Heilung – live in Melbourne

Heilung is an experimental folk music band made up of members from Denmark, Norway, and Germany. Their music is based on texts and runic inscriptions from Germanic peoples of the Iron Age, and Viking Age.

  • drums, including one with horse skin painted with human blood, two drums with deerskin and a drum with goatskin
  • bones, including a human forearm bone and deer bones
  • a buffalo horn rattle
  • a clay rattle with human ashes
  • a Hindu ritual bell
  • antiques from temples
  • a reconstructed silver cup from the Viking age

Grant workshop yields fruit at The Vine

“I’m delighted that Jimmy Ladgrove’s participation in the grant-writing workshops I hosted last year has led to a $67,100 grant to build up his family’s North Wangaratta hotel as a go-to, COVID-safe live music venue.

I visited Jimmy and his parents Ian and Cathy at their 160-year-old Vine Hotel this week to congratulate them, and to talk about the work the Live Music Venues Program grant has helped to fund. 

The Vine has long had a high reputation for supporting live music and local performers. The grant has helped to pay for a new outdoor stage with sound and lighting, an outdoor kitchen and all-access toilet.

Jimmy told me the application was the first he’d made. ‘I attended your grant workshop which helped give me more of a understanding about grants and ensuring, most importantly, that you’re eligible before you apply. I saw all the resources on your website to find grants and support for small business to help us through COVID. It was a great tool and it’s there I came across the Live Music Venues Program grant from Creative Victoria.’

What a great outcome! As Jimmy says, the new works will boost live music at The Vine and help audiences stay COVID-safe. The funds also helped the family employ seven new staff.

You can find more information about grant resources on my website and through Indi Funding Finder.”

PHOTOGRAPH: With The Vine Hotel’s Jimmy Ladgrove in the hotel’s historic cellar, where the family is planning another project  to tell the building’s 160-year history.

Shear off video on BBC news

I did not expect to make UK BBC News , thank you to BBC Radio Bristol & Jonathan David Holmes for piecing this together and getting men talking! 📰 🇬🇧 👨🏻

BBC Shear off video

Bristol man’s 15-inch beard shaved for mental health charity

Ten years ago, Jimmy Ladgrove’s friend Deek took his own life in Albury, Australia.

The event had a profound effect on Jimmy, from Bristol, who recently shaved his 15-inch (38cm) long beard off to raise money for the male health charity Movember.

Before the trim, Jimmy hadn’t shaved his beard for some five years. 

The facial hair which was cut off was then proudly mounted on a plaque by his parents.

If you have been affected by this story, the BBC Action Line has guidance and support on suicide and bereavement.

#ShaveTheDate #Movember

You can donate here .


I started growing my beard in Australia 5 years ago and together we’ve been through the highs and lows that come with life. Beards are known to be a mans most personal possession & I’m proud of the dedication, patience and perseverance it has taken me grow such a magnificent one. Having gone through the grief that comes with losing a friend through suicide, I am doing my bit to promote mental health and wellbeing & help reduce the stigma surrounded by it. I’m brave enough to admit that I’ve held things in when going through hard times. I have suffered with anxiety & at times rather than opening up to my mates, I would open a bottle instead.

Suicide is the leading cause of young deaths in the UK, 75% of which are men. In Australia it remains the leading cause of death for people aged between 15 and 44. Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, Too many men are ‘toughing it out’, keeping their feelings to themselves and struggling in silence. The Movember Foundation is aiming to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25% by 2030, and I want to help them get there. Help me stop men dying too young. In Australia 85 per cent of the population know someone who has died by suicide. From the tradies, doctors, farmers to the members of our LGBTI communities, many have died because they didn’t know how to ask for support when they needed it most. They could see no end to the pain they were living, other than to die. The stereotype that most Aussie males struggle to live up to: The tough, unflinching and unemotional bloke who loves being with his mates and can drink like a sailor. When he’s feeling the pinch, he keeps it to himself. Many Australian & British men are not good at dealing with poor mental health and unfortunately this tips them into a downward spiral of hopelessness, poor decision making and poor resilience to day to day life stresses. SOMETHING’S GOTTA CHANGE. Talk, Ask, Listen, Encourage action, Check in!

Coach Trip Day 3 – Bilbao, Spain

Day 3 on the coach & after milking some sheep Brendan has blown the budget on a boat party! Day 3 also saw the arrivals of two of my favourite girls, Blonde bombshell’s Pearl & Ruby Day from east London.

I guess you could say I got a little excited with the two new arrivals on the coach and got caught up in the moment. I noticed Brendan was hanging to the side so I decided to twerk on him. I’m not sure whether he liked it but was definitely one of my finest TV moments.

The Boat wasn’t all fun though, It was a rough ride with almost everyone getting some sort of sea sickness! The mixture of booze, excitement and having won the swimming race made me feel very nauseous. Poor Jodie copped it the worst.



Jimmy coach trip

Coach Trip Road to Tenerife originals day 3


Coach Trip Day 1- Biarritz, France

Biarritz, is an elegant seaside town on southwestern France’s Basque coast, it has been a popular resort since European royalty began visiting in the 1800s. It’s also a major surfing destination, with long sandy beaches and surf schools.

