Me with dogWho am I?

My name is Kate and I am a 23 year old blogger from Adelaide, Australia. I took my first solo trip around Southeast Asia when I was 18 and have been in love with solo travel ever since. I then spent a few years at university, first studying journalism, and then international development, with study trips to Vietnam and Argentina. I have a basic command of conversational Spanish, and would love to be fluent one day.

At the time being I am taking a break from university while focusing on my writing, therapy, and planning a long van trip around Australia with my boyfriend.

What’s my background in mental health?

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 19 years old but have been living with both since I was around 15. I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder in late 2016 and am still trying to come to grips with this little-known and highly stigmatised disorder. I have been in cognitive behavioural therapy since 2013 and in 2017 started on the journey of intensive dialectical behavioural therapy.

I have struggled for a long time to both cope with my mental illnesses and accept that I can be a good person while living with mental illness. I find that writing about it and breaking down the stigma is the most useful thing for recovery. I hope that one day it will no longer be a taboo topic to talk about chronic mental illness in social situations.

I am also a rape survivor and highly passionate about opening up the conversation and living without shame. I aim to love and support all sexual violence survivors in my life, and always encourage others to speak out about their experiences.

What do I write about?

My main writing pursuits are about living with mental illness, how to travel with mental illness, and how to travel ethically. I am highly passionate about helping mentally ill people to live more enriching and easier lives, and to help others relate to my struggles and coping strategies. I am by no means recovered from my mental illness, but have come a long way through several years of therapy.

The mainstream travel blogging world also does little to address the complications of travelling with mental illness. There are some bloggers out there who speak freely about anxiety or depression, but they are by no means in the majority. Tips for travelling with borderline personality disorder are also almost unheard of, despite the disorder affecting approximately 1-4% of the population. There are a great deal of misconceptions and negative perceptions about the disorder, which I hope to lessen with my writing.

Ethical travel is also a great passion of mine. It is important to me that I travel in a way that isn’t insensitive to other cultures, and which isn’t harmful to other people. I think that travel can be a highly selfish act if we don’t make calculated decisions about how we choose to travel.