It Takes An Ocean Not To Break

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Wearing: A bikini that didn’t stay on for long.

From the morning of my ten year milestone. Melissa and I went skinny dipping in the sea at sunrise in Thailand surrounded by mountains, in quiet celebration with a familiar shooting pain down my leg that constantly serves as the most beautiful reminder. Just days before I had no idea I would be there. For several years I have been living out of a suitcase instead of a hospital bed. When learning to walk again my physiotherapist told me to “just keep putting one foot in front of the other”, and I’ve since walked the world over.

I walked away from countless hospitals, blood thinners, bed sores, blood transfusions, CT scans, organ infections, walking frames, rehab, doctors, lawyers, the same questions “On a level of 1-10, how much does this hurt?” on repeat to experience the unknown.

My happiest moments have been sharing a smile and silent understanding with strangers I will never see again in cities I can’t pronounce. To learn, listen, share, give and help others along the way in my own way. The accident is not the only thing to have happened through these years but I have no doubt that it served as my awakening. Having my health, future and self worth judged by strangers to numbers and percentages has taught me the much higher values of family, love, happiness and compassion.

Travelling showed me how fortunate I am to have these as struggles, a defining point that I can overcome, grow from and use for the better unlike many others in similar or much worse situations.

Losing the sensation of touch in parts of my body has only made me feel more. I have found truer understanding, ownership, confidence and strength in myself physically and mentally than I ever thought possible. I know that I can be truly happy by myself. I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself with incredible people at home and across the globe to mutually support and grow together, who are endlessly supportive and understanding while sharing my life rather than perceiving it. I’ve also learnt the need to sometimes walk away for the better. I have learnt to not only accept uncontrollable change, but welcome and crave for the force of its waves.

I can only hope for more years like these, and a little girl one day. But for now I am simply thankful for being able to make the most of every moment. For having the best family and friends. For being able to roll over in bed, brush my own hair, take a shower, stretch, stand, walk and dance my worst in the most public places I come across. For knowing that if I had to go through it all again I would. A thousand times over. And just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Photos by Melissa Findley

  • Wow, I never knew about your ordeal. What an inspiration you are! Amazing x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • This post is one of the most personal ones I’ve ever read. Your are really an inspiration and I admire the way you see things and how you describe them so well! Thank you for sharing this post with us!

    Bisous, Marye
    http://www.niniiinjune.com

  • Jint

    Very pretty pics, love the pink sky!
    Xx
    http://www.vanilla-andvelvet.blogspot.nl

  • This is a beautiful and a very moving post.

  • I’m welling up Jessica. It has obviously been a real personal struggle for you & your strength & determination to overcome it & move on with your life shows through in what you’ve written.
    Hugs Adele xoxo

  • Boobear072

    This is extremely well written and beautiful. Very inspirational. It brought a tear to my eye.

  • It is inspirational that you are able to see the beauty of the world despite the personal pain you are going through. These pictures are amazing and thanks so much for sharing them. Wishing you the best!

    Prudence
    http://www.prudencepetitestyle.com

  • Bri

    I have udnergone a hip arthroscopy just a little over two weeks ago and I was reading this article just having come back from a physiotherapist. Crutches, daily blood thining injections and the struggle to carry things with crutches. I know it all. I didn’t have a car accident(s) like you but I am able to really empathise with you as I am going through a similar thing right now. And oh how can I relate to the joy of being able to roll over in bed and all those tiny things. In fact I wrote about that on my blog as well just recently: http://www.awostories.com/2015/09/lifes-lemons.html?m=1 Thank you for sharing these thoughts Jess. It’s amazing how such an event can change your whole attitude on life. I hope that your daily pain is bearable and that many great things are ahead of you.

    With Love,
    Bri

    http://www.awostories.com

  • SweetMona

    wow amazing pictures!!

    http://www.sweetmona.com

  • These words are so inspiring! I just started following your blog recently, and did not know about this yet. It is really amazing how you deal with the situation and what it lead to.

