Tag Archives: ethical travel

Travelling Alone: how & why it can be inspiring

Many of us long to be free, to be liberated and embrace life in the most fulfilling way. But many get stuck on how to do so. They lack the courage to push themselves in doing what’s best for them.

Well if you have restless feet and crave the chance to wander around this magnificent planet; adventuring out alone and embracing a life of discovery might give you the ultimate freedom that you desire.

Solo travel means that every decision you make is for you, you do what you want, you go where you want, you eat what you want. As you discover each new place, you learn more about what you like. The ability for you to experience infinite possibilities gives you the chance to meet yourself. Your real self.

People have said that traveling alone reveals to themselves what they’re really like. This is so unbelievably true. It brings out the real you. You’ll learn how to survive on your own, you’re more aware of everything around you, and in each day that goes by you become more independent. It’s an experience like no other, being alone as you become a globe-trotter is about as self-indulgent as it gets. It’s a truly inspiring journey that I suggest every person does at least once in their life.

A great adventure like this one is nothing without its fair share of challenges. At times you feel vulnerable and isolated, potentially homesick. But you will persevere, and the challenges you experience and the strength that comes about because of them pushes you to interact with those around you. It’s at this point where you most crave that meaningful connection in such a foreign setting, that you’ll come across some truly amazing individuals. You’ll meet like-minded travellers, eager to make that unique bond only shared between wandering souls.

When you travel with family or friends, it’s easy to hide behind what you find comfortable. You naturally rely on those around you and can be easily negotiated to doing what they want on occasion. Not that being comfortable is a bad thing, you’ll just find that your journey will be more inspiring and refreshing when you step outside your comfort zone.

There have been many courageous people to take the leap before you, to dive into the great big world and come out on the other side, a better, more cultured individual because of it. So we thought we’d share with you some inspiring solo travellers who’ve left us with that all consuming travel bug. Matt Kepnes, better known as Nomadic Matt, is a backpacker and solo travelling extraordinaire, who’s been travelling the world for over a decade. His blog and Instagram are renowned in the travelling world, and provides an amazingly unique insight into how to live an inspiring adventure filled life.

Then there’s Kristin Addis, creator of Be My Travel Muse, her platform shows her dedication to solo travel and showing others how to do it fearlessly. Her followers get a look into her colourful adventures through her blog, Instagram and beautifully montaged Youtube videos. Third and finally, we have Alice Teacake, of Teacake Travels, her quirky nature and bubbly outlook on life and pushing boundaries leaves something to be admired. Each photo she posts or blog post she writes are aimed at inspiring girl power and people’s belief in themselves to be able to adventure out alone.

The list could go on forever, there are so many inspiring people out there, that have conquered their fears of the unknown and become advocates for the nomadic life. And there’s something to be said on the growing number of people taking a chance on such a life changing journey.

“Solo travel is such a gift because it gives us all a chance to be totally selfish for a while..it’s taught me that I’m resourceful, braver than I thought, more capable than I imagined.”

–  Kristin Addis.

Not only does travelling alone open up your journey to limitless spontaneity, but it allows you to better appreciate your surroundings. You’ll find yourself passing the point of being scared of the solitude, and come out feeling remarkably strong. It’s an incredible moment, discovering that you are at ease with yourself and where you are. To be okay with whatever gets thrown at you because you’ve learned to acknowledge the happiness found through being one with yourself.

And when it’s all said and done, the truly inspiring people you’ve met, the colourful and unique places you’ve seen, and the accomplishment of sheer and utter freedom will leave you with the most memorable experiences that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Check out the upcoming adventures on our calendar!

Travelling plastic free on your adventure

why plastic free is the way to go on your next adventure

Though it used to be considered a revolutionary material that was hailed for its ability to be reused, plastic has been doing more harm than good in the world for a while now. More and more discoveries are being made linking the use and disposal of this menacing material to the destruction of the environment and wildlife on this beautiful planet, almost getting to the point beyond repair.

So it’s time for the world to dump plastic for good – pun intended.

Plastic pollution is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time and it’s set to double by 2025. Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles and other sea life, plus a million sea birds die each year due to waste and debris getting into waterways and oceans. Travellers, especially, should be mindful of their environmental footprint, as single use plastics are a big market for the person on the go, and many companies target that market.

So if these statistics strike a chord in your heart, never fear, because even as a traveller, there are plenty of ways you can help out the environment through cutting out plastic. Besides, waste-free travel is so in right now.

As daunting as it may appear at first glance, it’s not as hard as you think to balance your love of travel, with attempting to do right by the planet. Many people view cutting out plastic as too difficult, they view it as ‘losing something’ that brings convenience into their lives. But I implore you to look beyond such shallow notions, and don’t think of it as losing something, but simply swapping for something better.

Taking on this beautifully eco friendly task means reusable travel items will become your new best friend. Napkins, eco-bags, other reusable containers & bottles will become vital to you as you’re trotting the globe. Refillable toiletries will ensure you don’t buy plastic bottles, or bring them with you and then toss them when your done. Not to mention tote bags cut out the need for plastic bags completely.

