The impact of travelling

One of my favourite things to do is hop on a flight with my backpack in hand ready to discover a new corner of the world. When I first did this 8 years ago when I was 22 my impact on the world around me was not something I thought about. It wasn’t that I didn’t care but I just wasn’t aware. I was oblivious. I suppose in part this was because I had moved to Korea – a fairly wealthy country so despite cultural differences my lifestyle had not changed much.

It was 5 years later when I caught my flight to Bangkok, Thailand that I felt more conscious of my decisions as a tourist and how I was going to spend my money. This was not just about the environment but also the types of industries I was supporting. Exploitation is rampant in so many of the countries in South East Asia.

My journey was amazing and it goes without saying – educative. I saw how people with so little managed and the inequality they faced everyday. It angered me to see such corruption and the vulgarity it brought.

It made me feel so helpless – especially when I know how much money is given to charities here in Ireland. Who does the money really go to? Anyway…I digress. There’s not a whole lot I can do to change those countries political situations but there were things I could do to help reduce the waste I produced while there.




What I found useful

  • Bringing water purifier tablets
  • Buying 5 litre bottles of water, leave it at your accommodation and fill up a more portable, refillable litre bottle
  • Carrying your own reusable chopsticks, spoon, fork and straws
  • Eating out  (a favorite of mine) –
  • If you do cook – buy from local markets


I have since been to Central America and the waste there isn’t ideal either. All I can do is my part!