‘So brown and so happy’ – my grans description of me travelling, May 2017

So after 3 countries, 13 flights, 19 airports, god knows how many beds/places I’ve fallen asleep, countless memories and laughter and just a few tears my travelling time came to an end. Today marks one month since my return to England and this post seems to be coming late but it took a lot of time everything sink in. This post is going to be relatively short but I just want to put an appreciation post out there about my experiences.

I know how ridiculously lucky I am. I know that I have had a once in a life time unbelievable experience. My heart is so full and I am so grateful for everything that I have done. I don’t want anyone to think for a second that I have taken all of this for granted. The experiences I’ve had have been absolutely incredible. They have changed my perspective on things and made me look at life differently. I can honestly say that I have returned from this trip a different person. I know that a cliché thing to say but seriously, it would be weird if all these crazy experiences, travelling alone, volunteering and meeting so many different amazing people hadn’t changed me! I am the happiest I’ve ever been. I have a clearer picture of what I want and what I want to achieve but I also have learnt to enjoy everything in the moment, not always being like, oh, I can’t wait for this part of my life to start. Of course, I still look forward to stuff and get excited about the future but definitely not overlook what’s going on around me now. I used to panic about absolutely everything but now, I’m a lot calmer and I deal with problems a lot better. I also like to believe I’ve become more compassionate and more understanding towards others and empathise with their problems more. But also I have learnt that it is ok to be selfish sometimes and to take time to look after myself, which was never really a priority for me before.

But I wouldn’t have been able to have any of these experiences or grow as a person at all if it weren’t for all of the incredible people that I met along the way. You made it what it was and, I want to thank each and every one of you. My heart is so full and I am so grateful. From my volunteering buddies who I got extremely close to even after a few days, I will never forget, to the guys I met in hostels all over Australia, to people I met on tours, trips, even the people who helped me when I was lost and didn’t even know their names. Thank you to all of you. There is so much love in this world and travellers share the most of it. Everyone wants to help each other, even though everyone’s in the same boat of poor-ness and worry. You guys are some of the best people I have ever met and the people who have the most love in their hearts. I love you all.

Confessions of a vegetarian.

Why am I a vegetarian…

For my first blog post I thought I’d start off with a light easy one, vegetarianism. I know a lot of you will probably be rolling your eyes and thinking here we go again but I think it’s pretty important. First of all, I’ll answer some of the questions that people always ask me:

  • No, I don’t judge those or think less of those for eating meat, I think it’d be pretty hypocritical if I did considering I was a meat eater for 20 years…
  • No, I do not get offended if you eat meat in front of me, see above, however I do not enjoy you waving meat in front of my face and making moo-ing sounds…
  • No, I don’t eat fish (that would be a pescatarain).
  • No, I don’t eat chicken… yes it counts as meat…

But the main question people always ask me why I became a vege in the first place. Well I’ve always thought it was a good idea because when I really think about it, I can’t really get my head around eating animals. But what really clinched if for me were a few things. First of all, my housemate and uni made me watch a documentary about slaughterhouses and it made me sick… they showed what they really do to these poor animals, how many of them are killed, how many ‘useless’ animals are killed, for example the male calves that are born are shot when they are just a few days old as they wanted female ones for milk. I posted a video below, be warned, it’s pretty gruesome.

https://www.facebook.com/garytvcom/videos/1070055209716393/

And that’s just one of the many shocking and horrific things that the industry does.

Another thing that clinched it for me was the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. If you haven’t heard, here’s a link to it;

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/yulin-dog-meat-festival-2016-10000-dogs-set-to-be-killed-and-eaten-at-chinese-food-event-a7093321.html

So everyone was kicking off about it and I was there like, yeah I get that dogs are viewed differently in the Western world and are obviously more domesticated but animals are animals, we have the exact same thing over here, but we call them hog festivals, hog roasts… same principal different animal. Another similar situation came up when I was watching Gogglebox a while ago and there was a documentary about animal farms in different countries and there was a piece about rabbit battery farms. Everyone on the show was in outrage and claiming how they were going save all the bunnies themselves. And I thought, hang on a minute, we have, again, the exact same thing over here but we call them chicken battery farms. Why are we so dedicated to the cute animals and not to the other ones. I thought if I am against one, I should be against both and therefore would no longer take part in the industry that contributes to it.

There are also a ridiculous amount of other benefits of vegetarianism. The meat industry in one of the largest contributors to global warming and vegetarianism has huge benefits for the environment. Not to mention the fact that it’s also great for your health and for your bank account. If you literally Google it, there are sooo many articles but I’ve picked out a couple here:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jul/18/vegetarianism-save-planet-environment

http://www.peta.org/living/food/vegetarian-101/

Also, hands up, I dunno how accurate this calculator is but it’s pretty cool:

http://vegetariancalculator.com/

I know I’ll probably get a lot of scepticism for this next comment but I don’t even miss meat anymore. However if there is anything that you really crave or really miss, Quorn will probably do a replacement, they do a ridiculous amount of stuff. And it’s really not as bad as everyone makes out it is, it’s really not, and no of course it doesn’t taste exactly the same, because its grown from fungus, not meat… but yeah, it’s not half bad.

I’ve been a vegetarian for about a year and a half now and considering all the horrifying facts that I’ve discovered about the meat industry, even in the creating of animal products, I’m seriously considering going vegan. I would’ve done it already if it wasn’t such a harder step from jumping from meat eater to vege from vege to vegan. But watch this space.