I was born with itchy feet. 
As a child growing up in New Zealand I pledged to visit every country in the world. I’d pore over travel magazines and glossy books, until I felt sick with longing. I remember lying awake one night, panicking that I’d never get to see all the sights I dreamed about. 
People always ask me incredulously: ‘Why would you leave New Zealand to live here?’ But, for me, to be right in the thick of everything – so close to Europe, and the Mediterranean, and Scandanavia, and not even that far (comparatively) from the Middle East, and Northern Africa, is just the most exciting thing ever!
Since moving here 10 years ago I’ve been fortunate enough to make many of my travel dreams come true. 
I’ve seen the amazing Burj-al-Arab hotel, and gone on a sand dune jeep safari, and eaten blowfish, and swum in a water hole  in Oman. 
I’ve gone scuba diving in Bermuda, and visited the tiny islands off Croatia. I’ve eaten dumplings at the top of the Untersberg mountain in Salzburg, and taken in views from Hitler’s holiday hideaway in Bavaria.
I’ve toured the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Berlin, and walked the white sand beaches of northern Denmark, and driven an ATV bike (badly) through the Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas.
I’ve slept in Sweden’s Ice Hotel, and been on an icebreaker cruise through the Bothnia Gulf. Then I’ve donned a survival suit to go swimming amongst the icebergs. 
I’ve snowmobiled the frozen forests of Finnish Lapland, dug semiprecious stones from an amethyst mine, and enjoyed a mineral bath in the Latvia’s natural spa region, Jurmala.
All amazing, unforgettable experiences. 

But I think my favourite trip of all was May last year, when the entire Monkey family (including Lil Sis, who was still in situ) went on their first family holiday to St Lucia. 
We were a bit worried about how Big Sis would adjust. We needn’t have. Within hours of arriving she’d practically become a native of her island namesake. See for yourself!

Mmmmm… Fresh Coconut
First Ever Ocean Dip
Water Baby
Relaxing, Island Style

Cruising the Caribbean Sea
Bobbing About
Caribbean spicy fish, beans and rice. Yummy!


  1. SAHMlovingit - July 14, 2011

    Superb Jacqui, those are some incredible experiences – I’d love to do the ice hotel. Great shots of Big Sis enjoying island life 🙂 x

  2. The Moiderer - July 14, 2011

    Wow full respect for you doing all those things. I’m barely brave enough to take myself anywhere – let alone the little one! I’ve been many places across the world but almost always with work

  3. Another Goldfish - July 14, 2011

    Oh, even thinking of swimming with icebergs makes my joints hurt!

    Otherwise I’m very jealous there are loads of places on your list I’d love to go! I managed a three month backpacking trip around Europe when I was 21, but I’ve been rather land bound since moving to Britain.

  4. SusanKMann - July 14, 2011

    Wow what a great post, some incredible experiences and some lovely pictures. x

  5. Mcai7td3 - July 14, 2011

    Your experience of travelling sounds amazing, St Lucia is one place on our list to visit. Love the pic of the little one eating 🙂

  6. KiwiLinz - July 14, 2011

    …oh and the bungee jump off the Victoria Falls Bridge – yee hah! You should post the video (without the sound of course or with an R16 rating!)

  7. Carrie - July 15, 2011

    I love that picture of Big Sis peeping out over her chair, one foot casually on the table! Great shot!

  8. Jacq - July 15, 2011

    Unlike yourself, I never thought I really wanted to leave NZ. I started my OE at 27, relatively late compared to most of my friends who did theirs in their early 20’s. But when I finally got here, I knew I’d never go back…
    Lovely photos 🙂

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