The grand plan | Sustainable Travel

So guess what guys, I’m flying to Thailand in three weeks today! The time has flown since I bought my ticket; I can’t believe that I’m just a few weeks away from being a long-term traveller. Since I’ve only got a few weeks before I fly, I thought I’d introduce you guys to ‘THE GREAT PLAN’.

The plan starts off in Bangkok (as all great plans should), from there I will spend a few days getting my fill of Thai Food and Iced Green Tea, I mostly can’t wait for Tom Yum Soup, my most favourite meal; I swear it has healing powers. From there I will take the night train to Chiang Mai for four or five days where I will explore the city and surrounding areas, then back to Bangkok and onto Cambodia so I can see Angkor Wat (bucket list viewing), then back to Thailand and directly down to my beloved Koh Tao where I will spend about nine or ten days back on my favourite isalnd.

But of course, there’s so much more to this plan, you see, over the past year I have become increasingly interested in Sustainable Ecological Travel, with this in mind I have decided that when I start my grand adventure I will do all that I can to help support the places I visit in any way that I can, as the wonderful Simon Reeve said at the Travel Show ‘We have the power to do good when we travel, if you love a place, give back to it” (god, I love him!) So, lovely readers, my grand plan for my Sustainable travel in Thailand and Cambodia reads as follows:

  1. Bangkok – I’m only going to be in the city for a few days at a time, so there’s not much I can do to volunteer; but I will spend my money in a thoughtful manner, I will buy locally from street stalls or markets instead of larger shops. I will also ensure that I take my tote bag to cut down on plastic used, I will also try and reuse containers, there’s no need to get more plastic every time you enjoy street food or buy from markets.
  1. Chaing Mai – This is where I get really excited, I’m heading to Chiang Mai for one reason only, that is to volunteer at the Elephant National Park for a few days. I adore elephants, but unfortunately when I first visited Thailand I was naive to the way that elephants were treated for the use of Tourism and I went on an Elephant trek on Koh Phagnan. What I didn’t realise was that the elephants who are used for tourism, rides or entertainment are generally mistreated, they lead horrible lives, but what elephant rescue sanctuaries like the Elephant National Park do is rescue these beautiful creatures and give them a good life; they can roam, play, bathe, explore and live normally without being tied to chains.  These elephants aren’t used for riding, instead you can spend your time with the elephants in their natural habitat, it’s a wonderful cause for the beautiful animals who have a wonderful new chance in life. Please, if you’re heading to Thailand look into visiting Elephant Sanctuaries instead of going to go riding treks with the gentle giants, your money is so much better spent in doing good for these beautiful creatures.
  1. Siem Reap – Again, I’m only going to be here for a few days and I will be visiting the temples so like Bangkok I’m going to travel thoughtfully, buy locally from street stalls, reuse and reduce my plastic and rubbish. This is the most important thing you can do to travel in an ecological manner when you’re short on time.
  1. Koh Tao – Back on my favourite Island in Thailand I hope to volunteer at the Koh Tao animal clinic, it’s an amazing cause who run free care for the animals on Koh Tao, from neutering the cats and dogs to ensuring that they have their shots, tick treatment, and more. I love this clinic and think that the work that they do is absolutely fantastic. I also hope to get involved with any clean-up’s that the residents of Koh Tao will be putting on if I’m there over that time, anything to keep the stunning island looking beautiful and it’s animal residents safe and happy.

I’m going to do what I can to ensure that I travel in an ecological manner, some of my actions might be small, but every little helps, it’s important to travel in a responsible manner; to conserve the environment which we enjoy so much and to give back to local people; this world is too beautiful not to do what we can to help preserve it in any way possible. It’s so easy to get caught up in the party when travelling, specifically in a country like Thailand where backpacking tourism is huge, I don’t hold any doubts that I won’t be enjoying countless Mojitos and Mai Thai’s along the way and dancing, but I don’t want this trip to just be an act of self indulgence, Thailand has given me so much joy in the past, I really feel that I want to give back what I can.

Do what you can, when you can.

Do what you can, when you can.

I’m so excited to be back on the road, specifically excited to be back in Thailand; is anyone else going to be in the Land of Smiles over from Jan 12th – Feb 5th? If so and you want to grab a drink then let me know, it’s always good to meet fellow travellers. Note: All images seen here have been found on pinterest, I believe in giving credit so please, please let me know if you’re the owner of these stunning images. Thank you.


Do you try to travel in a Sustainable manner? Have you got any tips for me that I can use to make my travels more thoughtful and useful? Please comment below.

Remember, I’m also over on Twitter and Instagram if you want to join in on the fun over there. 🙂

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13 thoughts on “The grand plan | Sustainable Travel

  1. Justine of The Travel Lush says:

    It makes me so happy to read this. As travelers and visitors in other countries, I feel like it’s so important to do our part to protect these amazing places. Traveling long term made me so much more aware of just how many plastic bottles and bags I go through when I’m on the road. And it really changed the way I travel. Carrying a reusable grocery bag with you is a wonderful idea; I carry one with me everywhere. Also, it pays to research the availability of water dispensers in each city you’ll visit. I was actually really pleasantly surprised to learn that there are tons of water dispensers all over Thailand (including Chiang Mai). Not only are you reducing your waste by refilling your water bottles but it’s super cheap!! And bringing along some sort of Tupperware to use for street food will totally come in handy. Good for you 🙂

    • hanwanderlust says:

      I feel like when people travel it is mostly about what you can take from the experience, I really want to change my mindset into what I can give from the experiences I am lucky enough to have. I didn’t know about the water dispensers, that’s something that I will definitely look into, thank you so much for the tip. 🙂

  2. emmajayashton says:

    It is uplifting to see how much more conscientious travellers are becoming. I would say the longer you stay in a place, the more you get to know it, the more you can work out if and how your help is needed or wanted… No matter what that help might be. Cultures are complex and deep and take time to understand. Good luck and I look forward to following your travels! xx

  3. Rashaad says:

    It’s awesome that you are striving to travel in a sustainable manner. Actually, for my research project, I examined a selection of travel blog to try to reach a general conclusion if they are promoting responsible tourism to Japan. Anyway, my advice is to NOT to rent a motorbike since motorbikes aren’t really good for the environment. In addition, I would recommend eating vegetarian food and staying in locally-run accommodation.

    • hanwanderlust says:

      I’d honestly love to travel in a way that I feel like I’m not constantly taking from a place, I’d like to give something back. Have you found that travel blogs promote responsible tourism? I really want to stay in Locally run accommodation on this next trip; I stayed in a few eco hostels in Central America and they are absolutely amazing.

  4. emikoatherton says:

    That’s so cool you’re volunteering at Elephant Nature Park! That was my favorite place in Thailand, although I only stayed there one day. I would love to go back and volunteer. And cheers for traveling sustainably! That inspires me as I move forward on my travels.

    • hanwanderlust says:

      I’m so excited to go to the Elephant Nature Park, they do amazing work. When did you go? It’s my first time up in Northern Thailand, I’m really looking forward to it. 🙂

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