How Netflix’s Tiger King reveals just how messed up wildlife tourism has become


Guys, I’m deep into the viral docuseries Tiger King on Netflix, and my god, what a dreadful yet unmissable look at the worst (or unluckiest?) of humanity in rural America.

It’s like a car crash, and I just can’t tear my eyes away. I’m enthralled yet horrified, obsessed, and disgusted. The plot twists, the surprises, the frightening real glimpses of human truths, holy shit!

With a tagline of murder, mayhem, and madness, Tiger King follows the storyline of Joe Exotic, a zoo owner in bumfuck, Oklahoma, with a narrative arc that spirals out of control in a true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding.

Buckle up.

View this post on Instagram

Where’s the lie? #tigerking #joeexotic #carolebaskin #netflix #quarantine #covid_19 #socialdistancing #socialdistance #tigerkingmemes

A post shared by Erika Kelly (@cattybritches) on Mar 23, 2020 at 3:22pm PDT

There are gun-loving gay cowboys with mullets. The cults. The polygamy. The loss of limbs and teeth. Inbred tigers, ligers, and illegal lemurs. Excessive dynamite and guns lovingly adorned with pink camo.

Accidental suicide and haphazard murder plots. Flower crowns. So much leopard print. Failed grassroots governor elections. Expired Walmart meat pizzas. Hillbillies and their homemade country music videos featuring fat tigers.

Missing husbands. Meth and sequins. Florida. I can’t even.

Honestly, this show is batshit insane. AND IT’S REAL.

View this post on Instagram

The truth has yet to come out. So don't believe everything you hear.

A post shared by Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) on Sep 7, 2018 at 3:14pm PDT

But what makes me sad about the train wreck human drama of this docu-series is that the stars, the tigers, are all but forgotten.

Did you know there are more captive tigers in the US than in the wild? How is breeding tigers in your redneck backyard still allowed? How are these pretend “wildlife sanctuaries” still allowed? And for god’s sake, how is Carole Baskin not in jail for murder/fraud/animal abuse and/or all of the above?

And yet no matter how vile it gets, how can I STILL feel compassion for these horrible people who put baby tigers in suitcases and carry guns around like candy?

View this post on Instagram

Visit us by making reservations at MyrtleBeachSafari.com Link In Bio 🐯🙈♥️ #repost • @mimicalacool Best…..day….EVER!!!!! @myrtlebeachsafari & @docantle at @myrtlebeachsafaritours have the most incredible experience ever! It’s a bucket list item that I’d suggest to the world! @rarespeciesfund is doing amazing work to help save these tigers! Blessed to have learned more about these incredible creatures! #savethetigers #blessed #grateful #myrtlebeachsafari 💙🐅

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Mar 14, 2020 at 2:49pm PDT

Disguised behind the most insane group of characters you’ve ever laid eyes on, Tiger King shines a light on the whole heap of uncomfortable truths.

Last year National Geographic broke a significant feature that there are more tigers in private zoos and as pets in the USA than in the wild. What the hell?!

That has to stop now. Totally unacceptable for many reasons, one primary being that your neighbor might have a lion in his garage that could escape and eat you, the other major one being that lions belong in Africa, not rural Ohio, and tigers belong in India not fucking Oklahoma.

(sorry, this makes me absolutely livid)

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

These huge apex predators need massive amounts of territory and belong in the wild. Of course, that opens a whole other wormhole of issues from habitat loss to revenge killings to food loss, but that is where the bulk of conservation work should be focused.

You don’t need big cat sanctuaries in America if people aren’t allowed to have big cats as pets that end up needing “rescuing.”

The other main point is that real conservation doesn’t allow human interaction with animals. No yanking newborn tiger cubs from their moms to pose for selfies. No swimming with huge elephants. No cuddling drugged tigers for your new Tinder pic.

Big cats and endangered species belong in the wild or proper conservation centers without human interaction, period.

Going to Southeast Asia? Please be kind and don’t ride elephants

View this post on Instagram

Tap the link in our bio for more info about how to make reservations! 🐯♥️ #repost @miss_snapalots ・・・ 27 🎈 Thank you @myrtlebeachsafari for once in a lifetime experience! 💚 It’s so amazing what you all do! Please go follow and help save these rare species! @rarespeciesfund #savethetigersavetheworld

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Aug 29, 2019 at 6:40am PDT

 

What’s more, I’m appalled at how many massive profiles on social media feature guys and their exotic pets. Instagram, why do you allow this kind of content? Unethical wildlife breeding and captive endangered species bred for photos, and profit are wrong. And it’s illegal. Almost every one of these profiles has faced criminal charges and received abuse warnings.

These zoos and rescue centers give the impression they are for conservation when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s important to question that when you see unethical wildlife practices.

Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism

View this post on Instagram

3 of the 4 different color varieties of tigers! Come meet these tiger cubs by tapping the link in our bio to make reservations! 🐯🧡

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Sep 14, 2019 at 3:38pm PDT

For example, you can pay thousands of dollars to swim with a tiger or for a “volunteer” experience. Seriously? Your tiger selfies aren’t volunteering.

Where does that money go? Where do the profits from these sanctuaries go? How are they using the money they make from breeding and using tigers to fund wildlife conservation? How do they have so many baby tigers all the time? Why aren’t they with their mothers?

Baby tigers become useless in captivity after only 12 weeks because they’ve become too big and too dangerous to interact with people. After that, they usually just disappear.

Not a single one of these conservation tigers bred in America has ever been released back into the world. How could they when they’re raised and hand-fed by humans?

View this post on Instagram

@loganpaul helping us spread the message….Save The Tiger, Save The World❗️🐯 The tiger stands as the last great sentinel of the forest, if we lose the tiger we will lose a piece of ourselves forever. But if we save the Tiger we could save the world, in order for the tiger to survive it needs clean clear skies, pristine lakes and rivers, wide open spaces, plentiful prey animals, and most importantly it needs you, people who care! Therefore if we save the Tiger, we save the world.

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Feb 4, 2020 at 8:22am PST

Perhaps the most heart-wrenching part for me is seeing photos of white tigers.

These white tigers are incredibly inbred, almost all are from the same white Bengal tiger that was sold into the US in the 1960s from India. There is no conservation reason to breed white tigers, why would you breed for a recessive gene like that if you were trying to save a population of endangered animals like? Your focus would be on genetic diversity.

These white tigers are purely bred for their beauty; even though most of them have so many inbred defects, they would have no hope of surviving in the wild. It’s just cruel.

Can someone please tell me how it’s ethical or moral to breed a lion with a tiger and then put it on a leash and keep it a cage so you can make money?

View this post on Instagram

Tap the link in our bio to meet this incredible tiger cub animal ambassadors! 🐯♥️ #repost • @charlestonblonde 😍 Y’all can you even handle the cuteness? I’ve had so many questions about our time at @myrtlebeachsafari that I decided to write an entire blog post about it. Check it out. The link is in my bio.

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Mar 10, 2020 at 3:06pm PDT

View this post on Instagram

I just had my 60th birthday. I wanted to come hang out with one of my favorite big cats, Apollo here is only five years old and already weighs over 900 pounds and stands 11.5 feet tall on his hind legs. When I asked my partner Moksha what her favorite thing she learned about ligers over the last 20 years of hanging out she said “he’s bilingual as he speaks both lion and tiger” She doesn’t look 40 does she. The world largest cat. Over 900 lbs and 11.5 ft tall.

