Ahoy! Welcome to Travel Mermaid.
My friends call me Shezz. I’m stoked to share my little corner of the internet with you, where I blog about travel and expat life in Asia Pacific.
Have you ever found yourself on holiday saying “I’d love to live here!”
From a young age, I did too. Somehow, I always knew I was destined to live abroad. The dreary, English weather was uninspiring and I loved how alive I felt in different countries. So 10 years ago I chose to pursue a career I enjoyed, that allowed me to lead a lifestyle I wanted.
I’m not a full-time traveller, but a full-time teacher and expat. I’ve been fortunate enough to work in some awesome countries, travel my way around them during the school holidays and learn about communities & cultures on a deeper level.
Travel for me has become more than just a holiday. As an expat, it’s a way of life. There have been many highs and lows, a few surprises, tears, laughs and frustrations along the way, but it’s all been worth it. Living abroad has taught me more about life, people and myself than university or books ever could.
On Travel Mermaid, I’ll be bringing you expat tips, honest insights and guides on living abroad in some unique destinations, as well as equipping you with awesome escapes across Asia Pacific (South East Asia and Australia.)
Where am I currently? Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
So what kind of travelling escapades can you expect from me?
I love a good city break now and then, meandering through cobblestone streets and experiencing local cultural, delicious food and the odd cocktail at sunset. But these days you’re more likely to find me escaping the big smoke than heading into it.
My travels are a bit yin and yang. (I’m a Libra, so life’s all about balance!)
Sometimes, after a long term at work, I’m 100% seeking a relaxing retreat of complete R&R. Who doesn’t?!
Other times, it’s all about adventure. Whether its biking the Mae-Hong Son loop in remote Thailand, jungle trekking in Malaysia, or (more recently) learning to kitesurf on tropical islands. Being a nature nerd and getting out of my comfort zone are usually on the itinerary!
I’m also massively in my happy place when observing native animals- like that time I spotted wild koalas in Australia. Believe me, they’re hard to find!
I hope to inspire you a little off-the-beaten track, leading you to new and memorable experiences so you can spend your holidays wisely. In our hectic, modern lives, we often don’t get enough time to travel. So let’s make every holiday count- deal? 🙌
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous
Still reading? Here’s a little more about me.
Growing up in London, I met so many people from all walks of life and was inspired by their travel stories. I always yearned to migrate and saw travel as a way to really experience life.
So, after I met my Czech Sailor (you’ll hear a lot about him on the blog!) and finished my degree, without a job, home and a little over £1’000 pounds to my name, we emigrated to Prague for my first expat experience.
I guess you could say, the rest is history.
After a TEFL course and a few odd jobs in Prague, I found my way working as a teaching assistant at an international school.
I knew I wanted to pursue teaching, so needed to leave Prague prematurely for what would become my final two years in London. Once I finished my post-grad and my first year on the job, I was off again to live the life I dreamed (or be a posh gypsy, as my dear friends like to say!).
Since then, we:
- returned to Prague for an even more awesome 12 months (because I had a decent income!) There was skiing, road trips, mushroom picking, world-class beer and fairytale Czech castles.
- paid $10’000 AUD to get a permanent visa to Australia. Then emigrated to Port Douglas for 12 months, got married (!) and we had the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest on our doorstep.
- followed our hearts and moved to Thailand for two years, but ended up living in its sex-pat capital, Pattaya.
- ate our way around the ‘Food Capital of Australia’ for 12 months, aka Melbourne!
- emigrated to Kuala Lumpur, where I’ve been living for the past two years. It’s brought us a love for the jungle, kitesurfing holidays in Southeast Asia and lots of fun trips across Malaysia.
In July this year, we wanted to migrate to Brisbane to buy our first home, begin other exciting ventures and try to stay long enough to finally gain citizenship in Australia.
But we’ll be taking a minor detour before that happens! Instead, we’re super stoked to be heading back to one of our favourite places in the world, Port Douglas. For at least 3-6 months, we’ll use the time to slow down, reflect and plan life’s next steps.
And hopefully leave being independent kitesurfers 🤟
Have you ever taken a sabbatical or year out for ‘you’? What did you get up to? If you haven’t, maybe I can show you why you should.
Travel is a luxury only a few of us are fortunate enough to experience. Over 80% of the world’s population has never been on an aeroplane, so let’s make every trip count.
As much as possible, I try to travel consciously by:
- minimising my carbon footprint
- always respecting the well-being of local communities
- taking preference to resorts that are eco-friendly
- avoiding activities that are harmful to animals or the environment
- venturing to destinations not overwhelmed by tourism
The more I travel, the more I see the effects of our actions upon the planet. Travelling consciously is easier than you might think hopefully I can inspire you to do the same.