The troubles of travel. Do you have what it takes?

Thanks to social media and mobile phones, it’s easy to see the glam side of travel. But what you don’t usually see or hear about are the downsides. And although there are many beautiful positives, there are of course many downsides to choosing a life out of a backpack! 


So in my 32nd country and new home of Mexico, I present to you my 3 main pros and cons of travel:

Lack of connection to life back home vs a connection to the world 

Although it’s easier than ever before to sit down in front of your laptop and see your mum from the other side of the world, the connection and life from back home is definitely lost and missed whilst travelling. Being around your friends and family is completely different to constantly being surrounded by strangers and new people. While you’re planning your next trip around the world alone and what backpack to live from, your friends are growing up, settling down with partners, children and in homes for life. Life doesn’t stop back at home and the daily conversation and closeness to the people that I love is one of the only things I miss while I’m away. 

However, you do gain a whole new connection to the world and countries you travel to and people you meet along the way. People change your life and ways of thinking on a daily basis (as well as the few the completely test you!) which is amazing, and inspiring and so worth missing a Sunday dinner or drink down the pub for a while!


The constant need for adventure vs the absence of normality

My last three years in London was the most settled I’d been in a long time and it still wasn’t very settled with a summer in Asia and three house moves! But I loved my routine of work, uni and social life. And it was something I really took for granted before I travelled. It’s a lovely feeling being settled and having a routine, knowing what you’ll be doing next week and having an unpacked room with all your belongings in it. It’s normality that you miss whilst travelling. The ease of being able to pop down to costa for a coffee or doing a food shop in Morrisons, and the little things like a proper duvet and going to the fridge for food! (Lol that my main normalities revolve around bed and food). And then the big things like a monthly pay and regular income…!

But during these days I’d find myself longing to get on a plane again. I loved my life in London but the need to see a new city or two, to be around more exciting and inspiring people, the need to try something new always takes over my need for normality. And so again, I venture across unknown streets and into new shops for cups of coffee. I walk the streets listening to people speaking unknown words and wonder what will happen today. Whether it’s excitingly life-changing   or completely bad luck, every day brings something and someone new which is worth the risk surely?


Wanting to go home VS never giving up

We all have bad days but it’s the home comforts and people around you that always seem to make things better. So, when you’re travelling, all these bad things are quite literally more complicated and harder (because you’re a million miles away!) and always feel 10x worse. Losing my debit cards and camera was tough, inconvenient and gutting, and being ill whilst away is incredibly testing too. Honestly, some days, all you want to do is give up, book that flight home and run into the arms of mum and dad. But at the end of the day, all that’s really lost is a few objects and a few days in bed which could happen back at home too. The experiences and memories that I’ve gained trump my GoPro pictures any day. And alongside that, it makes you realise what’s important, makes you 10x stronger and so much more independent. So, if you can get through these times with a smile on your face and the determination to keep going then guys, you’re smashing it! 

People rarely tell you that loss is a fundamental part of travelling. You’ll experience feelings of loss of normality, chances of love and settling down, opportunities of a normal 9-5 paid career. You’ll feel lost, alone and question what on earth you’re doing. But you’ll find new ways of living, loving and working. You’ll never get the experiences of travel by never leaving your doorstep. And so far, through all the tests and difficulties that I’ve faced, I’ve learned that it’s always worth the risk. 



Catch up with my adventures here on instagram @vanishamay

Thanks for reading guys!

Vanisha

X

Looking for a fun night out? The three biggest problems girls experience on the dance floor. 

24 year-old single girl seeking a fun time with her girls, with a few drinks and a night on the dance floor. 

Not much too ask right? And the last few times I’ve been in a club have been just that, but with the addition of multiple guys acting like complete sleaze dogs to not just me and my friends, but to most of the other girls around us too. Sexualisation, misogyny and disrespect are as common on the dance floor as the dab. I for one, am so tired of guys grabbing my butt instead of shaking my hand. Offering to buy me shots instead of asking to buy me dinner. Asking to take me home, before even asking my name… 

WHATS GOING ON?!

Perhaps I’m overreacting or perhaps it’s not spoken enough about but here are 3 recurring problems complete with horror stories after conversations about what it means to be a girl in a club…


Problem #1

Some of these guys have this ninja talent (especially in London’s tiger tiger) of somehow sneaking right up behind you, then acting all nonchalant like you two been grinding all night when you turn around out of shock horror that a stranger could even be that close to you. Personal bubble. You are in my personal bubble. How did you even get there. Get out right now. 

The dance floor is not a space where all laws and social norms stay outside. If I walked past you in primark would you lift my skirt up? No. So why do you think it’s okay for your hand to creep up my leg in a club without my permission or even without my awareness that again, you’re so bloody close to me. 