Another thing to think about is how much plastic is wasted when you eat on your travels? How many of you haven’t even stopped to think about this when you buy a snack, then toss the packaging once your belly is content. This is why I propose giving in to the awesomeness that is the mason jar! Avoid buying packaged snacks when these cool-looking glass jars can be used to keep all kinds of contents, plus they are known for their durability which is something you’re going to want in the hustle and bustle of travelling.

The concept of takeaway is detrimental for the environment due to the excess in which people use it. Ordering takeaway will almost ensure you end up with copious amounts of plastic containers and waste after you’ve devoured you’re meal. So maybe opt for the good old fashioned idea of staying in and cooking a meal, or if laziness kicks in as it does from time to time while travelling, take the opportunity to dine in a restaurant. You’ll get to enjoy a fresh, delicious meal, further immersing yourself in the country’s culture, while also doing good by the environment.

Immersing yourself in other cultures opens your eyes up to life outside that bubble that many people live within. It leads you to approach life with more gratitude for what you have and what’s truly important. Becoming a more conscious individual makes you more grateful for all the things you have, one being this beautiful planet. So learning about what actually happens out in the world should be as big of a push as any to start doing more for the environment, in order to sustain its beauty.

Once you get into the habit of travelling plastic free, it will become second nature to you. After joining the cause to keep this planet remaining prosperous, you’ll find it becoming an overwhelming need for you to continue such an important cause. It’s an unbelievably satisfying feeling when you can proudly say that you’ve gone plastic free while you wander the world.  

Eco-friendly bloggers/influencers:

Plastic free travelling/living is becoming a more highly sought after way of life as time goes on. Even large social media influencers have gotten on the bandwagon. Jennifer Nini, aka Eco Warrior Princess, has created her empire around redefining what it means to live sustainably, she tackles the hard issues surrounding the environment, conservation, sustainable fashion, basically all the core topics regarding living an eco-friendly life.

Others have followed suit as well, with The Green Hub founder, Kira Simpson creating an online platform on her ‘eco-journey’, giving out tips and showing her experiences in going green. She published an article on her website that documented her travels as a ‘Zero-waster’ and the benefits to travelling mindfully. She brings up a good point, in regards to how a traveller who sets out to explore the world’s wonders without a care for their waste and footprint, is “the biggest example of irony”. Its true if you think about it, if you truly appreciate the beauty that this world offers, how can you contribute to the excess waste that’s tossed into our environment, especially in tourist prone destinations.

What else you can do to be a sustainable, eco-friendly traveller:

If you truly want to leave a lighter eco-footprint on this world, think about putting in the extra effort to research and seek out businesses and tour operators that run sustainably, as there are many hotels out there that are committed to being eco-friendly, offering alternatives to plastic and attempting to combat waste.

The Rainforest Alliance is one example of a company that focuses heavily on sustainable tourism, on their website you can actually see what companies and businesses around the world are environmentally certified, and there are many more companies out there doing the same thing in the hopes of making the tourism industry more green. It will make you feel even more fulfilled when you’re trekking it halfway across the world and you know you’re doing your part to help out this beautiful world.

Live to be eco-conscious, travel like the world is relying on your environmentally good decisions. Band together with like-minded eco-travellers, and create a green revolution. If we all chip in to reduce waste when travelling this exquisite planet, just think how amazing it will be for generations to come.

Check out the upcoming adventures on our calendar!

What’s the real cost of taking a tiger selfie?

Behind a screen, a line of people stand—waiting to take a photo with one of the most feared and respected predators in the world; a tiger. The gentle beast appears docile and well looked after. What could possibly be wrong with taking a picture beside him?

“Tiger selfies” have become a popular practice of tourists to South East Asia, particularly in Thailand where there are many tiger entertainment venues, some masking as conservation centres. Earlier this year, we exposed the reasons why we don’t ride elephants, and today being International Tiger Day, we want to address the recent report by World Animal Protection, which exposes the real cost of taking a tiger selfie.

Many people are unaware of the suffering behind tiger selfies, and what they represent. Unfortunately, the appeal of having a close encounter with a tiger is amplified by these selfies, especially since they are being shared on social media. The issue of tiger selfies is part of a wider problem around the appalling treatment of tigers in countries like Thailand.

So what’s going on?

Wildlife tourism is big business, worth up to $250 billion (USD) annually. Around 550,000 wild animals are victims of irresponsible tourism. Captive tigers are especially sought after, with the increased demand for selfies and close encounters with tiger cubs. Tigers at these entertainment venues must endure:

A lifetime of suffering – cubs are taken from their mothers within two weeks of birth. There is no benefit for cubs to be taken so early. The research conducted by WAP confirms that the conditions of Thailand’s entertainment venues are severely inadequate; they did not even meet the tiger’s most basic needs. They’re also kept chained for great lengths of time and kept in unnatural environments.

Forced entertainment – Tigers are made to perform unnatural tasks; jumping through burning hoops, balancing on ropes and walking across raised steel platforms. The training involves inflicting pain and suffering upon the animals.

