My second interview is with my BEST FRIEND Megan Plenderlieth. We met in the very early days of our Australian adventures and just clicked and that click only continued to click when we took on farm work together and spent twenty four hours a day, seven days a week in each others presence for like almost six months. There was a traumatic period of separation anxiety when I left Australia that’s for sure. It was intense! But the best kind of intense there is. Where Megan is a fucking genius, all logical reasoning and numbers (but like in a passionate, fun way, not an intimidating one). I’m a ditzy, dreamy, accident waiting to happen. She’s my better half, it has to be said. But our differences compliment each other SO BLOODY WELL and our opinions on the serious matters in the world are almost always the same so there isn’t much to fight over. We got each other through a pretty stressful time, trying to compete 88 days of farm work for our second year visa’s before our time was up on our first one. Have you ever tried picking blueberries for 8-10 hours a day, seven days a week in thirty to forty degree heat? It isn’t fun but we did it and I think it’s because we had each other.

by the water

Name, age, favourite colour…Go!

Megan, 23, sky blue

Where do you come from originally? What is your favourite thing about that place?

I’m from Bromley, which is south east London/Kent. There is always so much too do and I loved roaming around on a cheap travel card with my friends on the weekend discovering new things to do and see.

How did you find yourself in Australia?

I was in my last year of uni and realised that I needed a break from studying but i also had no idea what I wanted to do but I knew that I wanted to travel and Australia seemed the best place to do that.

Favourite place in Australia so far?

There have been sooooooo many places I’ve fallen in love with but I think my favourite place has be between Melbourne, Coffs Harbour and the whitsundays! It’s too difficult to choose one because I love the city life but I loved everyone I was in Coffs Harbour with as we became a little family and the whitsunday was just breathtakingly beautiful.

Tell me a random fact (I know there are plenty in that noggin)

A turtle can breath out of its ass!! My favourite fact of all time!

Biggest lesson you’ve learnt whilst travelling?

That I need a lot less to survive and be happy than I thought I did. Like in Coffs Harbour I was broke pretty much the entire time but I had the best time because of who I was with not what I had.

Top three things/places on your bucket list?

To see the northern lights in an igloo in Norway, to bathe in the hot springs in Iceland and to trek the inca trail in Peru.

Favourite way of getting from place to place?

I love the train especially when you get amazing scenery and get to see the countryside passing by the window.

Favourite memory of Australia?

Christmas Day was one of the best days of my life, it started with cooking breakfast (and drinking) with my Coffs family, then going swimming and jetty jumping, then lunch at the hostel, with everyone! Opening my present from my family which had been in my cupboard for over a month waiting to be opened, back to the jetty to jump again and swim with a wild dolphin then finally going to a house party with all the Coffs family and getting to call all my relatives back home while it was Christmas for both of us!

17886968_10154658258182809_1143585317_o
Fave memory – Aussie Christmas (“Plus my fave outfit! My pyjamas!”)

Advice to someone who wants to travel but always finds a reason not to?

Travelling doesn’t have to be a long time away from family, go for a long weekend, or a week or 2 week holiday somewhere new. Travelling is fundamentally about experiences.

What book are you currently reading?

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, it’s about an English women at the end of WW2 being transported back 200 years to the Scottish highlands a few years before the 2nd Jacobite rebellion (which Scotland lost and marked the beginning of the end for clan life in Scotland) basically I find it super interesting.

Next Destination?

After I finish my 2nd year in Australia my current plan is to head over too New Zealand for a year or so but my plans are constantly changing so who knows what will happen.

Want more of Megan?

Instagram

N x

 

by the water-2

 

This is my greatest anxiety.

I’m eight years old clutching a large stuffed bunny to my chest with watering eyes telling my mam that I don’t want to get so grown up I have to give my bunny up. I still find comfort in hugging that bunny now. I’m fourteen years old enamoured by the art of acting and I cry to my mam because if I don’t make it in the business now I’ll never make it. I still find love in that art and consider it even more plausible now. I’m sixteen years old and my parents encourage my first job, I sit in a heap on the floor in heaving tears because the grown up world has hit and I can already feel the magic withering. I still believe wholeheartedly in that magic now. I’m nineteen years old and I sob in front of my counsellor because I’m balancing a soul destroying part time job with a severely restricting study of literature, a topic so full of freedom to me before university. I still find my escape in the pages of a book now. I’m twenty one years old and I cry on my birthday because the numbers scream out at me from every card with despairing responsibility. I’m yet to take on that ominous ‘adult responsibility’ even now.

I’m twenty two years old and I grip my anxiety with grateful hands because I know I’m growing older and all too quick but my fear is the driving force behind living and that living is proving to me that age really is just a number. My age is as defining as my name. It’s obsolete, abstract, holds no credible meaning. Human’s created time to control because we have to control everything. Age gives a framework to order and so long as we abide by that we’re easier to categorise and influence. I’m not any kind of number, least of all that twenty two. I have the magical energy of childhood me, that angsty creative drive of teenage me and the sheer determination of young adult me and we’re all coexisting and learning with every number that adds itself to us.

