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a post from dexirae

desiree typed up this email to me as quick as she could to update us all. i wanted to share with you directly instead of rewriting. as i read this i could hear the glory in her voice. they are where they belong and having the time of their lives. meeting incredible people and seeing some of the most beautiful places in the world. as soon as more photos stream in i will do another post so we can all pretend we’re right there with them. 

“Sooo we just got back from Frasier island. We stayed one night at Dingos on Rainbow Beach. Got up early in the morning and got assigned with 2 other couples from England… Kirsty, Steve, ALan and Kailey. They are ages 23-27 which is awesome because most people are super young here. We got assigned a 4 wheel drive car and had a group of 4 cars that drove to a beach and drove right up on a ferry that took us to the island. We drove along the 75 mile beach and a lot of it was intense 4 wheel driving.. super fun! Our first stop was Lake Mckenzie. It was the freshest water ever! It made all our skin soft and our hair smell really good =) and it was soooo blue and the sand was sooo white and soft. We got to hang out there for an hour or so and then we drove to the campsite. they have an outdoor kitchen area and fire pit. They have all your tents set up for you. Compared to the gagju bush camp we were at in Noosa it was a 5 star campsite. All of our guides are super awesome too. Our guides name is Brett-o.. he has been doing the frasier island tour for 18 years. He was hilarious! 1902993_10152280278861942_1684639782_n 1908238_10152210347090673_2092800978_nThey provide all our food we just have to cook it.. it was fun to cook all together and eat almost like a big family. There are over 180 backpackers at the campground every night. They have an outdooor dance floor and eveyone can play their own music. The 2nd day we got up early and drove to see the ship wreck that crashed there when the japanese bought it and were towing it back to japan when a hurricane cut the tow rope and the ship crashed on the shore. Then we went to the champagne pools.. natural salt water pools.. it was beautiful! Then we hiked up to Indian Head and got the best view of the island. Came back and had dinner.. played card games and drank Goon (backpacker drink that is like boxed wine but stronger and cheaper) The last day we hiked 40 minutes to a sand dune with a lake in the middle of it and then got back on the ferry and came back to rainbow beach. We are here for a few hours and then we get on a bus to Arlie Beach..”



being free

The women of wanderlust are seeing more of Australia then some of the locals themselves have probably had the opportunity to experience. I guess if you have an entire month to do so, it’s bound to happen… No work & a generous amount of funds specifically put aside to do so – it’s absolutely going to happen.

So let me share with you now what I have had the pleasure of watching take place over the past week –

While occupying Sydney, Australia the girls were able to obtain their Vietnam visas. Thanks to Jack, a cousin of a friend of a friend, they had a comfortable place to stay in Redfurn. Backstory? – Desiree has a friend named Sam whom she met in highschool in Southern California. Sam has a friend named Gus who himself is a bit of traveler. About 4 years ago Gus had arrived in Huntington Beach, California at a hostel. His money transfer had not gone through yet and the receptionist at the time was Sams roommate. She brought him back to their place to have a place to stay for the night and Sam and Gus immediately formed a lifelong friendship. Sam took Gus to Thousand Oaks, CA where Desiree resided and Gus latched onto to this core group of friends for quite some time leaving a positive lasting impression on him. Gus went on his way. Sam eventually met back up with Gus in Australia where he now resides. When Gus got word that desiree and some friends were going to be in Sydney he hit up his cousin Jack to help them out. Gus was an amazing host of the area– taking them out to some incredible restuarants.  A couple of their favorties being: Shakespeare and Bondi Hardware.  They all took a 30 minutes ferry ride from Sydney to Manly Beach and instantly decided it was the perfect place for a nap. Upon returning to Sydney where they were staying, they took it pretty easy indoors due to two full days of rain. They were reunited with Sam


one evening over dinner which couldn’t have been more enjoyable.


After five days in Sydney they hopped on a 14 hour bus ride to Byron where they would begin a three day self-guided canoe tour on noosa river. There isn’t much I can write about this because I have little to no contact with the girls. However I have been receiving beautiful images of this adventure via a photo stream. (see below)IMG_2522 IMG_2523 IMG_2525 IMG_2526 IMG_2527 IMG_2528 IMG_2529 IMG_2530 IMG_2531 IMG_2532 IMG_2535 IMG_2536 IMG_2539 IMG_2542 IMG_2546 IMG_2547 IMG_2548 IMG_2550 IMG_2551 IMG_2552 IMG_2553 IMG_2555 IMG_2557 IMG_2558 IMG_2560 IMG_2563 IMG_2564 IMG_2565 IMG_2566


From what I have been able to transmit – THIS is the experience some of them have been desiring. Being in the world. Being one with the world. Leaving eveyrhting else behind: posessions, feelings, wants – you name it. Gone. Free.

hot pink pants banned

they’ve landed in sydney australia! ready to begin their four week adventure on this glorious land.Screen Shot 2014-02-13 at 10.39.16 PM a couple of facts that maybe you didn’t know  - australia is one of the wealthiest countries with a population of 23.1 million. this country ranks highly in many international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. and some very intersting laws that exist to this day (girls i hope your’e reading these) -
-keys may not be left in unattended vehicles.
-only licensed electricians may change a light bulb
-you must have a neck to knee swimsuit in order to swim at brighton beach
-It is illegal to read someone’s tarot, or give them a psychic reading as these are forms of witchcraft.
-[in melbourne] you may not fly kites or play games in public that annoy other people. (Summary Offences Act 1966)
-you may not trade with pirates. (Crimes Act 1958)

and my all time favorite & absolutely legit law in australia:

it is illegal to wear hot pink pants after midday on sunday.