Boundaries, learn it people. Come up to my face, not my behind.


Problem #2

Ego. It’s funny, and it’s probably alcohol induced with a hint of the macho man attitude but some of these guys think they’re actual gods on a night out. No fear. He’s gonna talk to me, my friend, and them four girls at the bar. Lol no shame. Then he’s gonna ask for my number. I say “no thanks”. He asks “why? Do you have a boyfriend?” Ha ha ha I’m thinking brilliant. The only time it’s okay to talk out loud about my imaginary boyfriend. “Yes, yes I do, he’s waiting for me outside”. But this dude is relentless, again no shame and has an ego bigger than Everest. He says “ahh that’s cool b we can be friends, does your boyfriend allow you to have friends, we can go out for dinner as friends, unless he’s the type that don’t let you have friends, let’s exchange numbers as friends”. Lol is this happening, are you really doing this. I have a boyfriend (as far as he knows) and I said NO. Why is that not enough? Why are you still winking at me? Stop.

Problem #3

Ratio. I’m not sure why tiger tiger has 17 men for every girl and toyroom seemed to have the complete opposite, but in both cases it was a huge problem. Either you were surrounded and hounded by guys or you were put out like cattle for sale and the guys got to choose which ones to prey on and which girls to cast aside. It seems like common sense for clubs to get an even ratio but no. And it’s a definite contributing factor. 


I’m not sure why these are even issues in 2017 but clearly we still have a long way to go with drawing the line on harmless flirting and friendliness to actually being violated and harassed in clubs. The dance floor is a place where misogyny, power conflicts, disrespect and sexualisation still exists. I hope one day that a night out will be without these worries and annoyances. Maybe teaching in schools about boundaries, relationships and what could be harassment and uncomfortable for some people could be an idea? I don’t know, all I do know is that no matter what club you’re in, this attitude is everywhere, and from now on I’m telling these dudes that the guy on the left is my boyfriend… 

 

Let me know your thoughts and experiences are from any perspective!

 

Thanks for reading 🙂 
Vanisha

X

Think you aren’t lucky enough to travel? Think again…

For those that know me, travel is a huge part of my life. There’s not many countries that I would not want to visit, and I’ve been fortunate enough to live, backpack and holiday in 25 different countries so far. But since the countdown for my next adventure has started, I’ve heard this a lot….

“How can you do that?! You’re SO lucky! I could never do that”

This is my main bug. It’s not a big bug, but still a bug. It’s not luck based. It’s choice. My main adventures started as soon as I started working, because as a child, we rarely had family holidays abroad, and I couldn’t wait to see more of the world. I have no savings, I’ve always paid rent, I have only just got my driving license, I don’t own property, and the things that I do own, are all through my own money. So when people say “you’re so lucky, you get to travel”, actually, I work really hard for it, it’s just that my priorities are different and therefore I book plane tickets instead of buying new trainers (which is completely fine too, it’s just preference, not luck). I love my life, and wouldn’t have it any other way. But guys, you can do it too, if you really wanted to….

Anyway, this was partly inspired by this lovely little read….

“Did you know, you can quit your job, you can leave university? You aren’t legally required to have a degree, it’s a social pressure and expectation, not the law, and no one is holding a gun to your head. You can sell your house, you can give up your apartment, you can even sell your vehicle, and your things that are mostly unnecessary. You can see the world on a minimum wage salary, despite the persisting myth, you do not need a high paying job. You can leave your friends (if they’re true friends they’ll forgive you, and you’ll still be friends) and make new ones on the road. You can leave your family. You can depart from your hometown, your country, your culture, and everything you know. You can sacrifice. You can give up your $5.00 a cup morning coffee, you can give up air conditioning, frequent consumption of new products. You can give up eating out at restaurants and prepare affordable meals at home, and eat the leftovers too, instead of throwing them away. You can give up cable TV, Internet even. This list is endless. You can sacrifice climbing up in the hierarchy of careers. You can buck tradition and others’ expectations of you. You can triumph over your fears, by conquering your mind. You can take risks. And most of all, you can travel. You just don’t want it enough. You want a degree or a well-paying job or to stay in your comfort zone more. This is fine, if it’s what your heart desires most, but please don’t envy me and tell me you can’t travel. You’re not in a famine, in a desert, in a third world country, with five malnourished children to feed. You probably live in a first world country. You have a roof over your head, and food on your plate. You probably own luxuries like a cellphone and a computer. You can afford the $3.00 a night guest houses of India, the $0.10 fresh baked breakfasts of Morocco, because if you can afford to live in a first world country, you can certainly afford to travel in third world countries, you can probably even afford to travel in a first world country. So please say to me, “I want to travel, but other things are more important to me and I’m putting them first”, not, “I’m dying to travel, but I can’t”, because I have yet to have someone say they can’t, who truly can’t. You can, however, only live once, and for me, the enrichment of the soul that comes from seeing the world is worth more than a degree that could bring me in a bigger paycheck, or material wealth, or pleasing society. Of course, you must choose for yourself, follow your heart’s truest desires, but know that you can travel, you’re only making excuses for why you can’t. And if it makes any difference, I have never met anyone who has quit their job, left school, given up their life at home, to see the world, and regretted it. None. Only people who have grown old and regretted never traveling, who have regretted focusing too much on money and superficial success, who have realised too late that there is so much more to living than this.”

