Where do I start with this person. How do I describe the person who came in to my life and just made me laugh so much louder?

This little ray of sunshine came in to my life when we both started of as brand new guides for TUI. We both knew the moment we met that YAS, you and me are gonna get along. And boy did we!

Yes I am talking about you Connor Biggs.

Just the way we think, speak, tell jokes, DANCE are so similar it’s cray cray. We both have the same taste in music, and both can quote the movie white chicks by heart.

After barely 1 month I felt that I had known you my entire life, and it just felt so right! We all spent so much time together in the beginning to get to know each other, went on all these awesome excursions for like 12h , and we still didn’t get tired of each other. It really felt like we were on holiday and it was just so much fun. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our friendship holds!

You are the one I always call first when I have gossip, no matter what or where. Even if you dumped me and left for Croatia and me being left in Sicily we still manage to always catch up and have a laugh. Even tho that we are not in the same place I still can call you whenever, even if that means you having a bath and me being on my way home.

Love You to bits Connor Allan Biggs



 I love all of my best mates, and from time to time I will post an appreciation posts ;)

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I barely even landed in Sicily and then I was back at work. It's quite different how much you work. Back home I used to work as a receptionist with hours like 9-17 monday -friday and all you did was counting down the hours and days til it was weekend. You filled out that you worked 7,25 hours, sometime if you stayed 30 more minutes then you put it as overtime.

Like hours and minutes was so much more important then. Now I don't even think about the hours and minutes, I think about if I have airport, excursions, guide online. It's so much nicer in a way since things always happen and you're not really stuck in this hamster wheel.

So now I'm back in Giardini-Naxos til tuesday. Then I go back to Cefalu for 2 days, then come back here again. I miss Cefalù already, and my firecat squad there, but it's also so nice coming back to my nordic squad!

Let's see what the last 2 months will hold!

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I am currently chilling at Rome's airport waiting for my connecting flight to Sicily to get back to work. 

So this past week I've been home and got to see my family and my dogs, so lovely to see them! Then I also had some time to meet my girls! So much fun hanging with everyone again. But the reason I took this vacation is as said because my brother got married!

My oh my it was the most beautiful and emotional wedding I've ever been to (and also the only wedding I've ever been too) but they definitely put the bar high. I cried so much all the time! I cried in the church, at the reception, when we held speeches, their first dance! #crybaby. The atmosphere was so nice! Everyone was in a great mood, and I got to be a bridesmaid and I got a beautiful ring from Mia my now sister-in-law as a thank you and I felt so honored.  It really has been such a wonderful weekend! Pics will come soon! :) 


See you in Sicily!

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I am currently sat at Berlin airport waiting for my flight back home to Stockholm. After 4 months it's time for a quick vacation back home because my big brother is getting married!! WOPWOOOP! It's gonna be the first wedding that I have ever gone to, and on top of that i'm one of the bridesmaids! Ugh can't wait! I have been sat here 3 hours now, 3 more to go. I was thinking abut going in to Berlin since I had 6 hours to pass, but it's like a storm outside, and I wouldn't wanna go alone. Oscar is gonna go with me one day and be my local guide!
​ As soon as I land in Stockholm I'm gonna get myself one big as hamburger from MAX, YASS! Then meet up with my mom, be picked up by my sis and brother, then go home to my dad and my DOGS! Ugh I have I missed it all!

XOXO Jackie

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Changes is something that occurs all the time in the TUI company. Apparently there is a big lack of staff in Giardini-Naxos area so I will need to go back there soon.

A part of me is really happy about this since this was the plan from the beginning. I get to go back to my tui fam and work with my nordic reps. But the other part of me is really sad about it since I have come to LOVE Cefalu and the people I work with here. I have really been lucky to have had the chance to experience both these places.

So what have I been up to these past weeks?

Almost 1 month ago my brother came to Cefalu and visited me with his girlfriend! My first guests to come and see me :D It was really fun! I had to work a lot tho but as soon as I had some time of I went and hung out with them.