Today was the first day we all met. Jodie was unsure of me at first thanks to my massive beard and I thought if we don’t get along we aint going to last a day on the coach.

It was an amazing first day.

Coach Trip Road To Tenerife Bristol Post Interview


Paddle Boarding on the south of France


Sliding into the first episode like.


The start of many new friendships

Road To Tenerife

First vote of the Season.

Jimmy & Jodie Coach Trip Road to Tenerife

Jimmy & Jodie Coach Trip Road to Tenerife

Coach Trip road to Tenerife originals

Coach Trip Road to Tenerife original cast

Coach Trip Road To tenerife

Jimmy Ladgrove on Coach Trip

Why You Should Stop Spending on Material Goods and Spend Your Cash on Travelling

Rewind 5 years ago and if you were to check my bank statement you’d see a revolting amount of transactions from ASOS, ZARA, TOPMAN, MYER, DAVID JONES. Yup I’d admit that I was sucked into the consumerism, trying to keep up with the latest trends. It was my high, I would get a rush from shopping, gaining new things I really didn’t need at all. I’d work 2 jobs just to fund my lifestyle of shopping, Online & In store. Needing the latest gadgets or new seasons clothes. Thinking back , It’s scary to think of just how addicted I was. I remember the high I would get while browsing, trying things on, if someone fits and its on sale Id then buy and have almost instant buyers remorse when I got home. Thankfully that stage of my life is over. Not surprisingly it took me to moving to other countries to realise just how excessive I was living. Although I am proud of the fact that I never borrowed money or had a credit card to buy things. I’ve been working hard since I was 14 & always saved for what I wanted, including my first car.

Putting an end to my excessive spending took some willpower and a lot of self discipline, I’m so glad that I did it though, no looking back.

Australia is a very wealthy nation & I didn’t realise just how wealthy we were until I left.

It Makes You More Interesting

Lets face it, you’re going to end up in a conversation with someone new, trying to make small talk. I’ve found everyone finds travelling an interesting topic. Whether they dream of travelling or not, chances are you’ll have a collection of interesting stories to tell. If you’re a good story teller it can be fun retelling travel stories and seeing peoples reactions.

It Gets Your Creative Juices Flowing

I’d heard this statement before I started travelling & I can vouch for this one. Being a budding writer/filmaker I knew if there was one thing that was going to inspire me and get those creative juices flowing it is going to be travel! It certainly has, from the characters you meet along the way, to the vivid memories of places, Travel stretches your brain in a way that books just can’t.

You’ll Satisfy Your Curiosity

I know for sure I have always been curious about the world, theres only so many travel shows you can watch and so many travel magazines to flick through before you realise you’ve just got to see it for yourself. It can be really satisfying reaching that destination you’ve envisioned in your mind for so long. I remember seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, It was a bizarre feeling. I’d seen it so many times on TV and in books ect. I was there thinking here I am, now what. It was strangely satisfying. It makes you realise you really can do anything you set your mind to. So don’t forget to keep dreaming big.

You Will Become More Independent

Trust me on this one. When you’re out there on your own in a foreign country with no family, you really have no choice than to be fiercely independent. You are held responsible for all your actions and finances. It has been a great learning curve for me, from learning to adjust to a new currency, to budgeting and adapting to new cultures and people.

You Will Break Free From Your Comfort Zone

Travelling around the world has a way of helping people grow up or helping lost souls find themselves. Once you have travelled outside of your own country, daily routine and comfort zone, it will become easier to relax, slow down and just enjoy life.

“Travel makes you modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

I still believe travel is the best investment in life. It’s the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

My tip is to invest in a quality wardrobe, one that will all squeeze into a suitcase.


The best travel bank cards

I’ve used quite a few different travel cards over the years!

These are my two favourites. Firstly the Qantas cash card, If you are travelling from Australia abroad. You can load up to 10 major currencies onto it. There is no fee to top up. It has a great easy to use app to go along with it. You can easily top up from your bank via transfer , or Bpay. International cash withdrawals are reasonably priced! There are no hidden nasty fees. You also earn qantas points on your spending. I used this card to transfer my whole amount of savings when moving to AUS-UK.

Available Currencies. AUD,USD, GBP, SGD, EUR, NZD, HKD, JPY, CAD, THB, AED



Secondly, If you are living and working in the UK, don’t be tricked by your banks flashy adverts saying to use your card oversees. It will cost you every transaction as well as a conversion fee. You won’t know just how much they have taken until the end of the month! I learnt the hard way in France, had around 100 pounds in fees taken out in my 10 days there.

The go to card is MONZO, it is fairly new, coming out in 2016, it is still in its Beta stage. It comes with an amazing app to track your spending, its not only great to use in the UK, but also abroad with NO fees abroad what so ever. This card saved me loads on recent trips to Italy and the Netherlands. The card is free, there may still be a waiting list. You just have to top up with an initial 100 pounds and they will send you the card. You can also easily instantly transfer money via the app to your mates. In the app you can set spending targets and it will send you push notifications if you are close to your spending targets ect! I couldn’t recommend it any more



British Beard Championships 2016

I attended THE British Beard championships on the weekend. This was my first ever competition. The comp started back in 2012 in Brighton, this year it was in Liverpool. I travelled from Bristol to attend.

