interesting one at that.
By the time we went to sleep I was completely exhausted. We rolled our bin bags out on the floor – jumped in to our sleeping bags with our pillows zipped up inside with us. I slept like the dead. who would have thought? We woke at first light and I saw the true haunting beauty of this abandoned manor house. The house itself was 4 stories high and an impressive stained glass ceiling. We could only reach the first two stories as the other staircases had rotted and fallen down. The boys ventured further than we had using a ladder that was in the house. We got my hair and makeup ready while we were waiting for the sun to rise. Then we spent the next few hours shooting barefoot around the decapitated house… I have never been so cold in my life! My feet completely lost feeling but somehow were still really painful. Thank goodness it was worth it. It was so so worth it.
I had an adventure. I had a brand new experience. I made some wonderful new friends and we created some beautiful images.
Love to hear from you so leave me a comment below or tweet with me @jessicaswander.
Until next time wanderlusters.
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,
p.s. I always love to hear from you guys, so please leave a comment below, or tweet with me @jessicaswander