We also managed to climb LA ROCCA! It's this huge rock in the middle of cefalù. If you google Cefalu you will see this big rock. You can actually climb it, and I used to tell my guests that it's quite easy, that anyone can do it, it takes about 1 hour , just bring comfortable shoes and a lot of water. I then thought it was about time that I climbed it myself since I need to know what I'm really telling my guests. And my oh my have I been lying to them... It was sooooo hard! I know I have the worst stamina in the whole of sicily but gosh darn it was it tough! Some people say it's not about the destination, it's about the journey. BULLSHIT! God damn it, I was so angry going up that bloody hill! I would say it's not about the journey, it's all about the destination! Because the view from up there was absolutely amazing!!

So now everytime I see this big rock I can with pride show off and say that I was there! All the way to the top!

Then I had Oscar come and stay with me for 2 days so I could teach him about Cefalu since he was gonna cover for me when I went on vacation. It was so much fun having him in Cefalu and then we did a road trip back to Giardini. We took some wrong turns and ended up in beautiful places! :D

Then when we arrived in Giardini we met up with the rest of the tui fam and we went to Etna land! It's this big waterpark during the day and amusement park during the night! It was so much fun! I totally lost my voice from screaming so much. And we managed to ride the same ride 7 times. 7 TIMES! I felt like a kid again running around riding everything, but then my age caught up with me and I was ready to puke. That's when we decided to head back home. Really fun to hang out with everyone again :)

And omg the other day when I was in giardini, I got this snapchat from Fiona:

Like what the hell?? It's usually like 31 degrees and sunshine all day err day in Cefalu, but those few times the weather is bad it's like really bad! How crazy!


Anyways, so a big thanks to my cefalu fam Fiona, Dominique and Gosia for making my stay in Cefalu ah-mazing!!

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It hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows here in sicily, there has been some days that I have just felt completly shit and I understand now when people say "I'm getting to know me" because when situations arises your survival instinct really kicks in. Or at least it does for me.


Let me tell you a story of the most stressed day of my life so far.

So there I was, minding my own business, just finished holding one of my excursions. So me and the bus driver had dropped of the last guests and we were heading back to the office. We were driving through some tunnels on the way, and in one of the tunnels there was a stop, so we ended up being in a queue. I took this photo to show Alice and tell her that "ugh stuck in traffic"


​Then out of nowhere, people start running out of their cars, screaming and crying! I didn't understand what the hell was going on, they looked behind them and just ran out from the tunnel. And we were in the middle of the tunnel and it was a long one. So me and the bus driver goes of the bus and tries to understand why everyone is panicking. No one responded to my "what is happening?!" people just ran and screamed and cried and dragged their families out of cars. It was crazy. And my first thought was by the looks on peoples faces and the way they kept looking over their shoulder and screaming, I thought it was some maniac shooting people. So I went back to the bus and asked the bus driver in half italian/french (because he knew both but no english) : Should we lay down on the floor in the bus or should we run?. He just looked and me and said; Jackie, run.

Wow, those words just so calm but yet so serious made me just grab my bag ( don't know why -.-') and I started running out of the tunnel. While I was running I could see cars being left, motorcycles still on laying on the floor. People running, screaming, crying. At one moment I was running next to this girl and I asked her "What is going on?!?" And she said Non lo so which means I don't know. That was when the panic slowly started to kick in. I kept running, seeing everyone screaming and dragging their grandmas with them. Cars that tried to back out of the tunnel but got blocked by other cars that were empty from people leaving them. As I was running I was running next to this car that was backing up, so I looked at them and asked if I could jump in, the lady nodded yes and I jumped in in the back. I asked if they knew what was going on and of course they didn't know any English so we all looked at each other in panic I figured that it would go faster if we could back the car out of there. But as I said, there were so many cars left in the middle of the roads so out of no where the people who drove the car couldn't get further out so what do they do?. They jump out of their car, just left it and started running. I was still in the car thinking , well fuck, i'm not staying then!

So I jumped out and started running again. And whilst running I kept asking people what is happening, and this one lady yelled dramatically EXPLOSION. Well shieeeetttttt......