A post shared by Dr. Bhagavan Antle (@docantle) on Mar 25, 2020 at 5:22am PDT

What’s sad is that this isn’t unique to America. Lions are bred for slaughter on canned hunting farms in South Africa, and China has a massive market for tiger parts (among all others) for traditional medicine and food. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With many of these for-profit private zoos and exotic animal pet owners on Instagram masquerading as “conservation” projects, it’s never been more important to question where you chose to spend your tourism dollars.

Travelers love animals, me included, but it’s imperative to follow a few guidelines for responsibly interacting with wildlife.

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

At the end of the day, we have the power as consumers to stand up and say exploiting wildlife and endangered species is wrong. Dig deep and do your research before going to any of these places and have a thorough look around when you’re there. Does it look suitable for the animals?

Beware of buzzwords like “gives back to conservation,” sanctuary,” and “rescue.” Is the animal interacting in a way that isn’t normal? Has it been trained? Most of these training methods are based on fear and are cruel.

My god, imagine the impact it would have if all of the profits and expenses from exploiting exotic animals went towards conservation projects, what a difference that would make.

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

Listen, I get it. I would fucking love to cuddle a baby tiger. Their squeaks are so cute, and I know it’s super unique. But it’s not right. Those tigers don’t belong on my Instagram or in my arms.

One day I’ll follow in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling to India and hopefully get to track wild tigers on safari in their natural habitat. But I will only do that in the most responsible way I can.

I’ve tracked leopards in Sri Lanka, lions in Botswana, cheetahs in South Africa, and elephants just about everywhere. It’s a real privilege that I’ve been able to go to these places, something I don’t ever take advantage of or forget.

It’s powerful and so special to see majestic, iconic creatures in the wild, where they belong. There is something so profoundly sad and degrading to such a mighty animal reduced to misery for the enjoyment of humans.

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

The second disturbing truth brought to light from Tiger King was just how disconnected I am from my American siblings.

I grew up in rural Virginia, about 15 minutes from West Virginia, so I am far from inexperienced when it comes to Trump-loving, gun-toting, uneducated rednecks. But this show was next level sad and made me face my privilege in an uncomfortable way.

If things are going to change, a whole heap of cultural mindsets would have to shift. With education and opportunity, anything is possible.

I think the US needs to work on prison reform, drug rehab programs, and healthy community programs for its people. If anything, Tiger King was a painful glimpse of what excessive gun freedom + meth + extreme poverty + lack of opportunity does to people.

tiger king wildlife tourism

So please, Netflix, stop streaming this outside of America; it’s’s not a good look for us.

And for the love of God, please never take a selfie with a baby endangered animal at one of these places!

Also, I think I’m going crazy. Send me something sane to binge-watch, please that won’t rile me up. Thanks.

Did you know about these seedy depths of wildlife tourism? Have you ever seen one of these fantastic animals in the wild? Where would you go on safari if you could? Spill!

tiger king wildlife tourism

The post How Netflix’s Tiger King reveals just how messed up wildlife tourism has become appeared first on Young Adventuress.





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It takes nothing to be kind


I’ve been an American expat in New Zealand for seven years, and I’ve never been more grateful for this country welcoming me with open arms, especially now amid the COVID 19 pandemic. In a few short weeks, I will qualify for permanent residency, which I can’t wait for. 

I love everything about New Zealand.

From the wild landscapes to the quirky culture to the DIY friendly attitude, it’s a great place to live. No wonder it consistently ranks among one of the happiest countries in the world. But unfortunately, as we sink into the total shitshow that is 2020, the stark contrast between my birthplace and where I call home now has never been more apparent.

Kindness. I can’t think of a more straightforward way to put it.

be kind coronavirus

Last Friday, an NBC correspondent asked Trump, “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” to which he replied, “I say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I say.”

What. An. Asshole.

Even seeing it now I can feel my face flush red with anger. I feel so ashamed of where I’m from, and I’m terrified for my friends and family in the US. You deserve so much better. It shouldn’t take a pandemic and a failure of the federal government to bring fundamental human rights to a country that once was “the leader of the free world.” 

be kind coronavirus

Cruel, petulant, and heartless.

This is not how you lead. This is not how you talk to people. This is not how you comfort a nation of 330 million human beings who, you know, have hearts, fears, worries, and families to think about. Where is the respect? Where is his dignity?

What frightens me, even more, are all people who agree with him. It’s reflective of how selfish the American culture has become (has it always been that way and I’m only seeing it now that I’ve left?) There is no place in this world for that “me, me ME” attitude. We have to look out for one another. Politics don’t matter right now; nobody wants people to get sick and die.

Damnit, I’m furious all over again writing this.

be kind coronavirus

In contrast, our excellent PM, Jacinda Ardern, has been comforting and reassuring Kiwis almost daily, live-streaming, and answering questions, including running a press conference just for kids around COVID 19. She even does spontaneous FB lives from her sofa in sweatpants after putting her toddler to bed.

Each time she addresses us, you can see the toll this experience is taking on her face. She didn’t sign up for this, but she is leading us the best way possible. Her hope and belief in keeping Kiwis safe above all else ring through every word she speaks. Compassion and understanding radiate from her. She talks to us with clear plans and objectives of what we need to do to get through this, usually with scientists by her side.

Jacinda is the kind of figure you want to comfort you in times of crisis. We are all facing an unknown future, and it’s scary.

be kind coronavirus

And every single time Jacinda speaks to the New Zealand community, she reminds us to be kind and to support one another. There is even a page on the NZ government response website to COVID 19 about kindness.

And she reminds us to be strong. Acknowledging what she is asking all of us is massive, she wants us to unite against spreading COVID 19 by staying at home.

To be honest, considering what humanity has gone through over the millennia, it’s not that hard.

Staying home is easy. Being kind is harder. And being kind to yourself? Well, that’s a challenge, especially for people like me.

be kind coronavirus

We are facing unprecedented times (to echo every politician on earth), and it’s pretty freaking scary. If we aren’t careful, we can be consumed by terror, fear, anxiety, depression, and all those other nasty thoughts that like to lurk in the dark recesses of our minds.

But it’s never been more critical to share compassion, empathy, and love. It’s what makes us human, after all. Kindness is a choice.

As we move into four weeks (minimum) of home isolation here in New Zealand, Jacinda’s message of kindness couldn’t be more poignant. We are being tested.

Now is the time to work harder than ever at being considerate, helpful, and selfless. Remember to think of others and not just ourselves. Perhaps we aren’t staying at home because we are worried we will get sick, but rather remember we are doing it for everyone else.

be kind coronavirus

If we all stop moving, COVID 19 will stop moving. It’s pretty easy yet tough.

Now is the time to think beyond ourselves, to think of our collective communities and groups. It’s not about “me” anymore, it’s about everyone. Make your decisions with that in mind. I chose kindness. Don’t be an asshole.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a heartless world. I hope and believe we will come out of the other side of this stronger and better. Kia kaha, as we say here in New Zealand, which means “stay strong” in Māori.

Be kind, be compassionate, be helpful, and supportive. Above all, be human. And for god’s sake, stop trying to make Instagram Lives a thing. It’s so annoying. And stay the fuck at home. Deal?

How are you coping during this new future we’re facing? How are you staying kind to yourself and others? Spill!

be kind coronavirus

The post It takes nothing to be kind appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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How Netflix’s Tiger King reveals just how messed up wildlife tourism has become


Guys, I’m deep into the viral docuseries Tiger King on Netflix, and my god, what a dreadful yet unmissable look at the worst (or unluckiest?) of humanity in rural America.

