Hello and welcome to Travel with Smudge!
I started this site to share with the world a few of my favourite things; travel, food, photography and unsurprisingly, more travel. I want to inspire others to travel, document my own adventures in a way that will be beneficial to others and use this as a way to challenge myself. Travelling is one of the things that makes me happiest, and when I’m not travelling I love to think and write about it. Previously, I had been avidly blogging solely on WordPress, but decided it was time to buy my own domain and maybe even start getting a few articles published.
Growing up, I was lucky that my family travelled lots. I’m fortunate that I saw a decent part of New Zealand throughout my childhood as well as various trips overseas. I was especially lucky to grow up in the beauty that is Hawke’s Bay (read my first published article here – naturally it’s on the Bay), and after finishing high school I ventured down to Otago University to pursue a double degree in Law and Science (Pharmacology). Unfortunately I was a poor student at the time and didn’t get to experience the South Island the way I feel like I should have, although I tried to never say no to any opportunity that did arise. My bucket list for seeing the South Island continues to grow, as it is such a beautiful part of the world.
In 2014 I headed over to Milan, Italy, for a semester abroad. This provided a terrific base for, and excuse to, travel around Europe, which was an opportunity I certainly made the most of. I stayed there for the better part of the year but it still didn’t feel like long enough. I’m not sure I would ever feel like it was long enough. I wasn’t due to start at my job until the start of 2015 so when I returned home to New Zealand and I realized that my desire to travel had been fueled rather than quenched, I was shortly on my way to South East Asia.
I was forced to return from South East Asia after a few months to start what would be my first full-time job only two days later, and although I loved my job, I was suddenly jolted into a return of routine; something which I wasn’t sure I was ready for. I did appreciate an income though, and after a few months I was excited about planning my next adventure; the itch had been itched, and now I had a reliable income to fund it.
I got admitted to the Bar in December 2015, and the day after I flew out to Hawaii, USA. I spent six weeks travelling around Canada, America and Mexico – it was definitely a whirl wind trip, but it satisfied my desire for a short time. It’s a hard thing that, balancing full-time work and the desire to travel the world! That old saying rings true – when you have time, you don’t have money; and once you have the money, you no longer have the time.
Wellington has been my home for the past four years and while I will always maintain it is one of the coolest cities in the world, I am definitely ready for the next thing.
Wellington has almost everything: big city but still entirely walkable, nature at its door step, ocean, hikes, music, food, shops, culture, events – just not the weather. Windy windy Wellington. I believe it keeps the population at bay – I suspect everyone in New Zealand would want to live in Wellington if the weather was perfect as well!
2019 was a HUGE year of travel. My partner and I resigned from our jobs in May, packed our bags and are heading off on the journey of a life time. We had a whirlwind four months in Europe, a month back in New Zealand and Australia and two months in South America before finding ourselves in Canada a week before Christmas. We have working visas and hope to be right little Vancouverites in no time: watch this space! Currently we live in the West End (right near Stanley Park and English Bay) and have jobs at law firms in town. Hand on heart, I think we are living in one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in the world and not a day goes by where I don’t appreciate that.
Enjoy my blog, hopefully you find it interesting and/or inspiring; if you have any comments or feedback please get in touch. I can also be found on Instagram: @travelwithsmudge.
To me, travel blogging means I get to live, and relive the dream.