It is now one of the biggest in the world coming second to the one in the USA. People come from all corners of the globe , although mainly Europe. I was the only one who was entering from Australia. 


Hundreds of hairy hopefuls like myself battled it out in 20 categories including Musketeer, Amish/Whaler, Handlebar, Fake and Freestyle. They even have a category for women & children.

Upon entering the amazing St Georges Hall my beard was measured for the first time. It was right on 12inches. It meant I had a few categories I could choose from. one being full natural beard over 12 inches with styled moustache , or full natural beard under twelve inches with styled moustache. Although I don’t normally style my moustache I thought I would for the special occasion. I was going to go into over 12 inches styled moustache but learnt there were only two other competitors in that category. That meant I had a guaranteed place. I thought theres not much fun in that so entered into the one with 15 other men.

 Although I didn’t get a place, I had a really great weekend which starts on the friday at the pre party, continues all day saturday well into the night, and then another gathering on the sunday. People gathered from all around the world and there were around 150 competing.

 I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t get a place as I got to meet a lot of really interesting people including my idol Michael Legge who is the current British championship holder. Liverpool is also a city I’ve wanted to visit since moving to the UK its a great vibrant, beautiful city with a lot of interesting history. 



UPFEST 2016 Bristol

upfest logogs

Upfest is Europes largest Street Art and Graffiti Festival. In 2016 over 700 artists registered their interest for a spot in the festival. 300 are chosen. It is held in Bedminster which is south of the river. About a 15 minute walk from the centre of Bristol.

It’s my favourite festival in Bristol, It runs for 3 days is at the end of July. The artists basically paint over the whole street, from humungous landmark Buildings such as the Tobacco factory , to shop shutters. It’s great as you get to watch the artists live. It’s a great atmosphere and there is loads of street vendors,  selling all sorts of tasty treats and merch. As well as great live music

UPfest 2016 , Bristol England from james ladgrove on Vimeo.







The truth about Hostels

I think hostels get a bad rap. It may just be the name, I remember working at Blockbuster Video as a young teenager when this R 18+ horror movie was released called Hostel, it freaked me out. When travelling the  biggest expense other than maybe airfares is accommodation. Depending on your length of travel and budget, you may be interested in a luxurious room with all the amenities, spa bar and room service. I myself personally didn’t quit my job and travel to the other side of the world to relax and indulge myself in this way. I do choose to slum it in some ways but not all. It’s all about finding the right balance. I am not made of money , I didn’t come from money,  I did however earn all my money. How I choose to spend it is up to me. I don’t see the value at all in forking out large sums of money for a nice room that I won’t actually be spending much time in. I choose hostels as they offer all I need at a very good price and location. Often I just want a place I can put my bags, take a nap, charge my phone & have a shower. If you don’t like the idea of sharing a room with what are yes , complete strangers. You could perhaps opt in for private room. They are a lot more expensive, but are still a lot more affordable then hotels.
Location. The truth is, more often then not, hostels are located in really great areas. Often all they are is very old run down hotels that are now ineligible of any kind of star rating.  For example in San Francisco I was staying at a hostel next to the 5 star hilton. The location was absolutely amazing. Sure my suitcase didn’t fit in the elevator but Yolo, the wifi was fast.
Although I am overall very Pro Hostel. They ain’t all good. Thanks to a lot of the booking websites it is now very easy to divide the good from the damn right ugly. The booking website have a rating system that allows you to view honest opinions from recent guest. They rate everything from the staff, cleanliness to location & wifi speed. The websites only allow you to rate after staying there, so you know they are legit views.
Tips: If you are planning on visiting a place in peak season, such as NYE, summer or perhaps there is a major festival happening there. I do recommend on booking well in advance where possible. other then that my suggestion is not to book in advance at all. More times then not I have got a last minute deal from the night before. A lot of the hostels palm off there unsold rooms to various websites that go on to slash the price often 50% off or more. This is great if you are a spontaneous traveller.
Super Tip! If travelling off-peak. (think English Winter) go ahead and book that 10-15 mixed dorm. It will be bargain price & chances are you could be the only one in there. This has actually happened to me! In Birmingham and Cardiff, Wales. I got a room for 10 pounds and I was the only one in there. I saved some serious mola. Hola!
Cheeky tip. If its the weekend and your in a city where you know you are going to go out. Book the cheapest room, lock up all of your stuff, get out on the town, get your boogie on & chances are you won’t be sleeping at all or will end up in someone else’s house. Often a lot comfier then the hostel beds. 😉
Beware;  Be  careful of the extra cost associated with your room. Perhaps they don’t offer complimentary towels. Maybe the Wifi ain’t free. Maybe the checkout time is 7am. Always read the fine print or you it might cost you as much as a night at the Hilton around the corner.
My favourite thing about hostels is of course the people you meet! When your renting out a bed in a 10 bed dorm, if my maths is correct theres a potential that you are able to make 9 new friends! You meet people from all over the world, if your plans are often flexi like mine, it can be fun to tag along and get some ideas from your fellow dorm buddies. With 10 beds in a room there is the obvious downside of potential snorers, or people that stank, or chat on their phone, come home at random times, alarm clocks with 5 min snooze intivals.