It’s like a car crash, and I just can’t tear my eyes away. I’m enthralled yet horrified, obsessed, and disgusted. The plot twists, the surprises, the frightening real glimpses of human truths, holy shit!

With a tagline of murder, mayhem, and madness, Tiger King follows the storyline of Joe Exotic, a zoo owner in bumfuck, Oklahoma, with a narrative arc that spirals out of control in a true murder-for-hire story from the underworld of big cat breeding.

Buckle up.

View this post on Instagram

Where’s the lie? #tigerking #joeexotic #carolebaskin #netflix #quarantine #covid_19 #socialdistancing #socialdistance #tigerkingmemes

A post shared by Erika Kelly (@cattybritches) on Mar 23, 2020 at 3:22pm PDT

There are gun-loving gay cowboys with mullets. The cults. The polygamy. The loss of limbs and teeth. Inbred tigers, ligers, and illegal lemurs. Excessive dynamite and guns lovingly adorned with pink camo.

Accidental suicide and haphazard murder plots. Flower crowns. So much leopard print. Failed grassroots governor elections. Expired Walmart meat pizzas. Hillbillies and their homemade country music videos featuring fat tigers.

Missing husbands. Meth and sequins. Florida. I can’t even.

Honestly, this show is batshit insane. AND IT’S REAL.

View this post on Instagram

The truth has yet to come out. So don't believe everything you hear.

A post shared by Joe Exotic (@joe_exotic) on Sep 7, 2018 at 3:14pm PDT

But what makes me sad about the train wreck human drama of this docu-series is that the stars, the tigers, are all but forgotten.

Did you know there are more captive tigers in the US than in the wild? How is breeding tigers in your redneck backyard still allowed? How are these pretend “wildlife sanctuaries” still allowed? And for god’s sake, how is Carole Baskin not in jail for murder/fraud/animal abuse and/or all of the above?

And yet no matter how vile it gets, how can I STILL feel compassion for these horrible people who put baby tigers in suitcases and carry guns around like candy?

View this post on Instagram

Visit us by making reservations at MyrtleBeachSafari.com Link In Bio 🐯🙈♥️ #repost • @mimicalacool Best…..day….EVER!!!!! @myrtlebeachsafari & @docantle at @myrtlebeachsafaritours have the most incredible experience ever! It’s a bucket list item that I’d suggest to the world! @rarespeciesfund is doing amazing work to help save these tigers! Blessed to have learned more about these incredible creatures! #savethetigers #blessed #grateful #myrtlebeachsafari 💙🐅

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Mar 14, 2020 at 2:49pm PDT

Disguised behind the most insane group of characters you’ve ever laid eyes on, Tiger King shines a light on the whole heap of uncomfortable truths.

Last year National Geographic broke a significant feature that there are more tigers in private zoos and as pets in the USA than in the wild. What the hell?!

That has to stop now. Totally unacceptable for many reasons, one primary being that your neighbor might have a lion in his garage that could escape and eat you, the other major one being that lions belong in Africa, not rural Ohio, and tigers belong in India not fucking Oklahoma.

(sorry, this makes me absolutely livid)

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

These huge apex predators need massive amounts of territory and belong in the wild. Of course, that opens a whole other wormhole of issues from habitat loss to revenge killings to food loss, but that is where the bulk of conservation work should be focused.

You don’t need big cat sanctuaries in America if people aren’t allowed to have big cats as pets that end up needing “rescuing.”

The other main point is that real conservation doesn’t allow human interaction with animals. No yanking newborn tiger cubs from their moms to pose for selfies. No swimming with huge elephants. No cuddling drugged tigers for your new Tinder pic.

Big cats and endangered species belong in the wild or proper conservation centers without human interaction, period.

Going to Southeast Asia? Please be kind and don’t ride elephants

View this post on Instagram

Tap the link in our bio for more info about how to make reservations! 🐯♥️ #repost @miss_snapalots ・・・ 27 🎈 Thank you @myrtlebeachsafari for once in a lifetime experience! 💚 It’s so amazing what you all do! Please go follow and help save these rare species! @rarespeciesfund #savethetigersavetheworld

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Aug 29, 2019 at 6:40am PDT

 

What’s more, I’m appalled at how many massive profiles on social media feature guys and their exotic pets. Instagram, why do you allow this kind of content? Unethical wildlife breeding and captive endangered species bred for photos, and profit are wrong. And it’s illegal. Almost every one of these profiles has faced criminal charges and received abuse warnings.

These zoos and rescue centers give the impression they are for conservation when the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

It’s important to question that when you see unethical wildlife practices.

Suffering unseen: The dark truth behind wildlife tourism

View this post on Instagram

3 of the 4 different color varieties of tigers! Come meet these tiger cubs by tapping the link in our bio to make reservations! 🐯🧡

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Sep 14, 2019 at 3:38pm PDT

For example, you can pay thousands of dollars to swim with a tiger or for a “volunteer” experience. Seriously? Your tiger selfies aren’t volunteering.

Where does that money go? Where do the profits from these sanctuaries go? How are they using the money they make from breeding and using tigers to fund wildlife conservation? How do they have so many baby tigers all the time? Why aren’t they with their mothers?

Baby tigers become useless in captivity after only 12 weeks because they’ve become too big and too dangerous to interact with people. After that, they usually just disappear.

Not a single one of these conservation tigers bred in America has ever been released back into the world. How could they when they’re raised and hand-fed by humans?

View this post on Instagram

@loganpaul helping us spread the message….Save The Tiger, Save The World❗️🐯 The tiger stands as the last great sentinel of the forest, if we lose the tiger we will lose a piece of ourselves forever. But if we save the Tiger we could save the world, in order for the tiger to survive it needs clean clear skies, pristine lakes and rivers, wide open spaces, plentiful prey animals, and most importantly it needs you, people who care! Therefore if we save the Tiger, we save the world.

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Feb 4, 2020 at 8:22am PST

Perhaps the most heart-wrenching part for me is seeing photos of white tigers.

These white tigers are incredibly inbred, almost all are from the same white Bengal tiger that was sold into the US in the 1960s from India. There is no conservation reason to breed white tigers, why would you breed for a recessive gene like that if you were trying to save a population of endangered animals like? Your focus would be on genetic diversity.

These white tigers are purely bred for their beauty; even though most of them have so many inbred defects, they would have no hope of surviving in the wild. It’s just cruel.

Can someone please tell me how it’s ethical or moral to breed a lion with a tiger and then put it on a leash and keep it a cage so you can make money?

View this post on Instagram

Tap the link in our bio to meet this incredible tiger cub animal ambassadors! 🐯♥️ #repost • @charlestonblonde 😍 Y’all can you even handle the cuteness? I’ve had so many questions about our time at @myrtlebeachsafari that I decided to write an entire blog post about it. Check it out. The link is in my bio.

A post shared by Myrtle Beach Safari (@myrtlebeachsafari) on Mar 10, 2020 at 3:06pm PDT

View this post on Instagram

I just had my 60th birthday. I wanted to come hang out with one of my favorite big cats, Apollo here is only five years old and already weighs over 900 pounds and stands 11.5 feet tall on his hind legs. When I asked my partner Moksha what her favorite thing she learned about ligers over the last 20 years of hanging out she said “he’s bilingual as he speaks both lion and tiger” She doesn’t look 40 does she. The world largest cat. Over 900 lbs and 11.5 ft tall.

