“My Story” – Ashleigh-Jade

aboutashHello readers, I’m Ashleigh-Jade. Nice to meet you (in-a-weird-online-blogging-kind-of-way)! But seriously, I’d love for you to join me on this adventure as I embark on sharing my world with you.

My story?
I was 10 days old, when I took my first flight from Durban to Johannesburg for a family wedding. And that set the tone because after that, my parents decided to be gypsies. Well not really. But my Dad just thought living on three different continents before my second birthday would be a good idea. Africa, Europe, North America… Then at two years of age my Mom and I settled in Switzerland with her side of the family, while my Dad settled back in England with his side of the family. This meant that I had no choice but to love travel, and thankfully airplanes filled me with indescribable joy! From the age of six I was dubbed the most frequent Unaccompanied Minor. Making new friends in the UM waiting room is one of my earliest childhood memories.

I was eight when my Mom & I moved back to the homeland of South Africa. This meant a major travel upgrade for me as my two hour flight from Switzerland to my Dad in the UK, now became two flights and a 14 hour journey. FUN! Although crying at departure gates became common practise (and still is to this very day) I settled quickly and loved living in the sunshine & near the sea. Through all of this, independence and strength became part of my daily outfit choice.

Throughout my years growing up, I have been blessed with many family holidays to places all over the world. I was introduced to a melting pot of cultures, communities & cuisines from an early age. This led to a variety of travel-gone-wrong stories (funny now but not so funny at the time). But for all of this I will forever be grateful.

In December 2012 I finished school and decided to migrate from the south to the north again… trading one home for the other. Fleeing the nest in 2013 was without a doubt one of the toughest things I have ever done, but in the same breath, also the most rewarding and satisfying! Before I started studying towards my degree, I took a gap ‘year’ (8 months) to travel. You will be hearing a lot about that in future posts. The 18 countries I managed to visit in that time made me realise that W I L D dreams do come true and with hard work and commitment anything is possible.

Amongst my friends I am ‘the wanderlust-travel kid.’ Questions like, “where in the world are you now?” and “how can you afford all this?” became more and more popular. But in my mind, the more important question being asked is, “I want to travel to {insert city/country here}, will you please come with me?” YES YES YES is often my default answer! As long as I have the resources, I’m your girl!

So that’s a brief glimpse into the ‘me’ behind BeyondPaperPlanes. More will be revealed through passed and future adventures. But before I full-stop…  I pray that whether I’m talking about new travel destinations, delicious food (#nomnomnom) or ‘life stuff’ that really matters, that it both inspires and encourages human hearts to thrive and live a full, celebratory and creative life. (…more emojis).

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Leonardo da Vinci

Thank you for reading this ramble! I’d love to hear from you! Please always feel free to comment with feedback or let’s connect via e-mail!

Ashleigh-Jade xx


2 thoughts on ““My Story” – Ashleigh-Jade

  1. Dimps-Peni says:

    Hey, Ashleigh-Jade (I remember casually and with tons of love calling you Ash)!

    On Insta, I was searching for another friend called Ash and you popped up… I was like… “Hmm, I know this doll, I remember her… Ah!” Following this, I landed here on your blog. Inspiring and real. <3. Thanks for sharing a little more of your heart with the world.

    Oh, and before I forget to mention… I met you and had one of the craziest, sweetest New Year's with you, Jordan and another girl (Her name was something along the lines of Em/Emiliee, I think – it was a long time ago, sorry) at the very last Arisefest at Midmar… Ha!
    How's that for a throwback Tuesday (Yes, it counts!).

    Anyway, trust that you are super well.

    If I am in Durban sometime, please bless me with a super sweet tour of the "have-to-go-have-to-see" places. I would love to re-connect. <3.

    Please feel free to email me on penimeth@gmail.com, anytime.

    Tons of His love,
    Dimps-Peni Methels


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