Hostels also put on a various range of events if you are lucky! from crawls to pasta nights. When I was in paris my hostel put on a cheese and wine tasting night for free. I vomited it all up in my dorm ensuite later that night.

Dear Jennifer Aniston..

I remember working a major event in Beverly hills. It was at the CEO of sony pictures house. Her estate was so big she had another house next to hers just to host private parties. This party was the sony pictures golden globe pre party. The guest list was absolutely ridiculous. Although I didn’t know who would turn up before I started. I was told there was going to be a lot of A-listers. It kept the night interesting as I never knew who would show up next.
To name a few of the guest.
J-Lo, Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio , Adam Sandler, Liam Patric harris.
My job for the night was to approach guests and offer them a drink. As it was a crowded house, guests may be stuck talking to other guest and not have a chance to go to the bar. I also to pass around hordeuves.
I remember when Jennifer arrived as you could see the head turns from fellow party goers. It’s like you could hear whispers in the air. I wasn’t quite up to date with my hollywood goss and I wasn’t sure if Jennifer was single or in a relationship at the time. She was chatting, or what seemed like exchanging secrets, to Bradley Cooper for quite a few hours.
Trying my best to keep my cool,  I remember approaching Jennifer with my warm aussie smile. Hello Ladies, can I offer you any food, or get you a drink. I remember Jennifer not even acknowledging me, not even a no thank you. What I will never forget was the stare she gave me , she then turned her head until I walked away. I walked away embarrassed, like a sad little puppy with his tail between his legs. I remember thinking to myself, starve yourself then you ungrateful thang. I soon got over it. It just left me shattered as she was infact my favourite Hollywood Actress. I had just a few weeks prior purchased the complete box set of friends on Blu ray from warner brothers studios. It was kind of just a bit of a let down. Even If I had got a smile and a no thank you it probably would have made my night.. She was at the party till the end. I didnt see her drink or eat anything. Which makes me wonder. Is she really even human? She was however as stunning , petite and absolutely flawless as  I imagined.
Dear Jennifer,
Although you left this 21 year old feeling shattered after that night in Beverely Hills, I just want you to know that I have forgiven you for not having any manners or common courtesy. I realise that not everyone is raised the same. Growing up my mother told me that manners don’t cost anything so its not that you couldn’t afford to be polite to me. I understand you probably go to loads of private VIP party’s in Beverely Hills, and are sick of young people just trying to do their job. I was payed the minimum wage to ensure your night goes well & you don’t die of thirst or hunger. I wasn’t going to ask you for a photo, I wasn’t going to spike your drink, I wasn’t even going to tell you that you were my favourite actress. I was simply just offering you some delicious food , food that my dear chef friend had been preparing for days prior to your arrival. I understand you may not have been hungry or even thirsty , in fact I noticed you didn’t have a drink the whole night. I was starting to wonder if you were going to dehydrate , but then I remembered that massive billboards around Santa Monica BLVD of you promoting Vitamin Water. I imagine you have plenty in your fridge and drank so much of the water before you arrived to the party that you were simply just not thirsty at all. I’d like to offer you my sincere apology for approaching you politely that evening. I’ll just have you know that a simple no thank you or, a nod to say no would have been fine. Jennifer Lopez said to me ‘no thank you sweetie’. That would have been sufficient. I’d like you to know that I am still a fan of you work and it was pleasant to see you in the flesh. I look forward to seeing you in the future. Yours truly, that naive little 21 year old Australian. xo

What’s 14hrs in Emirates Business class like? (MELB-DXB)

So here I am… at the airport.I don’t even know what my body or mind is doing to me. I can honestly say I’ve never been so scared in my life. Some voice in my head keeps saying are you crazy what are you even doing. The other voice is saying, this is exactly what you wanted. This was your dream, you thought about this day for many many years. I’m feeling sooooo excited, but also petrified, nervous, everything in between. Excuse me if I have made it look easy but this is the hardest thing I have ever done. Shout out to all my family and friends for supporting me & helping me get this far. When I came back from the USA I said to mum I don’t want a house, I just want to travel for the rest of my life. Now here I am with 5 different currencies in my wallet, a 1 way ticket in business class to the other side of the world. My life is in a 30KG suitcase. I am leaving some amazing people behind but my Ol mate Bear Grylls once said, Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I just have to say be bloody careful what you think about as it will become reality if you think about it enough. I hope everyones dreams also come true. #thinkbelieveachieve xx


Greetings from 10668m up in the air just casually flying at 828km/h on this fine Friday night. If you ever wonder what a $6,999 business class ticket gets you. Here we go. It’s everythang. My seat turns into a full on bed but who even wants to sleep when you have an open bar. Sipping on Hennessy XO & Chivas 18. Had a 3 course meal; salmon and steak. It’s Friday why not pull an all nighter an mangle with the millionaires. ✈ did I mention the super fast wifi . Who even knows where it’s even coming from. I kinda feel sorry for the 400 people in Povo economy below me #awkies . Emirates you win.