A post shared by Dr. Bhagavan Antle (@docantle) on Mar 25, 2020 at 5:22am PDT

What’s sad is that this isn’t unique to America. Lions are bred for slaughter on canned hunting farms in South Africa, and China has a massive market for tiger parts (among all others) for traditional medicine and food. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With many of these for-profit private zoos and exotic animal pet owners on Instagram masquerading as “conservation” projects, it’s never been more important to question where you chose to spend your tourism dollars.

Travelers love animals, me included, but it’s imperative to follow a few guidelines for responsibly interacting with wildlife.

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

At the end of the day, we have the power as consumers to stand up and say exploiting wildlife and endangered species is wrong. Dig deep and do your research before going to any of these places and have a thorough look around when you’re there. Does it look suitable for the animals?

Beware of buzzwords like “gives back to conservation,” sanctuary,” and “rescue.” Is the animal interacting in a way that isn’t normal? Has it been trained? Most of these training methods are based on fear and are cruel.

My god, imagine the impact it would have if all of the profits and expenses from exploiting exotic animals went towards conservation projects, what a difference that would make.

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

Listen, I get it. I would fucking love to cuddle a baby tiger. Their squeaks are so cute, and I know it’s super unique. But it’s not right. Those tigers don’t belong on my Instagram or in my arms.

One day I’ll follow in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling to India and hopefully get to track wild tigers on safari in their natural habitat. But I will only do that in the most responsible way I can.

I’ve tracked leopards in Sri Lanka, lions in Botswana, cheetahs in South Africa, and elephants just about everywhere. It’s a real privilege that I’ve been able to go to these places, something I don’t ever take advantage of or forget.

It’s powerful and so special to see majestic, iconic creatures in the wild, where they belong. There is something so profoundly sad and degrading to such a mighty animal reduced to misery for the enjoyment of humans.

tiger king wildlife tourism

tiger king wildlife tourism

The second disturbing truth brought to light from Tiger King was just how disconnected I am from my American siblings.

I grew up in rural Virginia, about 15 minutes from West Virginia, so I am far from inexperienced when it comes to Trump-loving, gun-toting, uneducated rednecks. But this show was next level sad and made me face my privilege in an uncomfortable way.

If things are going to change, a whole heap of cultural mindsets would have to shift. With education and opportunity, anything is possible.

I think the US needs to work on prison reform, drug rehab programs, and healthy community programs for its people. If anything, Tiger King was a painful glimpse of what excessive gun freedom + meth + extreme poverty + lack of opportunity does to people.

tiger king wildlife tourism

So please, Netflix, stop streaming this outside of America; it’s’s not a good look for us.

And for the love of God, please never take a selfie with a baby endangered animal at one of these places!

Also, I think I’m going crazy. Send me something sane to binge-watch, please that won’t rile me up. Thanks.

Did you know about these seedy depths of wildlife tourism? Have you ever seen one of these fantastic animals in the wild? Where would you go on safari if you could? Spill!

tiger king wildlife tourism

The post How Netflix’s Tiger King reveals just how messed up wildlife tourism has become appeared first on Young Adventuress.





Source link

It takes nothing to be kind


I’ve been an American expat in New Zealand for seven years, and I’ve never been more grateful for this country welcoming me with open arms, especially now amid the COVID 19 pandemic. In a few short weeks, I will qualify for permanent residency, which I can’t wait for. 

I love everything about New Zealand.

From the wild landscapes to the quirky culture to the DIY friendly attitude, it’s a great place to live. No wonder it consistently ranks among one of the happiest countries in the world. But unfortunately, as we sink into the total shitshow that is 2020, the stark contrast between my birthplace and where I call home now has never been more apparent.

Kindness. I can’t think of a more straightforward way to put it.

be kind coronavirus

Last Friday, an NBC correspondent asked Trump, “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?” to which he replied, “I say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I say.”

What. An. Asshole.

Even seeing it now I can feel my face flush red with anger. I feel so ashamed of where I’m from, and I’m terrified for my friends and family in the US. You deserve so much better. It shouldn’t take a pandemic and a failure of the federal government to bring fundamental human rights to a country that once was “the leader of the free world.” 

be kind coronavirus

Cruel, petulant, and heartless.

This is not how you lead. This is not how you talk to people. This is not how you comfort a nation of 330 million human beings who, you know, have hearts, fears, worries, and families to think about. Where is the respect? Where is his dignity?

What frightens me, even more, are all people who agree with him. It’s reflective of how selfish the American culture has become (has it always been that way and I’m only seeing it now that I’ve left?) There is no place in this world for that “me, me ME” attitude. We have to look out for one another. Politics don’t matter right now; nobody wants people to get sick and die.

Damnit, I’m furious all over again writing this.

be kind coronavirus

In contrast, our excellent PM, Jacinda Ardern, has been comforting and reassuring Kiwis almost daily, live-streaming, and answering questions, including running a press conference just for kids around COVID 19. She even does spontaneous FB lives from her sofa in sweatpants after putting her toddler to bed.

Each time she addresses us, you can see the toll this experience is taking on her face. She didn’t sign up for this, but she is leading us the best way possible. Her hope and belief in keeping Kiwis safe above all else ring through every word she speaks. Compassion and understanding radiate from her. She talks to us with clear plans and objectives of what we need to do to get through this, usually with scientists by her side.

Jacinda is the kind of figure you want to comfort you in times of crisis. We are all facing an unknown future, and it’s scary.

be kind coronavirus

And every single time Jacinda speaks to the New Zealand community, she reminds us to be kind and to support one another. There is even a page on the NZ government response website to COVID 19 about kindness.

And she reminds us to be strong. Acknowledging what she is asking all of us is massive, she wants us to unite against spreading COVID 19 by staying at home.

To be honest, considering what humanity has gone through over the millennia, it’s not that hard.

Staying home is easy. Being kind is harder. And being kind to yourself? Well, that’s a challenge, especially for people like me.

be kind coronavirus

We are facing unprecedented times (to echo every politician on earth), and it’s pretty freaking scary. If we aren’t careful, we can be consumed by terror, fear, anxiety, depression, and all those other nasty thoughts that like to lurk in the dark recesses of our minds.

But it’s never been more critical to share compassion, empathy, and love. It’s what makes us human, after all. Kindness is a choice.

As we move into four weeks (minimum) of home isolation here in New Zealand, Jacinda’s message of kindness couldn’t be more poignant. We are being tested.

Now is the time to work harder than ever at being considerate, helpful, and selfless. Remember to think of others and not just ourselves. Perhaps we aren’t staying at home because we are worried we will get sick, but rather remember we are doing it for everyone else.

be kind coronavirus

If we all stop moving, COVID 19 will stop moving. It’s pretty easy yet tough.

Now is the time to think beyond ourselves, to think of our collective communities and groups. It’s not about “me” anymore, it’s about everyone. Make your decisions with that in mind. I chose kindness. Don’t be an asshole.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a heartless world. I hope and believe we will come out of the other side of this stronger and better. Kia kaha, as we say here in New Zealand, which means “stay strong” in Māori.

Be kind, be compassionate, be helpful, and supportive. Above all, be human. And for god’s sake, stop trying to make Instagram Lives a thing. It’s so annoying. And stay the fuck at home. Deal?

How are you coping during this new future we’re facing? How are you staying kind to yourself and others? Spill!

be kind coronavirus

The post It takes nothing to be kind appeared first on Young Adventuress.



Source link

Your friendly guide to freedom camping in New Zealand


Summer is in full swing here in New Zealand, which means two things: 1) unpredictable weather and 2) unpredictable tourists.

It’s no secret that New Zealand has become a hot spot destination for nature lovers around the world. While Kiwis are generally happy to share their little slice of heaven with the rest of the world. They only ask one small thing: don’t take the piss.

