In Life: 3 Things I Hate About Travel

There are very few things I hate about travel, I am choosing to make travel a huge part of my life, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it! While most people can’t abide selfie sticks, umbrellas or people who touch the top of the Eiffel Tower or try and prop up the Tower of Piza. I don’t care, personally selfie stick all you like as long as you don’t hit into anyone, umbrellas are smart, you can see them and the heat is only getting worse and personally those posed photos are almost like buying a magnet, it’s iconic and stupid but it’s not that big of a deal!

What I do hate is the following three things and if we are honest we are all guilty of one of these thing is the past but from now on, stop it!

PhoebeGill150918942Throwing coins in amazing bodies of water.

I think this was started with attractions like the Trevi Fountain but seriously just stop! Burke’s pot holes in South Africa,  geyser’s in Iceland, countless pond, rivers, puddles are filled with peoples money. I hate it. The coins get collected in fountains, they don’t get collected in natural wonders! Stop messing with it. I don’t know the science of what coins do to the water and I’m sure it’s not terrible but money is gross and filthy and it just grinds my gears. We have some amazing things on this earth and I think it’s great we can have access but don’t push it, when you tamper with nature, you are pushing it.

Petting animals that aren’t for petting.

I don’t care if it’s fluffy, I don’t care if it looks healthy, I don’t care that it would look great as an Instagram. Stop petting animals that you wouldn’t pet in the wild. Would you go to into the Indian jungle to go pet a tiger?..no. So how about you don’t go to a place that has tigers chined up and beaten to have you pet it and take a picture with it. I have seen footage of what African and Asian elephants can do and you want to pet one or step on its back? I have had two bird animal experiences and I feel guilty about them all the time, I have had the chance to go to other sanctuaries and I haven’t taken them. I am guilty of this and I need to act way more responsibly because I don’t think I actually learned anything from both of my experiences. I appreciate and love the birds I encountered but am I using this knowledge? No. I should be, I should have learned from them and I haven’t. This bugs me!

PhoebeGill150915811People who get annoyed at fast airplane exit-ers.

This is my number one. Right, I have heard so many people complain about people who stand up and want to get off the plane quickly. The thing is though, we are trying to get you off the plane quicker too! (Also I hate being in a plane that isn’t moving, it makes my skin itch and I hate sitting beside people I don’t know) I bloody run through the airport when I am homeward bound because as much as I love travelling, I am going home, I am not chilling in the airport waiting for rush hour traffic or waiting for the parking fee to up the ridiculous amount. How is it bad that I want to free up space for you? How is affecting your day?  I am fast through security, are you mad about that too? No. I am helping the kids/humans who are cranky or need to pee because I gather my things and exit in a fast manner! So to you passengers who get so mad at people like me, hush, because maybe one day you have to use the bathroom or your child is going to explode in a rage you may be thankful for people who are quick!

 So they are the three things I hate about travel. I am sure I will have more very soon. What do you hate about travelling?

Happy Travels!

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My Thoughts on Things: Food

I don’t really know how to start this post but I suppose I should make myself as clear as possible. I don’t want your opinion. I am sure you are a wonderful person with lots of feelings and opinions on a myriad of different topics but to be quite frank, I just don’t care.

We are constantly surrounded by opinions. Most people look at Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube as a way to show what you are eating, doing, buying etc. In other words, pics or it didn’t happen. The way I see it is that all of the posts we make, are our opinions on what the world has to offer and one thing that is so prevalent is commenting and posting about food.

Veganism, vegetarianism, paleo, raw, raw till 4, pescetarian, high carb, low carb. There are so many ways of eating, the list is endless. Now I have no problem with how people eat, if you want to go vegan, go you, that is great but when you start telling people everyone should be vegan and you are an idiot if you aren’t. That’s when I have a problem.

You have no idea what someones relationship with food is. We know more now than ever, there are so many articles and books and videos about the food industry but sometimes it can get so exhausting and overwhelming. A while back I just broke down because food and weight seemed to be everywhere and I couldn’t just process all the information in my own time.

I want to reiterate, my own time, you may have found the way you want to eat but not everyone is there, give people the information and then shut up. I have a friend, who I do love dearly but she condemns you if you know they information about the food industry and you aren’t vegan and I have said this to her face, that I hate the way she discusses veganism.

I decided I was only going to listen to people who approached their way of eating with informed decisions and the ability to share without shaming. Look at Manda Louise on YouTube, she has inspired me.   

Saying ‘well if everyone just’…

This gets to me, I think it is such an uneducated response. Yes if you live in Australia you can have every fruit and vegetable you could ever want but now compare Australia to Iceland. Iceland cannot grow most fruit and vegetables. They are trying to grow their own with greenhouses but before that there wasn’t an option.

