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Hey, I’m Anna – a Kiwi travel blogger, and a former chef, volunteer ambulance officer, and flight attendant (to name a few) from the South Island of New Zealand. I sold up my belongings in 2014, bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok and never looked back.

Since setting off on my grand adventure, I’ve lived in a Buddhist Sanctuary in Malaysia, a permaculture project in Portugal, caught trains solo across Northern India, Couchsurfed across Bulgaria, lived, loved and cooked in a retreat community in England, volunteered my heart to refugee camps in Greece, met Sloths in Costa Rica, caught trains most of the way from New Zealand to France, horse-sat a herd of lovely rescues on the Azores and turned 32 in an Amazonian Treehouse.

Nowadays I keep busy working writing a memoir, remote working full time, and completing an undergraduate Computer Science & French degree – all the while keeping up a life of travel and blogging about it.

A Brief History

2014

I set up shop as a freelance writer, sold up all that wouldn’t fit in a 40L backpack and set off on a one-way ticket to Bangkok, Thailand from my homeland of New Zealand.

Where? New Zealand, Thailand

2015

As I traversed Asia and Europe I began to utilise my digital/tech and web skills to pick up other bits and pieces here and there. Much of this time was spent volunteering on various projects, living in meditation centres, and exchanging my skills (gardening, cooking, and writing) for accommodation.

Where? Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, France, England, Wales

2016

My life changed forever when a two-week volunteer plan to help with some refugee camp work on the Greek Island of Lesvos turned into a three month long stay, and a lifelong commitment to something far bigger than myself.

Afterwards, I moved around Europe a little eventually finding myself backpacking in India and Nepal. My beloved father got very sick, and I returned home in New Zealand for his final months of life to care for him

Where? England, Greece, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, India, Nepal, Hong Kong, New Zealand

2017

Devastated after the death of my father, I left on a long and contemplative journey across Southeast, East, and Central Asia in his memory, eventually ending up crossing the Balkans and into Western Europe.

Toward the end of the year, I landed my dream job with Automattic. Less volunteering, more job stability. Thanks to a fully distributed working environment I still got to travel as much as I wanted, and continued exploring mostly around North America and Europe, with a brief dip into North Africa and South America.

Where? New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Mongolia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Hungary, France, Mexico, Canada.

2018

Fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine I finally made it to the Costa Rican jungle, then deeper into the Colombian Amazon to sleep in treehouses, and canoe down the Amazon River for my 32nd birthday.

This year also saw my first two visit to the USA (a work trip to Hawaii, then a work trip to Florida) followed by more time in Europe and an exciting month-long stay in Morocco.

The year ended with my settling down in Melbourne Australia, or so I thought at the time.

Where? Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, USA, France, Germany, Morocco, USA, Thailand, Australia.

2019

I took the leap and went back to school! (Distance learning, of course) 2019 was the year I began studying towards a Computer Sciences degree with a minor in French, along with a working holiday long stay in Canada to see more of what North America has to offer.

I got my first white Christmas in Denver, Colorado and fell head over heels with the Caribbean island of Martinique before heading back towards the Asia/Pacific.


Where? Australia, Mexico, USA, Canada, Martinique (France), Japan.

2020

Well, 2020 didn’t go as planned!

But, I managed to ring in the New Year from Tokyo, relax for a while (and sit a handful of exams) from Thai islands, and stopped over in Australia before landing in New Zealand for my brother’s wedding.

The NZ trip turned into our new 2020 home, and the rest of the year was spent living back home in New Zealand for the first time in many years.

Where? Japan, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand

My Travels So Far

Where I've Been, Anna Meanders

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