New Zealand and Australia: If I Can do it, You Can do it

New Zealand

New Zealand

I don’t even know where to begin with New Zealand! New Zealand is a destination I always wanted to visit, but had no specific time frame in visiting that country. I just knew that I would get there eventually. It just so happened to work out that I was able to tour New Zealand for three weeks on my way home from my 3 month trip in Australia. That “eventually” turned into “today” and the reality of me actually landing in New Zealand! New Zealand blew me out of the water. With no expectations, I was left speechless on a daily basis. Leaving a chatty girl like me speechless is no easy feat. Yet, I couldn’t help but look around at my magnificent surroundings and be left in awe of the world I roam, especially Middle-earth.

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

People have commented in passing that I am so “lucky”. Luck has nothing to do with it. With hard work and determination, I put myself through three university degrees, landed myself a teaching job right out of university, scrimped to pay off my student loans, while saving up enough money to take a year off from my teaching career to travel. I made that happen…not luck. Knowing how important travel is to me, I made finding a way to do so full time possible. You get in return what you put your time and effort into. Travel just so happens to be it for me! Making it to Australia and New Zealand made my hard work all worth it. New Zealand reminded me that I made it! I  I did it. No bump in the road slowed me down. I was raised by an incredibly strong single mother who taught me that I can do anything I put my mind to. She has always believed in me and told me that I am invincible and that I can have it all. I’m making my dreams come true. For me, New Zealand is that place that made this realization come to life. I did it!



My busy three week tour of New Zealand’s south island and north island with Stray Bus allowed me the opportunity to see all  of the main sights in the little time I had without any compromises. I met new friends, saw unexpected turquoise destinations, and explored unprecedented national parks. New Zealand is a dream–exactly what I have seen in countless films, and the reason why I wanted to visit in the first place. It’s no wonder why people love New Zealand. I am blessed I got to see it when I did (and glad I didn’t wait to see it in the future). The future is now.


SkyPoint, Surfers Paradise, Australia

Australia and New Zealand did it for me. If I never make it back, I will have the unique experiences I had to remind me of my once in a lifetime journey. I will carry these memories with me for the rest of my life. It’s always hard to describe a trip to someone who hasn’t been or experienced the same things. Sometimes some things just can’t be explained and even if they are, some people will never understand. Yet, I think anyone reading this will get a sense of what Australia and New Zealand meant to me. Regardless of the upbringing I had, my background, the amount of money I make, I made it there. If I can make it happen, anyone can. I hope to inspire just one person to make their dream(s) come true whether it’s a small goal or an out of this world plan. I did it. Know that you can too. All I can say is that this journey has changed my life. I am excited to see what the future holds because she has me by the hand and is leading from one turquoise destination to another and is teaching me along the way.

Great Barrier Reef

Green Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

22 thoughts on “New Zealand and Australia: If I Can do it, You Can do it

  1. Delighted to read these countries have stimulated you so much and I look forward to see where it leads. Also you hit on something I feel very strongly about – luck. I echo your thoughts, luck has nothing to do with it. Well done you!

    • Amen sister~! “What’s “luck” got to do with it”? I’m glad my post touched you just as these countries have touched my heart, soul, and mind. There is no place like it. I look forward to my future travels and journey, whether abroad or local.
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  2. Such an inspirational post . It’s like someone telling out those words right at me . You have definitely come a long way , and I’m sure you’ll make a difference in somebody’s life . The Lake Wanaka picture is just EPIC ! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! You are too kind. I’m glad you get what I was trying to say. I hope to influence more than one person in my lifetime, but most importantly, I influenced myself…the belief that I could do it (and I did).
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  3. Good for you! It does take a lot to make these goals happen. So glad you shared your story. I had no idea this was something that you worked for. I appreciate the encouragement in your post to follow dreams. Sometimes I feel I won’t make it. It’s too big, too hard, and almost impossible to make a living as an artist (just ask anyone). But I hear you and you have inspired me to keep going, keep pushing, and fight for what I want. Thanks, Jess. LOVE your photos. Amazing.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. With hard work and determination anything is possible, right? I’m happy you appreciated my story. It took years of planning, saving up, and living on less to make this year happen. Unfortunately, it didn’t just fall into my lap like it does for some. I had to put in the time and effort, but I didn’t give up. I hope to encourage at least one person to follow their dreams; maybe that one person could be you? From the comments I have received, I am blessed to know that I have touched more than one person. You will make it! I know you will. You will get out of it what you want! I can’t wait to share your story. Nothing is impossible. Keep up the hard work.
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

      • Hard work makes the rewards so much sweeter and fulfilling!! Thank you so much for all your encouragement and positive thoughts. If I manage to make this work financially, I’m going to help everyone I can possibly help to make it work as well. It is so important to follow your dreams. You go girl! 🙂

      • Yes it is! It’s also important to connect with others, be selfless, and dream big~! Big things come to those who think bigger! I have some great news for you! E-mail you soon.

  4. Awesome post and I agree when you say you can’t really explain to others your experience. I find it hard myself, it’s something one experiences first hand. I hope I can experience Australia and New Zealand too.thanks for the post

    • Thank you so much! I explain the best I can, but it’s not really what I want to say. Yet, I do the best I can because people want to know! 🙂 It’s exciting. I’m glad my travel journey gets you excited to see Oz and NZ; they are amazing!
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  5. Well done! You are so right, if you really want something you will put in the hard work and sacrifice to get it. You don’t have to be rich to travel. I just wrote a post about my 5 months in Canada on $37 a day, I set me mind to travelling super cheaply and I did it.

    • You’ve got that right! I’m definitely not rich, and I definitely travel often–on less! Like you, I am a budget traveler so I can do lots with little! In Hawaii, there were days when I lived on $25 a day! Great attitude!
      Jessica, Turquoise Compass

  6. Amazing photos. Never been to New Zealand, though I have been to Australia, only Western Australia – Perth (I have relatives there). Makes me want to travel some more. 🙂

  7. “Luck has nothing to do with it”… so interesting, I just heard this very sentence two days ago, when a young guy told a couple who travel long term and me that we were “lucky”. The man of the couple replied that luck had nothing to do with it, that it was their choice. So it is mine. And yours 🙂
    Congratulations! for your hard work, and following your dreams 🙂
    Happy travels!

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