This week’s featured female traveler is Natasha Eaton of Unorganised Chaos.
Check out what she has to say on her bite by the travel bug, picking up and heading off with a group of women into Asia, and settling down with a job in Australia.
GGG: Welcome to Girls That Go! How did you got bitten with the travel bug?
I had always dreamed about travelling since I was a little girl – the world is so much bigger than people realise and we definitely should venture out and experience different cultures and climates at some point in our lives. I’ve always been lucky when it comes to travel – my parents and I didn’t tend to go on what you could call ‘conventional’ British holidays; no Spain, no Tenerife – my Mum chose Israel, Borneo, the Caribbean Islands, Dubai and Kenya as opposed to your standard package holiday to Europe. I’d always been grateful of this, not because I’m a travel snob, but it taught me to appreciate different environments and different ways of life from a very early age.
GGG: Tell us about your blog – Unorganised Chaos.
I started blogging after I’d graduated University back in 2012, starting Unorganised Chaos as a food and lifestyle blog, wanting somewhere to document my graduate life, experiments in the kitchen and the places I visited. I never dreamed that a year on I would primarily be writing about travel, even going as far as being nominated for an award for up and coming travel blogs!
GGG: You’re currently on a trip of a lifetime working in Australia after backpacking South East Asia! Was this something you always had planned for yourself?
I always knew I would travel more, I just never anticipated it to be so soon. I’d had a tough year after graduating, boy troubles etc., you know the deal! One morning I woke up and had a complete realisation; I’m in my early 20’s, in a job I don’t particularly want to be doing, living with somebody I don’t particularly want to be living with anymore and all my friends are planning their travels around the world – what the hell am I doing?! That moment of panic was all I needed; I called my parents, told them I was going to book a one way ticket to Bangkok with the girls and apply for my Australian working holiday visa. Of course, it wasn’t that simple – I needed some money. I continued working until a week before I flew to Thailand, sold practically everything I hadn’t worn or used within the past three months on eBay and saved up every penny possible. Eventually I got there and on 11th September, I flew to Bangkok.
GGG: Having the guts to give up the realities of a comfortable life and go follow your dreams is amazing. What’s been a couple of highlights on the trip so far?
I had visited Thailand before with my parents years ago, we’d gone to Hua Hin and done the whole family holiday thing with a couple of days in Bangkok visiting the floating markets and the temples. This time it was a bit different – 5 girls let loose in Asia with no real plan; but what I soon learnt was that plans were rarely stuck to anyway! We made our way across the Thailand islands (from Bangkok we made our way to Phuket, Phi Phi, Koh Phangan), through Cambodia and Vietnam (mostly on overnight buses), flew across to Singapore for 24 hours before ending our time in Asia with two weeks in Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands. Two flew home, the remaining three of us ventured across to Australia after 8 weeks of adventures. So all of it has been a highlight, really! Vietnam was by far my favourite place, with Cambodia a close second. I felt pretty ignorant; I knew a little about the history of each place but not a lot about what was actually there. Both have so much to do and so much to offer and are, in my opinion, a must visit for anybody.
GGG: Has it been hard to settle into working life in Australia?
I arrived in Australia in November, unsure of what to expect; I had wanted to see the Sydney Opera House and hold a koala for as long as a I can remember but hadn’t thought about actually living there for a year. I spent a couple of weeks in Perth enjoying the beach lifestyle before having 6 weeks working in Melbourne, then on to Sydney for another 6 weeks of beaches and partying. I have just spent three weeks roadtripping in a little campervan with three of my close friends from Sydney all the way up the East Coast to Cairns – a trip I would urge people visiting Australia to do, especially in a campervan. I’m now back in Melbourne, working again and saving up to head off on my next adventure – hopefully to New Zealand and Fiji in a few months time. It has been amazing.
GGG: What words of encouragement do you have for other girls frustrated at the 9-5 life?
I didn’t come travelling to ‘find myself’ or to try and create a new life away from the stresses I left behind in dreary England; I simply woke up one morning and thought, am I happy with what I am doing right now? The answer told me all I needed to know. I’ve not only learned more about the things I want in life than I thought possible, but I have met some of the greatest people on the way. Life passes by too quickly to not be enjoying what you’re doing and that spontaneous, risky decision was the best choice I could have made.
Thanks a lot, Natasha!