Saturday mojito with Jo Castro from ZigaZag

Jo, from ZIGAZAG, is a lady everyone should know. She’s gentle, sweet and friendly. Jo has been travelling the world as an expat with her two children since they were little. She has had a fascinating life and I love hearing her stories and buckets of wisdom.

It has been a joy meeting and getting to know Jo this past year. I am sure you will love her as much as I do.

Jo Castro

Where did you grow up and go to school?

I grew up in England, mostly in Wiltshire and Devon, and I went to 9 different schools because my folks were always moving. My favourite school was Marlborough Grammar School. As we have become serial international expats ourselves, I guess my gypsy heart was nurtured from a young age.

First job you ever had?

I left home to travel when I was 18. Waived the White Cliffs of Dover goodbye with my guitar and a backpack, then I worked as a groom for a show jumping family in Belgium.

Cheap or designer sunglasses?

Cheap, I’m a bargain basement girl 🙂

Who is your biggest girl crush? Boy crush?

Girl crush – Kate Middleton – I love her style, and I’m morbidly intrigued by the whole Royal thing. Boy crush – my gorgeous hubby, Dave.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?

We went on safari in The Kruger National Park in South Africa – we also took my Mum and my Godparents who’d flown over to Durban from the UK for our wedding 🙂 My poor Mum (unknowingly at the time) was allergic to malaria tablets and on our first night away, Dave ended up carrying her across the threshold because she had practically collapsed 🙁

If we were to meet for a drink, what drink could I buy you?

An ice cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc, a Bintang Beer or a Tequila please – I’m not fussy 🙂

Dream shopping spree destination?

I love markets, and factory outlets anywhere. I hate busy shopping malls.

Any phobias?

Blood! I faint almost immediately 🙂

Your favourite singer or band to see live?

The Rolling Stones before they became ancient 🙂 Recently I went to see a New Zealand bred band called Swamp Thing. Michael Barker the drummer and singer also plays for the John Butler Trio – a band I also love. I’d go and see Swamp Thing again live for sure.

Coffee and cake…OR…wine and cheese?

Wine and cheese

Most annoying habit of your husband?

He is so adventurous and energetic and sometimes exhausts me.

Kisses OR Cuddles?


Pet Peeves?

Mean spirited people (Yup! Gotcha on that one- Caz)

If I came to your house for dinner, what is your signature dish?

Poached Tasmanian Salmon with garlic, wine and lemon juice, served with steamed veggies. (What time should I arrive?- Caz)

What is your idea of a romantic evening?

Fresh seafood dinner with local beer under the stars at a thatched tropical beachside restaurant.

 Any hidden talents?

I can do a trick where it looks like I pull my finger off! I’ll show you one day 🙂

What would you like to change about yourself?

I wish I was bolder, a little more dominant and more opinionated. As Sarah Wilson said: “The world doesn’t like wobbliness.”

 The best relationship advice that you have ever gotten?

The Rector who married us asked us a question. “What do you think is the secret to a happy marriage?” and we both looked at each other, shrugged, and said: “Give and Take?” The Rector replied: “No, not quite. The answer is to Give and Give and Give and Give and then give some more.”

 What quote motivates or inspires you the most?

“Be the best you can be, and focus on what you can do.”

Currently reading?

$100 Start Up by Chris Guillebeau ( Book of the Month- I’m reading it and so is Rachel MacDonald)

Your favourite travel destination?

Do I have to pick one? I love South Africa and Thailand, but the longer I live in Australia the more places I’d like to travel to here as well.

What does happiness mean to you?

A content and happy family, good health and having time for myself to write.

What is the biggest advice you would give to your 21 year old self?

Be bold, don’t procrastinate, follow your dreams and work hard.

What movie always makes you cry?

Out of Africa

Name of the first person you kissed and where were you?

