I created the “Travellers’ Tales” section to give my readers and other travellers an opportunity to talk about their travels. Today I want to introduce you to Jess, a travel blogger based in England. Visit her blog at Ben and Jess’s Adventures .
I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales” , fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.
Read about Jess’s travels here,
- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m from (not so) sunny England. A year ago I was contemplating accepting my offer to study Business with Economics at Bournemouth University when I realised how boring that sounded and thought there must be more to life than that?! I decided the usual routine of life – go to uni, get a job that makes our banks happy but us unhappy, get married, have babies, retire… – wasn’t the life for me. My boyfriend and I had happened to receive a 3- month job offer in South Africa, so thought it was time to live out our life-long dreams and explore the big, wide world.
- What is your earliest travel memory?
When I was 5 my family decided to spend Christmas abroad. I’m not really sure why, and it hasn’t been done since but my mum, aunt, uncle, two cousins and my nan and grandad headed to California. My 2 cousins and I were young, so Disneyland was obviously a magical place to spend two weeks over Christmas. The downside was that my dad had to stay at home to look after our 3 dogs and my great-gran – who lives with and is cared for – by my grandparents. I can remember being on a plane from London to Cali, crying my eyes out begging for the pilot to turn the plane around so that I didn’t have to leave my dad at home on his own for Christmas – sad right? I don’t really remember much else, but I can imagine that after my little break down I had the most amazing time and really, really want to spend another Christmas surrounded by all things Disney!
- Where was your last holiday?
I’m not too sure how to answer this since seeing as I am on a permanent holiday.. I have been in Australia for 8 months now but have been living and travelling in my car (not the most relaxing ‘holiday’). So last month my boyfriend Ben and I decided we needed a holiday from our holiday and took a trip to Bali for 10 days.
- What was the best thing you did there?
We hired a scooter for 4 days and spent the days getting lost and exploring the remote towns around Bali.
- What was your best holiday ever? Why?
Ummmm, hard one. I think I’d have to say being taken to Paris as a surprise for my birthday- an Air BNB in the centre of Paris, having dinner looking out at the Eiffel Tower, seeing the Mona Lisa in real life (and being a little surprised at how small it is), and just generally exploring the city.
- What is your favourite travel destination?
So far, I would say Thailand. This is where I first got bitten by the travel bug. Ben and I were planning on splashing out on a 1-week all-inclusive luxury stay in Bora Bora, before a very close family friend who was constantly pushing me to travel suggested going to Thailand for 3 weeks instead. I remember my mum and I crying when she dropped me off at the airport – it’s hilarious now that we cried over 3 weeks apart but now I haven’t seen her in a year.. It is where I realised I could do it, I could venture out on my own without the safety of a holiday resort or even my entire trip planned. We planned our first few nights in Bangkok and then planned as we went. It was an eye-opening experience – not just about the culture but what was out there in the world waiting for us to explore.
Tasmania is another of my favourites so far.
- What is the one thing one must do there?
Just go with the flow (cliché right?!), but seriously. Maybe book a hostel/hotel for the first night or two so you can get yourself orientated but allow yourself to spend each day however you like, at your own pace without a count down until your bus/train to your next destination.
- Who is your favourite travel companion/s?
I have to say Ben. Since leaving the UK a year ago we have spent nearly every minute of every day with each other… It’s pretty full on, and at times we want to kill each other but even the thought of eventually going back home and having to work apart is a scary!
- Name one item you must have when travelling.
My phone. Yep I know, terrible isn’t it, but I can’t go anywhere without my phone. Whether I want to take a quick picture of something, use the GPS or just use it to WhatsApp my mum to ask her how to do something my phone is rarely not nearby.
- Your best travel advice?
Don’t judge and base your trip on other people’s experiences. We have been to some places purely because other people have raved about it, got there and thought what a waste of time. And on the other hand, when we first started travelling I followed all of these travel bloggers and instagrammers thinking why can’t I travel like that?! I didn’t quite get the hang of them being paid or sponsored to go on these incredible holidays and trips. So yeah, I would say do it for yourself and don’t compare your trips to other peoples – especially when they are insta ‘famous’.
- The one place you want to visit before you die?
I could give you a never ending list of places I want to go to, but my joint number one evolves around Christmas. I would love to spend the build up to Christmas in New York, and then be in Lapland for Christmas. I love Christmas. I am one of those people who start listening to Christmas songs three months before Christmas, and the idea of wrapping up Christmas presents and putting them under the tree makes me weirdly excited. Where better to spend Christmas in the home land of Father Christmas himself?!
- Your favourite place in South Africa?
Camps Bay in Cape Town. I had the best cosmopolitan I have ever drunk there, and I worked in a cocktail bar back home…! And Botlieskorp Game Reserve was pretty amazing too!
- Any embarrassing travel moments?
I have this huge phobia of rats, I always have. Whilst in Thailand, I saw my fair few scurrying around the streets hiding in the drains (cringing at just the thought of that urrrrrrgh). The most embarrassing part of that was Ben actually having to carry me into shops because I physically couldn’t make myself step over the drains on the curb to get into the shops! My dad is actually a trained hypnotherapist and gave me a session before we left on our big trip this time round, so hopefully on our trips to South East Asia I will be able to relax a little and not be paranoid 24/7!
14. How can people connect with you?
Thank you, Jess, for sharing your fascinating travels with us!
I would love to hear about your travels too. Go to “Travellers’ Tales”, fill in the quick questionnaire and email it to me with your blog links.
Who will I feature next? I’ve got an exciting line-up ahead. Make sure you subscribe to the free newsletter so you don’t miss out on some exciting travel tales.