When people say ‘but if everyone in America could just be vegan there would be no problem’ sure, the wealthy parts of America. There are loads of kids in America that go to school hungry because their families can’t afford breakfast.

People need to stop looking at rich California and assuming that everything is great and we should all follow the Cali vegan lifestyle where everyone eats kale and can eat out in vegan restaurants every night. It’s just not real.

Education is what the world needs. Not the education that involves vegans shaming other people, one YouTuber giving one link to Peta’s website or watching the Kardashians eat salads. We need transparency within the food industry with how our food is grown, reared, cultivated and killed. We need mandatory culinary/nutritional education in schools. We need a bottle of water to be cheaper than a can of coke.

Basically, everyone is on their own path, if you have information, share it round but don’t get angry if the people around you don’t want to know, talk about how you eat and share delicious food, because sooner or later people may cut down their consumption, make sure they are using locally grown food, trying to get as natural products as possible, use alternatives where they can.

I hope this makes sense, it’s been on my mind so long that sometimes it can come out like the rapids. Thanks for reading beans!

In Life: Changing

I watch a lot of YouTube and I make videos, I know people talk a lot of crap in the comments section and go out of their way to make rude comments. I once commented on a random video, one person didn’t like what I had to say, went over to my channel and called me ugly. People think they are invincible behind a keyboard most of it I can ignore but there is one comment I just can’t abide.

“You’ve changed, I want the old you back”

What a ridiculous statement to make! I find it absurd. I love changing and I have done it a lot. From the time I was able to pick out my own clothes and wear makeup I was able to change how I was at any given moment. I have changed styles, I have changed how much makeup I wear, I have changed what type of music I listen to, I have changed what I am interested in, I have changed my opinions and my beliefs.

It’s not that I am fake or that I am easily influenced, I am still me but I try new things that are around me. I will do it all so I can see where I fit. Changing is scary but it’s also amazing.

People are incredibly complex, they are products of what is around them. There are so many cultures to learn from, so much history to think about. The world is filled with incredible things to see and do, listen to, eat and understand. I feel if you stay the same your entire life you aren’t giving yourself your best chance. Be a mix of everything you encounter, everything you take in.

Don’t be afraid to change your mind, question things, try to understand something new, experience something new. Changing is inevitable and wonderful. Don’t just follow along or if you do want to follow along, don’t ridicule people who are changing or trying something new. They are trying to fit in to where they belong. That is their path to find.

I am changing all of the time and it’s nice to think I don’t have to be one kind of person or have one certain mindset for the rest of my life. Things are going to change and that’s ok.

Thanks for reading my beans!

Let me know your thoughts on this thing! 

*I do want to add that if your path leads you to really damaging, dangerous things maybe don’t try them, maybe sit back down and try knitting or something.

In The News: Cecil The Lion

I have held my tongue for a few days because I wanted to be far more educated in this matter than I was previously. I don’t feel any more educated but I didn’t want to come across as a lot of people in Walter Palmers Yelp page!  This discussion has been in my home for a few weeks now and it is something I want to talk about.

Cecil

Cecil was a lion that lived in Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe. The park is the biggest game reserve in Zimbabwe, it’s about half the size of Belgium. He was 13 years old and was a national treasure. He had been collard and tracked by Oxford University since 1999. I recommend you read this, to know more. He had distinctive black fur in his mane, people would travel to try and spot the famous Cecil. It was also noted that he had a very good temperament.

EDIT: Also just to note that Oxford says Cecil’s brother, Jericho is alive. Just incase you were wondering.

So what happened?

A dentist from the US, Walter Palmer, decided to use Theo Bronkhorst, who owns a hunting company in Zimbabwe, to shoot a lion with a bow and arrow. Palmer paid $50,000 dollars to do so. Palmer and Bronkhorst track Cecil and by using bait, they drew out Cecil onto land outside Hwange National Park.

So Palmer shoots Cecil with an arrow. Cecil runs off and Palmer, Bronkhorst and their team track the wounded animal for 40 hours and then shoot him. Except all of this was illegal. Neither Bronkhorst nor Palmer had authorisation for this kill. The park didn’t have an animal to kill at that time. Palmer said that he didn’t know that it was illegal or that Cecil was famous and loved. To me, luring a collard animal out of the park and killing on a different persons land is highly suspicious. Currently Bronkhorst and the land owner have been up in court but are now out on bail.

Trophy hunting is good for conservation.