How to Save for travel. Tips, suggestions, dos & dont’s

1) To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.

The most important yet challenging aspect of planning your travel Is not just trying to work out how much money you will need, but how on earth you are going to get it. The first step I took was when I told myself that I am going. I may be at zero now, but I can and will get there.It can be quite a challenge to curb those spending habits you may have had for years even decades! A lot of people do want to travel. It can be quite a daunting experience trying to work out how much you will infact need.

2)My biggest tip would be to just stop where you are and have a look at everything you have right now. Be grateful for everything currently in your life. Whether it be your health & even if you don’t necessarily like it, be grateful if you have a job. Be grateful that you have a bed to sleep in. Dwell in the thought that you can in-fact change your whole lifestyle and surroundings! The power is within you, & you only. I have always been a live for the moment kind of person. I am an experience junky! I know how to work hard for what I want to obtain, but I also occasionally wish I could just have it all right away. It really is easier said then done though. Although everyones circumstances will be different, It takes a lot of willpower to change your habits and work towards a big goal. Good things do take time, you have to remember this. The grass may not always be greener on the other side, but you may as well find out for yourself.

3) So have a look at your surroundings, what are you working with?  how can you take what you currently have and use it to help you get closer to achieving your dreams? It might be that you already own your car, perfect! You were one step ahead of me. Use that car to drive yourself to your first job, 2nd job, you might have 3 jobs. Live in a city with transport? Ditch that car. Get a metro card.

It may be that you already have a passport! Start small, get that passport, its a few hundred dollars. Save up for that few hundred dollars & just get that darn passport coz you going travelling baby!.

4) Trim the fat. I’m sure I’m not the only one that had obtained quite a few spending habits over the years. My weaknesses were, clothes shopping, eating out, & drinking! Very expensive habits indeed. It wasn’t easy to kick these habits I’m not going to lie. In fact I couldn’t actually muster up the courage to completely ditch them. I did however learn how to find the balance. I learned to track & become more aware of my spending. I told myself, ok , Jimmy you want to continue to buy clothes, for what? They’re re not going to all fit in your suitcase. So I told myself, every item I buy from now on must be beneficial to me and be useful with my upcoming travel plans. This state of mind really made me think twice whenever I seen an ASOS sale, or was feeling impulsive in the store. I do have expensive taste. I got together a collection of high quality staples. Quality not quantity is everything when you are limited only a few bags and a certain amount of Kg’s!

5) Budget App! We are so lucky these days, with the amount of help your smart phone and computers can save you. I stumbled across a really great budget app! I tracked absolutely every cent I spent. When you do this it makes you become more aware of your spending habits. Just how much all those coffee and cakes add up to at the end of the month, you would be surprised!

The app I used, allowed me to enter saving goals! This app shows you pie graphs, line graphs, monthly, weekly , & fortnightly spendings. It really was a game changer for me when it came to saving.

6) Another tip is to just work. Work so much you don’t even have time to spend. Work two jobs, work mornings and nights like I did. Weekends also. Just keep working, work now play later. Delayed gratification. Know it will pay off. And take my word for it, it really does!  Find some free hobbies to do in between, whether it be writing, reading or listening to music.

7) Continue to be inspired! Its important while you are sacrificing the easy life, busting your balls for that dollar,  you must remain inspired! Tell yourself how much you want it. Get Instagram, follow travel accounts, look up random hashtags of the places you dream of visiting. Picture yourself there, scroll through the instagram photos and envision yourself at Times Square, Trafalgar Square or Federation Square, whatever square. Stare at that little instagram square and be inspired, it can and will be you. If you believe!

8) Dream buddies! I think this is also extremely important! having someone you can continue to talk about your hopes and dreams to while you are working on making them a reality! Although some people in your circles may not understand why it is you want to wander off. You shouldn’t have to look very hard to find someone like minded. Even if they share different goals they can still be helpful in motivating you and listening to you. I had my sister in law that has travelled a lot , we would get coffee and cake together and talk about all the amazing places we wanted to visit. I also had my sister I was living with, she would be very intrigued and envious. My Aunty would also be happy and excited for me.

9) If your anything like me , a social butterfly & enjoy the nightlife, don’t mind a boogie here and there. You may find it hard to give that part of your life up. You don’t have to completely give it up. Just sober up a little bit! I would go out and drink tonic water. I saved thousands over 18months doing this!  Besides can you imagine how amazing it would be to see clubs all over the world. Do dry July , Ocsober, donate all the money to your travel account!  Your welcome

10) Set a realistic timeframe. Interesting fact is that I actually booked my flight before I had actually saved any spending money! If that doesn’t motivate you to save then I don’t know what will! It might sound strange but it worked for me! Just by booking my one way flight , it was set in concrete in my brain. So every decision thereafter should benefit my travel goals. It worked.


