Oh, hello there. My name’s Francesca. But you can call me Cheskie, or Ces, or Fran, or Frankie or whatever other nickname you can garble.
Who am I?
I’m going to sidestep the possible philosophical answers to that one – well, I do have a philosophy degree after all and I may as well use it for something. Right now I’m just about on the right side of 30 and living in the beautiful backpacker haven of Queenstown, New Zealand.
Why a Gap Life?
I’ve always been faintly terrified by the idea of suburban Britain, and so aged 23 I decided that wasn’t the life for me. Rather than spending my weekends and holidays doing the usual, I’ve chosen to carve out an existence where I prioritise adventure as much as I can.
That’s not to say my life is one long whirlwind adventure – a woman’s got to wash her pants at some point, eh- but I’d much prefer to spend my money on plane tickets than highlights. Which is probably why my mop always looks a little on the wold side.
My point is: even if you happen to be working a full time job, with a mortgage there shouldn’t be anything stopping you from seeking out all the adventure that this life can offer.
I once broke into Alan Titchmarshes dressing room. Don’t ask.
At the Edinburgh fringe I snogged a semi-famous TV presenter and NO I won’t tell you who.
When I visited the Whitsundays I got naked with 15 other people on the world’s most beautiful beach.
I’ve been scuba diving with a hammerhead shark.
I’m solar powered, hate the cold, and am currently experiencing my first winter since 2010.
My camera costs more than my car. But then again, we do have a shit car.
2007: First backpacking trip. Four girls and a gay travel around Europe for the summer. Spend more time shopping than sightseeing. Return home with very heavy backpack and many, many dresses.
2008: Spend all the time I should be working on philosophy essays planning travel routes through SE Asia.
2009: Graduate into recession. Manage to wangle terrible important sounding sales job in London. Realise three months in that, after rent and expenses, have 50 quid a week to live on. Travel dream retreats.
2011: Decide cannot cope with current life trajectory (continue being penniless in London, hating job) so decide to move to Australia for a year on a whim, despite still being in overdraft.
2012: Decide that Australia is rather good. Will stay another year.
2013: Manage to pull hot south african dive instructor on night out. Discover he is, in fact, from New Zealand and somehow you both love each other.
2014: The woman described by her dad as ‘commitment phobic’ gets engaged. He really is a very nice dive instructor.
2015: Decide to turn trip home in to epic 5 month adventure. Travel around new Zealand, the UK, Portugla, Spain and the netherlands. Spend 3 months living on a tiny tropical island studying to become a divemaster.
2016: Get married. Chaos ensues.
2017: Move to New Zealand. Decide one rainy afternoon to update ‘About Me’ page. Fin.
My Favourite Things
Anything that can be related to drinking a really lovely bottle of wine.
Scuba diving and free diving, even though I busted my ear and am currently out of action.
Writing because, duh.
Photography. I’m not very good, but I rather enjoy the learning process.
Cheese. Especially with wine. Mmm. Wine.
The smell of tropical countries.
Walking around foreign supermarkets.
Getting to enjoy being at the top of a mountain after the hard walking bit is over.
Want to say hello?
Alternatively I can sniff out red wine to the nearest metre, so just crack open a bottle of Pinot Noir and await my arrival.