The Our Oyster Project

Travel Now! Tomorrow is just a dream

I have always loved travel. Before moving to Australia and meeting my now husband Daniel, I had travelled in more than 30 countries and had been travelling for five years. In fact, Australia was the seventh country that I have lived in.

Daniel had also always loved travel, but has not found a long term travel partner until we crossed each others paths.

And Jacob…. well he had his first passport at 3 weeks old…. and had visited 12 countries before he was 12 months old.

Family Travel Blogger OurOyster

Travel on a budget, so that you can do more… for longer…

I had always written about budget travel – and the brilliant culture and adventure experiences that you can have on a budget. But it wasn’t until a major health scare that we came up with our motto of travel now. When Daniel came close to living life as a quadriplegic at age 23, we realised that budget travel is more than just about doing more for less…. but it is also about realising your dreams today. What if there is no tomorrow? We realised that we can not put off the things that mean the most to us for “later”, because there might not be a later.

Travel now. There might not be a “later”

The Our Oyster project consists of travelling couple Jade Johnston (BA Sociology, Statistics, University of Manitoba) and Daniel Dumbrell (travel photographer), and our infant son Jacob.

I have extensive experience as a writer. I have worked for a health care NGO writing medical science articles, as well as for the Gap Year Travel specialists, Gap Daemon. To see a list of my published writings outside of OurOyster, please see here.

Jade in Samoa with the turtles

A Brief History

I grew up in rural Manitoba, Canada and always dreamed of seeing the world. I came late to the travel game, and the first time I ever left my home province was when I was 17. That was also the first time I had ever seen the ocean.

At that point, the travel bug was not yet caught. But my love for volunteering was strong. At first I was sent for a one week long program in Ottawa, which teaches young people about civic duty. Falling in love with the experience of learning and discovery, I sought out similar programs.

I ended up joining the 7 month, travel (within Canada) and volunteer program, Katimavik. Living in three small communities, in tiny houses, with 11 other young people certainly taught me a lot about open mindedness, hard work, and group living. Skills which would be invaluable to long term travel.

It wasn’t until 2006, when I decided to do a University exchange in Denmark that I contracted that travel bug. I probably spent more time travelling, than studying, and when my studied finished, I moved to the UK with a working holiday permit.

For the next 3.5 years, I lived all over Europe, travelled through much of it, and loved every second of it. However my love for volunteering was still strong, which suddenly took me half way across the world to live in Costa Rica with another group of young people in close quarters.

My journeys next took me to New Zealand, where I lived and worked, and now to Australia where I have just finished a three month PR trip around the entire country…, overland. Check out my posts here!

Soon after moving to Australia I met Daniel. He is a native Australian who loves all things science and nature. I brought him along for part of the PR trip around Australia, and he was hooked. (both on me, and on travel). We married four months later, and soon after that had our first child, Jacob.

Our first major trip together was to be a three month PR road trip across Canada. Unfortunately, a month before we were supposed to depart, we discovered the source of Dan’s annoying chronic neck pain. A tumour had devoured his c2 vertebra in this spine. All our travel plans were instantly cancelled and Dan went in for 13 hour emergency surgery, where he almost died on the table. Six months later he under went the final small operation and was cleared for travel. So… here we go! We learned that fear may hold us back, and that it is all too easy to put things off until “later”. But eventually, when you run out of later’s, you want to be able to look back on your life, and say “yes, I lived my life exactly the way I wanted.”

Where In The World??

Wondering where I have travelled? Looking for advice about any of these destinations? Click on the highlighted country names to see the blog entries I have written about these destinations. Still have questions? Drop me an email at Wondering why there are some countries featured on that are not on this list? We accept guest posts and sponsored posts from other talented writers. Want to submit a piece? Just contact me.




North America

South America


Albania Brunei  Australia Canada  Costa Rica  Morocco
Austria Cambodia  Fiji United States  Dominican Republic
Belgium Indonesia  New Caledonia
Bulgaria Laos  New Zealand
Cyprus Malaysia  Samoa
Denmark Maldives  Tonga
Estonia  Singapore
France  Thailand
Germany  Vietnam
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
United Kingdom

Contact me

You can email me at if you have any inquiries. For advertising and PR inquiries, please first have a look at my advertising and PR page.

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Avis A-list Travel Awards 2012 - Best Budget Travel Blog Nominee Best Travel Blogs Sardinia Ambassador