The harder you work , the luckier you get.

Delay major purchases, think about them for 30 days. Do you really need that new car?  I was literally driving grandmas car around when I was saving. How cool am I ?


A Budget app helped me track my spending and save.
A Budget app helped me track my spending and save.


Adjusting to the Pound wage

Adjusting to a different currency can be quite confusing! You would have most likely come over to the new country with some cash already converted. working out the value of everyday items such as food, transport, accommodation can be quite an interesting and occasionally daunting task!

It is hard not to work out in your head how much everything is in your local currency. For example this pint of beer would only cost me X amount back home. Or why was that taxi so expensive.

It is hard not to do. It wasn’t until I started earning a pound wage that I could finally start working out the real value of everything. I worked 1hour to pay for this lunch. That taxi fare cost me 1.5 hours of work.

It does take time. I’ve found everyday items are actually quite affordable. My 6.50 wage can actually buy me quite a lot of food in the supermarket!

The truth is though, if you were to convert your wage back to AUD it would convert to a below minimum wage back in Australia. This is something you just have to deal with. A sacrifice. Your wage may be lower here, but you might find the quality of life more interesting and the people better. The culture may be with the lower wage.

The fact is , you’re not alone, if your fellow co workers can survive on this wage, then so can you! It takes sacrificing, chat to your fellow workers, friends you meet for money-saving tips!

One of my favourite things to do is to see how other people live, how other people spend their money, how they survive.

So how much do you get?

Bar job: 6.50 (no holidays or sick pay)  + occasional tips, though nothing major.

Office job: 8.00 (holidays & sick included)

Events job: 10.00 (cash, no tax withheld)

What I tell myself is , What price can you put on being able to access such a vast range of beautiful european countries.

I also remind myself I didn’t go travelling to get rich. A lot of the experiences you have while travelling are certainly money can’t buy. I can’t put a price on some of the amazing memories i’ve created & the beautiful people you come across.

transport cost

11pounds for bus from Bristol – London . Booked day of leaving. 2.5 hours, 1 Stop.

the pound can go far

the pound can go far

2 years in Melbourne (the worlds most liveable city)

I moved to Melbourne when I was around 18 years old. It was a big move for me. Being born and raised in small town country Victoria, Melbourne was about 4 hours away from my family. I visited Melbourne a fair bit growing up, school excursions were often there. My dad would take me to the football occasionally. It wasn’t until I turned 18 and I went to Melbourne to party like a rockstar that I decided I’d like to live there. I managed to get a job transfer as I worked for a corporate electronics company that was based in Melbourne.
I packed up my little bags, donated my car & I was on my way. Thankfully I had an uncle that owns many houses in the lovely inner city suburb of Richmond. He would rent out the rooms to backpackers or students. I loved this, I got to choose my housemates, I would find them on websites, take them through the various houses ect. The location of the houses is spectacular, very close to city, nice nightlife, close to all the arenas every thing is only a short walk away!
I absolutely loved living in a share house. Being 1 of 6, I was used to sharing everything growing up and not having much privacy. The people I lived with truly inspired me to travel! These travellers would come alone or with a friend, Just pack up and leave from the other side of the world. I loved the thought of this. We would exchange stories and inspire each other.
What I love most about Melbourne.
The food,
Melbourne is such a multicultural city there is so many delicious cuisines to try. I enjoy trying different food and would often go on food hunts. They also have great markets with fresh produce

Melbourne is known for its music. Melbournians love their live music. This city doesn’t disappoint, there are many venues that have live music all the time. Many international artist visit Rod Lava arena & select few superstars fill out the big Etihad stadium. You will see buskers on some streets, some better than others.

The shopping.
The shopping is really the best in Australia. You could easily spend a day at chadstone shopping centre. I love the botique stores down chapel st in South Yarra. I spent a lot of my time shopping.

The night life
Melbourne night life is really buzzing, the states liquor licenses allow some venues to keep open till 10am , so you really can party till the sun comes up. They have something for everyone, laid back pubs with local live music. A great nightclub scene. As well as a select few gay venues.

The transport. If you live in the inner city like I did, It’s great that you don’t need a car. The transport is pretty reliable with services going fairly often. Richmond was great as it was a transport hub that connected you to most of Melbourne. I found it value for money with my student card. I was paying around $15 a week. It has since gone up to around $18. Melbournes MYKI system allows you to have 1 card for all busses, trains & trams.

It is a walkable city.
I love that it is very walk and bike friendly. I love exploring cities by foot and Melbourne really allows for this.

Sport. If you love sport, then yes Melbourne is known for its sport. It has more sport than any other city in Australia. I am not so much a fan of sport but did enjoy going to the Australian Open a few times. I don’t mind an AFL game here and there to have a perv and get amongst the Aussie culture that they take so seriously.

I can certainly see why Melbourne is highly regarded as one of the most liveable cities. I really enjoyed my two years here! I do see myself living back in Melbourne when I am older.

My first year in Melbourne I worked full time. The following year I did full-time study with a part time job. I studied Screen and media in Collingwood. For one of my projects I created this video on the suburb Melbourne. Its a few years old but gives you an idea.

