Before I arrived in India there were several things I expected to see on its dusty, crowded streets: cows, tuk tuks and a lot of stinky waste. From plastic water bottles, discarded food and shredded clothes, to human excrement of all varieties; India’s public spaces are a breeding ground for illness, yet a source of shelter and food for the many stray dogs, goats, cows and humans who rely on them.
In large built up areas such as Delhi, or even small deprived towns like Pathankot, you can almost become accustomed to the sheer scale of rubbish; envisioning the infrastructure needed to keep on top of such an overwhelming demand. But what’s surprised me the most is the street side trash in the stunningly serene pine tree foothills of Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh areas in the North. Here, you’re surrounded by breathtakingly beautiful mountains, cheeky wild monkeys swinging from the trees and acres of discarded crisp packets!
Continue reading Rubbish India: tackling waste management
Well my lovelies, the time has finally come to start packing up my backpack and triple checking my to do list ready for next weeks great departure!
One of the most exciting things about packing up an ambitiously small 46L backpack for a year of travels is that it highlights just how little you need to get by in life. Once you realise that you have to lug all these belongings on your back almost every where you go, you soon get ruthless to what makes the cut in your final packing list!
What’s been the most interesting about my final backpack contents is just how flexible I’ve had to be with my own ethical interests, in order to weigh up practicality, durability and, naturally, cost. But I’ve tried to stay as balanced as possible, and suspect that as I go on I’ll slowly go without less in my bag in order to keep my arms from falling off!
So whilst not everything I’m packing is 100% ethical, vegan, Fairtrade etc, they will help to serve me in living as minimalist and zero waste for as long as possible. You will also see that a lot of the items below have also been gifted to me by my lovely friends, family and colleagues, so I haven’t spent much money on my final contents!
Continue reading Minimalist Living on the Road: My Backpacking Essentials
What a difference a week can make. Especially when you feel like you’ve been moving at 100 Mph for the last 6 months, on an unsatisfying energy source of cheap coffee, hummus and Sex and the City reruns! Life for the first half of 2015 has seemed to move both mind numbingly slow and overwhelmingly fast in equal measures.
On the one hand, I’ve impatiently anticipated the day I finally fly the UK nest and take my lazy green ways on the road trip of a lifetime. The days have dragged as I’ve lived as frugally as possible to save for my dream one year trip around the globe.
On the other hand, days have seemed to blur into weeks faster than the TGV, and I’m left with just 9 days to go before I fly (and an ever escalating to do list!)
I know, I know, it’s hard to feel sorry for someone who has quit their job and is about to embark on a year of galavanting around the world! But there is unfortunately no calm before the backpackers storm, and it seems that the most stressful part of a round the world trip is the preparation period itself, where your whole being has a last minute freak out, and yells: “what the hell are you doing?! Lets just run back to where we came from and hide under a rock where it feels safe!” Continue reading A Backpackers Fears: Preparing to Let Go