so ladies be careful while you’re there. no changing light bulbs and do not wear your hot pink pants in public on sundays.

a post by jessi rae

taken from her facebook page:

Today is very bittersweet. I am excited to be going to Australia today but so incredibly sad to be leaving New Zealand. We’ve spent 3 weeks in Queenstown and I’ve completely fallen in love with this place and all the people here. The scenery is breath taking, with dramatic mountains and lake water so blue it seems tropical. At times I look around and it seems like a make believe place. Nomads hostel has become our home away from home and the people here are like family now. We’re known all around town as the Cali girls and everywhere we go we run into people that we know. We even made it into the local newspaper. The Find quickly became our favorite dive bar where there’s always free or cheap drinks for us along with good music and even better people. Everyone here is friendly and good to each other, nobody steals or gets in fights and crime is nonexistent. In fact I haven’t seen a single cop in the whole 3 weeks. The locals will tell you it’s the doormen at the bars who police the town. And the doormen will tell you how boring their job is, they sometimes have to kick people out but even the drunkards will settle things with an argument rather than a fist fight. Along with the beautiful landscape and wonderful people, Queenstown is also filled with adrenalin pumping fun, awe inspiring hikes and a beach at the lake that’s always active and partying. It’s been an incredible adventure so far! Oh and a huge THANK YOU to the amazing girl who found my camera on the street (after I lost it on our last big night out of course) and recognized us from the pictures, then came to our hostel and found us to give it back  I absolutely love Queenstown!!


mithra jessi desiree lauren

hei konā rā

 on their last day on the island of new zealand, desiree and jessi rode the skippers canyon jetboat. on the excursion they met an older couple from salt lake city who have been traveling the world together. they shared a few tips about thailand that will be very helpful when the girls get there. the road in this canyon that leads to the shotover river is an old gold mining road that has to be kept in its original state when it was built in the 1800s. even when it needs repairs they are required to use the same materials they used to build it. it’s one of the most dangerous roads in the country. IMG_1939 IMG_1909 IMG_1907IMG_1938 IMG_1934 IMG_1933 IMG_1929 IMG_1925 IMG_1924 IMG_1921 IMG_1920 IMG_1917 IMG_1916 IMG_1911




















lauren got her new zealand tattoo before leaving. a horse,  in remembrance of dream. the mini horse they had the pleasure of getting to know at the first bnb they stayed at in christchurch. IMG_1947 IMG_1948




during their stay in NZ they’ve met people from all over the world that are traveling just as they are. surprisingly very few from america. and oddly enough their fellow travelers are always quite surprised to learn the women of wanderlust are from the states. is it not that common to have wanderers from our country? if so, more of us need to make some changes to our future plans. 

 tomorrow they depart for sydney, australia!

and so we say goodbye to new zealand. or – hei konā rā in the maori language.


still in queenstown. the girls were staying at a hostel that goes by the name nomads for the past week or so and taking in every minute of it. they had up to six roommates at a time, not in their own rooms, but in the same room.  this was – hands down – one of the most beautiful places they had the pleasure of occupying. here is a shot of each of the girls on their balcony. what a view!Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 9.47.25 AM
everynight the hosts of nomads prepare and cook dinner for all of it’s guests before sending them off to the find, formally known as the world bar that was founded in 1996 by two 20 something year old dudes. the find generously supplies any guest of nomads with free drink tickets every night! the girls have made their claim to fame with this place by appearing in the local scene & heard paper – as seen below. paper


the women of wanderlust have been fully enjoying their time in new zealand. from picnicking and hiking to resting and relaxing – only THREE more days until they move on to their next adventure in the land of australia.

more jumps & a swing.

here are mithras and jessi’s jumps. lauren jumped as well but did not get a video. she did however get a video of her and jessi on the worlds biggest, adrenaline rushing swing! these women are really taking in new zealand before their time is over there.




bungee, anyone?

watch desiree jump 472 feet above the nevis river.  i don’t know about any of you, but this is probably the one thrill i will never experience. sky diving? YES, i’ll do it over and over again. but the thought of only being kept a live by a bungee cord? no thanks. watching this video – i screamed out loud in my house the closer she got to the ground and felt almost panicked. as soon as the other girls send over their videos i’ll post those too!

queenstown gardens

lake wakatipu is new zealands longest lake and third largest. IMG_1799 IMG_1802 IMG_1803 IMG_1804 IMG_1807 IMG_1810









they hiked around this beautiful area on and for laurens birthday in queenstowns gardensIMG_1814 IMG_1815 IMG_1816 IMG_1818 IMG_1820 IMG_1821 IMG_1824

most visible tree species in the garden is the douglas fir. this tree also forms a protective forest that surrounds much of the gardens.

another happy day!

happy birthday to lauren today in new zealand. and tomorrow in the states!

 jessi and lauren have been friends for 21 years now and desiree and her have been friends since they were 16, so 10 years now! lauren just met mithra on this trip but became instant lifelong friends.