About 2017-08-08T12:20:23+00:00

An Introduction to the Grad Gone Global

Hey traveller!

My name is Ellie.

About Ellie

I am travelling until I find something better to do.

I initially created a travel blog to reassure my mum that I was still alive and well as I backpacked my way alone around South America.

I was 19. She was worried.

After that, it just sort of stuck. I would go somewhere, and then write about it. Throughout my year out, and then beyond.

My mum read it, and a few of my friends. My grandpa was my biggest fan. (He probably still is. Shout out to the Devon G!).

I didn’t do it for page views or popularity. I didn’t know what ‘traffic’ was or why ‘clicks’ mattered. I did it because I loved it.

I still do. I love writing, and I especially love writing about travel. I want to have a written record of the places I’ve been and the ridiculous situations I’ve got myself into. And I think this is the best way to do it!

But the blog has grown and changed since back then. It’s been through a few different iterations, and finally landed here, at Grad Gone Global. And now it’s become more than just a glorified online diary.

(The glorified online diary part is still going though, don’t worry).

So, what’s the blog for?

There is more than one type of travel blog.

If you’re looking for one which primarily focuses on sharing pictures of said blogger in expensive and/or revealing bikinis, or stylishly put-together outfits with a mountainous backdrop, probably all taken by a hunky model boyfriend, then you have probably come to the wrong place.

This is naaaaat that kind of blog.

Not least because I (and most other normal humans I know) have a strong aversion to most pictures of myself, especially in a bikini.

Also I buy most of my clothes from charity shops and/or flea markets. And any mountainous backdrops I have come across so far have largely coincided with levels of rain bordering on torrential.

I do take a lot of crap selfies though.

Taj Mahal selfie
Great Wall of China selfie
Nepal mountains selfie

But mainly I take photos of the places I travel, without me awkwardly posing in the foreground. You can check out my Instagram if you’re interested.

Aaaaaanyway.

Showing people how to travel

I first realised the potential power of this blog when I wrote a post about the spectacularly dull topic of how to do your tax return in Australia. Boring, right?

But it really took off. Then I realised: people want and need help with the practicalities of travelling and living abroad. It’s not always easy to navigate through the systems of other countries. And I can totally help with that. I can sift through the legal waffle on government websites, and produce easy-to-digest, but still factually accurate versions of that stuff.

I know that I can research dense, boring, hard-to-understand content, and then write about it in a way that actual humans will get. That’s what I did for three years at university. I can totally apply that to information on visas, insurance, finance – everybody’s FAVOURITE parts of travel!

Here’s the crux. I want to inspire people to travel, and then make it easier for them to do so.

*disclaimer*

I am obviously not a lawyer, nor am I a tax agent. I’m just a well-meaning person who wants to provide help where possible. Any advice on this blog should be interpreted as you see fit: it is purely for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice.

Persuading people to travel

And then apart from that, I want to persuade people that travel is a good life choice.

My aim is to encourage other people to travel, especially young people in my position: those who have no particular career path in mind; those who are want to get more experience of the world and all its magic before signing their life away in a grad scheme contract. I wrote this article for STA travel, arguing that travel after uni is much the better option – and the more I travel, the more I believe it!

There is so much pressure on graduates to go straight into a career-job, but I want to challenge that idea. I don’t think you need to head straight into a high-pressured ‘real-life’ job, and I don’t think there is enough acceptance of those who don’t want to choose that path.

I am not putting real life off. I am choosing a different version of it, for just now.

I think travel teaches a lot of things that office work just won’t. You can decide for yourself whether you agree!

My Travel CV

Profile:

I am a dorkily enthusiastic, inexcusably clumsy girl exploring a fascinating, beautiful world. Talents include spending an inordinate amount of time exploring the local foods of any given destination, getting lost (a LOT), and tripping over my own feet often. I am great at making new friends in all locations, largely because I am constantly in need of directional assistance.

Travel Experience:

  • July 2012. Experienced a raucous month backpacking around Europe, on an inter rail pass with six friends. Majority of this time was spent drunk or hungover. Set a terrible example of the British youth to mainland Europe. Organised nothing myself; left it all to more responsible friends.
  • Feb-April 2013. Stepped off the deep end, spending two months backpacking solo in South America. Navigated using less-than-rudimentary Spanish, self-taught from the internet. Knew enough to ask for directions; did not know enough to understand the directions when given. Got lost often.
  • Easter 2014. Spent three weeks in China, courtesy of Shandong University, ostensibly learning Mandarin but largely exploring the bar scene of Jinan. Discovered a newfound love for KTV, the popular karaoke bar. Also had great fun exploring the weird and wonderful world of the university canteen. Used recently learnt Chinese exclusively to point at strange looking foods and say “Nàgè 那个” (that one).
  • July 2014. Backpacked in India for two weeks before going to Nepal to teach English. Somehow found myself as designated leader of the trip, with four friends in tow. As a group, almost caused a stampede at the India Gate in Delhi – had to make a hasty escape in a rickshaw.
  • April-May 2017. Popped to New Zealand for a few weeks of hectic travelling. Hiked, rafted, spent an inordinate amount of time on buses. Fell in love with the country. Vowed to go back some day.

Volunteer Experience:

  • Sept-Dec 2012. Spent three months living in an apartment in Jaipur, India, and working in a slum community. Along with two Indian volunteers and another UK volunteer, I helped run workshops for girls who were not able to go to the community school.
  • Feb 2013. Worked on an organic farm in the cloud forest near Mindo, Ecuador. Had great fun using machetes to clear ground for new crops, getting soaked by tropical rain whilst digging out holes for a new fence, and nearly collapsing from exhaustion of a day spent carrying ten foot logs around.
  • August-Sept 2014. Taught English for six weeks Kathmandu, Nepal, at Hindu Vidyapeeth school. Was surprised to learn that the entire school knew the words to John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”. Have since cherished great affection for that song.
  • Summer 2015. Undertook the role of Project Coordinator for a small volunteer-run charity called Tenteleni. Lived in a homestay and worked in KaNyamazane, South Africa, liaising with the local education department and headteachers in the area to place volunteers in partner schools.

Work Experience:

  • Summer 2013. Five months working on a campsite on the west coast of France during the summer season. Spent a whole lot of time cleaning mould out of mobile homes. Learnt next to no French (except for discovery of the ‘demi-peche’: beer with peach-flavoured sirop added). Developed a love for seafood, fueled largely by the campsite’s weekly 5€ moules-frites (mussels and chips) night.
  • Jan-March 2017. Three months working in a bar in Melbourne, Australia. Discovered the joyful world of late-night hospitality. Spent way too much money on deliciously expensive cocktails and in rooftop bars. Became addicted to the Espresso Martini.

Actually, surpringly, enjoy (almost) every minute of it.