    Kia | Traviness

  • Your writing is incredible and inspiring! I’ve just recently started following you, but I hope I can learn more about you.

    xx, Diane || http://www.dizined.com

  • QueenLina
  • Elizabeth

    love these photos from the water!

    http://www.atlantastateofmind.blogspot.com

  • Pictures are just magical.
    Also, if you ever come to Montenegro again, you should Visit Herceg Noci, there is one beach with healthy mud. Its not very fancy place, but the mud had helped so many people…

    http://girlfromnk.blogspot.com.es

  • Nani Jimenez

    Que preciosidad de fotos.

    http://bit.ly/vaqueronani

  • Amazing<3

    Shall We Sasa

  • Beautiful photos <3

    http://www.polabur.com

  • That is really inspiring. I am glad that you are better and that you can enjoy your life now. I wish that you travel your heart out 🙂
    The photos are beautiful,as always.

  • Carolina Barroso

    Yours posts are simply magical… Always such an amazing photography!

    carolinabarroso.wordpress.com

  • These pictures are wonderful!!!

    LuluC

  • MaRiSsA AnAis MuÑoZ GaLlO

    You are inspiring! I loved to know this part of you.
    Thanks!!!

  • Marlene

    I like this texts about you! It is so inspiring. Amazing pictures! Enjoy !!!

  • Amazing photography <3

  • Very well said, sometimes through our struggles we truly do appreciate the small things and opportunities that much more.

    http://www.freedupgirl.com

  • Ver Sepasi

    This was incredibly inspirational and you’re an amazing human! Keep on spreading the love! xx

  • Thank you for this inspirational text, I will always put one foot in front of the other!

  • This is such a beautifully written post! You have such an incredible life xo

  • Faziana

    Beautiful words! All the best to you!

  • Katie

    What a beautiful post, thank you so much for sharing!

    Katie

    Come see all of my great pics from Tuscany!

    http://www.lamiabellavita.com

  • Jodi Swansey

    This is so beautiful. The photos, the colors, your skin tone with the sky….just perfect. What a great way to celebrate a milestone. I’m envious of this vision.
    http://www.throughmyowneyes.com

  • Victoria

    Such a beautiful and poignant post, with stunning photos to go with it… http://www.aurora-stories.com

  • Beautiful post. It’s a true testament to how you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. Also, trust you to make me miss Thailand again, with these photos.

    TFM BLOG

  • I love and adore the ocean … There’s something about it! At the same time I am very afraid of the unknown deep, so mystical and captivating, yet so serene, tranquil and delightful … Such as the sceneries from the images captured. Simply beautiful! 🙂

    La Bijoux Bella | by mia

  • Madison Grace

    This is so beautiful. I constantly am amazed by the photos on your blog…..like so gorgeous…..and your words were amazing also. Keep it up xxx

    PS: I have a blog – http://www.bymybedside.com
    Please check it out lovelies xxxx Make my day xxxx

  • natalie

    this is so beautifully written

    i love your tone of appreciation

    wishing you all the best for future travels

    xx

    http://anoddgirl.blogspot.com.au

  • A touching post. I’m really inspired by your story and couldn’t agree with you more on choosing happiness. One foot in front of the other.

    whereisbchk.com X

  • Jessica, you’re amazing. Loving every moment of your blog! xx

  • A Simple Luxury

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this moments! Happy Sunday! http://www.asimpleluxury.com

  • Camilla Ackley

    These are so beautiful.

    xx

    Camilla

    http://www.intothefoldmag.com

  • steph vallone

    This is so beautifully written and the photos are gorgeous, keep doing what you’re doing x

    februaryblues.blogspot.com

  • what an inspiring story! I love these photos too 🙂 And the National! 😉

    http://www.maggiealamode.com

  • Whitney V

    What beautiful pictures and what a beautiful post! It takes a lot of courage to look back and learn from/still be grateful for the times that weren’t the best. You have such an influence in so many people that I know for a fact your words will help and make someone’s day/struggle better. One foot in front of the other, I think that’s how we all go through the world, as what the future holds, we do not know.

