My name is Justine (my friends call me ‘Just’). I am from London, UK and writing a hopefully useful blog based on my experiences abroad – both pre and post kids.
I’m completely aware that there are loads of travel and parenting blogs out there from bloggers who have spent decades travelling around the world and can provide you with albums and albums of inspiration for places to explore. Well I can’t compete with that.
But whether I was off on a short holiday, travelling abroad longer-term, or even moving abroad, or wondering what those black ‘worms’ were in my newly weaned baby’s poop (note it was digested banana by the way) what I found missing from these blogs – and what I really wanted – was those “I wish I’d know that before I went there” practical tips which were going to save me money, sleepless nights, a headache/bellyache or even heartache, or open my eyes up to some lesser known places and parenting hacks to make my travels with mini-mes in tow that much more enjoyable. Simply put: that is what this blog is about.
You don’t even like your job so why are you scared of leaving?
When I crawled out of the office gone 11pm night after night (and weekend after weekend!) I realised that there is more to life than this: something had to change. I know it sounds cliche but it’s the honest truth.
My boyfriend and friends/family at the time were patiently and politely (as English people do best) putting up with my lack of life/work balance. During the rare times I did manage to see them, I yawned all the way through dinner. I knew it couldn’t last. Neither their patience or my health. If I am honest I wasn’t happy. It was – and still is – a big deal for me to admit that.
I was scared to leave my job; I was making a lot of money, climbing the career ladder and property ladder. To my colleagues quitting was uncommon, weird, brave, strange. I like to think it was obvious. Unlike many of my friends at university, I hadn’t taken a gap year (or few months) to travel. It had never appealed to me before.
Life is too short to be stuck in the rain
So back in 2015 I grabbed life with two hands, rented out the house, left everything and everyone I knew at home including breaking the news to my mum (I’m an only child so not that easy), and bought a one way ticket to Thailand.
I was gone for over a year. It was an amazing year, with amazing memories in – to me the best corner of the world – South East Asia. With little else to do on a barely known and stunning secluded beach of Thailand, I started this blog. For my time in Asia I found a condo in Chiang Mai (a third of our rent in London and far plusher – see photos here) and split my time between getting to really know all different places and things to do that Thailand has to offer, alongside visiting neighbouring countries (visa run time? Oh well then we may just have to pop over to Malaysia for a week, damn such a shame eh? uh nopes!)
Swapping travelling for motherhood
When I returned to UK, I came back happier and healthier – and enriched; opening my eyes to so many different cultures and people. My partner has also lived in many different cultures so we regularly talk to this day about packing up and moving back abroad permanently – and I think we will at some point – although it will come with new challenges with two kids in tow this time. And so whilst 80% of my headspace is in mummy zone these days I decided to add parenthood to my blogging repertoire, ensuring my trademark on anything I write about is honest, practical and detailed advice and tips to make your memories – whether they be travelling or parenting – even more fantastic. And having children won’t stop us exploring the world and its cultures, which will be all the more special with mini mes in tow, so the travel posts will still keep coming.
Please explore the site and share if you think something’s worth sharing. I’d also love it if you dropped me a comment to tell me what you think please. P.S: Us Brits like to say ‘please’ a lot, but you’ll learn that about me (and a lot more!) as you read through my posts.
I do hope you find my blog interesting and useful, and whatever you end up doing have fun making those memories,