5 Times I Was Genuinely Terrified While Travelling

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

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 [...]

Stuck in an Endless Cycle of Relapsing and Depression

By | 2017-08-25T17:34:19+00:00 July 30th, 2017|mental health|

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 feel like I am stuck in an endless cycle of depression. Since changing the dosage of my medications in late [...]

Blogging is Seriously Hard Work

By | 2017-11-02T21:23:01+00:00 July 22nd, 2017|mental health|

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 courses recommend posting at least three times a week when starting out, and I feel disheartened that I don’t have [...]

How To Handle a Long-Distance Relationship While Travelling

By | 2017-12-07T14:50:21+00:00 July 18th, 2017|mental health|

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 my current boyfriend, and they always ended the same way. I got caught up in the excitement of travelling alone [...]

How To Be (Mostly) Sober in a Society Obsessed with Alcohol

By | 2017-08-15T15:58:43+00:00 July 4th, 2017|mental health|

Alcohol is poison. It numbs your brain and your senses, and creeps into your brain to whisper lies in your ear. When you are living with chronic mental illness, drinking alcohol is one of the most harmful things that you can do, and you should try to eradicate it from your life.  Alcohol makes me stupider, more impulsive, and more vulnerable to the negative thoughts that constantly swirl around my brain. I have burst into tears or started heavily dissociating while drinking, more times than I can count. Drinking alcohol doesn’t only leave me with a dry mouth and a [...]

Perfectionism is Killing Me

By | 2017-11-02T21:22:04+00:00 June 27th, 2017|mental health|

Perfectionism is slowly killing me inside. My psychologist refers to the phenomenon as ‘unrelenting standards’, which means that I set a standard for myself that can never actually be attained. These standards also do not apply to other people in my eyes. This covers all aspects of my life, from relationships to academic achievements. I could view perfectionism as a positive, other than the fact that I experience constant stress and anxiety because of it. I have quit so many things that I have started, from university courses, to online travel writing courses. I quit them because I felt like [...]

The Transformative Power of Nature-Based Travel

By | 2017-12-07T15:02:36+00:00 June 24th, 2017|mental health|

It took three hours of trekking in the Borneo rainforest of Bako National Park for me to fully realise that I had broken my first boyfriend’s heart. Up until that point, I hadn’t understood why he had acted so cruelly when I broke up with him. I resented the lies that he had told about me to his friends and the cruel words that he wrote about me on the internet. I resented all of this without ever understanding how truly hurt he had been. It took the isolation of nature and the physical exertion of hiking in the hot, [...]

How to Travel with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

By | 2017-07-28T23:51:28+00:00 June 21st, 2017|mental health|

I laid naked in the foetal position on the floor of the hostel shower, crying uncontrollably while my friend stood over me to supervise. I had made the mistake of going out drinking on a pub crawl in Buenos Aires, against all my better judgment. Alcohol amplifies the symptoms of my borderline personality disorder (BPD), and makes it so much harder to block out the intrusive thoughts that I am ugly, unwanted, and unlovable. When these thoughts had taken over, I had called my boyfriend in Australia and asked him over and over if he still loved me and if [...]

How Backpacking Reduces Body Dysmorphia

By | 2017-07-28T23:51:35+00:00 June 19th, 2017|mental health|

When I was 17 years old, I thought I was obese. Irredeemably fat. I weighed only 58 kg. At 172 cm tall, this was far from overweight. But when I looked at my body in the mirror, all I could see was weight ballooning around my waist and stomach area, making me look pregnant. I weighed myself a few times a day, every single day, and any gained weight made me feel horrific inside. This is what is known as body dysmorphia, which is something that I still struggle with to this day. I spent a year of my life [...]

An Open Letter to My Rapist

By | 2017-11-02T21:26:40+00:00 June 13th, 2017|mental health|

Trigger warning: this post contains graphic descriptions of rape.  You killed me on the 10th of May, 2014, and yet there will never be a trial. You will never be tried for murder, for the murder of a life that I once had. It’s been a few years since we last spoke, and yet I have the sneaking suspicion that I will never forget our last meeting. How could I, when I’ve replayed it in my mind every day for the last three years? I wonder if you’ve erased it from your memory, or if you really, truly believe that [...]