Welcome to Lady and the Library, the culmination of my obsession with books (mostly classics and historical fiction) and travel. My name is Jessica Charleston, I live in the vibrant Australian city of Melbourne with my lovely partner, Lucas. I studied English Literature and Writing at university, but have worked in the travel industry for over a decade now.
Growing up in a small country town, people didn’t talk about William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens, but my fondest childhood pastime was scouring the shelves of the small local library amidst the musty aroma of old books, dust, and leather. I was captivated by adventure mysteries that needed to be solved – from Nancy Drew to Sherlock Holmes.
From curious child to adventurous young lady, I needed to find the extraordinary in real life.
From that very first taste of Italian gelato in Roma, I was hooked on travel (and gelato). Travel has opened my eyes to different ways of living – from losing all sense of direction and trying to figure out foreign cities, maps and languages, to uprooting and moving to an entirely different hemisphere where nobody knew my name or story.
Travel is the best real world education money can buy, it taught me the beauty of solitude and feeling lost in translation. I gained confidence, tolerance, and opened my heart and mind to people different to myself. I discovered that we are just a tiny speck of dust in an immense universe and whenever we are feeling overwhelmed or caught up in trivial matters, we should just look to the stars to remind ourselves that our time on earth is fleeting and it cannot be taken for granted.
The simple elements of daily life are the most beautiful and bring the most genuine delight.
My happiness is found in quiet villages off the beaten track, secret gardens, old-fashioned bookshops, fresh produce on market day, and country lanes not listed on the map. We are all different and no two journeys are ever the same – what we learn, what we experience, and who we connect with on the road along the way.
You will find me hidden behind the camera lens and woven between the lines of my writing. I say hidden because I am a casebook introvert who never anticipated that this little passion project of mine would become quite so personal.
With much love,