Trust is One Of the Most Important Parts of Travel

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

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 [...]

I Gave Up Materialism for Travel

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

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 [...]

Top 5 Attractions in Cartagena

By | 2017-07-28T23:48:43+00:00 July 25th, 2017|travel inspiration|

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 best sights that the city has to offer. Palacio de la Inquisición The Palace of the Inquisition is the former [...]

Acknowledging My White Privilege in Southeast Asia

By | 2017-08-25T17:33:06+00:00 July 11th, 2017|ethical travel|

I’m considered exceptionally beautiful in Southeast Asia. Multiple local men stare at me as I walk down the street, and I have been propositioned by men several years older than I. My Thai cooking teacher referred to me as a “supermodel”, because I have the long legs that Thai women do not. I don’t attract this attention at anywhere near the same level at home in Australia. I get it in Southeast Asia because I am white. This is a characteristic of my white privilege; I am the beauty ideal because of my skin colour. Pale skin is one of the [...]

Reclaiming Community Spaces in Medellín, Colombia

By | 2017-08-22T15:48:26+00:00 June 5th, 2017|travel inspiration|

During the 1980’s, Medellín was the murder capital of the world. In this post, I talk briefly about the conditions during the city in this time and the terrorist acts committed under the orders of the drug lord Pablo Escobar. No traveller in the world would have considered Colombia to be a place that they wanted to travel, let alone the crime hotspot of Medellín. Today, Medellín is a traveller’s favourite and highly recommended by every person in Colombia that I came across. Colombia itself is truly making its mark on the well-trodden backpacker route around South America and is [...]

A Universal Experience of Sexual Harassment/Assault

By | 2017-08-22T15:46:47+00:00 June 3rd, 2017|ethical travel|

Trigger warning: this post contains discussions of sexual assault and rape. I was sitting by the side of the road in Kota Bharu, Malaysia, when I saw that a man was sitting on his motorbike and masturbating while staring at me. I froze in place. I didn’t know what to do. I was only 18 years old and I had luckily never encountered this kind of harassment before. I moved quickly down another road, but he continued to follow me and stare at me. I ran to my guesthouse and locked myself inside my room, heart thumping and nausea rising [...]

Travelling with Chronic Depression

By | 2017-08-22T15:39:24+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|mental health|

Everyone seemed to promise that travel would be, at least at first, an all-consuming source of stimulation and excitement. Most days would be full of bright new experiences and stimulating social encounters with travellers and locals alike. Sometimes things could be expected to be stressful or lonely, but at the end of the day everything would add up to a great learning experience. I’ve spent my whole life trying to run from my depression. I fought seeing a psychologist for many years before relenting, and even then resisted trying antidepressants for longer still. I was in denial about my illness, [...]

On Volunteering for the Sake of Volunteering

By | 2017-07-21T14:43:47+00:00 May 20th, 2017|ethical travel|

Coming from Australia, I’d never actually seen a gun in person before, but Wilson had been nothing but casual as he slung his hunting rifle over his shoulder and led us down the path into the forest. The trees were so closely packed that only fingertips of sunlight could touch upon my face and I wondered how we would be able to see any animals in the deep twisting labyrinth of foliage. These are skills that can be taught, which Wilson does in his lessons to the small groups of volunteers that visit Bario to learn hunting skills and work [...]