Wunderkammer: Did You Know From <http://vanishamay.tumblr.com/>

And although I don’t agree with everything there, and I’m not saying that it’s an easy choice, or as simple, but ultimately, if you’re reading this, you have the choice to travel if you wanted to

Happy Thursday you lot!

V

x

Where’s our humanity? Time to get Syria-ous.

“Human life is human life whether it is in the east or west or north or south. Perhaps it is difficult to imagine the suffering of others if it is not happening in our own backyards. If it’s not our skies lit with flames. If it is not our sleep shaken awake by bombs instead of alarm clocks. Death is death and pain is pain no matter where in the world it is felt.” – Rupi Kaur.

 

This is my first angry rant-y blog. And it’s a pretty deep one so this is your heads up. The war on Syria and the refugee crisis breaks my heart daily, due to the fact that nothing is changing and the situation is becoming more desperate by the day. It’s the greatest humanitarian failure of this century. The recent chemical attacks have killed 89 people, including children, and the death count is rising. This is a war crime, a crime against humanity, on every level, completely wrong.

 

Two weeks ago, my Facebook feed was filled with people from this country who suddenly had a voice and an opinion on the   attack in London that left five dead. So let’s hear you now? Where are the Facebook posts and flags? These people have no safety checks through Facebook unlike the handful of people who were marking themselves safe even days after the event in London, even when they lived nowhere near the event, and even though they were obviously safe. How self-important are you? And how shameful for Facebook to even create such a mockery out of a serious incident. Let’s be realistic here for everyone marking themselves safe and thinking that it’s relevant when the police would have contacted your family so much sooner than Facebook realising there was an incident, creating a safety check button, then you realising there was an incident, going on to Facebook, checking yourself in, then your loved ones seeing it saying “aw thank god they’ve checked in because I had no idea otherwise”. I think it’s full disrespect for the people who were actually affected, and just a joke to make people feel like they could ‘get involved’ in some way.

 

I’m so sick of seeing this war on my feed then looking at the privilege, greed and wealth around this country and others in the West. I’m so sick of people telling me how kind I am or how much of a good heart I have, when you’re completely capable of being the same kind of person too. It really makes me laugh, what’s stopping you from caring too? Or is it that you just don’t?

I’ve woken up today angry and sick of the laziness and just general lack of care. What are our priorities? What do we really care about? I don’t believe that anyone in this country is too busy to volunteer, or too skint to donate money when they party twice a week and buy Starbucks every morning. Where is our humanity?

 

Now, I’m fully aware that single-handedly, I can’t change the world, but I know that in years to come, we’ll look back on these times and feel great shame and regret for all the things we could have done and all the times we could have tried.

I’m not sure what my point exactly here is, but I guess I have a lot of hope. Hope that we can change our ways of thinking and start to show responsibility and activism for people who are helpless, desperate and who have no platform to raise their voices. I hope for everyone to have the right to life like we do, lives full of opportunity, have achievable dreams and full safety, away from fear, danger and harm.

 

To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places — and there are so many — where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory.

A Power Governments Cannot Suppress, p. 270. Howard Zinn

 

Here’s what you can do today….

  • Watch the white helmets on Netflix. It’s an amazing documentary that shows the reality of the Syrian war and the humanity and absolute love of those helping and saving lives.
  • Sign this petition on Amnesty International to encourage the UN to take further action against the war crimes:

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/demand-justice-victims-syria-idlib-chemical-gas-attack

  • Educate yourselves and donate to any of these organisations:

http://www.iamsyria.org/take-action.html

https://www.whitehelmets.org/en

https://www.unicef.org.uk/donate/syria/?gclid=Cj0KEQjwzpfHBRC1iIaL78Ol-eIBEiQAdZPVKo77wnE0ekCwLCfl1vFlhngtZt8qPdACPezEUPqL7HgaAjBu8P8HAQ&sissr=1

  • Fight racism and the fear of refugees. Educate yourselves, raise awareness and open your minds, arms and hearts.

 

Thanks for reading my rant,

Be kind, be thoughtful and have hope!

And have a wonderful day!

V