solo travel

How Backpacking Reduces Body Dysmorphia

By | 2018-01-12T13:32:20+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 [...]

Why I Never Want to Go Back to Bali

By | 2018-01-12T12:57:21+00:00 June 16th, 2017|ethical travel|

My knee dislocated for the second time while I was staying in Pemuteran, on the north coast of Bali, Indonesia. I was staying alone in a small, family run guesthouse, and my phone was on the opposite side of the room. I had to scream for five minutes at the top of my lungs before the guesthouse owner came running in. He took one look at my leg, gnarled and at a strange angle, with the knee cap protruding off to one side, and went running back out again to retrieve the local healer. His teenage son, while speaking limited [...]

5 Reasons to Visit Little-Known Boyacá, Colombia

By | 2018-01-12T13:40:30+00:00 June 9th, 2017|travel inspiration|

I’m a self-confessed gringa. I carried a Lonely Planet for the entirety of my travels through Colombia, and consulted it for recommended locations, hostels and restaurants. Of course, I liked to randomly wander and find my own places to enjoy, but I always had the trusty guidebook in my bag just in case. A group of men yelled gringa at me for the first time in Sogamoso, Colombia. Not out of spite or anger, but pure surprise. Locals are so unused to seeing foreigners in Boyacá, let alone young foreign women, that every person openly stared at me on the street. I [...]

Coping Without a Support Network When Travelling Solo

By | 2018-01-12T12:45:45+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 [...]