Need a translation? No worries, I gotcha.

Take the piss is a British/NZ/Australian term that does NOT mean go pee on something.

When someone in New Zealand is taking the piss, it means that the person has taken certain liberties at the expense of others — still confused? Let me put it in layman’s terms: If you visit New Zealand, please stop treating it like your own personal garbage can.

freedom camping

For a while, New Zealand was known as a dream destination for “freedom camping.”

In short, freedom camping is a poorly-named activity that allows travelers setting up camp anywhere, even places with no facilities or designated campsites. A classic kiwi pastime, it was all well and good when it was mostly just kiwis out freedom camping around their own country.

But what do you think happened when New Zealand exploded into tourism stardom, and millions of people flocked to this little island for a holiday?

If you guessed heaps of people saw it as a chance to travel for free, then you are correct. If you guessed that freedom camping pisses off a lot of locals and is a massive part of the overtourism conversation today? You are also right.

freedom camping
Image by RON ECKMAN

To be clear, New Zealand does still allow freedom camping but under strict guidelines (which many ignore). However, it’s often misunderstood, and it DEFINITELY does not mean you can pull up your wildly offensive Wicked Campervan and park at the most Instagram-able site you can find.

Don’t worry fam, if you’ve dreamed of renting out an outrageously expensive old VW Combi and camping by a wild, vacant turquoise lake filled with blossoming flowers; you’re not out of luck. I’m going to tell you exactly how you can have your cake and eat it too.

Here’s precisely how you can freedom camp responsibly in New Zealand, be respectful and not take the piss. Read on, dear ones.

freedom camping

1. Go self-contained, do it

There was once a time when freedom camping wasn’t as popular, and local councils didn’t view it as a threat to New Zealand’s pristine environment.

That all changed in 2011 when the Rugby World Cup resulted in entire fleets of campervans being rented out. The public 420 designated free campsites were trashed. People pooped everywhere. It was a mess.

In 2018, regulations got tighter. Now, the national standard says that all camper vans must be self-contained. Self-contained is the word to remember around freedom camping.

This means you need to be able to live in your vehicle for three days without requiring more water or dumping your wast.

freedom camping
No self-contained sticker

Let me put it differently.

This means you need to be able to shit in your van for three days without getting rid of your poo. So don’t come at me with your Toyota Estima telling me it’s self-contained unless you’ve got three days of poo stored up there to prove it, ok?

The regulations also require the vehicle to have freshwater storage, wastewater storage, a lidded bin for your rubbish, and a toilet that can be used inside the car, even when the bed is in place.

Let’s make it clear for the people in the back. If your van does not have a toilet, it isn’t self-contained.

Poo in a loo – and be prepared for when there isn’t one

freedom campingThis is what a self-contained van looks like. Does it look like something your grandparents would travel in? Yes, but that’s just how it works. It’s big enough to live in for days.

2. That little blue sticker doesn’t mean shit

If you’ve been in New Zealand, you’ve probably seen the much-coveted blue sticker that is supposed to prove your van is the self-contained meaning you can camp anywhere you damn well, please. Not true.

It’s usually stuck on the back windshield or bumper of a campervan – or shitty converted hatchback or mini-van used by long-term backpackers to bum around in.

If you’re shopping around for a camper van to use during your year-long working holiday, don’t let some slimy salesperson trick you into believing that blue sticker has any meaning whatsoever.

The magical blue sticker means nothing any more!


If you’re confused, refer to the requirements in point #1.

If you can’t poop in the van for three days straight according to the specifications, it’s not self-contained.

Even the van it has 10 of those blue stickers on the back, it’s not self-contained. I could get some of those stickers on the black market and pop them on my Subaru Outback. That doesn’t make it self-contained.

Don’t pay an extra $1,000 for that van you found on Trade Me just for the sticker! The sticker doesn’t mean anything anymore. It’s the actual set up inside the camper. This is what they check for.

freedom camping
Do you think they’ve got a toilet and three days of poo in here? NO.

3. Where can you park your self-contained camper van?

Now that you know what your self contained camper van is and is not, you can start looking for designated freedom camping spots.

Just because you have a self-contained vehicle does not mean you can pull up on any quiet road you feel like and conk out for the night.

Chances are people probably live down that road and don’t want to see your ugly ass van when they wake up in the morning. Please respect the people and the land here. New Zealand is the home of many, and it’s not Disney Land. Would you park your car outside someone’s house and live out of it wherever you’re from? Then why would you do it here?

freedom camping

This also means you can’t drive up to the shores of Lake Wanaka for a peaceful night of sleep.

Try it, and you’ll be met with a $400 fine when you wake up in the morning. Trust me, it’s easier to pay for a campsite at that point.

But, if you’re dead set on finding free camp spots, you’re not out of luck.

There are plenty of spots for responsible freedom camping, but the rules and regulations change depending on the region your in, and the specific DOC land around said region. The best bet is to go to the local iSite Visitor Information Center, DOC visitor Center or check with the local council.

Rankers are also an excellent resource for those looking to find a proper freedom camping location.

freedom campingWhile it makes a beautiful photo, it’s unrealistic to think you can pull up to any old beach and park up for the night. Most likely, your free campsite will be an old gravel parking lot in the middle of nowhere.

4. How to be an excellent little freedom camper

Okay, you’ve got the right vehicle, you’ve found the right spot to park up for the night, now what?

Just like any camper, there are a few things you can do to be a responsible visitor. Remember, each location will have it’s own specific rules and regulations. These hot tips will be universal no matter where you are.

  • Generally, No Fires: Fires can be a serious threat to New Zealand’s ecosystem, especially in dry regions such as Central Otago. There are year-round fire restrictions on public conservation lands, and no open fires are permitted during the fire season. You should only light a fire at designated DOC campsites with fire pit amenities. If you’re hoping to roast some s’mores by the fire, you’re probably out of luck. Be prepared to cook all of your food on your gas stovetop.

freedom camping

  • Pack it in Pack it out: It seems ridiculous to have to say this in 2020, but here we go. You must take whatever littler you accumulate while camping out of the campsite with you and dispose of it in the rubbish bins or recycling bins. Chocolate bar wrappers, toilet paper, tea bags, we’ve seen it all. Don’t try to tell me it accidentally fell out of your pocket; we don’t care. When you’re getting ready to leave a site, do a thorough once over to make sure your site is clean.
  • Don’t bathe in the lake: As tempting as it may be to score a free shower in crystal clear lakes, resist all temptation and pay for an actual shower elsewhere. You can find cold and sometimes hot showers at campsites as well as paid showers at gas stations or hostels. Similarly, don’t wash your manky-ass clothes in the lakes or rivers either. Soaps and detergents are harmful to water life, so if you’re going to wash your clothes in a buck, dump the water in the soil to let the dirt filter it before entering the water systems.

freedom camping

  • Dispose of your wastewater at designated areas: Now that you know how to be a responsible freedom camper with a vehicle that can hold wastewater (greywater) for three days, what the hell do you do with it when it’s full? You don’t dump your shit anywhere other than designated waste disposal dump stations. Most official campsites will have dump stations
  • Boil your water for at least 3 minutes: In general, water in New Zealand is much cleaner than a lot of other countries, and often drinking from rivers and streams will be harmless, but it’s best not to gamble if you’re worried about the water quality. Give the water a quick three-minute boil to get rid of any harmful bacteria that may be lurking.

freedom camping

  • Lock your shit up: While it’s rare to find violent crime in New Zealand, theft is relatively common when it comes to visitors and camper vans. Be sure to lock up your camper van when you’re out or when you’re sleeping for the night. There have been a few sporadic cases of violent crime against camper vans; While you generally don’t have to worry about that, it’s always good to think twice before camping in a super remote and isolated area.
  • Lastly, pay for a freaking campsite once in a while: Look, I get it, traveling is expensive, and even $20 campsites can add up over a few weeks. But tough shit. That’s life. That’s traveling. Not everything can come for free. By all means, do your best to seek out one of the 500 open designated freedom camping areas. If you can’t find one close by, bite the bullet and find a local campsite.

freedom camping

5. Just stay in campsites or holiday parks

You can find holiday parks in nearly every town, and DOC campsites dotted all down the country.

