Colombia Doesn’t Deserve Its Negative Reputation

I never officially planned to travel to Colombia. After my study program in Buenos Aires, I had a 6 week window before my flight home from Santiago, Chile. My initial plan was to travel down the length of Argentina and up Chilean Patagonia. On a whim, I instead bought a one way ticket to Bogotá. Despite its negative reputation, something about Colombia has always appealed to my imagination and sense of adventure. Most Australians only know about Colombia because of what they’ve seen on Narcos. Consequently, it has a negative reputation of a country still run by cartels, with cocaine [...]

By | 2017-10-19T17:52:59+00:00 October 19th, 2017|travel inspiration|0 Comments

Rape Isn’t Like How It’s Shown on TV

Trigger warning: this article contains graphic descriptions of rape. Popular media has very specific ideas about how rape is portrayed. The victim is female and the rapist is always male. The assault is violent and the victim resists physically and usually verbally. The victim is hyper aware that she is being raped and is highly distressed both during and immediately after the act. I have seen this played out countless times in TV shows and movies. It is incredibly distressing and triggering for me to watch, and yet it barely resembles my rape. It took me until the next day [...]

By | 2017-10-10T16:49:00+00:00 October 10th, 2017|mental health|15 Comments

Trust is One Of the Most Important Parts of Travel

Learning to trust complete strangers is an important part of the travel experience, especially if you travel alone. A lot of new travellers are highly paranoid about the people around them, and go to great lengths to be self-sufficient and constantly keep an eye on their property. I’ve definitely always erred on the side of complacency when it comes to strangers and trust. I think that this is becoming a bigger trend in travel, with more people using services that are inherently based in trust, such as Couchsurfing and ride sharing. If you pay attention to the popular media, it’s [...]

By | 2017-10-05T15:26:52+00:00 October 5th, 2017|travel inspiration|14 Comments

Obsessed with Control

It’s been almost a month since I last published anything, and while a lot of it has to do with writer’s block, it’s also related to my obsession with control and perfection. I feel like ideas need to be perfectly formed in my head before I can put them to paper, or else I feel an overwhelming sense of inferiority and incompetence. The longer I go without writing, the more anxiety it brings me, and the more avoidant I become. I’ve decided to bite the bullet and just throw this out there, and try to regain access to my creativity. [...]

By | 2017-09-28T18:43:29+00:00 September 28th, 2017|mental health|11 Comments

I Gave Up Materialism for Travel

Materialism is sold to us in the form of aspirational lifestyles with luxury goods, fancy cars, and expensive houses. Success is presented as possession of many items of high dollar value, and this is supposed to make us happy. The increasing obsession with celebrities and their lifestyles places an importance on both wealth and the outward displays of wealth. This materialism is sold to us constantly through advertising companies that need to suck people into black holes of spending. As a teenager, I absolutely loved shopping for clothes. I would always save up for after-Christmas sales, and bought new clothes [...]

By | 2017-09-06T17:45:40+00:00 September 6th, 2017|mental health|27 Comments

Every Day You Must Choose Recovery Over Self Destruction

Trigger warning: this article contains graphic descriptions of drug usage and addiction. I miss recreational drugs a lot. Whenever anyone tells a story about doing cocaine, my body reacts instantly. Within half a second, my heart rate elevates and starts beating out of my chest. My muscles tense in anticipation, and I feel a rush of adrenaline through my chest and stomach. Images of using flash repeatedly in front of my eyes and my brain tells me over and over that it wouldn’t be so bad to start taking drugs again. I haven’t touched drugs since October 2016 and yet [...]

By | 2017-09-05T20:04:52+00:00 August 31st, 2017|mental health|9 Comments

What is Splitting? – Living with BPD

Whenever I break up with a boyfriend, or end a friendship, my heart becomes instantly cold towards them. It’s almost as if all my memories of them become fuzzy around the edges, and I feel nothing towards them anymore. I used to think that this made me a monster, but I can now see it as a defense mechanism. This is one aspect of splitting, which is a symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as emotional dysregulation disorder. Splitting is when you experience extreme black and white or ‘all or nothing’ thinking. Most people experience this to some [...]

By | 2017-08-26T15:04:43+00:00 August 26th, 2017|mental health|18 Comments

How to Incorporate Mindfulness in Travel

I really struggle to live in the present moment. I notice that my mind is often preoccupied with either the past or the future, and often stressing about things that are outside of my control. If you’re like me, you will often do things on autopilot and never really pay attention to the details of your actions. You will forget entire sections of your day, because your brain was focused on things outside of the present moment. This is why mindfulness is so important, and I find especially that incorporating mindfulness in travel is essential. Travel is a multi-sensory experience [...]

By | 2017-08-23T18:09:05+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|mental health|21 Comments

Why You Should Visit ex-ESMA to Understand Argentina’s History

When we travel, we seek vibrant new experiences that enrich our understanding of the world and of ourselves. However, I think it’s fair to say that most travellers are seeking out tourist sites of a positive nature. Waterfalls, iconic architecture, natural beauty, and street art are highlights of many locations around the world. However, to visit only positive tourist sites does a disservice to a country by not acknowledging history that has shaped it. I knew little to nothing of the history of Argentina before studying there on my political science study tour with AIM Overseas. Learning about the period [...]

By | 2017-08-16T15:15:37+00:00 August 16th, 2017|ethical travel|27 Comments

5 Times I Was Genuinely Terrified While Travelling

I know that I’ve written a lot about how the media portrays certain regions of the world, like South America, in a negative light, and how inaccurate this is. I like to write about how the world is accessible and full of life lessons for the solo traveller, and that most places are no more dangerous than your hometown. I don’t want to suggest that travelling is mostly dangerous or that bad things will happen to you if you venture outside of your country. However, there have been several times when I was genuinely terrified while travelling. I’ve made a [...]

By | 2017-08-04T15:31:50+00:00 August 4th, 2017|mental health|13 Comments
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