That's when stage 2 of panic kicked in. I thought well now there is a bomb in here. RUN! So I kept running till I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, LITERALLY! At that moment I picked up my phone and called my manager Jette who is the best manager in the world, and she picked up and that's when I realized that I was starting to hyperventilate since I was out of breath from running at the same time I was starting to cry and the shock hit me. So poor Jette got the most horrible phone call from me when she answered I couldn't barely speak between my sobbing and breathing, and she went full survival mode as well and was like okey I can't help you if you don't take a deep breath and explain to me. What has happened? Where are you? I'm coming to get you with my scooter! Aw Jette <3

That's when I came out of the tunnel and I saw 2 bus drivers that I have had as my drivers from other excursions, and they saw me coming running out crying and they just said JACKIE! I ran straight to them and they embraced me and was like It's okay! It's okay now, you are safe.

These guys tho ❤ So one of them took the phone and spoke to Jette and explained that I was now with them, and that they would take care of me. That's when I could finally calm down and get back down on earth from that shock.

The police came and firefighters. And after maybe 20 minutes they had cleared the situation. So what has happened was that a car had caught on fire in the middle of the tunnel. And people was running away from it, in case it would explode. Hence the lady yelling explosion!

They cleared the tunnel and after 20 minutes we could drive again, and as we did we could see smoke in the tunnel, and then right outside there was the tow truck with the car, and you could see the entire front of the car was burnt. So it was literally in minutes that thing could have exploded so I get why everyone was running.

But my oh my are Italians masters at exaggerating.... They are drama queens for reals!
But the worst part from this incident for me was the fact that I had no idea what it was that I was running from..

As I said, you really get to know yourself and get to realize how strong you really are mentally as well, not ready to give up, you really go in to survival mode.
Well I'm alive and as I said in previous post;

I'M A SURVIVOR, I'M GONNA MAKE IT, I WILL SURVIVE, KEEP ON SURVIVING!
(I think this will be my motto for Sicily)

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So this past thursday we had a bit of fire going on in Cefalù. It was alright in the morning, I was in my 2 hotels and had service and after 10 I was supposed to drive in to town to visit the rest of the hotels when Fiona called me and said, "Jackie, there is no way you are getting in to Cefalù... There is a fire and there is smoke everywhere and it's blocking the road." I was like hmm okay weird. But I thought it would be fine. But no, 6 hours later and it only got worse.. So let me paint you a picture of where the fire were. And no it wasn't just one fire. It was 6 fires starting at the same time! At as if the fire wasn't enough, that day it was 41 degrees..... AND windy as hell. So the fire really spread, it was wildfire for reals.

So apparently paint is harder to use hen I thought to use haha. So this is not 100% accurate but it was around these places that fired started. And mind I tell you that there is alot of mountains and trees in these areas. And as you can see, Cefalù town was like trapped within the fire areas. It was a stressful day since I had guests that were staying in the hotels down by the beach walk. And there was this club called La Vele where me and Fiona and some friends were at the week before, such a nice and fancy place.

Yeah this is what it looks like now..

So the whole place burnt to the ground.. It's absolutly crazy, La Vele was becoming my favorite place to go to. But can't go anymore... I was stuck a bit further out of town and I just felt so helpless not being able to help anyone in town, and also my collegues. They have appartments in the hills and EVERYTHING around their appartments burnt down. It was crazy! So they finally managed to put out the fires, and the morning after when I drove in to town I just saw how bad it was. All these green hills were now black and smelt burnt :( So sad..

So obviously there was someone who started the fires. The rumors are that it's for political reasons, other say it's because people don't have job (firefighters), some say it's the maffia. And the one thing that is true is that some maniac poured petrol on cats and set them of fire and off they went and so they spread the fire everywhere. So fucked up...

Well now everything is under control, the guests are okay and so are we.
WE ARE SURVIVORS, WE'RE GONNA MAKE IT, WE WILL SURVIVE, KEEP ON SURVIVING!

