About

About me

I got here, somehow.

I was 16 when I first caught it and I’ve still not found a cure.

The travel bug.

It started on my first trip to Europe in 2003.

40 days :: 6 countries :: countless experiences

It was on that first trip abroad that I figured out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Travel.

Looking at the Emerald Lakes while walking the Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand in 2012.

I graduated college in 2009 with a degree in journalism and even a job in my field. But I never forgot about what I really wanted and in 2010, I ditched the traditional route of job, marriage, kids and left for Australia on my own with a work-holiday visa, one-way ticket and no plans.

Days, turned into months. Solo travel turned into couples travel. Australia turned into Asia and Asia into New Zealand. Almost three years later I’m still traveling with no real plans and no end in sight.

Me in a nutshell :: I will find one place a day that I want to live in. I want to try almost everything and by that I mean, food, activities, jobs. I like wine, coffee, markets, scuba diving, art, cities, gardens, beaches and more. There’s no place that I don’t want to visit, and it’s my life long goal to visit every country in the world at least once.

Want to learn about my journey and how you can do the same? Read on.

About this site

Heels and Wheels has evolved a lot since it began in 2008. Started as a WordPress blog about travel, I turned it into my own personal website in 2009 and dedicated it to my solo trip down under. Like my travels, the site has become so much more than that.

Which makes Heels and Wheels very hard to classify.

Is it a solo female travel site?

Is it about couples travel?

Does she budget travel?

Or is the site more about luxury travel?

The answer is, all of the above. This site includes personal blog posts about my travels as well as general travel posts. Since I’m usually an unemployed gypsy-most of the website is about traveling on a budget, but that doesn’t mean I don’t treat myself every now and again.

And as for the solo or couples travel issue.

Ric and I at the top of Mt. Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand.

I started my travels solo at age 16 and would travel anywhere on my own. But since meeting my partner Ric in Australia over two years ago, a boy who is as in love with travel as much I am, I mainly travel with a partner. While Ric’s passion and expertise is in culinary, you’ll find his writing on here every now and then, usually about things I haven’t the slightest idea about, like buying a car abroad.

But one thing is certain about this site. It’s a complete labor of love. I don’t earn a living off it. I do that by taking on random jobs, which you’ll read more about below.

I created this website, because when I was in college and even after I graduated, I was lost. I knew I wanted to travel, but I didn’t know how. I thought like other people I’d have to wait years saving up money to do so or find a job at home with travel opportunities, but again start from the bottom at home and wait for an opportunity to travel with it.

Discovering that I could afford to go traveling and keep traveling throughout my twenties, was and is the most important lesson of my life. Not only because of the travel, but because I figured out that there is always a way to get exactly what you want from life now and to waste a second of your time doing otherwise, would be silly.

I encourage travel in any and all ways. If long trips are not for you, that’s okay. This site has plenty to help the weekend holiday makers, such as 24-hour guides. If travel isn’t for you at all, that’s okay too. Hopefully, my site will at least give you an awareness of how the rest of the world lives.

But to all the people who are up at 4 a.m. Googling “how to travel now”, like I was, this site is a complete source to help answer that question.

About the travels

Some people prefer to go on a whirlwind six-month tour, others just a short vacation. I prefer slow travel, which allows me to not just visit a place, but almost become a part of it.

While I do go on short and long vacations, the bulk of my time abroad has been about living in certain places rather than just visiting. I think it would be impossible to constantly be on the road for three years. I personally would be exhausted and wouldn’t give each place, culture or sight the attention it deserves.

This is why I’ve come to love slow travel.

What is slow travel?

It’s about spending more than a few days in one place. It’s about creating a temporary home somewhere, anywhere. For some it’s becoming an expat. But for me it’s just becoming a local to some place new.

Some places I’ve created a home, how long I spent there and the roles I took on: London, UK (six months :: student, bar maid :: 2007), Port Douglas, Australia (five months :: beach bum, waitress, karaoke queen :: 2010), Melbourne, Australia (three months :: night life photographer, barista-in-training :: 2010/2011), Wellington, New Zealand (five months :: cafe obsessive, waitress, sort of barista :: 2011/2012) and Mount Maunganui (seven months :: kiwifruit packer/grader, barista :: 2012).

And through all the jobs and all the places, I’ve always been a writer. Find all published work here.

Contact me via email (heelsandwheelsonline [at] gmail.com), Facebook or Twitter. I love to answer travel questions and hear feedback from my readers.

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