Instructor Intro: Jess Thomas

A warm welcome to the Pacific Discovery Fall Family!

Hoping you've all had a brilliant year to date, and know that life is just going to keep getting better! I'm Jess and am very much looking forward to being one half of your program leader equation for the New Zealand Australia program, along with Ricki.

I am absolutely sure we are going to have the time of our lives hiking through alpine tundra, getting to know our sleeping bags intimately, canoeing with all of our gear onboard, snorkelling some of the most renowned waters in the world, surfing mals, getting dirt under our fingernails, creating life-long friendships, and exploring our way across these lands together. Each day is ours to behold and make with it what we want on this awesome adventure.

Starting with Australia, the land of snakes and spiders, you are in for a treat. I love every day in my country, from waking up in the morning to vegemite toast and chucking on my thongs to head to the beach for a sunrise over the ocean, to the relaxed people, beautiful locations, kangaroos and meat pies and pavlova and lamingtons and our unique version of English. Then we will head over the ditch to Ricki's homeland and experience the hobbit-filled wonder and pristine wilderness that encompass this special country. The activities we have in store for the New Zealand component are extreme (in a great way!). We just can't wait to experience this journey with you.

Come into this not only physically prepared and open minded, but ready to throw yourself at life (literally...we might even jump off a bridge along the way)!

I grew up on a farm and by the beach on the south east coast of Australia, laughing and exploring under the strong Aussie sunshine with Mum and Dad and my little brother Daniel. I quickly learnt that I have the travelling bug. During a few years in the army and undertaking a degree in International Studies, I have managed to make my way around the world (mostly by bicycle). However, it is such a privilege to be able to take you through my part of the world for this upcoming adventure.

Ricki and I are here to answer any questions you might have, from packing secrets to Kiwi slang. In saying that, try to stick to the packing list and go by the mantra 'less is more' (unless you have some great additions like speakers or games to bring for entertainment). We don't need to dress to impress - we all know family don't mind if you wear the same pants every day like Bart from The Simpsons. And hopefully that's what we will be soon enough - one big family!

Anticipation is truly one of the most exciting parts of travel and I cannot wait to meet you all.

Happy packing and safe travels getting down under - a super duper keen Jess.

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Author Jessica Posted