Making a Bucket List, Crossing it Off

I wrote this post originally for Christine to guest publish on her website Project Light to Life, but I couldn’t help but share the piece with my own readers. I hope my story inspires you to create a bucket list of your own, add to your current bucket list, and dream new dreams as it’s never too late. -Jessica

Kangaroos in Anglesea

Great Ocean Road, Australia

I’ve always been interested in the idea of bucket lists since my early twenties, but it wasn’t until I turned thirty that I actively pursued a life of creating yearly bucket lists and checking them off. I took 14 months off from my job to travel the world in 2013; I have already completed my 2013 bucket list and I’m making headway into my 2014 list. A friend of mine, Bucket List Publications, inspired me through her yearly bucket lists to start making my own. I’ve always been in the process of completing things I’ve been passionate about, but never really put pen to paper until I transitioned my life from a full-time teacher and Master’s student to a full-time traveler. Continue reading

Glacier Turquoise in New Zealand

Guest Post by Anzac Sailing Around the WorldNew Zealand

Not really a sailing post, but I have found that many of my sailing friends are skiers too. And if you happen to be in New Zealand over the winter, then skiing the Tasman Glacier is a spectacular thing to do! Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Australia and New Zealand in a Nut Shell: It Changed Me

Australia

Inlet Hill Lookout, Australia

I don’t know if its actually possible to put Australia and New Zealand in a nut shell, but I will do my best to summarize my nearly 4 months in Oceania from my perspective, based on the experiences I had, and the places I visited in one blog post. If you have been following my blog then you will have noticed that I have been blogging daily about my journey backpacking through Australia (3 months) and New Zealand (3 weeks). I have been attempting to capture extensively each step of my journey and to explain all of my experiences from the different aspects of the trip. Continue reading

All Time Favorite Spots in New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand

Like any place I visit, I always reflect on my trip after I have left and summarize my highlights. New Zealand is a country from another world as if I had landed on a different planet. It really had it all: turquoise, beaches, mountains, glaciers, culture, marine life, kiwis, and friendly folk. Although I only had three weeks in New Zealand, I saw more than I could have imagined on my Stray Bus hop-on-hop-off pass. Stray’s jam packed scheduled allowed me to see all of the main destinations on both the south and north islands, while flying in between to save time. Continue reading

Finding Home While Away

Al's Deli
After traveling for nearly 5 months straight, I started longing for my simple home comforts while on the road. Bouncing from place to place, sleeping in uncomfortable (and sometimes dirty) beds, socializing with strangers, living out of a suit case, while trying to make a hostel my home at times made me want the simple things in life. I never get tired of flying,  traveling, meeting new people, seeing new places, and doing new things; yet, it is the small things that can get old really quick. I’m reminded of a YouTube video called Jessica’s Daily Affirmation, of a curly blonde hair child singing to herself in the mirror, “…I like my dad, I like my hair, I love my haircuts, I like my pajamas, I like my stuff, I like my whole house…”. How ironic that her name is also Jessica. I can sense the passion in her voice, as I feel the same way about my home (I love my house!).  The little girl does a better job than me at describing how much she likes where she is living. There gets a point while on the move when I just miss my bed, bathroom, kitchen, and a sense of normality. However, you know as well as I do that as soon as I am home for a couple weeks enjoying those “missed luxuries” that I will be already dreaming and longing for another journey. Continue reading

Two Royal Engagements

Guest Post by: Backpacking Bella

IMG_2989

Two big royal events marked the recent departure of my life in New Zealand for more adventures in Indonesia. British royalty Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, visited Auckland with their baby son, George. In Bali, it was the occasion of a double royal wedding at Ubud Palace. And I was lucky enough to be there at both. Continue reading