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Melissa Jol

Travel Guide

Where do I begin? Back in 2005 is where it all starts. With money saved and time on my hands I decided to take the plunge and head out to see the world. I was unsure where to go or how to start and after talking to a friend who had been on a Free and Easy trip previously and hearing how fantastic it was I got to thinking ... wow, that sounds pretty good. Within days my first trip to Thailand was booked and my bags were getting packed. When I arrived instantly fell in love with the country. I will never forget that first time on a boat to one of the many breathtaking islands;  as I stepped off into the ocean and warm white sand I was clear that the travel bug was under my skin

Sure, you may have been to or seen pictures of beaches, but when you are there on your own, backpacking your way around the other side of the world and come upon these spectacular islands, it is a whole new indescribable feeling. The Free and Easy trip is definitely an adventure I feel fortunate to have experienced, and almost obligated to share with as many people as I can.

After meeting the amazing people that work for and started Free and Easy, I fell in love with them and what they did. I was young then but after some more travelling and growing up, my chance finally came. It was another company that hired me at first but my ties and friendships with Free and Easy continued to grow strong. I have now been tour guiding for about 4 years, am officially addicted to the travel lifestyle and can happily say there is no where I would rather be then on the road. It has given me the chance to see parts of the world I had not thought about before, met inspiring and incredible people and to help other experience the same. And it is Free and Easy that has given me opportunities and the ability to continue this fantastic way of life.

A good visualization that I like to give is that there is no such thing as time, stress, or worries when you're on a Free and Easy trip. The only decisions you'll need to make in a day are what fun activity you want to participate in, what you want to eat for dinner, if you should have a beer or go swim in the ocean. It is awesome! Hopping on that plane 5 years ago was the best decision I have ever made, life could not be better. My goal is to make others feel the same way as I do.

I could honestly go on for hours about my love for travel and all the beautiful places I have been since my first trip in 2005. I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other new travellers, and am always learning more myself each year. One of the most amazing aspects of my job is that I get to share this with others and show them what means so much to me. The biggest reward is seeing the look on peoples’ faces when they witness the beauty these countries have to offer for the first time. Now that is priceless.

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