All about me

Heya, I’m Jess, thanks for clicking on through and continuing to read with me 🙂

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Now that you know what my blog is all about, let me tell you a bit more about me and how I got to blogging 🙂 I’m a restless soul and a born story teller. Through some rather trying years, a bit of good fortune and a lot of hard work, I’ve finally created a nice life for myself, which something I’m really proud of, because from under my fog of depression and anxiety, I wasn’t sure that was going to be something I could do.

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For many years, I did it all by the book. I graduated from university, got a “good” job, married my best friend, created a family with a little fur baby, got a mortgage on a perfect little nook that we call home… And while that’s all wonderful and that’s the big dream for a lot of people, after fulfilling a life long dream to travel to Egypt in 2013, I finally discovered that’s not all there is for me. That’s why I’ve been so restless; I had been putting all of my energy into trying to avoid taking a life path I knew I never wanted. Now that I can see past the “this is what you should want” rubbish, I’ve discovered that my path is one of constant movement and experiencing and learning.

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So, here we are. I’ve created a space where I can write, and share the things I love, both locally in my beautiful city of Melbourne, as well as globally on my travels. I want to share the amazing things that make me happy and keep me ticking – food, markets, real people, street art, small shops, photos of beautiful places unknown, recipes I’ve created and/or re-created, books I’ve read, even accommodation and restaurant recommendations. I also wrote a post to re-introduce myself in September 2015, to acknowledge some big changes in my life since I first started writing here in early 2014, which in turn has pushed my writing style to something more raw and authentic, and less guide book, which I hope makes it a little more relatable!

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It’s been incredibly freeing now that I’ve finally realised I actually don’t have to go with the flow and be like “everyone else.” But with the freedom of working out what you don’t want in life comes the challenge of trying to discover what you do want and how to get that. I’m hoping that doing more of what I love and documenting the journey might help bring a little more clarity to my life, as well as encouraging a few other restless souls out there to make some discoveries of their own  : )

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Whatever the reasons are that bring you here, be it for somewhere cute to brunch at in Melbourne this weekend, a hotel to stay at in New York, fun shopping in Paris, a recipe for Vietnamese food or just a good book to read after you’ve been market-trawling, I hope you find something here that makes life just a little bit more fun and exciting and fulfilling! I also decided to expand my writing, putting together my second cookbook in 2016 – I’d love you to meet The Kitchen Passport!

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As well as writing, I love love love documenting life through photos, and plenty of pictures of my day to day life are on Instagram (another online time capsule of sorts I guess, of life as a young Melbournian in the early 2000s…); come find me here! And if you’d like to say hi ask me more questions, share your stories, anything at all, you can contact me at: jess@ordinarygirlextraordinarydreamer.com

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Life is short, and you only live once… but if you live it right, once is enough!

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51 thoughts on “All about me

  1. Jess, you took the words right out of my mouth. Far too often, we settle, take the easy road, and conform to social norms, but the people we all admire, are those who take life by the horns and own it. You cannot accomplish anything without taking risks, and I think you have exactly the right mindset to live a fruitful life.

    Can’t wait to read more of your posts!

    • Ohh thank you so much Shane, never underestimate the difference encouragement like that can make on someone’s life! Much appreciated that you took the time to stop by, and I’m looking very much forward to many more great posts to come at your space too! : )

  2. Really love your photos! I see a strong Asian influence in them (food, restaurants and buildings), if you ever come to Beijing, let me know and I can show you some of the most original places here.

    Keep posting!

    • Oh absolutely – I love Asian food! It’s always so simple, yet the flavours are so complex… I’d love to visit Beijing one day and will definitely stay in touch 🙂 Make sure your return the favour if you ever visit Melbourne! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 xo

  3. Hello lovely, thank you for being brave and bold enough to take the plunge and do the things that you dream of! Looking forward to this chronicle of your adventures 🙂

    • And right back at ya my dear 🙂 It’s so nice to meet other women who are working hard and supporting each other when so many 20-somethings are just catty and competitive!

  4. This post was super inspiring, as it completely describes how I’m feeling at the moment and the reason I started my blog last month! While I’m reasonably happy in my regular job, I’ve realised that my true passions lie in food, travel and fitness, and I’m really enjoying being able to blog about them and share my experiences 🙂

    I visit Melbourne fairly often, so I’m looking forward to getting some ideas from your blog of places to try out!

    • Ohh thank you so much for your kind words and for stopping by! Nice to meet another kindred spirit on here 🙂 You’ve got some delicious looking food too, and loved your Vanuatu post – I did the abseil with Edge too a few years ago!!

  5. “Life is short, and you only live once… but if you live it right, once is enough!” Inspiring. Looking forward to read your blogs! Beautiful pics BTW! 🙂

  6. I have good memories of eating a fig stuffed with mascarpone and burek at the Queen Victoria market in Melbourne. What would be your local recommendation for a food market, if that one is too touristy?

    Also, if you’re ever in Jakarta, I could give you a few pointers…

    • Ohh the food at the QVM is amazing, I’m sure that memory is a great one! I’m a big fan of the Preston Market personally, as I visited it with my grandparents frequently as a child, and the food is incredible there! It’s out in the suburbs too, which means not a tourist in sight!

      Thank you so much – I’ll be sure to be in touch should I ever get to Jakarta (everywhere is on my list, I’m slowly ticking it all off…)

      • Cheers for following BuildingMyBento, and for the market recommendation, Jess!

        Do you frequent the Greek part of town as well? In which cuisines do you reckon Melbourne excels?

      • Thanks for the great blog!

        I try to visit everywhere to be honest – Melbourne seems to be excelling in everything at the moment! Vietnamese & asian street food seems to be big at the moment 🙂

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  8. I just have to say everything you’ve said on here resonates with my beliefs so much, and I’m also doing the same, so I really can’t wait to read more from you 🙂 I’m from Melbourne as well so I’m looking forward to finding out about some great places here too that I don’t know about!

    • Ohh thank you so much, that’s such a lovely message to start my morning 🙂 It’s always reassuring to know you’re not alone and others hold your beliefs in common! Looking forward to following your adventures too! xo

    • Thanks Deborah, that was mistake in my excitement & rush to get that post done; I’d meant to write that it was the work of the brother of the founder of the Miss Chu chain! Thanks for picking that up though 🙂

  9. no worries at all. wanted to send you a DM but couldn’t find another way. All the best and keep on posting!

  10. Hi! So glad you found and decided to follow my blog…so I could find yours! I’ve been struggling A LOT with the “typical” path of most of my friends in the United States. And while it is totally admirable to graduate from uni and start a career path, I guess I just wasn’t ready to do that for the rest of my life.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures. I think quitting my job and traveling Europe for a couple months is the best decision I’ve ever made. Now I just need a way to keep traveling forever!

    • Ohh thanks girls 🙂 I have been nominated before, so I won’t “accept” it this time, but I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers whose work you enjoy, thank you for the lovely compliment 🙂

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