It stars me, I also edited it & did the voice over.

My UK Ancestry Visa experience

apple-news-follow-hero copyUpdated Jan 2017

Call me crazy but I’ve just obtained a long term Visa in a country I’ve never even been to.

To a country where I don’t know anyone.

Why not?

I obtained a Visa to a country I’ve always dreamed of visiting. This Visa allows me to live and work in the UK basically permanently. 5 years & then I can get dual citizenship. That’s where it gets exciting. If I become a British national it opens up many more doors. It allows me to work within the EU, which is approx, 26 other countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Greece to name a few. Wow. Thank you Grandma. I was so stoked when I worked out I was eligible for this type of visa.

Yeah it’s nothing new that plenty of Australians flock over to the UK on working Visas. Being apart of the commonwealth etc. The Australian government has a mutual agreement, which allows any Australian citizen under 30 without children to work an live in the UK for up to 2 years. Yeah that sounds ok, although my dreams are bigger than just 2 years.

Lets do this.

The criteria on the UKVI website seemed pretty straightforward. You just needed to have a grandparent born in the UK, easy. So I went round to see Grandma and asked her what documents she had as it said you needed original birth certificates / marriage certificates & everything in between. Grandma was born in Edinburgh Scotland; she had her British passport but that’s it. She is an Australian resident but remained a British Citizen. So on I went to chase down them documents. Grandma had told me that all the records are held at summer set house in London.

A few Google searches later and I found out this had changed a long time ago. I was told to order at another website & did so. Paid my money and waited anxiously for it to arrive. My money was refunded a few weeks later & I received an email stating that all Scotland Births & deaths are now held in Scotland. I was referred to another website. Scotland’s People. I paid a few dollars and searched up my Grandmas name. It came up, hurray! That means I could then order an official extract of her birth certificate. I did so, it was surprisingly cheap! Around $17AUD and that included international postage! Bargain I thought.

I waited many, many weeks for it to arrive. Actually was a month and a half. There was a warning on the website at the time that said they were experiencing higher than normal request and to expect delays. This was to do with the whole Scotland’s Independence drama that was happening at the time.

The next document I needed were marriage certificates to prove the relation through your family tree. In my case it was my Mums Mum. So I needed to show proof of name changes. I ordered my Grandmas marriage Certificate from BDM in Melbourne as she married an Australian in Melbourne. This cost me around $40 and came within a week.

Next were my mum’s marriage certificate & her birth certificate, something that was so tattered I’m surprise they accepted it.

I had all my documents together! Finally. This type of visa restricts you from applying until up to 3 months of your intended travel. It strongly suggests you don’t plan or book any flights or accommodation until you have the visa. I had booked my 1 way ticket in May and I wasn’t leaving until Dec. I did this because I knew with whatever happened I could still go on at least a holiday.

I figured If I booked my 1 way flight then I would stop procrastinating and make this a reality.

So the time was right, I logged onto the UKVI website and started to fill out my Visa application. A process that wasn’t very easy. There were a lot of questions as expected but a lot were confusing and may as well been open questions. With the finance part It asked about your living cost and income but asked for it in GBP which I found a little confusing.

The fact sheet they offer you as a guide only in what documents to include in support of your application. Again this was confusing as it basically made you guess what documents would be useful for your application. As there are so many different types of visas, how was I to know what was needed for the Ancestry? It didn’t say anywhere. I did a few Google searches on other people’s experiences with the Ancestry Visa. Found some hints and tips.

Here is a copy of the checklist I included in my application.

I put all my documents in a display folder.

Everything I included in my Application. Better safe then sorry.

Everything I included in my Application. Better safe then sorry.

After I submitted my online application, I booked in to have my Biometrics in Melbourne a few days after.

My experience here was not what I had expected. I thought it would have been more personal to be honest. Instead it was just an office lady taking my documents, sealing them taking my photo and fingerprints and then shipping them off to the Philippines for processing.

When applying for my US working Visa, my application was a bit more personal and face-to-face.

This to be honest put me not at ease with my application as I thought I would be able to explain some answers in my application.

I am not going to lie when I say it was the longest 2 weeks of my life, awaiting an answer. I did rush the application a bit in excitement as I had waited so long for my grandma’s documents from Scotland I just wanted to be done with it already. After I lodge my documents, I remembered when it asked me how long I intend to stay in the UK for I put 5 plus years. Oppsie! I thought it would get declined on this alone. Even though my visa is for 5 years with an option to extend I was basically saying I was going to stay longer than my current visa I was applying for. However this must have been overlooked.

I was stressing over the finance part too. I had put down how much I knew I would have when I was leaving, you can earn a lot of money in 3 months. I put down the amount I knew I would definitely have when I arrive in the UK, factoring in my current income. It wasn’t the amount I had at the time of the application. I was stressing over this too. As I thought it might come across as dishonest as my bank statements would prove different to the amount of funds I said I would have for this trip.

But again this must not have mattered.