Now this I have had trouble finding extensive information on. I know that parks need to cull animals because there isn’t enough space. Humans have done this, we have controlled the wild animals of the world and we need them to stay controlled in their area, I get it. Keeping the population strong by human intervention has never been something I really condone but I understand. For instance I know that Co. Wicklow is overrun with deer and there are legal hunting periods to control the population. I understand it but I would never participate, I love those deer.

I have heard that the meet goes back to the community but I don’t know if that is true. This is probably false, it’s probably left for scavengers. It is said that because of trophy hunters, a number of privately owned parks, that breed animals for hunting, started so that wild animals could survive. I have been on some hunting websites but I haven’t seen any information on how it benefits society.

Africa is a complicated continent, there is a whole load of history that we don’t remember in these situations. It is not an easy thing at all. Any information for or against I am interested in so link it below! 

My thoughts on trophy hunting.

I have to note that I find trophy hunters really horrible humans.  I don’t understand it and I probably will never understand why they do it but I do not support it in any kind of fashion. I do understand hunting to eat and to feed a family but I don’t understand why you feel the need to pose with it and hang it on your wall. I find it grotesque. I find craving to kill a living thing with a bow or a gun for a prize or gratification a very inhumane thing. National Geographic has some articles on this topic.

Unfortunately this beautiful lion Cecil had to die for upheaval to ensue. Trophy hunters have been vilified on twitter and other social media sites a lot in the past year. With the documentary Blood Lions out last week, about canned hunting, the conversation is in full light and it is a very interesting topic.

I don’t understand why Palmer or any other hunter couldn’t use that $50,000 dollars to actually help conservation by putting it directly into the cause rather than this truly odd practice. My thoughts on the matter has not changed. I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s acceptable. Don’t use hunting companies, for tours or experiences. Choose national parks, choose regulation, choose the most humane option in all of this.

Topics like this, the treatment of animals, the ethics of keeping an animal in todays world is incredibly complex. A level of transparency and information is lacking. I feel like people keep talking but they aren’t really saying anything. I feel like I haven’t learnt anything.

In Life: #AnimalRightsInTourism

So I saw this hashtag on Twitter and I am glad I clicked on it, on my recent trip to Croatia I encountered two cases of terrible animal captivity and it is still affecting me since I have come home. This twitter movement was stirred up because of a new documentary Blood Lions, all about shooting lions for money in South Africa, it goes into the breeding of lions and the people who enjoy killing an animal. This prospect to me is very interesting and am very intrigued to see it!

Being conscious of how we interact with animals is something I am very passionate about. Especially when we travel. It sometimes feels like when we are abroad we forget about the ethical rights and focus on a cool experience. Holding a monkey or a bird on a string in the street, petting wild animals, elephant rides or swimming with dolphins. They are all things I struggle with. I don’t intend to shame anyone who has had or wants to do these experiences. I want to make that very clear. Having this conversation is not a threat but a sharing of an idea that you can agree or disagree with.

My own personal stance is I would rather save up all of my money, every cent, to go back to Kruger National Park and experience wild animals in that way. I don’t want to go to a sanctuary and pet them, I even had the chance to go to a sanctuary and didn’t feel comfortable with it. I want to drive for hours and experience something so utterly amazing, an animal in the wild. Similarly with whale watching, I would also have the same stance with whales, dolphins and sharks. Seeing these creatures with all of that space and freedom is what I would prefer to experience.

Animals in Captivity

Now some zoos are good and I will support their dedication to protecting and educating the public about the creatures of the world. Some are terrible and unfortunately you may not know which is which until you enter the gates. I still struggle with zoos sometimes because yes there isn’t enough space for these animals but outside of these spaces, they are being poached or pushed out of their habitats with no where to go. Nothing is simple in the world we have created. Nothing. I am still trying to figure out how I can live in the world with minimal impact.

I understand the reality that experiencing an animal up close is what people want, they are incredible believe me there is nothing more I want to do than snuggle a red panda or feed a slow loris some mango and hold it’s tiny hand but there is always something that stops me and that is what goes on after all the people go home. When members of the public own these animals, when they are on the streets at night time or on a beach what happens when they go home.

My point is that supporting breeding programs and educating yourself or younger generations is incredibly important. I want to start being more engaged with the information I take in. I don’t want to be a spectator and I have had this feeling for a while now and this hashtag has inspired me a bit.

I am going to try something starting this Sunday and I hope that this is going to be received well. I have been feeling like I need to talk about this for a while so I hope it is welcomed.

So my Beans, will you look up #AnimalRightsInTourism ? Do you like knowing about different animals in the world and what best way to see them or help them?

Happy Travels!