Hi Wanderlusters,

We are Kirsty and Alana, two New Zealand travel industry professionals with over 12 years combined experience working as Travel Experts for a major worldwide retail travel agency. With experience in both high traffic Retail stores and inside New Zealand’s largest and busiest International Airport, we have learnt so much about Travel and have some of the most valuable tips to share with you all.


We both have a passion for travelling the world and have both been doing so from a very young age. It was no surprise that we both ended up working in this industry and making travel our career as well as our passion. Through our time working at the Airport we have seen what can go wrong and how expensive those mistakes can be so our goal and the reason we started Wanderlusting travel is to share what we know to help you all become more savvy travelers to avoid some of the most common and not so common pitfalls we see travelers making every day.


Wanderlust is a strong desire to travel and we both have that strong desire but we also spend all day every day helping people achieve their travel dreams as well. As travel agents we are in the business of making dreams came true, so to us Wanderlusting means more then a strong desire, but it’s more about having a deep passion about everything to do with travel as well.


Kirsty Jackson

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Kirsty Jackson – Istanbul, Turkey

Hey I’m Kirst – I was born in Christchurch located in the South Island of New Zealand to a Kiwi mum and a Scottish Dad, so technically that makes me a Skiwi, and lucky enough to have dual citizenship allowing me to have two passports.

My father’s job took us all over the world, and I actually spent my childhood living in New Zealand, Australia, and Scotland. I’m sure that’s when the travel bug started. I was lucky enough to see so much of the world from a young age, and to experience living in such different countries too.

I studied Media in High school then went onto do 4 years study at Film school, completing my Bachelor of Film and Screen Arts with a major in Film and TV production, with a minor in Directing and Camera. I also picked up Photography from a young age, and have been passionately pursuing this hobby for years.

After film school I completed a Post Grad Diploma in Teaching, then in 2014 after working for 3 years as a teacher I was lucky enough to win two Tickets in the open ballot to attend the 100th Centenary ANZAC service at Gallipoli, Turkey in April 2015. Winning this changed my life, and I realized that actually Travel had always been my passion, as much as I loved Teaching; Travel was where my heart was. I decided then, that it was time to move on, and start a career in Travel. I was lucky enough to see a Job as a Travel agent advertised, and I thankfully got the job, completed my training within the company and 6 years later I’m still working in my dream Career, and haven’t looked back. Now I’m excited to be able to combine my love of travel and my media background to share everything I have learnt along the way with our Wanderlusting Family.

Alana Raw

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Alana Raw – Venice, Italy

Hey, I’m Lana – Born in Dunedin, also located in the South Island of New Zealand, so officially a Dunedinite by birth, but now living and working in the great smoke of Auckland. My Mum is also a Kiwi, and my Dad is from Bradford in the UK. My family taught me the importance of making the most of every opportunity, and never looking back if you wanted something, work hard enough, and you’ll reap the rewards. For me, my reward was travel.

Growing up I experienced a great range of travel styles, and the South Island was my playground. I know it like the back of my hand, holidaying almost every long weekend, and school holiday, tenting in either ‘Parsons Rock’, or Bannockburn, or at a friends crib in Albert Town. I’ve also cruised around the countryside on both a motorbike, in a 4WD, and in a vintage car (nothing like going from one extreme to the other).

Traveling internationally as a child, exploring fascinating destinations like Hong Kong and Japan, and catching up with friends and family in Australia, I never really explored other close to home destinations such as the Pacific Islands, or even our very own North Island until my mid 20’s. Now, at 40, I’ve had the opportunity to expand my horizon even further, and have grown to love the experiences, and the enrichment travel brings to my life.

For me, I’m always thinking about my next destination (or sometimes multiple destinations), whether it is a trip to visit friends an hour or two down the road, or longer term plans, where the pull of international travel beckons. I always have something in the pipeline, and there’s nothing better than planning your next adventure while you’re coming back from your last.

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When the jet lag catches up on you – Ephesus, Turkey