Unnecessary punishment – It goes without saying that the conditions faced by tigers are punishment enough, however it doesn’t quite end there. It’s not uncommon for staff at Sriracha Tiger Zoo to limit food as a form of punishment.

WAP - Tiger
Tiger in captivity

What we don’t know

According to the report, visitors to these venues are unaware that they are funding cruelty and ignorance. TripAdvisor reviews for Sriracha Tiger Zoo (a facility with a great many tigers in captivity) show that over 80% of visitors rated the attraction as “excellent”, while only 18% gave a negative review on concerns of animal welfare.

The purpose of the report and campaign against tiger selfies is to educate tourists and visitors about what they are really supporting if they choose to pay the entry fee.

What can you do?

At Inspired, we are committed to putting an end to the suffering of animals. We all have a role to play in protecting tigers from the cruelty that comes with being a source of entertainment for tourists. In order to phase out this industry, WAP calls for government intervention on tiger entertainment venues, support from travel companies to end the promotion of these venues and for travellers to avoid them altogether.

By choosing not to visit, or take part in human-animal interactions you will play a crucial part in closing down these entertainment venues for good. Understand that if you interact with a wild animal in venues like this, you are supporting a cruel and inhumane industry.

Today is International Tiger Day and World Animal Protection are asking you to pledge to avoid cruel animal venues on social media. Simply upload a photo of yourself with a sign #betterselfie and show your support to protect animals in the wild. Visit their community page for more information, and to upload your photo!

Together, we can move towards a better world, where wild animals are protected from the cruel practices of the tourism industry.

Want to do good?

Check out our calendar, and get adventurous for your favourite cause.

Photo credits: World Animal Protection


Mountain trekking

Leave no trace on your next adventure

We all enjoy a good trip to the bush, have a favourite national park or hidden spot that we love to visit to escape the concrete jungle.

In today’s fast-paced world it is more important than ever to allow for these retreats. But with a greater need for escape comes an increased impact on our wild places. If we don’t consider how we affect our natural environment, we will soon find that our richness of flora and fauna will diminish. So the next time you swap bustling streets for the bush track, leave no trace!

What can you do to make a difference?

Food and rubbish

Food scraps attract animals and can lead to unsightly campsites, but also cause harm to wildlife as parts of packaging might be consumed or caught up. When you prepare food ensure you collect any scraps that may have fallen to the ground and store the garbage above ground.

TIP: Using a shopping or small garbage bag to line a drysack will ensure there is no leakage, will keep odours in and prevent animals feasting on your rubbish while you sleep.

Human waste

If your campsite provides toilet facilities be sure to use them. If none are available, bury your waste and any toilet paper in a hole 12–20cm deep and well (well!) away from campsites, tracks and water (at least 100m). Pocket trowels are easy to carry, affordable and do not take up much space. If any other sanitary items are used be sure to take them when you leave so as not to draw wildlife to the campsite.

TIP: You don’t need to pass on all luxuries when no toilets are available. Most toilet paper is biodegradable and can be kept dry with a nifty toilet roll holder. If you’re really shy, a toilet tent is also a great idea.

Paddy Pallin Osprey Drysack
Paddy Pallin Pocket trowel and trekking toilet roll holder


Some campsites may offer facilities for washing, but in most cases you will need to set up your own personal and dish washing stations. When washing yourself or your dishes, make sure you carry water 100 meters from the water source and use a small amount of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater and pop small scraps into the rubbish.

TIP: Only use biodegradable soap and dispose of any food scraps in a plastic bag before washing up.

Bonus washing tip

The label “biodegradable” on soaps does not mean you can use it in streams, lakes or rivers! The used water will need to naturally filter through the soil. This happens best if you spread it over a wide area at least 100 metres away from the water source.

TIP: Use a foldable bucket or kitchen sink to carry water into your wash site.


Campfires can add to the enjoyment and experience of camping, however they can have a lasting and sometimes dramatic impact on the environment. Check if fires are allowed in the area you’re camping in and, if permitted, only use well established fire rings. Avoid creating new fire-pits.

Keep fires small as wood is a natural habitat for animals, bugs and birds, a simple rule is if you can’t break the stick using your hands don’t burn it. Make sure you fully burn the fire down to ash and that it is extinguished before you leave the fire for the night or when breaking camp. It’s best practice to use a stove for cooking instead of an open fire and a lamp or headlight for illumination (or the stars).

Paddy Pallin Trek & Travel Toiletries
Paddy Pallin Aussink

Dave has worked as an International Expedition Leader and in Outdoor Education for over 15 years. He has extensive travel and guiding experience in Australia, NZ, Asia, South/North America and Europe.

In his spare time, Dave is a keen bushwalker, mountain biker and climber who also enjoys dabbling in some mountaineering and sea kayaking.

Currently, he is the National Account Manager at Paddy Pallin (to fund all of the above).

Dave Casey Paddy Pallin

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Top tips to be a responsible traveller

At Inspired Adventures, we take pride in minimising our environmental and cultural impact on the places we find so wonderful.

And we want you to do the same.

So how can you travel in a responsible and sustainable way, while still getting the most from your destination? It’s easier than you think… Continue reading