    Love,
    Whit

    http://www.whitneyswonderland.com

  • Lauren at adorn la femme

    Wow, Jess, I had no idea of your daily struggles. I’m so happy you shared your story with your followers so they could get to know you better and realize there is hope for those who are going through something similar. Kudos to you and your courage to not give up and stay grateful and humble! xo

    (=’.’=)

    -Lauren

    adorn la femme

  • Jessica, this is such a beautiful post. It brought a tear to my eye! You’re such an inspiration and you have the most stunning, honest soul. Thank you for sharing this.

    Beth xox.

    http://www.bethnorton.co.uk

  • Joe Mitchell

    love u so Much! Jessica, you are truly a Beautiful person inside and out☺♥ i wish i could give you a big Hug! take care my Friend, God Bless☺♥)))))))))))))))))))

  • Marta

    Amazing photos, wishing to be there!!

    xx

    NEW POST UP ON MY BLOG: http://www.rosesandtulipes.com/

  • Such a mysterious shoot.. I love it!

    http://www.nizcherradi.com

  • Ariel Ezra Bezaliel

    The shots are just magical, truly an inspiration! Looking forward for the next post.

    Anyway, I started my travel blog about a year ago, and been living in 4 different countries within this 1 year time. Check out my travel adventure on http://www.arielbezaliel.com and let me know what do you guys think. Thank you so much 🙂 Good day to you all

  • The Sunday Mode

    Beautiful photos and a beautiful and very empowering message, really all we can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, as you said.

    http://www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

  • Love the shots.
    HAhaha that bikini that didn’t stay long.
    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

  • Amazing photos <3 I just love it

    http://moje-kreacje.blogspot.com

  • Loved the photos, everything about this post it’s a big YES

    http://luxurysmoland.blogspot.pt/

  • Such a beautiful post. Obsessed with these photos. Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration!!
    xx http://www.nuunablog.com

  • Rachael O’Neill

    Beautiful post x

  • Amazing experience & photos!!

    http://memoriesofthepacific.blogspot.com.es/

  • Thank you for sharing your story and the endless inspiration.<3

  • Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this very personal thoughts and happenings. These kinds of posts makes you more ”human” and deeper (even if I love all your other posts too!).
    xx Elle

    http://www.cherryblossomstreet.com – Swedish Lifestyle/Travel blogger in TOKYO

  • Tracy

    You are such an inspiration, I loved reading these lines! Thanks for sharing with us!

    Fashion Soup

  • Gorgeous photos as always! You never cease to amaze!

    http://www.theavantguardian.com

  • Jess that was the most beautiful post! It isn’t easy to admit hardships and struggles on a public forum, but in doing so you only give people who are struggling through something hope and someone to look up to. This was written so beautifully and it is so inspiring to read that you have overcome what ever it is that happened to you with a vengabce!

  • Irene Laura

    These photos are incredible!!

    http://www.OntoMyWardrobe.com

  • Denise

    Love that post!

    Denise
    http://fashionkings.org/

  • Natalia

    That was truly inspiring! Thanks!

  • Dovi

    You are so inspiring and lovely Jess! Love reading your posts…

    Dovi

    http://www.thisworldourway.com

  • Thanks for this amazing post, I love your photos 🙂
    xo
    Róża
    https://slowlytrulyfully.wordpress.com/

  • Those pictures are so amazing. Real artwork love the clouds and colours, they are conveying so much of the atmosphere <3

    best wishes from berlin,
    Samieze
    http://samieze.com

  • roosa

    Love your blog, you always have so amazing pictures!

    http://roosarebekka.weebly.com

  • Such a beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Heather Gjerde

    Beautiful message and journey! <3

    Heather | http://dashworthy.com/

  • Thank you for sharing your story Jess, it takes a lot of courage to share something so personal. Over the years I remember reading your posts and hoping to one day read a little more into your story, I see now that it has been a difficult one to share. Thank you, I feel humbled in reading it. Clearly you have learned a patience that few could comprehend, myself included.
    For the chapters that continue to unfold in your story, I wish you happiness.
    We are spending down time in Lagos at the moment, I see you enjoyed some early mornings and sunsets here, the beaches are certainly revitalising. I am keen to soak up more of it. 🙂
    xx Jenelle

  • An amazing motto to live by.
    Humbled to follow along on your beautiful journey xo

  • charlie su

    inspiring post and beautiful pictures…

    http://www.itscharliesu.com

    Charlie

  • Gabriela Lira

    Fabulous photos *________* I love beach.

