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Ashleen Curran

Travel Guide

I feel like it is no surprise travelling is a big part of my life these days, it always was. Growing up I was lucky enough to have Irish parents that loved to travel and took us home to Ireland almost every summer. They may have even passed down some of their gypsy ways from living in a motor home down by the river in Edmonton when they first moved to Canada, but don’t tell them I told you. My own travels started with my first big backpacking trip to Europe, a whole month away! At the time this seemed like a huge stint to be away from home. I ended up travelling most of it solo and I couldn’t get over this new sense of freedom and discovery and the feeling of being out of my comfort zone, and trying new things. I loved the thrill of meeting new people and my own ability to easily interact with locals, other backpackers and letting my own intuition guide me to my next destination or country. In my mind, I thought I was a discoverer of new territory, and new adventures - but little did I care to acknowledge that I was doing a pretty good job of staying ON the beaten track.

That wasn’t the point though, I believe travel leads us to new discoveries, more so about ourselves and allows us to reset our frame of mind and see things from a new perspective. It was this reason in 2007 I decided to travel to Thailand with Free and Easy. I knew Thailand would sate this new found ‘travel bug’ and did it ever. From the temples, to the amazing food, its warm and smiling people, the breath taking beaches and the ‘cha cha’ way of life. I loved it all and also fell in love with the Free and easy family and its laid back and fun approach to travelling.

I now have incorporated travel into my everyday life, when I’m home I work at my parents Irish pub in Calgary, I’m finishing my University degree through correspondence and now I’m leading trips with Free and Easy! With the flexibility of work and school I’ve been able volunteer and live on a volcano on the Big Island, Hawaii, working with endangered Hawaiian birds while studying Geology. I’ve been able to do a course on world religions while travelling India, and even got to study monkeys up close in Thailand while studying Primatology.

Travelling with Free and Easy has also given me the opportunity to explore other countries like the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Northern Thailand and Nicaragua. I find it hard to believe this is my sixth summer in Thailand, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to be back once again and share the things I love most about this amazing country with you! From its beautiful beaches and jungle hikes, to its fantastic spicy curries and delicious fresh mango shakes, you’ll soon see what bring me back each year.

Meet the Family

Curtis Smith Rob Campbell Chad Smith Matt Sawatzky Slice "sly" Johnson J.T Wiechnik Jeff Emmett Ben Copeland Tadd MacKenna Chris Sherry Dusty Anderson Eddie Duffield Rory Chappelle John Early Carrie Robinson Patrick Taclob Dominic Faint Ben Godfrey Andrew Fortnum Amy Webber Cody Webber Kyle Stephens Alyson George Julia Wellman Alana Radford Shayla Bly Evan Bachman John DeVries Eric Sorensen Josh Fink Toni Sweetland Landan Waite James O'Brien Evan Gailey Mirjana Wright Julie Ribi Luke Helland Julia Horie Kyle Wright Karim Moussaoui Carter Anhorn Eric Robertshaw Matt Trinier Karina Montagnese