Girl Power! {Thoughts on // Feminism}

I am a feminist. And I'm neither embarrassed nor unwilling to say it. What does embarrass me is the bad press the term gets from the perception of the "stereotype feminist". I am a feminist, and I hate the stigma that so often comes with such a simple and honest statement. Feminism is simply about equal rights between the sexes, why should that be such a hard thing to accept? More often than I should, I hear people uttering and grumbling about how feminism is outdated and unnecessary in this wonderful modern society we have. However just because women are equal in the eyes of the law, does not mean that all social inequality is magically eradicated. In fact, I was watching a documentary recently [Blurred Lines: The New Battle of the Sexes] that suggested that due to a rise is social media and sexism in comedy, the situation is worsening. Sure, women can vote and access job positions equal to men but that can't stop social views and distasteful jokes. Feminism still exists; because equality is something you don't give up on.

Homage to some of the important females in my life, past and present.


India #3 [Munnar and Palolem]

This is finally the final instalment of my trip to India!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The second half of the trip was quite manic so I have chose a few moments that really stand out for me personally.

1) Staying in a remote camp in the mountains from where we explored the tea plantations and conquered an extremely arduous but rewarding jungle trek through the national park area. We stopped by at cardamom plantations and even a tribal school for some gratefully received sweet tea. However most off putting that our park ranger-come-guide bound ahead effortlessly clad in woolly jumper and flip flops!

Us and the lovely staff from the mountain camp who proved themselves as top card game competition!
2) A visit to a home-stay close to Munnar - the most wonderful family! A very welcoming place worth a visit if you're ever in town, not to mention the excellent home cooking! We also enjoyed the slower pace and cooler climate of mountain life, sloping around the bustly town and local gardens.

3) Getting blessed by an elephant in an unplanned temple visit on a stop over in Coimbatore. Unfortunately I have no pictures from inside but unexpected memories are definitely the best! All of the locals visiting the temple were not at all put off by the arrival of our four white (/slightly reddish) faces gawping at the impressive Hindu deities and beautiful expressions of faith. As we sat peacefully, taking in the scene one man even explained to me how our being there on that day was something sent by God to be thankful of! Their acceptance and kindness was truly humbling to observe.

4) And finally having a well earned rest in the serene Palolem beach huts in Goa.


Travel plan update // life at the moment

Today I have some exciting travel plans to announce on Big World Small Girl...
Yup, in 9 days I'll be heading out to Kathmandu with the family for a weeks adventure in Nepal! It's all a bit of a mad rush around here because we only booked the flights a couple of weeks a go; we've been wanting to go for ages but it was all decided a bit spur of the moment! I am beyond excited which unfortunately isn't doing all that much good for impending coursework deadlines and looming summer exam prep... Also featuring today is an abundance of yellow flowers because its mother's day [and hey who doesn't like yellow] and some orange and mango ice tea ft. straw [because hey who doesn't like straws]...

Writing this post also reminded me that there is an instalment missing in my India write-up series - so keep your peepers peeping for that some time within the next week!!!

So that's about it, I hope you are all enjoying the sunshine, looking forward to a roast and spoiling your mums rotten because that's the best way to spend a Sunday.

Let me know what your travel or non-travel related plans are for Easter in the comments below or what your experiences of Nepal are if you've ever been there before...


Thoughts on // "Enoughness"

Whilst I was perusing the international relations section in the library today, a most curious book grabbed my attention. Entitled Enough [John Naish], the book centred on ideas of consumerism, necessity vs. excess and the need for a re-evolution of the human race. And so this fortunate [or unfortunate in terms of my coursework...] sidetracking led me to have a little ponder about this in relation to our world; on the one hand, we have nations living in luxurious excessive, when there are simultaneously around one billion people living in absolute poverty, with next to nothing. So as much is this is a case of reducing what we consume for the sake of our world and its resources, distribution of these is a big area that needs to be confronted. A few examples:

  1. The richest 85 people in the world have a combined wealth of £1trillion - equal to the wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion of the world's population. [Oxfam]
  2. If all food was re-distributed evenly, there would be enough wheat, rice and other grains to provide every human being with 3,200 calories a day. [Rehydration project]
  3. Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen. [New Internationalist]
Glasto '10
How is this fair that in the "western world" we are finally waking up to the fact that we consume more than we need, when so many cannot even meet their basic needs? Furthermore, does having more stuff really make us happier? I'm not saying I have a totally clean conscience and I know that I shouldn't have ordered that dress on-line that I didn't really need last night, and I could have quite easily gone without that medium americano at lunch today; but taking the issue of over consumption on-board is something I want to try and build into my daily mentality. Less sometimes really is more I suppose!

To summarise, I nabbed this rather well-written quote from the book [who nabbed it from somewhere else]....

"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more who is poor" 
Seneca, Epistulae Morales

What do you think?


Happy Friday! {Travel video fun}

Some travel inspiration to ensure y'all a cheery weekend; just a bit of relief for everyone suffering from end-of-the-week-itis who likes dancing, travelling or just anything that's down right fun {thanks to "Where the hell is Matt?!".}So go forth and procrastinate on the internet...well it is Friday after all!