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So I have been a little over a week here in Cefalù and I absolutely LOVE IT! This small town is so gorgeous!! Here in cefalú I am the only nordic guide which means that all the nordic guests are all mine! It is actually really nice since you get to know everyone almost! I have about 5 hotels that I have my guests on. I myself live in a all-inclusive hotel about 15km from Cefalù. It's such a beautiful resort. First I got a room that was quite small with a double bed, but they changed it after 2 days to a bigger room with a double bed and then 2 extra single beds! It's perfect for when Ozzie and company comes and visits me! I miss them all soo much! But at least I get to see them every tuesday quickly at the airport! <3

Since I live about 15 km outside of Cefalù I now have to drive about 30 min every day to work. And for those of you who knows me knows that I HATE driving. But guess what, sicily has changed me! I love driving now! Can you believe it??! Sure I'm still a bad driver I'm not gonna lie, but I love having those 30 minutes of just me the road and my music. Perfecto. BTW my car is named "Don Vito". #godfather

Speaking of me being a bad driver hahah, so the other day I was sleeping over at Fionas place after a night out. I woke up at 8 and was like, SHIET I need to be at work in 1 hour, so I ran out to my car and put it in reverse to back out of the WORST parking space ever. So there I was minding my own business, putting my car in reverse and then it somehow got stuck. So I pressed the gas pedal more and it felt like I was over what I thought was a small hill, then it got stuck for reals. I was like GOD DAMNIT! So I went out of the car to see if I accidentally killed a cat or two. And this is what I saw:

Now did I not say that I was a bad driver..... HAHa and for some crazy reason I thought I was gonna be able to lift the car myself back on the road. So I tried. It did not work. I yelled at fiona to come help me haha and she did x) I told her to get in and press the gas pedal while I still was trying to lift it over. That did not work either. I said to fiona to come and help me and crazy enough she did haha. But did we manage to get the car back in place? ehm I think NOT. AHAH so with the time ticking I borrowed her car and went to work, called someone to come and fix it and so they did. So PROBLEM SOLVED! hahah This was day 2 of me having the car x)...

But as my dear friend Connor says, what can ya bastard do?


Anyways, Cefalù is absolutely lovely and I've been on some excursions, wine tasting, dinner in the mountains and tomorrow sailing to the sunset. I can't wait to explore more!

From my hotel:

​I promise I will update more from now on! 


CIAO!

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Hey y'all!! YES I am alive. It has now almost been 8 weeks since I arrived, and I have been thru more in these 8 weeks then the last 23 years of my life! It has been absolutely crazy!
I have had days that I felt like what the hell am I doing here, and then I have had days that I'm like YAS this is amazing!!
So what have happened since last time, let's see. Well it all started when I lost my phone... This happened like not even 2 weeks in.
I will not go in to detail but let's just say a few key words, excursion - food - wine - need i say more? oh yas, i dropped it down a very steep cliff, so my old phone is now in a cliff somewhere in some little village here in Sicily. It's a good story now, but back then it was the worst time everrrrrr. Funny thing is that Oscar brought 5 extra phones with him, and when he showed me them before I laughed so much thinking why do you need 5 extra phones?! Well, jokes on me since I was the first one who came to him asking if I could borrow one of the phones. So big thanks to you Ozzie for lending me the phone when I felt like a person missing an arm.
And then also my friend Aliche that I met during our group interview in stockholm arrived finally! Kinda crazy that we clicked so well on our interview and out of all the destinations we ended up at the same place! So happy about it! She has been sleeping in my room since almost day 1 since her room looks like red light district.. i'm talking about a red lamp in her room that is super creepy and so not helping with the light part that a lamp should. But I love her company tho so it's a win win. And la kris is our lovely fairy god mother even tho she is the youngest. This gurl tho, she is so god damn wise and mature it's crazy! But it's so good to have her with us, she keeps us sane, and as she always says when I panic, "one thing at a time". YAS QUEEN YAS!
But during this phone less period we had almost 2 weeks of exploring giardini naxos and taromina. We have been on excursions that we now are guiding, we went to the smiles academy where we learnt everything you need to know regarding guide life. Like how to hold welcome meetings, how to sell excursions, how to solve on the spot and so much more. Then it was go time! We got our blue uniforms and it was time to begin being "local experts" for our guests. These 2 weeks with all of these people was the best time, it felt like we were on vacation getting to see all of these amazing places. Sitting on 12h bus rides and we still managed not to get tired of each other!

