Overcoming Social Anxiety Through Travelling Solo

By | 2017-07-21T14:42:26+00:00 May 29th, 2017|mental health|

I didn’t speak to another person for the first five weeks of my solo trip to Southeast Asia. I hid in private rooms in hostels, made shy smiles at other people, but never took the initiative to approach anyone and start a conversation. I was only 18 years old, fresh out of high school and quite frankly terrified. I cried the entirety of my first night away from home and wondered what the hell I was doing by travelling alone. I’d never planned to be undertaking this trip alone; I’d originally planned it with my ex boyfriend and broken up [...]

Living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

By | 2017-07-21T14:51:44+00:00 May 27th, 2017|mental health|

Trigger warning: this post discusses self harm and suicide. I try to be as honest as possible in this post, recognising that some of what I say may be confronting for people who aren’t used to this kind of mental illness. I also highly recommend reading this guide by SANE Australia, which I found extremely helpful when I was diagnosed. “Don’t date a borderline, they will ruin your life. They’re manipulative and they can’t feel empathy.  They will take everything from you and then leave you destroyed, before moving on to ruin their next life”. This is a common sentiment [...]

Coping Without a Support Network When Travelling Solo

By | 2017-07-21T14:47:17+00:00 May 24th, 2017|mental health|

Trigger warning: this article contains discussions of suicide. In my last post, I talked about my personal experience of travelling with chronic depression. In this post I will address practical tips for how to manage mental illness on the road. “What are you going to do if you feel suicidal while overseas?” This was a valid question from my psychologist, considering I had been hospitalised only a week earlier and was leaving for South America in two months’ time. The answer is not so simple, when solo travel removes you completely from your regular support network and throws you into [...]

Travelling with Chronic Depression

By | 2017-08-22T15:39:24+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|mental health|

Everyone seemed to promise that travel would be, at least at first, an all-consuming source of stimulation and excitement. Most days would be full of bright new experiences and stimulating social encounters with travellers and locals alike. Sometimes things could be expected to be stressful or lonely, but at the end of the day everything would add up to a great learning experience. I’ve spent my whole life trying to run from my depression. I fought seeing a psychologist for many years before relenting, and even then resisted trying antidepressants for longer still. I was in denial about my illness, [...]

On Volunteering for the Sake of Volunteering

By | 2017-07-21T14:43:47+00:00 May 20th, 2017|ethical travel|

Coming from Australia, I’d never actually seen a gun in person before, but Wilson had been nothing but casual as he slung his hunting rifle over his shoulder and led us down the path into the forest. The trees were so closely packed that only fingertips of sunlight could touch upon my face and I wondered how we would be able to see any animals in the deep twisting labyrinth of foliage. These are skills that can be taught, which Wilson does in his lessons to the small groups of volunteers that visit Bario to learn hunting skills and work [...]