The Wandering Brit Tags Along with the Kiwis

Joanne McLaughlin Exploring Kiwis

Marhaba, Ciao, G’day, Yiasou!

I thought it fitting to introduce myself through the languages of the countries I’ve lived and worked in (although sadly ‘hi’ is probably the only word I can remember from some of them).

I’m Joanne, a northern Brit with Greek heritage, and to be quite honest I feel like a bit of a fraud as a non-Kiwi. But surely having travelled around New Zealand and LOVED it, I can be let off as an honorary Kiwi, right?

So, why am I qualified to write travel blogs? Well, since graduating from university many moons ago, I’ve found it very hard to keep my restless feet on the ground. As a child growing up, we never really went on holidays ‘abroad’. Instead we went (and by ‘we’ I mean my parents, brothers, friends, brothers’ friends, aunties, cousins and cousins’ friends) to a caravan park on the north-east coast of England. Exotic, I know. So when the opportunity arose to work – and play – in Cyprus at the tender age of 21, I grabbed it with both hands.

From that first real footstep on foreign sands, I was hooked. I’ve been a holiday rep in Cyprus and the Greek islands, driven a trackless train tour in Sydney, served the beer in an outback pub in Queensland, all before getting ‘a real job’ and becoming a teacher. Other than the UK, teaching has taken me to Italy and Abu Dhabi so far and has opened up the doors to a whole world (literally) of travel opportunities.

My travel app tells me I have visited 37 countries, which is about 18% of the world, so I still have a lot of work to do! As all travel addicts will know, the impossible question is always, “Where do you like best?” I can honestly say I’ve loved everywhere I’ve been, but some of my favourite spots so far have been New Zealand (I’m not just saying that) for its unbelievable natural beauty, Bali for its amazing vibe and diverse landscapes, Vienna for the stunning architecture and rich European culture, and South Africa for the views, meat and ridiculously cheap yet delicious wine.

I really hope you enjoy my ramblings about the places I’ve been and have yet to visit.

Watch this space for a post coming very soon…

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