Jade’s entusiasm for everything, be it something small or something big, is amazing! I met this Aussie chick working at a burger joint in Whistler and instantly knew we’d be friends. She is one of the most enthusiastic, happy and adventurous people I know, you always know you’re going to have fun when she’s around! She also has the loudest laugh!

Where are you now? I came home to Australia last year and unfortunately haven’t left the country since then!

Where are you from? I’m originally from Wollongong. I moved up to the Northern Beaches about a year ago and haven’t looked back!

Where have you been? When I was younger I went on family trips to Fiji and Thailand, and of course the Gold Coast (QLD) which ignited my desire to travel. I then went to Bali for schoolies, then started working and saved for a trip to Whistler, Canada where I fell in love with it. I decided to move there in 2014, but not before a sneaky trip to Europe! I went to Munich for Oktoberfest (opening day is incredible – I highly recommend it!), Venice, Rome, Athens, Santorini, Amsterdam, Berlin and then flew to Canada where I spent just under two years! Whilst I was there, my then boyfriend (now fiancé) and I went backpacking through Guatemala (my favorite of the three), El Salvador and Nicaragua, I’d highly recommend Central America if you’re looking for a cheap backpacking trip!

Why did you start travelling? I started travelling because I didn’t want to spend my life seeing the same things and talking to the same people every day (sorry guys!). But it’s true! I wanted to explore ancient ruins, snowboard in real powder, meet interesting people that have different perspectives of the world and see the places that I’d always dreamt about seeing. But most of all, I wanted to learn and grow, and I guess kind of find myself, which I have!

How has travelling impacted your life? For starters I met my fiancé when we were both living in Whistler (which was crazy because he lived in Wollongong for 3 years and we never met!). But I think travelling has made me feel more comfortable about myself. I’m more happy and relaxed, and I’m content with what I’ve achieved in my life thus far.

What’s been the best thing about traveling?  That I’ve got to see some really fucking cool things and met some amazing people. Two things that I would have never been able to do if I decided just to stay home!

What is your favourite memory from traveling? I have so many favourites, everyday in whilst travelling is magical! I have two standout favourites through. So, number one, the first night I met my fiancé. We met at a house party in the summer and then walked down to Lost Lake (this beautiful lake in the woods that’s completely surrounded by trees) for sunrise. The lake was completely still and we were the only ones there. It was so magical and it definitely set the tone for our relationship! Number two, when my mum (who is petrified of flying and flew 14 hours by herself to visit) surprised me in winter in Whistler, and then surprised me again by telling me she hired a Winnebago so that me, her and Per (my fiancé) could roadtrip around the rockies for 10 days. Those 10 days were incredible – We’d already done a summer roadie, so it was amazing to see all the same mountains covered in snow! And we got to ride at other mountains too! It was great being able to experience it all with my mum and fiancé!

How do you fund your travels? I work my ass off! I don’t believe in credit cards or loans for travelling. Before I left for Europe/Canada, I saved $20,000 in 6 months! (I did sell my car, but I only got a few grand from it). I was a hobbit for the months leading up to my departure. I think I allowed myself $50/fortnight to spend, which looking back on it was absolutely ridiculous, but I lived at home. My train of thought was that I would much prefer to save my money for my travels and not be a tight ass whilst overseas, than to spend it on food/drinks/clothes at home – All things that were unnecessary.

Will you/have you stopped? GOD NO! I don’t think I’ll ever fully stop! I’m at a standstill at the moment because I’m at uni/saving for a wedding, but for our honeymoon, my fiancé and I are going to move to Europe! 2019 can’t come quick enough! But as well as that, I still want to see and do so much more! Japan and Nepal are at the top of my travel list, and I’d also like to backpack Asia and more of Central. And of course North America, Alaska, India…. The list is never ending!

Has it impacted your career? I had a career in Real Estate and I left it. It wasn’t the career I’d ever wanted, the opportunity just presented itself and I did it unhappily for 5 years. I’d always wanted to be a primary school teacher and that’s what I’m doing at uni now. So I guess that travelling helped because if I stayed at home I’m sure I’d still be doing something that I was unhappy with!

Where would you tell first time travellers to go? I guess it depends on what they’re into. For example I wouldn’t recommend Whistler if they hate the cold… But I think Europe is a good starting point. It’s a super cliché travel destination but it has so much to offer! And mostly everyone can speak at least broken English.

What advice would you give someone thinking about it? I’ve given this advice so many times… JUST DO IT! The unknown is scary but it’s so exhilarating and fun! There’s always something new to do each day and you’ll meet so many incredible people who are in the exact same boat as you! Home will be exactly as it was when you left (trust me, they are!)

Favourite travel app? To be honest I didn’t really use any!

Top photo tip? Not every photo needs to be perfect. Sometimes the imperfect ones have much more character and make for a better photo! Also, get a disposable/film camera! Sometimes the contrasting colours end up way better and you get a hard copy too!

Packing Tip? Pack only what you need! It’s something I say to myself everytime I pack but still manage to fuck it up! Pack a handful of each item of clothing and HEAPS of undies! A pair of thongs, runners and a hat are also necissity. AND A FIRST AID KIT – mine was my savior! Oh, and vacuum seal your winter clothes! It saves so much space!