I sit on a deserted beach in Langkawi, Malaysia – my first new country since 2017 – and, despite the lack of crowds, I am still pulling plastic bags out of the ocean. I am disappointed, yet emboldened. See, when I started this blog way back when in 2013 it was just a record of my travels. Then in 2016 it got a facelift and I flashed it up a bit to try to make it as a ‘travel blogger’. However, what a proper, money making travel blog wanted back then was the “where to eat” and “what to see” posts, not my usual ramblings from the road, or worse yet in the eyes of the travel blogging community, discussions of sustainability and environmentalism. So, needless to say, I did not make any money at the travel blogging thing and have kept this little record of my journeys floating around in cyberspace as something to go back to eventually, when we started traveling again, when COVID ended, when we bought a boat, when, when, when…
Well the pandemic has, for the most part, ended, we are traveling again, and while we have not bought a boat yet, we will by the end of the year, but still I sit here wondering what to write. I’ve always hated the listicles of Ten Best Beaches To Drink Your Face Off And Offend The Locals At and have never been great at writing in depth directions on how to get somewhere (the name of my blog is not accidental, I have the directional sense of a goldfish, you really do not want to ask me for directions, ever, it’s in your best interest really). In the end what I want to write about are things that I care about, and more and more, what I care about has become environmentalism.
Some may find it preachy and I aim to avoid the holier than thou tone that many articles on environmentalism can take on, but as I picked up those chips packets, sunscreen containers, and more from a deserted beach that has been closed to the outside world for two years I realized something – that to be true to myself I must write about this. I must write about what I see with no rose colored glasses or glossy Instagram filters applied. I must write about how tourism and environmentalism meet well in some places and not so well in others, because if I don’t, I betray myself.
Yes, this blog will still have funny stories from the road, useful tips when I can get around to writing them down, and, yes I will probably dip my virtual pen into the where to eat, foodie scene, because I firmly believe that food is integral to culture and that when you travel you must eat local food to fully engage with the culture – but now it will also have posts on things like what is the best reef safe sunscreen (I have painstakingly spent many, many years searching for the best options). I will talk about how to reduce your environmental footprint while traveling and while living at home. I will sometimes crap on about how single use plastic is the anti-Christ – sorry, I never promised not to be dramatic, that’s who I am too, to be honest. Don’t worry though, it won’t be all doom and gloom, I firmly believe that people only protect what they love, so I aim to showcase the beauty of our natural world to try to entice more people to love it and protect it.
So this is my environmentalist, nerdy, uncool, overly dramatic, often times too sensitive, excessively opinionated manifesto, because I am done not saying the things I believe for fear of people not liking my ideas or me. Not everyone will like what I write, so be it, at the very least if I put these words out about the environmentalism that matters so much to me, then maybe, just maybe someone will read something that they do like, something that inspires them to do something for the good of this world, something that encourages them to change and lets them know that they are not alone in caring.
Please feel free to comment ideas for sustainability and more, because sharing ideas is the only way out of our current environmental struggle. After all, we are all learning on this road of environmentalism and that definitely includes me, so I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas to help me learn too.
Remember, love this planet of ours and care for it like it’s the only home we’ve got, because there is no planet B.