First blog post! How I caught the Travel Bug.

Kia Ora! All the way from the very south of the earth, New Zealand.

Im very excited to share my travel stories and snaps with you all. Firstly i am going to tell you all about how i caught the Travel Bug. It all started with my mum. My mother also has a serious case of the bug. As a child i was lucky enough to visit Australia multiple times and also Fiji. In year 10 at High School i was offered a position on a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Japan for nine days. It was fully paid for by the Japanese government. Although nine days is not long it definitely contributed to my love for travel.

The next trip i was offered at High School was to India! This is the country that really tipped me and i just fell in love straight away. I went through a company called World Challenge. The trip had four sections, acclimatisation, volunteering, a trek and rest + relaxation. India is one of those countries you cannot get enough of and may not have a desire to travel too. We volunteered in an Orphanage called Don Bosco in Kerala, Southern India. This place 100% has my heart and i cannot express how important it is that we all volunteer and help those who are not able to help themselves.

I was very fortunate to be offered a third trip at High School and that was to Vietnam + Cambodia. By the time this trip came around i did not hesitate to sign up as i was already obsessed and wanted to travel to as many countries as i could!

Since then i have also travelled to Thailand, Singapore and Laos. Once you have it there is no going back, why not travel? We have the whole world, why stay in one place just because you were born there. Just go!

 

Kiwijetsetter

xx

 

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The countdown is on!

22 days until I get to be surrounded by the concrete jungle of New York, dodging the yellow taxis in Chicago, indulging myself in fatty over sized pizza slices in Ohio and fulfilling my childhood dreams of visiting Disneyworld in Florida.

I cant believe how fast the time has gone, it feels like just yesterday i was planning this trip. Now im about to start packing my bags! This will  be my first time in the US and in South Africa also, which only makes me more excited to explore some new soil and see where my family lives in Ohio.

First stop is Ohio, then Sineah and I are going to Chicago, then onto Toronto (Hopefully!), then Washington DC, then sunny Florida , then lastly the big APPLE! From New York we will be flying direct to Johannesburg, South Africa. The lion cubs will be teenage lions by the time we get there, so im expecting them to be a more crazy version of my 5 month old puppy.

I think im most excited to not only see my family but to step foot in New York especially Times Square. My instagram and FB page is going to be exploding! count that as your warning!

Stay tuned on all my social media accounts to stay up to date with where i am and what awesome things im upto.

IG- @Kiwijetsetter

FB- @Kiwijetsetter

SC- @Kiwijetsetter

-Kiwijetsetter xx

 

The magic of India

Well well I can assure you India is EXACTLY how you imagine. It’s loud, smelly, bright, dangerous, and a play on every single one of your sense but it’s also so much more than a first impression. 

It’s loud in a way that makes you feel alive and present in the moment. It tells you that every single person surrounding you is also alive and sharing that moment with you. 

It’s smelly in a way I hadent experienced before. It’s the smell of people living and car fumes weaving in and out of the traffic, it’s the smell of millions and millions of people crammed into a small space only one million people should be able to fit in. Again it makes you feel alive.

It’s bright in a way that assured me this city never sleeps. It’s on a constant circle, as if daytime is 24/7. It’s bright not only in the lights of cars, Tuk Tuks, and bikes, but the people. The people of India have a magical light about them that makes them so special. 

It’s dangerous in a way that you know your living! It’s as dangerous as the choices and decisions you make. 

These are all the senses and impressions I found when I stepped out of the doors into the wild, incredible Kochin Airport. I had about 10 minutes to come to my senses before I was in a taxi weaving from one side of the road to the other in a storm of car horns. I truely thought “what have I done?”. Little did I know this place would soon have my heart and soul.

The first few days of my life changing experience consist of acclimatising to the challenge in front of us. 

Day four will be a day I will never forget. It was the day we started our trek through the tea plantations and forests of Munnar. We took a break in our journey at an elephant rehabilitation centre. It was quite the opposite. This is where I am going to be completely raw and honest. Yes there is extreme animal cruelty in India, it’s a third world country and every single third world country I have been too also has similar animal cruelty issues. Yes it is wrong however there is only so much one person can do to help. Leave. Do NOT support it and eventually the owners won’t get what they want and will move on. I’m not going to go into details as it was rather traumatic for me but you can’t hide it, it’s there. It’s all apart of the experience and honestly makes you more grateful about the place you get to call home.