There were questions that scared me in the application. Like do you know anyone in the UK? Nope. Do you have a job in the UK? Nope. Where will you be living in the UK? I don’t know, I put down a hostel address I had booked for NYE.

So yes there were quite a few reasons why I was stressing. It all worked out though & I got approved first go! Luckily as it is not the cheapest if you were to attempt a few times!

I decided against paying hundreds of dollars extra for some company to help me. I got this, I thought to myself I did this by my self for even a stricter country USA & got approval.

I was at ease at knowing it was a case by case basis as I did think my application would come across as pretty suss (having a pretty big beard also). I think the fact that I worked for the Australian government helped & that an American Visa was also in my passport must have worked in my favour also.

So my tips are …

Don’t stress. Actually I take that back. Stress every day until you get your damn passport back like I did. It’s a stressful time, I feel sorry for other applicants that have to wait months for their decisions! Don’t expect to find your decision emailed to you either. Due to privacy they aren’t allowed. Don’t worry about ringing the hotline either. They aren’t aloud to tell you either. You basically just have to kick back, have a drink, or Valium whatever relaxes you.

So the whole process took around 3 weeks. Felt more like 3 months to be honest.

The scary email they sent me. doesn't tell you much

The scary email they sent me. doesn’t tell you much

It cost me £289 for the visa. Which is around $560AUD. This didn’t include the $24 I paid for courier service as I didn’t live close to a capital city.  Not cheap, but still cheaper than my 14month USA Visa. at a lovely $1400AUD.

The “courier” service ended up being Australian Post, so don’t look out your window like a puppy dog waiting for a courier truck to arrive like I did. I had to collect from my local AUS post.

The whole experience overall was pretty straightforward but that doesn’t mean it was fun in the slightest. Nothing worth having comes easy though right?

Good luck!

Helpful links & other Articles from myself.


Life in Bristol, England

AUD$ – £POUND. The I’m worth more mindset

Adjusting to the Pound wage

How to Save for travel. Tips, suggestions, dos & dont’s

How I managed to score a US working Visa & how you could!

My date with Kim Kardashian (Melb, AUS)

This was quite a bizarre experience. I had won this through my telecommunications service provider Optus they had sponsored her to come to Australia and promote a new phone. It was a 25 words or less competition I seen on Facebook, the question was where would you take Kim Kardashian to in Melbourne. Living in Melbourne at the time I worked down Chapel St, South Yarra, what I think is the greatest shopping strip in Melbourne. I also worked in that street, So I suggested I would take her to my favourite cafe down there.

When I got an email the night before saying I would be meeting Kim Kardashian in a secret location I was sort of gob smacked. I started laughing , I was like wtf. haha. I was scheduled to work the next day. I let my boss know I won’t be in tomorrow as I have a date with Kim Kardashian, something I’m sure no boss would hear everyday.

The next decision was what do I wear, who do I bring, its such short notice.
The truth is I went and splurged on a nice $129 shirt & went into the hairdressers and got my hair did. Looking back I cringe at my hair cut. I was just a naive little 19 year old boy though.


I was told I would be meeting her at the boutique store “Betino Liano” an Aussie designer in women wear, down chapel st. Surprise, the exact street I said I would take her. I knew she would love it down there, its where all the major boutique stores are. I managed to find a friend for the occasion, my besty Brooke. The whole experience was very personal, I thought it would be very awkward and rushed but it wasn’t. I actually got to spend quite some quality time with her. As you can see in the photos it was very personal, It was an actual meet and greet and hang out, then we watched her shop while we sipped Fiji water. Just your average thursday right?

I got a little nervous and lost for words, she was laughing at me.

I got a little nervous and lost for words, she was laughing at me.

I was nervous. I mean who wouldn’t be I was about to hang out with the worlds most famous socialite. I was a fan of hers, but not like obsessed. I respected her beauty & was super surprised at how flawless she really was in real life, all those magazine photos I’d seen do compare. Her hair looked almost fake it was that shiny , healthy and just plain stunning. Her complexion to perfection. Her figure she is so famous for was very unique and extremely curvy. She was sooo short! Her height shocked me, I know she gets round in some massive heals but wow she was tiny. I guess the magazines do make girls look taller. As I had the same reaction when I met J-Lo in LA.

Kim doesn't just take photos she looks amazing in real life also

Kim doesn’t just take a good photos she looks amazing in real life also

We exchange some small talk chit chat about how beautiful Australia is, about her being friends with Paris hilton, her time in Sydney, I was very impressed at how engaging she was. She was looking at me in the eye when I was speaking to her. She genuinely come across as a sweet heart. She told me I was very smart & the first fan who had ever taken the actual slip out of the DVD to be signed. I knew if she signed straight onto the plastic it would just rub off.

A bizzarre, yet satisfying experience. Just another example that yes, these people are just humans and they are like me and you. Well almost.

Even after 5 years I still haven’t forgotten about this unique experience. I never imagined it would come back to life and spun into such a funny story to promote that Dating show I was appearing on. Here are some funny stories





Australian Reality Competitor Says Date With Kim Kardashian Led …

When Kim Kardashian turned a man off women