Jessica from a tiny village in the UK to Australia

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Jessica from a tiny village in the UK to Australia

Introduce yourself – Where are you from? Where in the world are you currently?

I’m Jessica, I’m 22 and I’m from a tiny village in the middle of the country backwaters of Norfolk, England. After finishing a degree in History, (which qualified me for absolutely nothing!) I flew to Australia to begin what I hope to be several years of nomadic living. So far, I have lived in Melbourne, spent a few weeks sleeping in my station-wagon and various hostels, and now I am staying on a farm having just completed enough days to apply to extend my visa. Next stop, Brisbane!

int1 Jessica from a tiny village in the UK to Australia

 

2. Tell us about your first trip abroad? What first attracted you to a life abroad?

My first trip abroad would have been to France. I can’t remember the exact destination or time of the holiday but I went there with family and friends most years for much of my childhood. I always remember staying in mobile caravans or tents, being attacked by giant ants and doing a lot, and I mean A LOT, of fishing! Keeping still and quiet is hard for any five-year-old. My Mum always used to encourage my sister and I to speak French to the locals and I still have some retro French comics stashed away somewhere. I was also made to keep a journal, which seemed a chore at the time, but when I look back at them now I can really appreciate what we did. I always loved eating different foods, being immersed in a different way of life and learning a new language. It may sounds cliche, but I just loved learning about these exciting, new places and I think that is what has fueled my love of travel and desire to live abroad.

 

3. What kind of traveller are you? Backpacker? Long-term traveller? Short term? Other?

I don’t think I can really put a label on how I travel as I do a bit of everything! Up until now, I have always been on short term holidays. On my way to Australia I would have considered myself a backpacker, and I guess I am, but I don’t think I’ve seen my fair share of dingy hostels and uncomfortable public transport to qualify as that just yet! Although I do know how to get by on next to no money! I would also definitely a long-term traveller as I have now been away for nine months and plan to continue wandering for a few more years yet! I have also been on my fair share of touristy trips, though I hope to have moved away from that a bit now I have the chance to settle into different communities and cultures.

int3 Copy Jessica from a tiny village in the UK to Australia

 

4. How do you fund yourself when travelling?

Initially, I started with savings which I funded with some of my student loan and from part-time work. Since being in Australia, I have worked and saved some more so I have been able to spend the last few months working in exchange for food and board. That’s always a good way to go if you need to pinch the pennies and it’s a great way to see a different way of life and get to know a new family. In the near future, I will look to get another paid job for a few months so I can then travel onwards.

 

5. Your favourite place you have been to? And why?

Hard questions, I’ve fallen in love with so many places! Paris, New York, Southern France, Venice, Melbourne, Vietnam. But my absolute favourite has to be Virginia in the USA. I have family there, so whenever I visit I get to see a lot more than the average visitor. Whilst there I have swam with seals, been deep sea fishing, been to mountain-side wineries, seen a lot of guns in holsters, eaten some amazing seafood, been to some beautiful, secluded beaches, woken up to sunrise across a creek, been to crazy American weddings, hung out with some even crazier people and got to experience Southern hospitality. It’s just the most fun in the most beautiful place.

int4 Jessica from a tiny village in the UK to Australia

 

6. Your least favourite place you have been to? And why?

Salou, without a doubt! I went there on tour with my university netball team. We had an hilarious time, but there was also some pretty gross moments too, especially when travelling with a rugby team. But the town was just a party town and it’s that kind of faceless character which you find in most party towns that I don’t enjoy. I didn’t go expecting anything different but I won’t be going again!

 

7. What advice would you give to other people looking to travel?

Research, but don’t restrict yourself with too many plans. Before I came to Australia, I was hyper-organised; I had a list of everything we were going to see, I had our whole trip planned out in my head. But things don’t always work out the way you expected. We had several curveballs thrown at us in our first month in Melbourne, so we had to learn to be flexible and adapt. It’s taught me a lot! But, always do your research. We arrived knowing that we needed to get bank accounts, tax file numbers and other admin stuff sorted before we could even look for jobs. We were prepared in that sense and it pays to know a bit about where you’re going, what you’ll need, what you can expect, but don’t organise yourself tot he point where you can’t be surprised or take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So, all in all, be clued up but don’t restrict yourself.

 

8. What is left on your bucket list for you to accomplish/see?

Erm, quite a bit! Whilst I’m still in Australia, the one thing I’d love to do if I do nothing else, is to swim with the whale sharks over in Western Australia. And I’d love to visit Tasmania. After I’m done in Australia, I’d love to spend a while in New Zealand, both working and travelling. Then, I’d love to work my way back to England overland, making sure I stop in the South Pacific too. I want to ride a moped through South East Asia, hitch a ride on the Trans-Siberian railway, spend a bit of time in India and interrail through Europe. I’d also like to do a ski season working in Canada as well. Ultimately, I would love to work at a travel publication, so I will also aim to secure an internship or two at publications abroad so I can spend some time getting experience immersed in a different culture. To spend a bit of time living in France is a dream, as is a six-month overland trip from Canada all the way to the tip of South America. I just want to experience as much of the world as I can, without just passing through. I want to get to know these places.

int5 Jessica from a tiny village in the UK to Australia

 

9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Within five years time, I think I might have made my way back to England and I hope to have myself qualified as a journalist. I also hope to have many exciting adventures on the horizon, if I’m not already on the road again! I don’t see myself settling too soon. I have no idea where exactly I’ll be – concrete plans are no longer my style!

 

10. What is the biggest difference to life overseas compared to life at home?

Having lived in a country where the language is the same as home and the culture is very similar, I haven’t found it hard to settle in. However, the biggest difference, and possibly the hardest thing about life on the road, is that you don’t have your family and friends around you. Sure, you will make friends when you’re travelling, but it’s a very transient lifestyle. It’s very strange not to be able to text your best friend to meet you for a glass of wine if you really need a chat. And missing out on family milestones can be a bit of a downer. That’s probably the biggest difference I have found from living abroad.

 

Twitter: @JessicaRose_91

Instagram: @footprintsandpostcards

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