One other excursion we got to go on was to 2 of the 7 vulcano islands, so it was basically a full day on a boat. So nice!! Apart from the fact that we were gonna stop at the harbour but the waves were so strong so we had to wait at least 1hour before we could eventually take the boat in on the beach instead! hahah so crazy, but still managed to get some good pics from that day:

Can I just take a moment to appreciate Etna tho! I have like fallen in love with this volcano that is Europe highest and most active volcano! The first day I came she had had a small "eruption" so we could see smoke coming out of her. But the last week, she has been really active, we even saw LAVA running down. UGHHH LOVE! Me Ozzie, Aliche and La kris was in the car on our way home from yet another one of our late night drives up to taormina. And there out of nowhere aliche says, omg lava on etna!! MY oh my did we freak out! Mother nature at it's finest tho. It was freaking amazing! Of course silly me forgot her glasses at home so I almost couldn't see shit but I still managed to see some of it! So freaking cool, I can't even. We went out of the car and stood in the middle of no were and tried to take pics and just enjoyed the view and the company. It's moments like that and with friends like these that makes me so happy I came here to do this.

My favorite photo of all time is this one, when me and ozzie where on the top of Etna and he stepped back into a little hole and thought he was falling down Etna hahahah. Like you can really feel the panic in the photo xD

So the first time I got to hold an excursion I had the honor of getting to guide people up to the top of this majestic volcano. First time the weather wasn't the best, and there is always some people who will be grumpy and complain but hey I can't change the weather?! But then there is people who are just a blessing to this world with their kindness and happiness and who appreciates everything, even if the weather is shit! It's these types of people that keep me going and makes me happy to have them as guests. But the week after that the weather was sooo good and everyone was pleased!

My first excursion to Randazzo was nerv wrecking, but I still managed and boy did I enjoy it! The buss driver picked me up and the first thing he did was put on this song:

That's when I knew that this was gonna be a good day! And with that mindset the rest of the excursion was so nice!

I am really starting to get into this work now, doing welcome meetings, guide online, holding excursions, service etc. Really becoming this "local expert"

But what is life without PLOT TWISTS? So my manager told me yesterday that for the next 2 months I will move to Cefalù which is the place I was originally going to in the beginning. A Finnish colleague who works there is more needed here in Giardini so we have to switch. As soon as they get a new guide, they are sending that person to Cefalù and I will be coming home to Giardini! I already leave on tuesday. It really sucks because I love my friends here. They are always there no matter what, ready for an adventure, a shoulder to cry on, to get white girl wasted with and so on, but most of all always keeps me laughing.

We really are "one big tui family" now!
btw Connor, f you for leaving, gonna miss you loads! But hey what can ya bastard do?

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Today we were going to the office at 9 in the morning to have a bit of a meeting and then itwas explore time on the schedule. The ukpeople had arrived, Connor, Harrison and Catherine. Lovely people! After themeeting we got maps and then a list with places we needed to tic of our list,like the hotels we might work in, tobacco stores, pharmacies etc. It’s a reallygood way to get to know the place. So we started of in Giardini Naxos, and thisis where we all live. And in one of the hotels there was this typical oldgrandpa sleeping in front of the TV, so cute haha! Me and Harrison also got lost from the group once, and got help from this Italian old man!

We made our way round there and then we went to this BEAUTIFUL beach walk. Then around lunchtime we ate at this gorgeous restaurant with an amazing view over Taromina. And Around 13 o clock Oscar told me that we already had walked 17.000 steps. Holy moly hahah! And are we lucky with the weather! It said that it would be clouded today, but Oscar said this morning that we definitely should wear shorts anyways, and bless him for telling us this. Because there were no clouds in the sky, only bright blue skies and a shining sun. So lucky! It made this walk 10 times better! But my oh my was it hot tho. And now I have a burnt nose… #worthit

After the walk wetook the bus up to Taromina that basically is on a big mountain. The way upthere was so nice with small roads and an amazing view! In Taormina it is sobeautiful. It was full of cosy streets and small shops, and gorgeous alleyways!And the view, I can’t even give it justice; I think the pictures speak forthemselves!

I had a blastwith the tui crew and I think we have great times coming ahead of us! Now I’mback home in the villa and just had a shower and watched the sun set on Etna. I’m waiting for my roomies tocome home from getting their Italian numbers, so we can get ready to go out fordinner!

CIAO!

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