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Introducing Jade: A London-Based Exploring Kiwi

February 5, 2017
Jade Love Exploring Kiwi

Hi, I’m Jade, a Kiwi living abroad who loves travel, warm weather, good food and good company.

In January 2016, my husband Mark and I sold our home, packed our bags and moved to London. We gave up what some would call ‘the dream life’ to start a new adventure in the Northern Hemisphere.

Honestly, when we show friends and colleagues where we are from, their response is always “why on earth would you move here?!”

Well, the move was a result of satisfying my 12-year longing to live in London (which seeded from a year-long stint living in a village in the UK in 2015). The desire to indulge in the extensive history, multitude of cultures and constant steam of events and possibilities that London has to offer was too great to resist… and lucky for me, Mark was up for a change. So with just enough time available to sell the house and enjoy one last summer with friends and family we applied for our visas and were on our way.

Although Australian born, both my parents are Kiwi. I am convinced this factor is the key to my travel bug. Living in Australia away from extended family I found myself on a plane to NZ two or three times before moving across at the age of six. I always get an overwhelming feeling of being ‘home’ when stepping off a plane in both Australia and New Zealand, but I claim Kiwi in all instances.

So the travel between Australia and NZ so young started my ‘bug’ and it continued to grow when I was a teenager, returning to visit Surfers Paradise, Sydney and Cairns during my teenage years on family holidays. Coming into my final years of secondary school teachers urged me to start thinking about University. And to tell you the truth, I couldn’t think of anything worse.

My passion at school had fallen to drama and with the obvious next choice of drama school not overly enthusing me, I found another way forward.

I took a gap year.

Inspired by a close friend who had gone overseas to do an exchange during school, I decided that this would be my path. I applied to the GAP program and was coincidentally placed in a performing arts boarding school about an hour out of London for a year as a helper. Voluntary visa in hand, I boarded the plane and stumbled through what turned out to be an incredible and exceptionally hard and lonely year. During holidays I travelled as much my budget would allow and learnt so much from those first travelling experiences – both good and bad. Ever since, I have been hooked.

After my GAP year I went home a changed person with a very different outlook on life to friends who had gone to university. Instead of trying to jump back into life where I left off I got a job, worked (and worked and worked), studied and gained a Bachelors majoring in Tourism Management. I became a tour guide through New Zealand for a short time. I absolutely loved guiding and treasure the unforgettable experiences I had while on the job, but finding work to fit around those sporadic trips proved difficult so the guiding stopped…

However, the travel lust never went away.

I met Mark at the end of my studies, and ever since then Mark and I have traveled whenever possible. Together we have been to Australia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Singapore, Japan, England, Scotland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Monaco, Iceland, Sweden and Malta. (We also stayed in Norway on an overnight train but since we slept through and saw nothing it just doesn’t count!)

What’s next for us?

Our big holidays in 2017 will be Greece (both mainland and the islands) and Croatia. I plan on sprinkling long weekends  away throughout the year to allow us to visit other destinations (the beauty of having Europe on our doorstep).

I absolutely can’t wait to tell you all about our travels so keep your eyes out for more posts to come.

XO Jade

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