About

I share dreamy photos, local travel guides, honest reviews + helpful tips for slow travel around New Zealand, Scotland and more. I’m your local friend that tells you all the best places to go. Have a look around. I hope it inspires you.

Hi, I’m Ashleigh!

Are you someone that loves:

  • Travelling slowly.
  • Finding the best local coffee shops, cafes, restaurants, suburbs, independent shops, home interior stores, local markets, and walks around the prettiest neighbourhoods.
  • Feeling like you’re visiting a friend that’s showing you their favourite things to do on the weekend.
  • Travelling to quaint small towns and villages, not only capital cities (but you love a weekend city break too).
  • Spending hours on Pinterest and Google maps curating the best local places to go.
  • Getting to know a city like a local by spending a couple of months or years living there. You love working holidays – but the kind when you’re in your 30s, not the kind when you’re straight out of school.
  • Staying in boutique hotels and Instagrammable Airbnbs, not backpackers or boring businesslike hotels.
  • Will tolerate some tourist attractions – but only if you’ve spent hours researching to make sure it’s worth going to.
  • Pink and cute dresses.

If so, then Ashleigh’s Atlas is for you.

(If you’re 18 and want to backpack around 15 countries in Europe in two months, ticking off as many tourist attractions as possible, this blog is probably not for you. Yes, I did this when I was in my 20s, but now that I’m in my 30s my style of travel has changed a lot.)

I’ve travelled to nearly 30 countries and have many more on my list (but, slowly…). I’ve always dreamed of living overseas. So far I’ve lived in New Zealand, Australia, and Scotland. I have a long list of other countries I want to live in once the borders open – Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Scandinavia, Japan…

I know what it’s like to be in your 30s and too old to get working holiday visas. Luckily I was a lawyer for the last ten years, with a speciality in immigration law, so I have lots of tips.

WHY I STARTED THIS BLOG

For years I always wanted to be a travel blogger. My biggest dream is to travel full time without being tied to a location. I would love to spend a Summer in Italy, then a year in Scanadania, then a Winter in Japan, or wherever I fancy – and to write about it as I go.

This dream always seemed terrifying and impossible (yes, I know this seems ridiculous from someone who spent six years at university and ten years working as a successful lawyer). But I recently met a lovely travel blogger in a hot tub (yes this actually happened) who encouraged me to do it. So I quit my job as a lawyer and followed my dream to start this travel blog.

I created this blog as a place to:

  • Share local destination guides, itineraries and tips so you can curate your perfect itinerary – what’s worth going to, what you should miss, the coolest suburb you should stay in to feel like a local, the best local cafes and independent shops…. Basically, all the places I took my friends when they visited me when I lived in Scotland, New Zealand and Australia.
  • Share helpful tips about working holidays and visas (especially if you’re over 30 – I feel your pain).
  • Inspire you! I hope this is a place where you can be inspired and find beautiful places to add to your bucket list.

WHERE I’M FROM

I’m originally from a small town in New Zealand and spent most of my twenties living in Wellington.

I then moved to Melbourne in Australia (with a brief stint living in Canberra too). Melbourne is my favourite city in the world and I can’t wait to move back there one day (when they’re not always in lockdown).

I’ve recently got back from living in Scotland for the last two years on a working holiday visa. I was in my 30s and working as a lawyer, so it wasn’t your typical gap year. I loved the first year. I went to Europe at least once or twice a month. I’d finish work early on Friday with my pink suitcase, and in a couple of hours I’d be walking down the cobbled streets of a new European city.

I was in lockdown for the majority of the second year. There were a couple of months where we could travel around the UK, so I went everywhere in Scotland. I would never have travelled around Scotland as much if lockdown didn’t happen, so it was a good reminder to make the most of travelling around your own country.

WHERE I LIVE NOW

I currently live in Wanaka with my husband. It’s a small ski town in New Zealand, an hour from Queenstown. I’m taking a “gap year” from my career as a lawyer and working at a ski resort. We’re enjoying exploring our home country, but we’ve previously travelled a lot in New Zealand and can’t wait to move to a new country again when the borders open.

Fun fact: I have a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours, a Bachelor of Arts Majoring in Philosophy, I’m a qualified makeup artist, and I’m currently training to be a ski instructor.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

This blog is full of local travel guides and helpful tips for slow travel around New Zealand, Scotland and more. I’m your local friend that tells you all the best places to go. Have a look around. I hope it inspires you.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

  • Planning a trip to New Zealand and don’t know where to start? Read my New Zealand travel guides.
  • Looking for the best things to do in Wanaka (and what to skip)? Read my Wanaka travel guides.
  • Looking for Scotland travel inspiration? Read my Scotland travel guides.
  • Planning a trip and not sure where to start? Click here for my fav travel resources to help you plan your trip.
  • Want to know my (cute) travel essentials or where my dresses are from? Shop my favourites here.

I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions or just want to chat, send me a message here or on Instagram or Facebook.

And don’t forget to follow me on social media for updates about daily life – including all the best places to eat and see in Wanaka, Queenstown and New Zealand as I try them.

Ashleigh x