New Zealand has an incredible network of cheap campsites and holiday parks galore where you can park up with heaps of facilities. When I am traveling around in a campervan, I often split my nights between holiday park campsites, freedom camping, and DOC campsites. After all, hot showers are fantastic.

If you end up at an unattended DOC campsite, don’t take the piss and try to pay for free. Don’t arrive late at night and leave before dawn all to avoid the $10 fee.

The money you pay for DOC campsites is much needed to maintain our beautiful ecosystems. It provides facilities to visitors so everyone can enjoy this country. Seek out freedom camping if you must, but don’t forget that there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashion DOC campsite once in a while.

freedom camping

Now, go forth and be free, you wild ‘lil freedom campers.

Get that shot that will win you at least 20 likes on the gram. Twirl in the field of lupins, New Zealand’s most beautiful weed.

Do what you need to do but do it responsibly. Thanks for visiting this beautiful part of the world. And an even bigger thanks for leaving it better than you found it.

Have any tips for freedom camping responsibly? Have you ever traveled this way before? Spill!

freedom camping

The post Your friendly guide to freedom camping in New Zealand appeared first on Young Adventuress.



Source link

Your friendly guide to freedom camping in New Zealand


Summer is in full swing here in New Zealand, which means two things: 1) unpredictable weather and 2) unpredictable tourists.

It’s no secret that New Zealand has become a hot spot destination for nature lovers around the world. While Kiwis are generally happy to share their little slice of heaven with the rest of the world. They only ask one small thing: don’t take the piss.

Need a translation? No worries, I gotcha.

Take the piss is a British/NZ/Australian term that does NOT mean go pee on something.

When someone in New Zealand is taking the piss, it means that the person has taken certain liberties at the expense of others — still confused? Let me put it in layman’s terms: If you visit New Zealand, please stop treating it like your own personal garbage can.

freedom camping

For a while, New Zealand was known as a dream destination for “freedom camping.”

In short, freedom camping is a poorly-named activity that allows travelers setting up camp anywhere, even places with no facilities or designated campsites. A classic kiwi pastime, it was all well and good when it was mostly just kiwis out freedom camping around their own country.

But what do you think happened when New Zealand exploded into tourism stardom, and millions of people flocked to this little island for a holiday?

If you guessed heaps of people saw it as a chance to travel for free, then you are correct. If you guessed that freedom camping pisses off a lot of locals and is a massive part of the overtourism conversation today? You are also right.

freedom camping
Image by RON ECKMAN

To be clear, New Zealand does still allow freedom camping but under strict guidelines (which many ignore). However, it’s often misunderstood, and it DEFINITELY does not mean you can pull up your wildly offensive Wicked Campervan and park at the most Instagram-able site you can find.

Don’t worry fam, if you’ve dreamed of renting out an outrageously expensive old VW Combi and camping by a wild, vacant turquoise lake filled with blossoming flowers; you’re not out of luck. I’m going to tell you exactly how you can have your cake and eat it too.

Here’s precisely how you can freedom camp responsibly in New Zealand, be respectful and not take the piss. Read on, dear ones.

freedom camping

1. Go self-contained, do it

There was once a time when freedom camping wasn’t as popular, and local councils didn’t view it as a threat to New Zealand’s pristine environment.

That all changed in 2011 when the Rugby World Cup resulted in entire fleets of campervans being rented out. The public 420 designated free campsites were trashed. People pooped everywhere. It was a mess.

In 2018, regulations got tighter. Now, the national standard says that all camper vans must be self-contained. Self-contained is the word to remember around freedom camping.

This means you need to be able to live in your vehicle for three days without requiring more water or dumping your wast.

freedom camping
No self-contained sticker

Let me put it differently.

This means you need to be able to shit in your van for three days without getting rid of your poo. So don’t come at me with your Toyota Estima telling me it’s self-contained unless you’ve got three days of poo stored up there to prove it, ok?

The regulations also require the vehicle to have freshwater storage, wastewater storage, a lidded bin for your rubbish, and a toilet that can be used inside the car, even when the bed is in place.

Let’s make it clear for the people in the back. If your van does not have a toilet, it isn’t self-contained.

Poo in a loo – and be prepared for when there isn’t one

freedom campingThis is what a self-contained van looks like. Does it look like something your grandparents would travel in? Yes, but that’s just how it works. It’s big enough to live in for days.

2. That little blue sticker doesn’t mean shit

If you’ve been in New Zealand, you’ve probably seen the much-coveted blue sticker that is supposed to prove your van is the self-contained meaning you can camp anywhere you damn well, please. Not true.

It’s usually stuck on the back windshield or bumper of a campervan – or shitty converted hatchback or mini-van used by long-term backpackers to bum around in.

If you’re shopping around for a camper van to use during your year-long working holiday, don’t let some slimy salesperson trick you into believing that blue sticker has any meaning whatsoever.

The magical blue sticker means nothing any more!


If you’re confused, refer to the requirements in point #1.

If you can’t poop in the van for three days straight according to the specifications, it’s not self-contained.

Even the van it has 10 of those blue stickers on the back, it’s not self-contained. I could get some of those stickers on the black market and pop them on my Subaru Outback. That doesn’t make it self-contained.

Don’t pay an extra $1,000 for that van you found on Trade Me just for the sticker! The sticker doesn’t mean anything anymore. It’s the actual set up inside the camper. This is what they check for.

freedom camping
Do you think they’ve got a toilet and three days of poo in here? NO.

3. Where can you park your self-contained camper van?

Now that you know what your self contained camper van is and is not, you can start looking for designated freedom camping spots.

Just because you have a self-contained vehicle does not mean you can pull up on any quiet road you feel like and conk out for the night.

Chances are people probably live down that road and don’t want to see your ugly ass van when they wake up in the morning. Please respect the people and the land here. New Zealand is the home of many, and it’s not Disney Land. Would you park your car outside someone’s house and live out of it wherever you’re from? Then why would you do it here?

freedom camping

This also means you can’t drive up to the shores of Lake Wanaka for a peaceful night of sleep.

Try it, and you’ll be met with a $400 fine when you wake up in the morning. Trust me, it’s easier to pay for a campsite at that point.

But, if you’re dead set on finding free camp spots, you’re not out of luck.

There are plenty of spots for responsible freedom camping, but the rules and regulations change depending on the region your in, and the specific DOC land around said region. The best bet is to go to the local iSite Visitor Information Center, DOC visitor Center or check with the local council.

Rankers are also an excellent resource for those looking to find a proper freedom camping location.

freedom campingWhile it makes a beautiful photo, it’s unrealistic to think you can pull up to any old beach and park up for the night. Most likely, your free campsite will be an old gravel parking lot in the middle of nowhere.

