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This month it is my birthday. It’s a big day. It’s a glorious day in which we don’t stop our usual life to do anything special. In all honesty I spend the entire month of July celebrating. It just seems like the most appropriate thing to do.

This year I turn 33. I’m not entirely sure why but it seems like a big number. A good number. Maybe it’s actually my lucky number and I’ve never known that? One thing I do know is that 33yo Jean is a hell of a lot happier than Jean at 30 or even Jean at 23. Ok I’ll stop talking about myself in the third person now. As I sat with a glass of champagne, because I can, I wondered what advice have I received over the past ten years of travel? What advice would I give a younger, less confident, less boozy me?

travel blogging advice

Buy the Art Work

Fuck your bag weight limit, space and stuff. If you like the artwork just buy it. Without a doubt this will be one of the biggest regrets you will have on every trip you ever take. Artwork is a great way to bring make a memory from an adventure.

Adventure More

Just do it. Stop thinking about the reasons why you don’t have the time and make the time. Take the week away. Work your arse off to make the money so you can go on all the adventures. Even a weekend adventure is more fun than no adventure.

Buy a better backpack

And stop packing so much stuff. You don’t need to take 15kgs of clothing, shoes and books on a trip. You can buy clothing. You can get books from hostel or spend the money and buy a kindle.  Take a look at the cool Ketly backpacks which are now available in Australia.

Never Stop Reading.

Actually on that note keep reading. Invest in a Kindle so that you can have THOUSANDS of books at your fingertips.

Do yourself a favour and buy a kindle.


Spend more money on comfortable shoes

And less at the supermarket. Learn how to cook, make your meals go further and generally create less waste. The savings from this will let you buy the better hiking boots, the more comfy sandals and generally better foot ware. Cause ain’t nobody got time for uncomfortable shoes.

I personally love my Ahnu hiking boots.

ahnu womens boots

Invest More.

In yourself and in shares. It doesn’t need to be a lot of money. Even just $5 a week can make a difference along the way. At some point you are going to want to retire and you’ll need money for that.

If you’re in Australia you can get a $20 sign up bonus from Spaceship Voyager.

Enjoy your coffee & champagne

It’s ok to actually have fun. You’re allowed to go out enjoy time with friends or even by yourself. The bar staff don’t care that you’re by yourself. Aint no body judging you if you sit there enjoying champagne and reading your kindle.

On a more serious note buy ALL the reusable coffee cups. And take them with you. Disposable coffee cups are terrible for your skin, for your face and for the planet in general. Grab yourself a KeepCup today.

Don’t do dorm rooms.

No matter how much you think you can handle these, you can’t. You hate the sound of other people sleeping and you get real angry real fast. No matter how hard you try, even with noise cancelling head phones you’ll still hear people snoring, farting and texting. Spend the money and get a private room or a hotel room.

Private spa room in Cradle Mountain Lodge

Treat Yo’Self

Spa time is a good time. Self care is oh so important for your mental health that you need to invest the time in yourself. It’s not being selfish, it’s being practical about your health. So fuck the haters and go enjoy some Me Time whenever you can.

You Got This.

Finally little Jean, let me tell you this -. You Got This. The universe is going to throw some fairly shitty stuff your way. There will be more surgeries, more people will leave your life and generally shit will go wrong. But at the end of the day you got this. You’ll dust yourself off, grab another wine and keep on trucking alone because you ain’t got time to be sulking in your room. Someone is out there waiting for you to make their day oh so much better. And most likely you’ll take them a donut.

Let me know. If you could tell the past you one thing what would it be?



Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker

Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.

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  1. Great post Jean. And happy birthday mine is in July too what a great month to be born!!!
    Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. Travel travel travel. Adventures memories and fun are what it’s all about. Travel is the only thing you can spend money on that makes you richer 😁😁😁

  2. Well to start with – Happy Birthday! If I were you – I totally dig the idea of buying an artwork from a place I have visited and add it to my collection. I would never give up on coffee and yes, having a good backpack is totally a luxury you can give yourself in your 30’s! I also have a favorite quote – “life is too short for bad shoes” – so yes your point on shoes struck a cord there as well. Although – I still do dorms! Haha!

  3. My birthday was in June and I celebrate the whole month too! Like you said, we need to treat ourselves or we’re no good to anyone else. I think you’re offering not only your younger self, but everyone, some great advice here!

  4. Art is about the only thing I buy on my travels apart from the odd fridge magnet that takes my fancy. I regretted not buying a painting that I really liked in Hong Kong. Since then I have not hesitated to buy art that I like. My walls are now filled with beautiful art and happy memories.

  5. Happy birthday and happy thirties to you! Stopping to think and take stock of where you are and where you’re headed is such a great feeling, isn’t it? Saving for the future is so important.

  6. First of all wish you a very happy birthday. You have chosen a great topic for your post. When I travel, local artwork crafted by local artisans are my best gifts to myself as it also support local ecosystem. I like your tips for a better backpack and so true why to pack so much clothing as it can be bought as and when required. Shoes are so very much important for us travellers as it can make your break our trip for sure. Treat yourself, as its your birthday month.

  7. Happy Birthday! I would tell myself it gets better as you get older. Sometimes you go sideways, but it’s all for the learning.

  8. I agree with all your points. I try and pamper myself as much as possible.
    Enjoy the thrilling thirties! Happy birthday to you!

  9. I’m turning 30 next year! You inspire me to write some reflections! Learned a lot from here, especially the “Buy the Art” and “Invest More”. Thank you!

  10. Those are some beautiful advice to past yourself. I can definitely learn from these advice. Comfortable shoes and investing are definitely things I need to start doing. Happy birthday Jean!

  11. I would tell baby face Phil to not hold onto it all. Responsibility is not everything, allow yourself to be the one that needs to be cared for once in a while. Also, look into fried cinnamon pineapple, you will thank yourself.

  12. Awww happy birthday, what a lovely ode to yourself xoxo It’s good to age and become wiser and figure out what matters most, isn’t it? I love being a gross-ass woman nearing 40!

  13. Happy birthday! And thank you for all the donuts- they always made my day better! You’re a wonderful friend!!


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