Kristin Kelly

Kristins Adventures in Wanderland

Kristin Kelly


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2016 travels




"'Cheshire Puss,' Alice began, 'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'
'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.
'I don't much care where--' said Alice.
'Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.
'--so long as I get SOMEWHERE,' Alice added as an explanation.
'Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, 'if you only walk long enough.'"



Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Tao June 7th 2016

The start of 2016 landed Rochelle and I on the scuba-centric island of Koh Tao. This little chunk of land in the Gulf of Thailand is visited by millions of tourists every year with one common goal: diving. With over 70 different shops on the island competing for business, Koh Tao is a diver's playground. We originally came to visit friends from our live-aboard boat in Cairns and enjoy the beautiful beaches of Southern Thailand. Within three days Rochelle was working at Roctopus Dive as an instructor (again) and a week later I signed up for my Divemaster course. I spent the next month smashing out academics, skill circuits, course assists, and stress tests while Rochelle became known as the DSD Queen. (DSD's, or try divers, are people who would like to try diving without doing ... read more
Roctopus Dive
Sail Rock Sunday
R4 Adventures

Asia » Indonesia » Komodo January 13th 2016

As a self-proclaimed nomad, I have had the pleasure of trying many different forms of transportation throughout my years of travel. It is so hard to select a "favorite" anything, but my recent trip to Indonesia will forever stick out in my mind as one of the best adventures. My girlfriend Rochelle and I decided that Bali (aka "Australian Cancun") was the perfect place to start our backpacking excursion around Southeast Asia. After a week of fighting the mindless mobs of Bintang-singlet-clad tourists that flock to Bali each year for the winter holidays, we decided to escape to the less frequented neighboring island of Lombok. While this equally large and beautiful island has a variety of activities to offer, this was not our final destination; Lombok was our starting point an activity-packed the four day/three night ... read more
Boat dorm
Indonesian sunrise
Viewpoint, Laba Island

Oceania » Australia » Victoria December 11th 2015

I seem to have had a serious aversion to blogging while in Australia this time and it took me a while to figure out why. When it finally clicked it was very disappointing; I don't love Australia the way I used to. Outrage! Before you all lose your minds, hear me out. Ever since I studied abroad in Sydney in 2009, I have dreamed of returning to Australia on a working holiday visa. I took a sailing/scuba diving trip in the Whitsunday islands and told myself I would return to the Great Barrier Reef someday to work on a dive boat. Everyone who knows me had been waiting for the day to come when I would finally make the big move. So imagine the thrill when I decided to take the leap 6 years later! I'll ... read more
Paronella Park
Graffiti on Hosier St, Melbourne
Seagull crashing our picnic

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns September 12th 2015

For the past two months I have repeatedly thought to myself "I need to sit down and write a blog," but alas the days have slipped away from me, faster and faster. I feel like I blinked my eyes in July and opened them up in September. My life has moved so quickly that I haven't even been able to notice the passing of time. I've managed to Skype with some friends and family over the recent weeks, but I know that for the most part I have been off the grid with very few updates via email/facebook/blog etc. I figured it was time to break my silence, even if I don't have much to say. As I wrote last time, I am now gainfully employed on a live aboard dive boat in Cairns. I spend ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Cairns July 8th 2015

G'day mates!! I'm back in Australia once again and have been for nearly two months now....wow time flies! Things are different this visit and nothing has gone according to my mental plan. I'm not sure if the country has changed or if I have, but the first eight weeks of my working holiday visa have been like a roller-coaster ride on acid. Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration; I've never done acid, so I can't say for sure. The good news is that I am back in my travel mindset, so I'm taking things one day at a time and with a smile on my face. My time to write this blog is limited as I'm packing up to leave for work (see below) but if I don't get this out now it may ... read more
Hanging out in The Daintree
Reef Sunrise

North America » United States May 22nd 2015

This is long overdue, per usual. I suppose I'm not getting any better about that, but if you've been following me at https://leaveandexplore.wordpress.com/ you'll understand why. I have finally made it over to Australia on my working holiday visa! While this is very exciting, I would like to back up several weeks to my departure from California. The goodbyes were extra difficult this time, but my mother planned a one-of-a-kind road trip to return me, my car and my personal belongings to the east coast. No, this was not your ordinary mother-daughter, dramedy-esque adventure where we took a wrong turn but ended up finding ourselves, blah blah blah *yawn*. We weren't clearing the skeletons out of our closets; we were searching closets for skeletons. Or ghosts, to be more precise. Behold the brilliant, chilling tale of ... read more
The Nat
The Courthouse and Gallows
The Hanging Judge

North America » United States » California » San Francisco February 28th 2015

I went to San Francisco! The end. But really, I'm having writer's block with the added distraction of a new trip to plan. Before I get into those juicy details, I'll do my best with the tales from my latest trip. The morning after the Superbowl, still buzzing from the high of a glorious win, Christy and I packed up Fireball (our new name for her little red Honda Fit) and ventured north to San Francisco. We stopped for gas and food and pictures in front of Andersen's Pea Soup, but otherwise the drive was smooth and uneventful. Our host for the week was none other than Brian**, the "stranger" I met on my flight back to San Diego from my visit home. Thus, we found ourselves couchsurfing in a three-bedroom, two-bath, apartment smack in the ... read more
The Golden Gate Bridge
Hilly SF
San Francisco

North America » Mexico » Baja California » Rosarito February 1st 2015

Hola! My apologies on taking an eternity to write, my trips in the past few months have been more personal than pleasure based. I went home in late October/early November for a lovely autumn visit with family and friends, and then up to Northern California in December for a white Christmas. But these trips were not quite enough to cure my travel bug, so by mid-January I was getting stir crazy and fixated on my next international adventure: Mexico. Now to residents of Southern California, Mexico is the normal weekend getaway. Everyone has crossed over the border at some point in their life, even if just for some Coronas on a lunch break. It's just not a big deal! I suppose I could compare it to Canada for anyone up north, except there's a lot less ... read more
Cormorant on the rocks
Puerto Nuevo sunset
Breakfast with a view

North America » United States » California » Carlsbad October 24th 2014

Last time I wrote about my second trip to the Grand Canyon. Since then I haven't had the opportunity to go on any trips, at least not outside of my county. I have, however, had a very eventful month! Back in August I made several big changes to my life in California. Not all of these turned out to be good choices, but I have learned some important lessons. For starters, I learned that a job in the scuba department of a retail store, is still a job in a retail store. The hours are long, the work is boring, the customers are grumpy, and management treats you like a faceless number. After a few short weeks I felt like I had grasped the bulk of available knowledge and that my growth was at its peak. ... read more
Dee Zee
La Jolla sunset
First Dive


Alas, another month, another adventure! Last week my co-worker and travel companion, Christy, and I decided to one-up our spontaneous camping trip with a spontaneous canyon trip- a 72-hour roundtrip blur of an adventure to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back between work shifts. To put that in perspective for you it went something like this: work a full day-> drive 9 hours from Carlsbad to Tusayan-> sleep for 4 hours at the top of the canyon-> hike down 3 hours to the Colorado River-> spend 42 hours hanging out with the crazy ranchers at Phantom Ranch-> hike out 5 hours back to the top-> drive home 9 hours and go to bed so we could get up for work the next day. Needless to say it was not a relaxing vacation, but an ... read more
Canyon in the rear view




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