4. How to be an excellent little freedom camper

Okay, you’ve got the right vehicle, you’ve found the right spot to park up for the night, now what?

Just like any camper, there are a few things you can do to be a responsible visitor. Remember, each location will have it’s own specific rules and regulations. These hot tips will be universal no matter where you are.

  • Generally, No Fires: Fires can be a serious threat to New Zealand’s ecosystem, especially in dry regions such as Central Otago. There are year-round fire restrictions on public conservation lands, and no open fires are permitted during the fire season. You should only light a fire at designated DOC campsites with fire pit amenities. If you’re hoping to roast some s’mores by the fire, you’re probably out of luck. Be prepared to cook all of your food on your gas stovetop.

freedom camping

  • Pack it in Pack it out: It seems ridiculous to have to say this in 2020, but here we go. You must take whatever littler you accumulate while camping out of the campsite with you and dispose of it in the rubbish bins or recycling bins. Chocolate bar wrappers, toilet paper, tea bags, we’ve seen it all. Don’t try to tell me it accidentally fell out of your pocket; we don’t care. When you’re getting ready to leave a site, do a thorough once over to make sure your site is clean.
  • Don’t bathe in the lake: As tempting as it may be to score a free shower in crystal clear lakes, resist all temptation and pay for an actual shower elsewhere. You can find cold and sometimes hot showers at campsites as well as paid showers at gas stations or hostels. Similarly, don’t wash your manky-ass clothes in the lakes or rivers either. Soaps and detergents are harmful to water life, so if you’re going to wash your clothes in a buck, dump the water in the soil to let the dirt filter it before entering the water systems.

freedom camping

  • Dispose of your wastewater at designated areas: Now that you know how to be a responsible freedom camper with a vehicle that can hold wastewater (greywater) for three days, what the hell do you do with it when it’s full? You don’t dump your shit anywhere other than designated waste disposal dump stations. Most official campsites will have dump stations
  • Boil your water for at least 3 minutes: In general, water in New Zealand is much cleaner than a lot of other countries, and often drinking from rivers and streams will be harmless, but it’s best not to gamble if you’re worried about the water quality. Give the water a quick three-minute boil to get rid of any harmful bacteria that may be lurking.

freedom camping

  • Lock your shit up: While it’s rare to find violent crime in New Zealand, theft is relatively common when it comes to visitors and camper vans. Be sure to lock up your camper van when you’re out or when you’re sleeping for the night. There have been a few sporadic cases of violent crime against camper vans; While you generally don’t have to worry about that, it’s always good to think twice before camping in a super remote and isolated area.
  • Lastly, pay for a freaking campsite once in a while: Look, I get it, traveling is expensive, and even $20 campsites can add up over a few weeks. But tough shit. That’s life. That’s traveling. Not everything can come for free. By all means, do your best to seek out one of the 500 open designated freedom camping areas. If you can’t find one close by, bite the bullet and find a local campsite.

freedom camping

5. Just stay in campsites or holiday parks

You can find holiday parks in nearly every town, and DOC campsites dotted all down the country.

New Zealand has an incredible network of cheap campsites and holiday parks galore where you can park up with heaps of facilities. When I am traveling around in a campervan, I often split my nights between holiday park campsites, freedom camping, and DOC campsites. After all, hot showers are fantastic.

If you end up at an unattended DOC campsite, don’t take the piss and try to pay for free. Don’t arrive late at night and leave before dawn all to avoid the $10 fee.

The money you pay for DOC campsites is much needed to maintain our beautiful ecosystems. It provides facilities to visitors so everyone can enjoy this country. Seek out freedom camping if you must, but don’t forget that there’s nothing wrong with a good old fashion DOC campsite once in a while.

freedom camping

Now, go forth and be free, you wild ‘lil freedom campers.

Get that shot that will win you at least 20 likes on the gram. Twirl in the field of lupins, New Zealand’s most beautiful weed.

Do what you need to do but do it responsibly. Thanks for visiting this beautiful part of the world. And an even bigger thanks for leaving it better than you found it.

Have any tips for freedom camping responsibly? Have you ever traveled this way before? Spill!

freedom camping

The post Your friendly guide to freedom camping in New Zealand appeared first on Young Adventuress.



Source link

Australia’s wildfires are turning New Zealand’s glaciers red


One of my favorite parts about the mountains of New Zealand’s South Island is my proximity to glaciers. Growing up in suburban Virginia, I never really experienced mountains of this scale before – and now I’m hooked.

Living in Wanaka, the heart of the Southern Alps of New Zealand, and a peaceful lakeside mountain town, I’ve spent a lot of time in our neighboring national park – Mt. Aspiring.

Mount Aspiring National Park is a magical mix of remote high country wilderness, big mountains, and stunning river valleys. Home to over a hundred glaciers, it’s a place straight from the Lord of the Rings – literally. Every time I explore Mt. Aspiring, it takes my breath away.

But a new phenomenon has arrived in New Zealand – for the past couple of weeks, the smoke and dust from the unprecedented bushfires in Australia have arrived in New Zealand.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

I was away from Wanaka when I started to see posts from all my Wanaka friends on social media about their cars coated with thick red dust. It seems the devastating effects of the immense wildfires in Australia have made their way here.

As hundreds of uncontrolled fires burn across New South Wales and the Queensland coastlines in Australia, the wind has carried the smoke, ash, and dust thousands of kilometers across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.

For days our usually clear skies were hazy, a bizarre thing to witness.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

As the sky turned an ominous yellow haze, the smoke blanketed towns all across the South Island before eventually clearing up a few days later as the winds changed.

We carried on with our normalcy and routines, luckily free from the horrors of fires (at present). But as I journeyed back into Mt. Aspiring National Park last Friday, I noticed something unusual.

Why did the glaciers appear to be red?

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

Hopping on a last-minute scenic helicopter flight with Wanaka Helicopters out to see the glaciers around Mt. Aspiring, I was fizzing with excitement as I piled into the front seat on one of those calm, spring mornings.

We’ve had a crazy amount of rain this springtime in Wanaka, so much rain in fact that the lake is high. Normally quite dry on this side of the mountains, everyone is worried the town might flood this week as more rain is on the way.

Right now is the perfect time for a scenic flight around Wanaka, and it’s definitely the most colorful time of year. The valleys are bright green with all of the rainfall, and there is still snow on the mountaintops. For photographers like me, we froth on these colors.

australia fire new zealand

As the snow melts and the mountains are pounded with massive rainfalls, hundreds of temporary waterfalls gush down from the glaciers in a scene out of a movie. It doesn’t look real.

Taking off from the Wanaka airport on a morning Amazing Aspiring scenic heli flight, conditions were just magical. No wind, blue skies, and warm air, spring was in the air, and I was itching to take in my favorite mountains again.

Zooming out over the town and down the iconic Matukituki Valley, I could see the river was pumping, and the lake was high, while the stunning peak of Mt. Aspiring twinkled in the distance.

And as we got closer and closer towards the first of the mighty glaciers, I pulled my sunglasses off to wipe them. Did I see things, or did the snow look, well, a bit red?

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

From far away, the glaciers looked almost dirty, a sooty look they often get at the end of a hot summer as the ice melts and rock tumbles down onto the ice in certain places. But it was springtime, and the snows were beginning to melt. What’s the deal?

Chatting with the pilot, I realized this phenomenon was tied to the raging wildfires plaguing the east coast of Australia. The recent westerlies brought a red haze and smoke across the pond here to New Zealand.

As the dust settled across the South Island, it coated our glaciers in a layer of red too.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

How crazy is that?

