I Gave Up Materialism for Travel

Street art in Cartagena.

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...

Every Day You Must Choose Recovery Over Self Destruction

Rural village in Colombia

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...

What is Splitting? – Living with BPD

Street art in Santiago

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....

How to Incorporate Mindfulness in Travel

Church in Barichara

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...

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

Memorial statue in the grounds of ex-ESMA.

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...

5 Times I Was Genuinely Terrified While Travelling

Rainbow houses in Santiago, Chile.

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...

Stuck in an Endless Cycle of Relapsing and Depression

Red and white farmhouse in Salento.

I am so sick of constantly relapsing. Most people experience at least one period of depression in their lives, but it is often situational. My depression is cyclical, and has affected my life up to several times a year since the age of fifteen. It can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months at a time. I am sick and tired of relapsing again after I feel like I am finally getting better. I honestly...

Top 5 Attractions in Cartagena

Colonial buildings in the Colombian city of Cartagena. Street vendors sit outside the largest building.

The old colonial port city of Cartagena, Colombia, lies lazy and lethargic under a heavy blanket of pervasive Caribbean humidity. Long, labyrinthine alleyways wind between grand, multi-storey buildings coated in ivy leaves and perfumed flowers stretched across their brightly coloured faces and iron-wrought balconies. To explore in Cartagena is to brave the sweltering heat and to be rewarded with colourful streets brimming with local vendors, restaurants hidden behind shop fronts, and tiny squares surrounded by colonial architecture. These are the...

Blogging is Seriously Hard Work

Street art of rainbow trees.

Blogging is seriously hard work. I’ve hit a major roadblock when it comes to being inspired to write, and so have deliberated over several half-finished posts for weeks. I work in short, sharp bursts of energy that mean I can finish an entire blog post in one hour, and then not write again for four days. Unfortunately, my perfectionism starts to kick in, and then I start to feel like a failure for not being a non-stop creation machine. Blogging...

How To Handle a Long-Distance Relationship While Travelling

Street art in Penang.

When I met my current boyfriend, I had a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires and no intention of entering into a relationship, let alone a long-distance relationship. I had plans of travelling for a year by myself and working my way around South America. Three things happened: I realised that I didn’t have enough money saved, I had a major mental health relapse, and I fell deeply in love. I’m notoriously bad at long-distance relationships. I’d tried them twice before...