~ Chrystall ~
Co-founder of Great Things To Do, travel blogger Chrystall Goodden was born and bred in sunny Brisbane, Australia.
It was in 2013 that she made the life-changing decision to move to London. From this well connected gateway to European travel, anything was possible.
Chrystall grew-up among the Aussie beach culture. Holidays were spent on tiny islands off the Queensland coast jet skiing, surfing and snorkelling. This always somehow culminating in a feast of surf and turf on the BBQ while watching the beating sun sink beneath the waves.
Chrystall won't ever admit it but she's hands-down the owner of THE most impressive collection of swimming medals we've ever seen. And she won ever single one of them. A true Queensland champ.
Brought up by kiwi parents (who almost "live" on a cruise ship), meant regular trips to New Zealand, a land of epic volcanic landscapes, great lakes and rich native culture. Unknown to her at the time, this was fostering a deep love of the natural world. Chrystall knew she was a little different to her friends when instead of having the usual sleepover, she chose to spend her 10th birthday on White Island, an active volcano off the coast of New Zealand.
Early on, she displayed a flair for writing, winning nation-wide short story competitions that detailed her adventures. This lead her into the study of journalism.
Graduating from university meant freedom, adventures and new experiences could now fuel her writing. Conditions were perfect for the travel bug to take hold and she found herself travelling to 20 countries and countless cities in under two years.
With such a love for travel, it wasn't long before Chrystall joined a leading Aussie travel agency. She spent the following six years gaining invaluable industry knowledge while creating bespoke international itineraries for her loyal clients.
Until it eventually hit her... She was sitting on the wrong side of the desk and it was her trip that needed planning.
And on that realisation Chrystall booked a one way ticket to London for her biggest adventure yet.
Nabbing a consultant role at a London inbound accommodation provider doubled as a great way to become an expert on London’s wildly varying neighbourhoods. From the excesses of Knightsbridge in West London to the hotspots of trendy Shoreditch in East London, she had to keep her finger on the pulse always knowing all Great Things To Do without of course forgetting the best restaurants and bars!
The unique ability to spread Vegemite on toast but not much else, paired with the dedication to her ‘research’ Chrystall found herself eating out most nights and immersing herself in East London’s exciting foodie scene.
From inventive fine dining, pop-up restaurants and street food markets, there was just always something new to try and so why resist?
Twitter and Instagram became a way to share her food and travel experiences with family back in Australia, however this foodie social media community had other ideas and her international following began to grow to a significant level. With encouragement from loved ones, The Goodden Life blog was born, becoming the perfect outlet for her passions for food and travel through writing and photography.
And the food industry very kindly started taking note.
Chrystall through her food writing, photography and styling has produced excellent content for boutique food producers and suppliers, along with larger brands such as Just Eat, Bookatable, Jose Cuervo, Appletiser. She was also recently featured in the Eating out Guide to the West End.
Chrystall's last role in the corporate world (before agreeing to this new life of adventures) was very much focused on digital marketing. She helped celebrate the people, food and cultural offerings of East London by designing and producing digital marketing assets for her employer, a major property developer.
Exploring places, meeting people, experiencing their food and culture with Nico at her side are Chrystall’s life.