    Poesia em Transe

  • Linda de Boer

    What camera do you use? I’m looking for a new but there is so much choice .

  • Mónica Sors

    Wow, that is relaxing, like the pictures 😉

    xx

    Mónica

    MES VOYAGES À PARIS

  • Amazing! The photos are breathtaking!

    Daria x

    With love from Russia!

    http://rebeldescent.blogspot.com/

  • YES!!! Amazing Pictures!
    ♥ Nissi
    http://www.nissimendes.ch

  • I love this story! You are truly a beautiful inspiration and I love what the travel and beach means for you–possibility and adventure, which I relate to so well. Thank you for always sharing your amazing photographs and stories!

    Characters & Carry-ons

  • It is truly a ‘heart’ sharing post. Thank you for this Tula.

    Love

    http://www.thestyleventure.com

  • Beautiful writing and brave of you to share it.

    http://www.fossypants.com/

  • Jessica R. Cohen

    Beatiful post thanks for sharing! http://jeessicohen.com/Portfolio/

  • Sandra

    i love your pictures sooo much <3 can't wait for my next holidays xx Sandra http://saansh.com

  • You’re so inspiring Jess! I can’t believe that you have had to go through it all – you have come out stronger and continue to inspire me! Hope I get the chance to meet you one day when you’re back in Sydney xx

    Helen xx
    http://CH1K.com

  • Rhea

    You are such an inspiration and your thoughts are so mature and different as compared to what most bloggers speak about. I do believe the difficulties we overcome make us a better and stronger person. And you are phenomenal.
    xx
    http://www.fuss.co.in

  • Your story is such an inspiration. Its so terrible that you had to go through what you did but your an absolute inspiration to women out there who have gone through terrible things but still have followed their dreams after coming out on the other side. Images beautiful as always, your fantastic x

    http://isabellaweb.com/blog/

  • Caterina

    Very Beautiful pictures.

    Caterina

    http://caterinasblog.com

  • Leanne

    What incredibly beautiful and powerful words. It’s easy to tell this post was truly written from the soul. Congratulations on all your successes, your constant motivation and comfort you have in your own skin. I have read this over and over and I will be bookmarking it to read it over again when I have those moments of self-doubt. Enjoy your time at home!

    Love from South Africa

    arumlilea.com

  • Beautiful, as always <3

    http://www.EleonoreEverywhere.com

  • Your photos are so beautiful, but then as I scrolled down, I fell even more in love with the post. Your words are very heartfelt and motivational. Your soul is so genuine and pure, and I cannot wait to read more of your posts!

    http://www.travelfashionlife.com

  • Always such gorgeous photos, love your blog and you in general <3

    I also have a blog about fashion and travel, albeit nowhere near as incredible as yours but still! :3
    http://www.chontellelouise.blogspot.com
    Have a look if you like, and let me know your blogs as I need more to follow now that uni's over for the year!

  • This is such a beautiful post!! Not only are your pictures gorgeous but your words are so inspirational as well!!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

  • Thanks for sharing your story with us, your attitude is so inspiring <3

    http://www.vanitycapital.com

  • High quality post, great one!
    ___________
    Stefan Buzas
    http://www.cruelcharm.com

  • Lindsey

    beautiful pictures!

    http://www.shopopal.com

  • Lysiane-Marie

    Thank you for sharing your story Jessica.
    High quality article!

    xx
    Lysiane-Marie
    http://www.linesmanner.com

  • This is so lovely and magical!