You are not your age. There is no ‘should’ be doing, just ‘want’ to be doing. Disconnect from the laborious task of meeting the number and just grow at your own pace instead, less anxiety, more living.

N x

When I set off on that flight to Australia the people I would meet on my journey were the biggest of my worries. I’ve suffered from social anxiety since my early teens and making friends, even making eye contact with new people, completely terrifies me. Turns out this trip would change me forever, teach me that I wasn’t alone, that there were other lost souls seeking adventure and a sense of self. So that’s where this little segment of my blog comes into play. I want you guys to meet the people I got the absolute honour of meeting during my time in Australia. I want them to enlighten you, inspire you and make you fall in love with the world again, like they did me. You’re welcome!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

First and foremost let me introduce you to a woman who is now without a doubt one of my dearest friends: Bronte Frater. We met in a hostel in Coffs Harbour (which forever more will be known as one of the many places I found a home), struggling to get farm work in order to earn our second year visa. Bronte terrified me at first, so seemingly confident, a loud Scottish woman with the biggest of bubbly personalities. But after just fifteen minutes in her company I felt like we’d known each other for years. She was bright, honest and possibly the most refreshingly ‘herself’ person I’d ever met. She taught me so much in our days bobbing in the waves, being mermaids in the Coffs sun. We didn’t just talk boys and idle gossip (though there was plenty of that too) but we talked idea’s and emotions. I finally met someone who gets it, gets that emotion is power, knows what it feels like to live in your empathy and to always be vulnerable because of it. She’s one of the few magic makers in this world and anyone who gets the chance to meet her is a lucky one.

Spring _ Summer 15 Look Book

Name, age, spirit animal…Go!

Brontasuours, 19, mermaid!

How did you find yourself in Australia?

I was on the hunt for something new and far away, Oz.. felt like it would fit that.. also when my mum was my age this is where she found herself and the same for my grandparents so couldn’t let down the tradition of course.. you know out of respect and what not!

Favourite place in the world?

Favourite place in the world… so many!! I think.. I would have to say Dubrovnik.. we’ve got so many special family memories there!

Pick a cheesy travel quote (I know you have at least five memorised)

“Not until we are lost do we begin to find ourselves”

Best part about travelling?

Best part of traveling.. all of it.. getting lost and making infinities in the simplicity of staring at the stars, getting scared, being Inspired. Learning something everyday.

Top three things/places on your bucket list?

Africa, Alaska, to become a mermaid.

Dream travel buddy or are you more of a lone wolf?

A bit of both I love being around people but I love my own company.

Favourite memory of Australia?

Favourite memory.. blommen hell which one! I reckon my skydive so far.. waking up, not planing on it due to fear then seeing someone that I met in Coffs Harbour at breakfast at the hostel at mission beach and then their holding my hand as I booked the skydive after she told me how amazing it was.. this women was 65 and finally having her gap year!

Advice to someone who wants to travel but always finds a reason not to?

There is never going to be a good/right time to travel. Just go, you need this. Everything you want is in a backpack and everything you need is in the world.

You’re on a long coastal road trip, your sunnies are on, the breeze is coming through the open windows, you got a beautiful view of endless ocean, what song is playing soundtrack to this momentous moment?

Lets go for… forever young.

Next Destination?

Let’s see what Italy has going on!! (This is the wrong answer, Bronte will indeed be coming to find me in New Zealand.)

Where to find more of Bronte:

Instagram

I hope you found this interesting and if you have any answers to any of these questions yourself, comment them below! Lets inspire our fellow nomads together, yeah?

N x

Lately I’ve been feeling proud.

Always I associated pride with selfishness. Confusing being proud with being conceited. But to be proud is to be self-aware, to have self-respect, to look at something you’ve worked hard to achieve and think, ‘yes I did that and my god am I pleased with how hard I worked for it’. So you know what? I am proud, I am proud of myself for feeling pride.

I pride myself on my kindness.

I pride myself on my hard work.

I pride myself on my courage.

The wall flower has grown out into the room and in the most divine colours. Colours that she painted for herself. She reached out into the world, with slow, timid hands, shaking at the slightest gust of wind that threatened to hinder her growth and she persisted. She pushed herself through the cracks in the pavement, battled diplomatically with brighter fuller blossoms for the sunlight, and she conquered her own self doubt, forgot about the tidy lawns and pruned hedges and instead grew in the wildest gardens. And I’m proud of her. Proud to be her.

Do you have any idea how fulfilling that feels?

N x

Dear 2016…

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 preset

Dear 2016,
You start with impatience as I count down the days to a big awaited adventure that’ll take me away. Your days are long and dull and I wish away the rain soaked pavements and too familiar faces. When I leave he runway at Heathrow you instantly become my most favourited year as my life long restlessness stays waiting at the terminal. You teach me from the get go what it is to be cemented in your intuition, to believe and trust in only yourself. Your the year that me, myself and I meet and become a woman with wistful ideas and brave ambition. Your the year my best friend becomes my sister, the year I learn what real friendship is, that bonds can stretch beyond language barriers, ages and backgrounds. Your the year my anxiety becomes a part of me but not something that defines me. Your the year that I become enough.