Also please let me know what you think about my new thoughts on//... series; you can read my previous posts here and here. Thank you!


Thoughts on // Immigration

With the recent opening of British borders to Romanian and Bulgarian workers, there has been much media attention to the so called 'issues' of immigration and a desperate fear of a sudden influx of job-snatching Eastern Europeans flooding our borders. In reality this is of course a far fetched outcome and here the Daily Telegraph even admit to the lack of immigrants that have arrived at UK borders since the new regulations have been put in place. The whole nation seems to be in denial of the blindingly obvious positive impact immigration has already had on our country. Of course it is always easier to have someone else to blame for your own misery, but the fact of the matter is immigrants from Eastern Europe are not to blame for Britain's economic and unemployment issues.

People are quick to point the finger and accuse these migrants of taking "our" jobs. Yet sometimes workers come and set up their own businesses creating more jobs, and sometimes they do the jobs we don't want to do, or ones that allow our economy to run more efficiently. Ultimately in a nation of declining population, immigrants strengthen the UK workforce. It's not one for one, sometimes one equals three new jobs plus tax revenue. And sometimes it doesn't, but Britain is a multi-cultural nation whose population need to wake up and be proud of this fact. Economics aside, we should be grateful that we have generations growing up in a place where acceptance is a skill we can all learn, as well as being able to learn from each other. Different should not be a word we are afraid of.
Me & Mum
My own life has given me strong feelings about immigration; my mum originally comes from Munich in Germany, and having this as part of me is something I am extremely proud of. When I hear people condemning these "goddamn immigrants taking our jobs and benefits" I feel angry at this ignorance our society breeds. My mum has not come over to England to just "scrounge off the state", and has instead worked, created a businesses, a family and a loving environment in which me and my brother could grow up in. As an immigrant and a part of multi-cultural Britain, she has in my opinion given back just as much as any other citizen, and in some cases perhaps even more.

This beautiful video of spoken word by Hollie McNish really sums up the positive reality of immigration.


Throwback [1st Glasto]

 Glastonbury Scans [2007]

Just a few hazy scans. It's funny which things you remember as you grow up; which muddy fields, which rainbow hat, which scrawled campaign posters cable-tied to the edge of what feels like the world - and perhaps it is for one magical week.

First-time Glastonbury goer aged 12 and as proud as punch, clad in wellies and hand-me-down rain jacket. I remember this buzz and energy that I had never seen before, the constant hum of distant stages, market traders and excited people. Watching Corinne Bailey Rae in a fold up chair as my little brother fell asleep. Writing postcards to my friends and feeling like you really were in some place far away from home. Crying when we had to go because I couldn't bear the thought of leaving. I felt like Alice and I had found my wonderland. 

In time you look back at hasty pictures captured on a wind-up contraption, filed away in garish photo albums and you realise that these are the things that have become precious. These are the memories that are better than anything money can ever buy.


Transition and Reflection

When I sat down to write this post I didn't really know where to start. I wanted to write something to celebrate Christmas and New Year, but I wanted to do it without brandishing pictures of candy canes and roast dinners and without endless lists of tiresome resolutions promising to blog every Monday and Thursday before dawn standing on my head drinking peppermint tea. I felt a need to share something asides from over-commercialized trivialities and over-indulgence, and so I present to you photographic evidence of a much needed break and some ramblings on reflection - enjoy:

London #1
Such a poser...
We reached Big Ben at exactly 12 which was most exciting!

I couldn't resist one picture of the tree in all its grandeur!
Boxing Day at Witley Common:

It almost looked like the photos were taken in midsummer

The gap between Christmas and New Year is always a bit of an awkward week of transition, gluttony and lie-ins. However this year I made a conscious effort to use this time more wisely by reflecting and re-organising things before 2014 crept up to surprise us. I wanted to be the best prepared version of myself I could be to face the trials and troubles alongside the excitement and adventures that are sure to come with what is already set to be a mind-blowingly busy year (as if I didn't say that last year...) 

In terms of resolutions, I have set myself instead a more sort of guideline or ideal to live by: less rubbish. That means buy less rubbish - no more wasting money on unethical, unnecessary commercialised stuff. It not only wastes wonga but wastes the planet by encouraging MNCs (multi-national corporations) to continue over-producing low-cost, high volume goods at the cost of natural and human resources. It also incorporates eating less rubbish - make more of fresh and in season food which is better for me and the planet, whilst honing my cooking skills before I fly the nest to fend for myself alone at university! Lastly, I shall aim to be less rubbish - more time focusing on me and how I can achieve to the best on my ability, instead of wasting time on comparisons and self-depreciation. 

London #2

The most incredible book and map stall.

Playing with reflections and silhouettes.

Tate Modern
The most lively buskers of the day! (The occasion was of course honored with a dance.)

So that's it! I hope your 2014 exceeds even you highest hopes and is crammed full of adventure, explorations and inspiration.