I am Jess…

 

… and this is my partner Oli. I am a proud Seattlite and in his own words he is from bang in the middle of the UK in Leicestershire. In the summer of 2019, as fate would have it, we met on a polar bear expedition at 78 ° North in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. After seeing a few wild polar bears together and weeping, we decided were officially friends. By the time November rolled around, he had convinced me to get a visa for New Zealand, quit my job, and embark on a worldwide bucket list trip together that would end at the aforementioned country where we would try to find a place to call home.

Fast forward to early March of 2020 – on the beaches of Vietnam, tours were beginning to cancel on us and we were locked into our hostel property because the small town we were in was no longer willing to interact with travelers. We started to realize that the disease that was mostly in China and Italy, was actually a pandemic sweeping the world. We were debating whether to hunker down where we were to or start finding our way to somewhere we could be together for a while. After googling the best place to sit out a zombie apocalypse….you know just in case covid got creative… and New Zealand coming out on top, the decision was made just in the nick of time. We landed in New Zealand 22 hours before they closed the borders to all incoming travelers, visa in hand or not.  

Counting our lucky stars, after 6 weeks of lock-down, New Zealand was covid free. We spent the better part of 2020 and the first half of 2021 living in and traveling around the islands of New Zealand. In September of 2020 we took our last turns at Cardrona, packed away the snowboards,  and moved into our rooftop tent for a multi-island 10-month roadtrip. Though our worldwide bucket list trip was cut shore, we sure made the best of our freedom in New Zealand and did not leave a lot left undone. 

In June of 2021, we made the bittersweet decision to pack our bags and head back to the United States to get vaccinated, see family and friends, and find a more permanent home. I still have many stories to tell of our travels and we never sit still for long. This blog is just a place for me to share all the amazing escapades we have been on, so that I may revisit my many happy memories. I also hope it inspires you whether you are a friend or a stranger and the stories will never end because no matter what country I am in I will always be wandering in the wild.