He was 9, and called David. He was my best friend’s boyfriend (gulp!) and we kissed behind the gardener’s shed at school when she was away one day. When he went back to Jennifer I wrote a letter to him saying that I would die and could never live without him! My Gran framed it! Now, spooky I know, I’m married to a David – not the same one! (GREAT story!)

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

I had a privileged but very scary childhood.

Favourite makeup or skin care products?

Neutrogena moisturiser (generally) Lancome (if it comes my way by any lovely slim chance), Rimmel bronzer and I love Mac lipsticks.

What posters were on your wall growing up?

Donny Osmond (squirm!) and Horses. Generally the horses came first 🙂

Describe yourself in three words?

Friendly, loyal, fun-loving

What will you be doing 2 years from now?

Writing, Blogging, trying to eat healthily and keep on exercising, but most of all I’ll probably be fending off the big brands and blog advertisers (double LOL!)

Find out more about Jo and connect with her:

Johanna Castro a Freelance Writer and world traveller.  She writes a Travel & Lifestyle blog about life and living in Western Australia called “ZIGAZAG” helping people to “Live for the Moment, Love Adventure and Do Something Awesome.”

To learn more about blogging download her free E-book “How to Be a Well Fed Blogger”. Jo’s written for 50+ magazines and many online publications, has self published a children’s novel in aid of a Philippine orphanage, lived in 11 different countries, is married to a geologist and has two well travelled, grown up children.

She currently lives in South West Australia where her gypsy heart is content but maybe not yet tamed. Connect with her on Twitter @johannaAcastro or on Facebook @thezigazagmag

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  • Tracey

    Bravo for admitting to the Donny Osmond poster Jo. I had David Bowie and Marc Bowlan for the cool factor … and the one I don’t tell anyone about…. David Cassidy for ogling of a more general nature. (Double squirm)


    • Johanna

      He He! Yes Tracey, I remember that David Cassidy was The contender for Donny’s crown! I also liked Marc Bolan and David Bowie, and look back fondly on some cider filled teenage parties listening to their music. how things change!


  • jan

    Great Interview Caz. I have lots of things in common with Jo – the romantic night sounds great, and I like Sav Blanc and beer, but I’ll give the Tequila a miss – unless I am in Mexico that is. I am a budget girl, for sure, and I think her Rector’s advice was spot on.


  • Johanna

    Hey Jan, Thanks for reading 🙂 I can’t wait to catch up with you one day for a Sav Blanc or a beer and chat about all the things we have in common!


    • Johanna

      I wanted to say also “Yes, Great Questions Caz!” They are such fun to answer and when put all together they tell a great story about the person being interviewed. Thanks for having me here and for the very lovely introduction (now I have to live up to that every day!)


  • Sudem

    and I like Sav Blanc and beer Counterfeits . . . The Perfect Great Interview Caz. I have lots of things in common with Jo – the romantic night sounds great cheat Which experts state Fools 92% of the customers


  • Red Nomad OZ

    Great to see another side to Jo – look forward to reading more great Aussie travel ideas on Zigazag!


    • Johanna

      Thanks Red! There will be more, but it’s certainly hard to match your masterful Aussie stories and adventures:)


  • Janet

    What a lovely interview. I thought I knew you well Jo, but I didn’t know about your blood phobia! My wall was adorned with both Dony Osmond and David Cassidy (double cringe).


  • Johanna

    Thanks Janet! Yes the blood phobia is generally only ever advertised when I’m lying flat on my face on the floor! Cudos to you too for admitting to Donny and David posters !


  • Linda ~ Journey Jottings

    What a great insight…
    Feel as though I’ve just sat here with you (and a Sauvignon Blanc)!

    But to have a “scary childhood” – yikes – I’m not sure how to respond to that 🙁


  • Johanna

    Sipping a Sav Blanc right back at ya, Linda, and hope one day to get to meet you in real life:) Yes, the childhood bit may one day reach the pages of a memoir.


