2016, thanks...

For the irritable lefties amongst us, those not fans of bombs or anyone who'd rather not think about thousands of people drowning off the coasts of their favourite holiday destinations in pursuit of a better life, 2016 hasn't exactly been the new page of peace and opportunity we'd been hoping for. Maybe every year is the same if you mull upon it in the right way for long enough, but somehow this one doesn't feel like anything I can round up in a listicle.

 

 

Personally, for a hopeful travel writer, I haven't actually strayed further afield than Scotland or the French border. All enthusiastic plans for a European van dwelling adventure ended in Calais and despite Dan's extremely generous gift of a fancy new camera for my birthday in July, I have taken less photos than ever before. I've scrapped all my tick boxes, forgotten about the country-counting lists I started in my teens and am trying to reevaluate the majority of my somewhat self-centred life goals. Like an increasing number of people, I've been trying to work out how I can exist on this Earth in the least detrimental way possible.

 

As it turns out that is rarely easy to prioritise and almost impossible to implement.

 

There have been some improvements- I haven't bought a single new item of clothing this year, have been vegetarian since June and obviously the volunteering. On the other hand, all the same reasons apply to being vegan as vegetarian and I still eat a phenomenal amount of cheese, there are so many companies and ingredients we should be boycotting, it seems like the only safe thing to do is live off your own garden if you have one, we've been blasting out van fumes into the atmosphere and over five months in Calais, I barely even roused myself into recycling. 

 

Where are we supposed to go from here? To me it seems unlikely that things are only going to get better in 2017. The scariest products of last year (trumptrumptrumptrump... trumptrumptrumptrump...) haven't even sprung into action yet. Cling onto your morals, don't let the sand block your ears and remember, nothing has ever been changed by people sitting on their sofas grunting. Throughout history, the vast majority of any given population, has sat back in disapproval as atrocities have happened under their noses. Look around you- is everything fine or have we lost our way?

Write a comment

Comments: 20
  • #1

    Rohan Gupta (Saturday, 07 January 2017 08:13)

    Thanks for proving us valuable information about your journey in 2016. And i hope you will guide us in 2017 too, for that wish you good luck :)

  • #2

    Katie Featherstone (Saturday, 07 January 2017 13:58)

    Thank-you Rohan.

  • #3

    noel (Saturday, 07 January 2017 19:48)

    I hear ya, I'm not particularly interested in traveling around the US at the moment especially any red states, unfortunately most of the cool parks are located in many of the areas :(

  • #4

    Katie Featherstone (Saturday, 07 January 2017 19:55)

    I don't think it's possible or advisable to ignore people that voted against you, but I know what you mean. It can be pretty difficult to find common ground when you feel poles apart!

  • #5

    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie (Saturday, 07 January 2017 22:55)

    I think travel is the exact antidote we all need. As tempting as it is to curl up in a ball and hide under a blanket, it just isn't the answer. We need to get out of our own towns to see the world and meet people in all corners. The more we understand and empathize with one another the better off we all will be. "Cling onto your morals, don't let the sand block your ears and remember, nothing has ever been changed by people sitting on their sofas grunting." Exactly. Model what kindness, decency, and an open-mind looks like. It really does have an imapct.

  • #6

    Katie Featherstone (Sunday, 08 January 2017 00:02)

    Thanks Jackie.

  • #7

    Natasha (Sunday, 08 January 2017 23:34)

    How awesome about the clothes and going vegetarian though. I am trying to make the switch. I'm down to eating meat once a week but will give it up completely once out of Africa. I'm not interested in really going home to US anymore because of the Trumptrump.

  • #8

    Christopher (Monday, 09 January 2017 03:37)

    You may not of taken many pictures with your new camera but I definitely love your writing style and approach towards life. i have to say I think we lost our way and not in the good Not All Thoise Who Wander Are Lost cliche way. I'm not sure how to change all the BS that still goes on in the world but I will definitely continue to I be the best person I can be...At least I can control that.

  • #9

    Katie Featherstone (Monday, 09 January 2017 11:47)

    Thanks guys, that's encouraging. :)

  • #10

    Trisha Velarmino (Monday, 09 January 2017 15:46)

    Your writing is very impressive. I can feel your heart in each and every word you type. Cheers and safe travels to you!

  • #11

    Katie Featherstone (Monday, 09 January 2017 16:16)

    Thank-you!

  • #12

    Jennifer (Monday, 09 January 2017 22:02)

    I don't actually think the world is any worse off than it's ever really been. We just all take to social media, so things we wouldn't have heard about previously are now almost immediately front and center. Refugees aren't new - they've been fleeing war torn countries forever. Terrorism isn't new - there's been incidents regularly for as long as I've been alive. We've had shitty world leaders and survived them too. One thing is for sure and that is that the sun will rise and set. It's the attitude that we decide to take each new day on with that determines how we see the world.

  • #13

    Chrysoula (Tuesday, 10 January 2017 15:08)

    Unfortunately 2016 was a bad year for humanity but I think we should be at least optimistic for 2017. You really haven't bought a single clothing item? Congrats, I have reduced my shopping too but not that much.

  • #14

    Pedro (Tuesday, 10 January 2017 23:57)

    Yes, I think at the moment we can only hope that 2017 will be a much better year, and that man across the Pond won't do half the things he said he would.

  • #15

    Joe Ankenbauer (Thursday, 12 January 2017 03:45)

    Only time will tell what 2017 has in store. Me, I'm trying to be the optimist and take things as they happen in stride. Happy Travels!

  • #16

    Alice Nettleingham (Thursday, 12 January 2017 05:07)

    Life takes over after awhile, isn't it? It seems like you may not have done much the past year but 2017 is here and you've got the chance to make those things happen. Live life to the fullest and stay happy. Travel, laugh, take pictures and enjoy life!

  • #17

    Ted (Saturday, 21 January 2017 10:11)

    I tend to agree with Jennifer. The worlds has always had these things going on and a lot of cases history will tell you it's been much, much worse. Things are kind of mild in a way at the moment.

    As to the year ahead, wait and see. Take it as it comes and enjoy what you can.

    Trump - in a way I kinda like the guy, at least we know where he stands, which seems a lot better than some other politicians. The hair is different thing altogether.

  • #18

    Adrenaline Romance (Sunday, 22 January 2017 18:56)

    Nah, don't worry. The world isn't gloom and doom. Cheers for a great 2017!

  • #19

    soni (Monday, 23 January 2017 18:33)

    This is definitely something I would like to do the next time! It looks like a lot of fun. Thank you so much for sharing it. So stunning pictures you shared.

  • #20

    Katie Featherstone (Monday, 23 January 2017 19:26)

    urm... I'm not sure you have actually read a word I wrote Soni...

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