Flight day

The day I have been waiting for finally arrived today ‘flight day’. I’m not sure if I am the only one, but I had the whole ideal mapped out in my head.

1. Have my toast with vegemite for breakfast

2. Put on my carefully selected clothes

3. Arrive at the Canberra airport for a 7:35am departure to Brisbane “

4. Visit the TRS so I could claim my tax back for my tablet

5. Depart Brisbane and head to LA

But if only it was that easy,,, The only things that went right were the first 2 steps. (p.s. I did thoroughly enjoy the vegemite sandwich) At midnight I awoke to a text message from Virgin alerting me that I would no longer be flying to Brisbane but in fact Sydney and that I had to arrive at the airport 30mins earlier then intended… Okay that’s fine. It’s when I got to the airport that things got a little unhinged. One word ‘DELAYED’. Normally a delay wouldn’t bother me, but due to the delay I was told that LA would have to be put off till another day, as I would miss my adjoining flight.

Here I need to apologies, as recently when watching the news concerning flights being cancelled in and out of Bali due to the ash cloud, I was found saying “I would prefer the cancellation than risking anything whilst it is such bad conditions! Horray for safety measures”. I wanted to get on the plane. And now here is where I thank Virgin Australia. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANKYOU for finding a plane for me to board! (Back story: The plane was delayed due to the fog being so bad in Canberra overnight that no planes were able to flying into the airport… Besides one. One very special one which I was offered to board. MY SAVIOUR) Sure it was a rat race from one plane to the next, meaning no TRS for Jess L and only a split second for a toilet break (it was that intense!), but it has all been worth it, for as I write I am on the plane to the USA!

I also must admit that the plane has exceeded my expectations, for I am currently spread across 3 seats quite comfortably, enjoying a vodka and orange juice (big deal as I am not going to be legal in 10 hours!) , and surprisingly also the lunch meal; a mushroom tortellini I would happily eat again.

Next stop LA!


…The Philippines, Singapore, England & France…

What an amazing experience so far! I’ve been having a fantastic time seeing different places and meeting new people. Here’s a quick wrap up of the places I’ve been so far!

The Philippines 

Food, shopping, food, shopping, food, food & more food! Had a great time in Manila staying with a friend from school. Myself and another two friends from school spend just over a week with the crazy food being a real highlight! Filipino food is so flavoursome and varied. Some of the interesting dishes included:

– Tapang kalabaw (vinegar cured water buffalo)
– Camaro (fried crickets)
– Barute (fried frog stuffed with pork)
– Halo Halo – shaved ice w/ milk, sweetened plantains (banana), sweetened coconut
– Inasal Na Manok – BBQ chicken marinated in different spices (lemongrass & coconut vinegar)
– Banana-cue – fried plantanes (like banana) covered in sugar, fried again then skewered

Fried frog stuffed w/ porkCrickets


I absolutely fell in love with Singapore! The city was amazingly well organised, I just wandered and explored all day and night! I did a tour through the Asian Civilatiin Museum and saw the Singapore River then spent the rest of my time wandering the whole way around Marina Bay. I saw the Esplanade, the Merlion, Gardens by the Bay, the Fountain of Wealth & much more!

Gardens by the BayMerlion

London, England

Although I may not have made the most of the touristy aspect of London, I definitely had a great time there! I did a walking tour which included Buckingham Palace, Westmister Abbey & Houses of Parliament. I met a couple of people on the walking tour so we decided to do a London’s Gone Wild pub crawl which was great fun. I’m considering heading back to London to work and live in 2016 thanks to being able to study via distance through CSU while being overseas 🙂

Changing of the guards in London Buckingham Palace


I definitely enjoyed wandering around Paris but wow my legs were sore after a long day of sightseeing! We managed to see the Mona Lisa, explore the Louvre for a bit, see the Arc de Triumph and the outside of Notre Dame. After two nights in Paris we headed down to the Beaujolais Wine Region and stayed in a contiki chateau for a couple of night which was both fun and incredibly relaxing.

Contiki Chateau Eiffel Tower

Why not throw in a Contiki?


my first post was only 2 second ago and here I go again already!
I just thought I might give a little insight to my plans prior exchange. CONTIKI. It has not even begun yet but I feel as though I have already meet so many amazing and interesting people, I thank Contiki for the way they put us all in contact with each other. It is only an 8 day contiki starting on the 26th of July (SO SOON!), but I think it will give me the welcome I need into America, as well as a little confidence before I head to San Francisco where I intend to do a little solo exploring.

I will make sure that I give you all updates along the way, but here’s my itinerary so to give you a little idea 🙂

Meet Jessica S

Hi all!
So just a little about me…
I am a 3rd year business marketing student who up until now has been happily studying away at Charles Sturt University, however this semester there is going to be a little change, as I will heading to the U S of A!
As of the 11th of August I will have the honour to complete student exchange at Georgia College and State University, and I am currently in a world of excitement.

This blog will be dedicated to my journey and be governed by the fact that I allowed a long time dream to become a reality,1656117_760130243999061_697712718_n

A Larkin Abroad – First check in (of many)!

Here’s to checking in for the first flight ✈️✈️ of my adventure & my first post on the road (well more like in the air)! 🎉🎉🎉

Albury Airport Farewell

Albury Airport Farewell

First stop is Manila in the Philippines for the next week so I’ll post sometime while I’m there after I recover from the 10 hour wait in Sydney today. The words inspiring me for the start of my trip came from a mentor of mine, Graham Hill, who said something to the effect of:

“The aim is not to get experience. The aim is to have an experience!”