  • Life Images by Jill

    and I must add a wonderful person, generously gives help to would-be writers, a great blogger, and a fantastic entertaining writer! I am waiting for Jo’s first book to be in print!
    The person behind the face – thanks for the insight Jo – I can relate to a couple of these.


  • Johanna

    That’s really kind of you to say, Jill. Thank you so much 🙂
    One of my tips was not to procrastinate and that’s just what I’m doing with the book!


  • Lee Wallis

    Jo, I’m really disappointed you didn’t show the Adventure Wild crowd your trick of pulling off your finger!
    What a lovely little snapshot of your life so far. I loved the questions, not too serious but at the same time giving you a chance to share your life, beliefs and values with us.
    Well done to Caz for her great questions.


    • Caz Makepeace

      Thanks Lee! I’m going to be hounding Jo for that party trick next time I see her


    • Johanna

      Yes, Caz’s questions were fantastic, weren’t they? Really make you think beyond the obvious. Thanks for commenting Lee, and one day, when I see you again, I’ll show you that trick 🙂


  • Carol Ager

    I have been very lucky to know Jo (and Dave) for many years and she is all the interview says and more. Unfotunately we live oceans away now but reading her interview brought back some really good memories and laughs, especially about the blood!
    Jo has an extremely calming influence and that is one of her great attributes, hence the horses, dogs and many people I know.
    Think I was a John Lennon fanatic?
    Love to join you soon for that beer and ponder the ways of life.


    • Caz Makepeace

      It’s so lovely to hear all these beautiful comments about Jo. Such a pleasure to know her


      • Johanna

        Thank you, Caz 🙂 And the feeling is mutual. What a great site Mojito Mother has been to get featured on, and re-connecting with old friends as a result, has been a bonus that I couldn’t have dreamt of. Hugs to you.


    • Johanna

      Thanks Carollllllll, I didn’t know that you were ‘out’ there 🙂 Your kind words brought tears to my eyes, and lots more memories than I care to think about now for fear of blubbing. Yes, you will well remember the blood phobia 🙂 and I couldn’t have done without you then! It’s been way too long since we’ve had that beer …


  • Jo Parfitt

    Fascinating. Great questions that now mean I feel I know you better. As someone I’ve only met online (though nearly met in South Africa once, remember?) this spoke volumes.


  • Johanna

    Thanks fellow Jo! Yes, I remember how close we got to meeting in Cape Town, and regret that it never happened. Still, I feel our paths are destined to cross one of these days, and I so admire what you are doing at Summertime Publishing 🙂


  • Rachel England-Brassy

    I’d like to know more about the scary childhood! But I loved learning more about a really lovely lady, but you can keep your tequila! (Mojitos for me) 🙂


  • Johanna

    I think you’re with Caz on that one, Rachel! I’d like to still join you both, but with my finest Mexican! Thanks for commenting, and maybe the book does need writing 🙂


  • Hennie Greeff

    Must tell youz about the play cum pantomime Jo wrote and I pretended to produce whilst we were all working in the kingdom in the sky, Lesotho. What fun we had. Dave also played lead villain in one play with Ariane in her French accent pronouncing ‘heart attack’ like it was something nice to have and one of our other ‘commentors’ to this blog, Janet Scott, being the evil witch (or was it grandmother?)
    Thanks Jo for all the jogging of ancient and loved memories when one reads about your fascinating life.


    • Jo Castro

      Ahhh thanks Hennie! I had forgotten some of that, such memories. The fun we had without TV, phones or radios!


  • Simone

    Hi Jo,

    Great interview. Wishing you & Dave a fabulous Christmas, eating seafood and drinking icy cold Sauv Blanc or Bintang with your family. Take care & all the best


    • Jo Castro

      Thanks Simone, and all the very best to you for 2013 … and your dreams and schemes 😉


  • Jo Castro

    Thank you, Simone. And the very best to you all too 🙂


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