  • Bonnie Collis

    I’m so inspired by this post. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!
    mondayfresh.com

  • Emily S

    What a pretty and motivating post, with lessons we could all use! I am so excited about travel lately! I’m hoping to up and move to another country one of these days, but for now I’m just asking awesome people to share on my blog their experiences to help further along my wanderlust.

    https://eemmllee.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/4-reasons-for-loving-life-abroad/

  • Gitta Witzel

    So well written. Love your blog and all the travel adventures that come along with it. Keep on and safe travels 🙂

    http://www.gittawitzel.com

  • valentina

    you’re amazing Jessica! and an inspiration, happy 10 years anniversary and always keep being so strong!:D

    xo

    vale

    http://www.fashionneed09.com

  • Inga

    Such an inspiring post! You have a beautiful and powerful soul, thank you for letting us to know you better!
    Thanks for sharing your story!
    xox
    Inga
    http://www.digital-darling.com

  • Yah for ten years! Your story is truly inspiring, thanks for sharing.

    j.

    http://www.outstyled.com/

  • Thanks for sharing. This was such an inspirational post!

    http://reasyume.com

  • I had no idea of the struggles you’ve been through and I’m very sorry to hear about them! But it’s incredible to see how you’ve managed to turn your life around, you are truly inspiring.
    Thank you Jess for your powerful words and your openness. I wish you all good things life has to offer.

    Love,
    Andrea – Green and Turquoise – Travel Blog

  • These photos are so beautiful! I had no idea you were struggling daily and it is amazing what you have accomplished. Thank you for sharing your story.

    So much love, Jen xo
    / hernameisjen.blogspot.com

  • I loved reading his, so inspiring and humbling. It sounds like your journey so far has been adventurous and its rest to see how happy, content and grateful you are for it 🙂

    Keep sharing your journey, we love to see and read along the way

    Mel x
    British style blogger 🙂

    mediamarmalade.com

  • I’m really impressed that despite the pain, you are still standing and always do. You have the wonderful people around you, and it is a gift that natures make you beautiful even more. Family indeed is the best cure, and thanks for sharing your wonderful thoughts. The photos indicate that you are happy. Stay beautiful!

    xoxo, Samantha@ Virtual Hypnotherapy

  • Your pictures are indeed stunning, although it’s a shame judging from some of the comments below..that they clearly have not bothered to read your post. Below is one of my favourite quotes.

    “Never judge a man/woman until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” 😉 xxx

  • You are so inspiring! ♥

    http://www.bucketlistbums.com

  • Such a beautiful post Jess. Your words and pictures come close to capturing your beautiful spirit. I’ve met you three times before so I can say that 😉

    Keep on inspiring and living life to the fullest,
    xx Elle
    http://thisisyugen.blogspot.com (feel free to check it out :P)

  • Skinny dipping in the sea at sunrise in Thailand..loks like you had a good time there, especially when you;re surrounded by mountains!
    xx,
    Nataliya

    http://www.ndudlagirl.blogspot.com
    http://www.instagram.com/ndudlagirl

  • Jacqui Miholos

    You’re so inspiring, thank you for sharing your life experiences and travels with us all!!

    http://everydayelegancebyjacqui.blogspot.com.au/

  • Luani Vaz

    what camera do you use pleaseeeeeee?

  • Magali

    inspiring… what a story…
    http://www.my-mixed-up-world.fr

  • jovana citic

    Wonderful sunset. Enjoy!
    joanalicious.com

  • Its nice to meet the woman behind the outfits and beautiful pictures… You truly are an inspiring young person who has overcome more than most would in a lifetime x
    http://www.rostereddayoff.com

  • WOW! Just gorgeous! your pictures and your life is so inspiring. Looking at these just really calmed me down and relaxed me after a crazy day of work…
    http://www.monaco-matz.de

  • Stella Ollus

    So amazing photos! Love your blog.

    http://www.stellaurus.com

  • Loved it. Its so beautifully captured pictures and the view of water as well as sky. Its amazing.
    Made my day !

    http://www.recallhypnosis.com/hypnotherapy-treatment/quit-smoking-hypnosis-perth