We see the most surreal sunsets, dreamy beaches and landscapes the most talented of creators couldn’t do justice. We give in to recklessness, do things we should regret but manage only to empower us. Together we take on challenges we never could of anticipated as our reality and within those challenges comes a peaceful groundedness, a serene acceptance of what this world is, how it works, its quirks, it’s issues, its abundant diversity. I see things that shatter my naïveté, make me notice my privilege. In my independence I think of home, it’s comfort and support. Gratitude becomes a familiar nuance. I learn what it is to have money and to lose it, to struggle to keep yourself a float on next to no wage in a laborious job. I learn just how much I can cope with. And it turns out that’s a lot. You, for me in my little bubble are the most influential twelve months of my life. You are the epitome of ‘happiness’ means to me.

Meanwhile you strangle the world, deprive it of its free voices, better talents, destroying the idols who matter and make a difference. Whilst the worst of the living take power, you let our race digress years in its equality and peace. You ruin nature, humanity, hope. You slam into the lives of millions with terror and injustice. And I can’t help but be taken back by your heartlessness, your ignorance. You sweep over continents in a tumultuous reign, ripping at any developments we’ve made. I look back on you in an anxious rage.

Thank you for your encouragement, your life-fullness. Your actions discourage my excitement but don’t dull the euphoric journey I took on this year. I found my bliss in your chaos and as selfish as it is I’m thankful for your days.

Love and confusion,
Nikki

Journal Scraps: It’s about the journey…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I sit crossed legged, half dazed, in Changi airport, Singapore. My head aches faintly whether because of lack of sleep or lack of caffeine I’m unsure but the feeling leaves my brain tender, thoughts hazy. The sun is rising as I sit, though I haven’t experienced night yet. It was morning when I left London and then there was a timeless void somewhere inbetween here and there, up in the heavens where humans haven’t had their meticulous measuring ways just yet. But now dawn is breaking again and its already tomorrow and I’ve travelled through time, this last fact has me in a stupor, eyes squinting, subdued by the magic of it all. Time travel, wow. And though I left my teary eyed parents behind and felt homesick somewhere around breakfast time (which was actually dinner in the sky where we were living in tomorrow) on the plane I’m yet to allow the panic to hit.

My viens thrum, heart beats a little quicker, letting me know that somewhere the anxiety is creeping, though not about the flight or the prospect of living on the other side of the globe but instead about the people I have yet to meet. But it’s okay because the thrill of adventure is thrumming deliciously through my veins and the line between my reality and hearty imaginings is blurring for the first time in my life and despite the distant jibes from my killjoy subconscious, about lowering my expectations and not getting carried away, my domineering gypsy soul is finally in control and she is the most liberated she’s ever felt.

I can feel myself becoming someone else but that’s comforting because this new person, she smiles at me with reckless promises and embraces me unconditionally as we meet. This is it, finally, I’m living.

What keeps me awake at night?

Sometimes I’ll be laying in bed trying my hardest to drift off to sleep but I’ll be held captive in the waking world by troublesome butterflies dancing in my tummy. This is the time when I’ll think of the world in scale to tiny insignificant me, alive and bustling in every corner. Right now it’s 1:36 am UK time but it’s not time for sleeping everywhere and I shiver at thought of how much I’m missing out on. How many writers are typing at keyboards and scratching with pens, full focus on projects so far from finished, giving up sleep to work on a masterpiece that will never be read, or understood, or given the prize it’s effort deserves? How many road trips are in full flow, a rickety truck on desert roads, classic rock blaring, sun radiating a soulful energy only accessible miles from expecting civilisation? And how many are surfing through candy floss clouds, lost in unsettled, frustrated, expecting excitements, a specific sub category of the emotion only evoked on a plane ride to some raw, unexplored destination? How many lovers are reunited, families laughing around tables, kids opening surprises? How many bodies on beaches, splitting through waves, manning boats and jumping off of cliffs? And not to mention the drunk dancers, bedroom ravers, gig goers buzzing, melodies conducted, underground poetry, paintings evolving, artists inspired? Then under all the obvious, how many smiles at strangers? Hugs? all of the hugs! And perhaps the most envious of all, how many settled minds lost in blissful slumber? And all of this from other insignificant me’s just trying to find some living amongst all of this fear and terror. And it’s funny that these thoughts of strangers keep me awake wanting, impatient, invigorated, wishing but mostly they keep me awake in awe that we as humans manage any semblance of happiness when our world is torn apart and the only news is bad news. Funny to be kept from sleeping by positive energy. And it’s in these midnight imaginings of people and places unknown that keep me sane, keep me hoping and reaching and living.