Ethical Volunteering and Sustainable Tourism Company
Online Blog - Travel/Volunteering/Culture/Ecology/Conservation
December 2019 - Ongoing
"Once over the initial uncertainty, anxiety and hyper awareness of being a single person adrift in a new land, the realisation of the depth of human kindness comes quickly and offers a balm to that sense of vulnerability. It makes perfect sense that without the buffer of another person to focus our interest on, our gaze is much more externally focused and our availability to positive interactions is that much more evident to those around us. When there is no longer a ‘we’, the people around us are much more able to approach us and offer us the sort of culturally immersive, special, and enlightening experiences that most of us crave."
Excerpt from blog post - 8th December 2019
"In order to make the most out of each and every travel experience, this is an item that is evergreen, will easily fit in your hand luggage -assuming there is a desire to make space for it and to make adjustments to how you travel based on what it reveals- and will act as a secondary style of ‘passport’ to open up the range of opportunities and experiences you are able to have simply by utilising core concepts of respect, awareness, positive curiosity, and a willingness to share your views on the world with the people you meet in the spirit of shared learning and understanding."
Excerpt from blog post - 9th January 2020
"Taking time to travel abroad is an exciting proposition. It naturally faces us with a range of curious questions and when those questions relate specifically to gender, potentially offers few answers … at least initially. The days of the internet allow us all to ‘ask Uncle Google’ for other opinions and we can derive a broad knowledge base formed from a little or a lot of research and doing this can go some way to assuage our insecurities and knowledge gap in one of the most carefully considered areas of travel."
Excerpt from blog post - 6th February 2020
"Have you ever had the feeling that you have flown halfway around the world and left part of yourself behind? That the process of moving from one place to another at such speed is leaving you feeling jumbled up, out-of-sorts, and it’s not just a lack of sleep? There is a reason that jet lag and a multitude of emotional discomforts go with such speedy transitions. The need for our minds, bodies, and souls to process our surroundings and to make sense of the changes from one place to another, make travelling slowly an essential part of our understanding of the world. As we are all now aware, travelling slowly brings with it some vitally needed environmental benefits as well".
Excerpt from blog post - 11th February 2020
"Have you ever felt that you are simply moving from one place to the next, taking one stunningly Instagrammable photo after another, and yet never truly connecting with the place you are in, the people around you, or even with yourself?
Welcome to the world of travel burnout."
Excerpt from blog post - 11th February 2020
"In recent years, thankfully, it has become common practice to consider our carbon footprint and the way our lifestyle needs are met by fossil fuels, but in reality, the potential for our impact is so much more. A deep dive into the ‘footprint’ we each create should not be seen as scary, closely akin to completing a tax return or an overdue visit to the dentist, and it shouldn’t be relegated to the last item on the to-do list and done at breakneck speed in the hope of double bluffing your inner critic and squashing your ever-increasing levels of eco-anxiety."
Excerpt from blog post - 20th February 2020
Help and Hope – Finding a Future amidst the impact of Covid-19
"Any progress made in past years by projects ensuring the survival of particular species and educating people into looking on their native ecosystems as valuable ongoing places to co-exist with, rather than destroy for immediate gain, will be eradicated in the face of this new situation. The likely increase in demand for support and the loss of volunteers, with their ability to offer resource hours as well as the loss of their vital payments, is sadly as much of a death sentence for these guardianship projects and as the virus itself can be."
Excerpt from blog post - 11th May 2020
Chimpanzees highly at risk from Covid-19
"The Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Sanctuary project has created conservation-centred community education alongside a safe place for humanities nearest relatives to live in semi-wild enclosures with the ability to interact as part of family groups, with all the physical and emotional security that provides."
Excerpt from blog post - 20th May 2020
No Sound in the Sanctuary. One research project’s battle to assess the indirect impact of Covid-19 on Whales and Dolphins in the Mediterranean, and keep itself afloat.
"Far beyond the boundaries set up by humanity or determined by land and sky, with eyes reflecting the deepest blue, lies the domain and sanctuary of the cetaceans, the great mammals of the seas. The uncharacteristically calm waters of the ‘Pelagos Sanctuary’, a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMI) and part of the Ligurian Sea, is dedicated to the protection of it’s marine inhabitants."
Excerpt from blog post - 3rd June 2020
Uncertain future for Wildlife Conservation efforts in Costa Rica
"With 80% of Costa Rica’s economy based on tourism the far-reaching effect of this hiatus in global travel is only just beginning. The impact on projects that are used to having to run on a few months of solvency at a time and are dependent on a constant, if small, cash flow, is enormous. With no backing from bigger agencies, these small but essential projects and the wildlife they support are in grave danger of being wiped out."
Excerpt from blog post - 12th June 2020
A Humanitarian Crisis is building in Nepal resultant from Covid-19
"Based on the current situation and the previous dependency on Nepali migrant workers and tourism ‘in-country’, Nepal is looking at not only a major economic crisis but equally a humanitarian crisis as returning Nepalis cross the border in their thousands. The fear of Covid-19 infection has led to individuals being ostracised and refused basic human right as they travel. The returning Nepali’s are often weakened from long and arduous journey’s back home, often with no food or water, and are then being quarantined in ‘less than optimal conditions’ due to the massive influx. The outlook is dire for many individuals, and for the country as a whole."
Battling Heartbreak and Despair with Hope, and the ‘little things’ in Life - A personal interview with Vicky McNeil, Director of WorkingAbroad, on how Covid-19 is crushing the work of decades in the eco-volunteering sector.
"Working frantically to hold together the strands of her Not-for-Profit company, alongside supporting her family and managing instances of sickness and its aftermath, have created the perfect storm of exhaustion and rising panic. Panic, it must be said, that has its roots in seeing the decades of determination and hard work put into environmental consciousness and social enterprise, disappear. As she intimates, the fear is not simply for the loss of WorkingAbroad as an organisation, it is the loss of WorkingAbroad as a platform for the projects they support and the vital finance they drive to these small organisations. The importance of raising these groups in the world’s wider consciousness cannot be underestimated, and the potential loss of this visibility strikes fear in the heart of all concerned."
Excerpt from blog post - 1st July 2020
The Impact of Covid-19 on Elephant Well-being in Thailand
"On a good day the sounds of mahouts and their charges ring out across different watering holes in this part of northern Thailand, sadly this time is not a good time. Tension and anxiety permeates the air and makes the focus of the well established elephant volunteer project all the more unstable. It’s sadly a common situation at the moment for projects across the world. Project managers and workers battling long hours, fear for their animals, stress and tension just as many battle for their lives during this Covid-19 year."
Excerpt from blog post - 6th July 2020
Environmental Devastation in the ‘Jewel’ of the Indian Ocean
"On the 25th July 2020, the MV Wakashio, a crude oil carrying container ship, hit part of the coral reef which surrounds the south-eastern side of the island of Mauritius. The container of 4000 metric tonnes of oil was breached and the deathly, contaminating oil immediately started pouring into one of the planets most bio-diverse hotspots. Staining magnificent shores with pollution and sullying pristine blue waters with a far reaching, fatal, noxious tide. Carrying with it untold immediate, as well as ongoing, damage."
Excerpt from blog post - 6th July 2020