HOWEVER, after this not so nice elephant encounter, on the second day of our trek a stampede of sixteen wild elephants had our trek cut short! So knowing there was happy elephants going about there business, as free as they can, made me feel a lot better about the cruelty situation.

As I wrote in my diary… “as I write this Rosa and I are sitting on large rocks on top of a hill near our camp, honestly I wish mum could see this. We can see a small village that is on the opposite side of the valley and we can hear their tribal music. Oh and I forgot to mention that we were woken up to the sound of wild elephants this morning” 

Reading back through that piece I wrote made me realise how special and precious moments like those are. I remember sitting there thinking I could sit here forever and be completely content with my life. That was the moment I knew India was a large present of magic just waiting for me to unwrap it. From that moment on I got rid of the “what have I done” thoughts and made sure I made the most of every moment possible!


Fast forward to day eight of my trip and this is where the magic really shone through. 

Don Bosco Orphanage 


In all of my life I have never felt so many emotions at once. It was the hardest thing and also the best thing I’ve ever done in my life so far. If you haven’t volunteered, you HAVE TOO. 

We were welcomed by a young boy holding a bowl of fire followed by another young boy holding sandinwood paste which he then smudged on our foreheads. This was a welcoming into their family. I’ve never felt so welcomed by a bunch of strangers. 

We laughed, we danced, we sang songs with buckets as drums and bottles with rocks inside as maracas, we played basketball and we also cried. We were fortunate enough to be at Don Bosco for Christmas. This allowed us to build stronger relationships with the boys who had no family at all, those who didn’t even know how old they were or where they were from. 



The next stage of our trip was rest and relaxation. This started with a river cruise in Allappy.  (Check out @Kiwijetsetter on IG to see more photos!)

Next we were flying up to Northern India. We stayed in a Castle. A CASTLE. It was absolutely gorgeous and still had all the furniture as if we were a few hundred years back in time. 

Northern India to me was almost like a different country or as they say in Asia “same same but different”. The roads were riddled with cobras, camels and cows. We completed the golden triangle which consists of Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi. 

A must see when in Jaipur is to visit the monkey temple. Over 4000 monkeys call this stunning place home, you can buy peanuts from an old friendly man at the gate and feed the monkeys VERY carefully! They will take your finger off. 


We arrived in Agra on New Year’s Eve. First thing on the first of January at 6am I was welcomed into 2015 by the Taj Mahal. It truely is something else that I can’t really explain, you just have to see it for yourself. 

I could go on and on about how magical India is but in all honestly it’s a place you have to experience for yourself. I also know what most of you are thinking while reading this. “I have no desire to travel there”, well neither did I before I decided to not assume or judge a place on what other people had said or experienced. What’s the fun in that? I dare you to just GO, forget about the India you think you know and find out for yourself.

It’s fair to say India has stolen my heart and isn’t giving it back for a while. 
Kiwijetsetter 

xx

Welcome from Kiwijetsetter!

Im a fresh out of High School teenager (Adult in the making) currently on my gap year and travelling around the world, one country at a time. Kiwijetsetter was founded following my trip to India in 2014/2015. I wanted a place where i could give everyone the travel bug i had caught very badly. As i was still in High School, Kiwijetsetter started out as an Instagram page where i could share my travel snaps with family, friends and the world. I then discovered the marvellous object called a GoPro, from there i started to take videos and edit then to later upload them on my youtube channel.

As i said above i am currently on my gap year. In July i fly out bound for Los Angeles in The United States of America, from there i am hopping my way across the country to Ohio where i will be staying with my family over there! With New York, Chicago and Washington DC within a handful of hours away this seems like the perfect place to base myself. I have not yet been able to grace the USA with my presence (HA get it) so i am very excited! From America my best friend Sineah and I are flying to Johannesburg in South Africa. We will be doing a Save the Lions breeding project at Ukutula Lodge which is about 2 hours out of Johannesburg. The project is four weeks long, from there we are meeting up with our Mums, who are flying all the way from New Zealand to spend two weeks being travellers with us!

I made this blog so i am able to not only give you all the highly contagious Travel bug but to allow my friends and family to keep up with what myself and Sineah are doing day by day!

Super happy to have you all aboard!

Kiwijetsetter/ Holly Ryan

xx

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