(Main Post image c.Flickr/Simon Hammond)
This is my monthly summary post with high points of the month, not-so-high-points and what’s next for Soul Travel Blog.
My passport is looking seriously dusty.
It hasn’t been moved since March when I went for a quick jaunt / part clear-out of my storage unit mission to Amsterdam. And on top of that I’m now the proud owner of two passports – my Irish passport arrived just today. I feel very lucky that one of my parents happens to be Irish-born which has allowed me to apply for citizenship of a country that will be remaining in the EU after the UK leaves.
Although I’m an advocate of travel, I’m also an advocate of awareness that the value of ones passport impacts our ability to travel (or otherwise) a huge amount. And I will never take my having a passport – or a passport that allows visa free access to many countries – for granted.
The dust on my passport has also caused me to realise that that dust also means my carbon footprint (by not flying) is also probably the lowest its been in the last few years. Which is no bad thing.
I also turned a year older this month, and celebrated my 34th birthday! Frankly, it feels a little scary to be one year away from 35, but I’m so grateful for how my life has changed over the last year and for all the amazing people I’ve met. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds.
I started this post yesterday and in the meantime woke up this morning to the news about the attacks on London Bridge. It’s one of my favourite parts of London so this time, it hit a little close to home. Londoners are very resilient creatures, but it feels at the moment as if the world is being tested on so many different fronts. From denial of climate change (which is already having very real consequences on some parts of the world) to disillusioned souls who become fanatics and turn to trying to kill people.
My feeling is we have to be braver, stronger, and more vocal than ever before.
Where I’ve been in May.
London, baby! Living the highlife behind my laptop, coming up occasionally for air or a walk in the park with friends. 🙂 I even got out to pretty Oxford for a day to meet up with the lovely founder of Mahouts Elephant Foundation, whom I visited in Thailand last year.
Attending the Jaipur Literature Festival in London! This world famous festival which takes place in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, each February held an event in London too this year. I was lucky enough to be able to attend several talks, including the travel panel, and hear Monisha Rajesh read from her “Around the World in 80 Trains” book, amongst others!
May has been uneventful for me in terms of travel. I wish I could say as much for goings-on and news headlines in the wider world. I believe more strongly than ever that as travellers we have a huge responsibility to connect with other cultures as we travel and to show that there is so much peace and good will out there.
May Blog Posts.
- The beginning of the month saw me riled by TBEX’s decision to partner with the Zimbabwean Government and talk about where are the Countries in the World We Should Not Visit
- I got to review the beautiful and environmentally friendly One Aldwych Hotel, which you can read about here.
- As part of Immersion Travel Magazine’s Sustainable Travel Summit, I wrote a guide to accompany my talk on How to Get off the Beaten Track in Rajasthan in India.
Other May Posts.
Thanks to the following publications for also featuring my words this month:
- Travindy: The Other Victims of Elephant Tourism in ThailandThe Other Victims of Elephant Tourism in Thailand.
- Ethical Traveler: You Wouldn’t Ride an Elephant… but What About A Camel?
Instagram Post of the Month.
The Welsh Highland Railway, in North Wales. I was lucky to have such clear blue skies for my explorations in this part of the world! If you want to see more please subscribe to my new YouTube Channel!
On the Welsh Highland Railway, we had the perfect day for views out over the countryside. This little train winds all the way from Porthmadog to Caernarfon in North Wales. I’ll admit the steam is not the most environmentally friendly thing, but personally I find it really important to support these heritage attractions that are often staffed/run by volunteers so that these magical experiences are still there for the next generation to enjoy. What do you think? #soultravelblog
I’ll be taking the train over to Amsterdam in June to have the chance to speak to some very inspirational sustainable travel startups who are part of Booking.com (my former employer)’s Sustainable Travel Booster Programme. Later on in the month I’ll be heading over to Bristol, in the West of the UK, before preparing for my travel in July.
Beyond June, I’m really excited to announce that I’ll be going to Iran in July with G Adventures (visas permitting of course – which is not a straight forward process this time around…)
Thank You for Reading!
As you know, without you I wouldn’t be here writing this. Every comment, like, share and piece of feedback matters to me and I appreciate it. Thank you!