Wow, this blog sucks right now.
Yeah. Not a great way to start a post, I know. But seriously, this blog sucks right now. And not in the same way that I wrote about a few months ago, where I proclaimed how bad I felt about my blog (update on that post, FYI: still no design change, still no Pinterest VA, still nod and smile whenever discussing anything remotely technical to do with blogging). No, this blog sucks in an entirely different way.
You may have heard of Ibiza. You may have heard of Mallorca. But have you heard of Menorca? I’ll admit that prior to moving to the UK, I didn’t know much of…
I’ll admit it: I knew very little about the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, two sister islands, before getting the chance to visit at the beginning of the month. After what…
The first time I heard about Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, located a couple of hours outside of Sri Lanka’s largest city, Colombo, was when I was in Sri Lanka in 2009. As somebody who loves elephants, I asked around whether or not I should go visit. I mean, you hear the word “elephant orphanage” and it seems like it should be legitimate, right?
After reading dozens of reviews and articles about the subject, in a word: NO.
I remember doing a reader survey in 2015, and someone anonymously said, “I wish Brenna didn’t live in London, I wish she was still out travelling.” At the time, I laughed that off. Two years later, however, and I can feel that familiar hum in the back of my mind, the one that’s calling out for a big adventure. It’s the same feeling I got in 2006, when I backpacked around Europe. Or 2008, when I moved to Japan. Or 2011, when I backpacked through Asia for a year. Or 2012, when I travelled through Central and South America for a year. It’s back.
If you follow any major travel websites, blogs, or Pinterest boards, chances are you’ve heard something along the lines of “experiences, not possessions” or maybe you’ve read about people who never buy souvenirs, preferring to travel light or to save their money.
And while I appreciate all of those arguments – I’d much rather have plane tickets than a designer purse, for example – I am one of those people who ALWAYS buys souvenirs. In fact, I’ve bought souvenirs (sometimes multiple souvenirs) in every country I’ve been to, even if it’s something as small as a thimble or a postcard. I have lugged bags full of knick knacks all over the world, sent boxes full of treasures home, and budgeted souvenir shopping into every trip I’ve taken. Some may call that materialistic, but I just call it sentimental.
Because the fact is, I LOVE looking at the souvenirs I’ve brought home from around the world. I love walking around my flat and picking them up. I love remembering where I was when I bought it, or who I bought it with, or who I bought it from. I love surrounding myself with little memories of my travels. Of course, I have photos and journals, too, but there’s something about having a little piece of a place to yourself.