While I’m no scientist, I wonder this layer of red will exist in the ice to tell the story of the bushfires in a thousand years? The same way we could see the ash layers from ancient volcanic eruptions around the world now?

Curious. Curious.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

As a frequent visitor to Mt. Aspiring, and flying as often as I can around these big mountains I call home, it was unusual and exciting to see something rare and different. How crazy is it that we can see the impact of fires in Australia here in New Zealand?!

It’s pretty remarkable to see the impact of the fires from so far away.

Our glaciers don’t need any more battles as they are already truly endangered; it puts the impact of climate change into even more stark reality we can’t ignore.

This will cause our glaciers to melt even faster due to the obstruction of the ice-albedo effect – where shiny glaciers reflect energy into space. Someone correct me, but this is how I understand it to work; the red dust is now covering the usually reflective glacial ice, causing the glaciers to melt faster. Ah, science!

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

Cue the anti-climate change propaganda. Though I would be heartily surprised if there were any non-science believers still on my blog.

The higher temperatures caused by climate change allows for more dryness and worse fire seasons in Australia especially. Greenhouse gas emissions have a direct impact on increased temperatures, which equates to increased dryness.

Climate change definitely makes bushfires worse.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

Nothing really puts into perspective both the immensity of our mountains quite like a helicopter flight. It shows just how fragile they are. Especially when you see the impact of something so massive here in New Zealand.

I want everyone to be able to experience the joy and euphoria that comes from these wild spaces. I want to preserve our glaciers for generations to come. It breaks my heart to see the devastation both directly in Australia but also high on our precious mountains here in New Zealand.

Good luck to everyone working hard to stop this.

Have you ever seen anything like this? Have you experienced the effects of wildfires before? I’m curious, share if you don’t mind.

australia fire new zealand

Many thanks to Wanaka Helicopters for showing me around my favorite mountains. Like always, I’m keeping it real – as if you could expect less from me!

The post Australia’s wildfires are turning New Zealand’s glaciers red appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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Australia’s wildfires are turning New Zealand’s glaciers red


One of my favorite parts about the mountains of New Zealand’s South Island is my proximity to glaciers. Growing up in suburban Virginia, I never really experienced mountains of this scale before – and now I’m hooked.

Living in Wanaka, the heart of the Southern Alps of New Zealand, and a peaceful lakeside mountain town, I’ve spent a lot of time in our neighboring national park – Mt. Aspiring.

Mount Aspiring National Park is a magical mix of remote high country wilderness, big mountains, and stunning river valleys. Home to over a hundred glaciers, it’s a place straight from the Lord of the Rings – literally. Every time I explore Mt. Aspiring, it takes my breath away.

But a new phenomenon has arrived in New Zealand – for the past couple of weeks, the smoke and dust from the unprecedented bushfires in Australia have arrived in New Zealand.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

I was away from Wanaka when I started to see posts from all my Wanaka friends on social media about their cars coated with thick red dust. It seems the devastating effects of the immense wildfires in Australia have made their way here.

As hundreds of uncontrolled fires burn across New South Wales and the Queensland coastlines in Australia, the wind has carried the smoke, ash, and dust thousands of kilometers across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.

For days our usually clear skies were hazy, a bizarre thing to witness.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

As the sky turned an ominous yellow haze, the smoke blanketed towns all across the South Island before eventually clearing up a few days later as the winds changed.

We carried on with our normalcy and routines, luckily free from the horrors of fires (at present). But as I journeyed back into Mt. Aspiring National Park last Friday, I noticed something unusual.

Why did the glaciers appear to be red?

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

Hopping on a last-minute scenic helicopter flight with Wanaka Helicopters out to see the glaciers around Mt. Aspiring, I was fizzing with excitement as I piled into the front seat on one of those calm, spring mornings.

We’ve had a crazy amount of rain this springtime in Wanaka, so much rain in fact that the lake is high. Normally quite dry on this side of the mountains, everyone is worried the town might flood this week as more rain is on the way.

Right now is the perfect time for a scenic flight around Wanaka, and it’s definitely the most colorful time of year. The valleys are bright green with all of the rainfall, and there is still snow on the mountaintops. For photographers like me, we froth on these colors.

australia fire new zealand

As the snow melts and the mountains are pounded with massive rainfalls, hundreds of temporary waterfalls gush down from the glaciers in a scene out of a movie. It doesn’t look real.

Taking off from the Wanaka airport on a morning Amazing Aspiring scenic heli flight, conditions were just magical. No wind, blue skies, and warm air, spring was in the air, and I was itching to take in my favorite mountains again.

Zooming out over the town and down the iconic Matukituki Valley, I could see the river was pumping, and the lake was high, while the stunning peak of Mt. Aspiring twinkled in the distance.

And as we got closer and closer towards the first of the mighty glaciers, I pulled my sunglasses off to wipe them. Did I see things, or did the snow look, well, a bit red?

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

From far away, the glaciers looked almost dirty, a sooty look they often get at the end of a hot summer as the ice melts and rock tumbles down onto the ice in certain places. But it was springtime, and the snows were beginning to melt. What’s the deal?

Chatting with the pilot, I realized this phenomenon was tied to the raging wildfires plaguing the east coast of Australia. The recent westerlies brought a red haze and smoke across the pond here to New Zealand.

As the dust settled across the South Island, it coated our glaciers in a layer of red too.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

How crazy is that?

While I’m no scientist, I wonder this layer of red will exist in the ice to tell the story of the bushfires in a thousand years? The same way we could see the ash layers from ancient volcanic eruptions around the world now?

Curious. Curious.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

As a frequent visitor to Mt. Aspiring, and flying as often as I can around these big mountains I call home, it was unusual and exciting to see something rare and different. How crazy is it that we can see the impact of fires in Australia here in New Zealand?!

It’s pretty remarkable to see the impact of the fires from so far away.

Our glaciers don’t need any more battles as they are already truly endangered; it puts the impact of climate change into even more stark reality we can’t ignore.

This will cause our glaciers to melt even faster due to the obstruction of the ice-albedo effect – where shiny glaciers reflect energy into space. Someone correct me, but this is how I understand it to work; the red dust is now covering the usually reflective glacial ice, causing the glaciers to melt faster. Ah, science!

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

Cue the anti-climate change propaganda. Though I would be heartily surprised if there were any non-science believers still on my blog.

The higher temperatures caused by climate change allows for more dryness and worse fire seasons in Australia especially. Greenhouse gas emissions have a direct impact on increased temperatures, which equates to increased dryness.

Climate change definitely makes bushfires worse.

australia fire new zealand

australia fire new zealand

Nothing really puts into perspective both the immensity of our mountains quite like a helicopter flight. It shows just how fragile they are. Especially when you see the impact of something so massive here in New Zealand.

I want everyone to be able to experience the joy and euphoria that comes from these wild spaces. I want to preserve our glaciers for generations to come. It breaks my heart to see the devastation both directly in Australia but also high on our precious mountains here in New Zealand.

Good luck to everyone working hard to stop this.

Have you ever seen anything like this? Have you experienced the effects of wildfires before? I’m curious, share if you don’t mind.

australia fire new zealand

Many thanks to Wanaka Helicopters for showing me around my favorite mountains. Like always, I’m keeping it real – as if you could expect less from me!

The post Australia’s wildfires are turning New Zealand’s glaciers red appeared first on Young Adventuress.



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I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram


Is anyone else just sick and tired of all the BS and fake behavior on Instagram? From picture-perfect vacation photos to the most killer bikini bodies to hashtag tags for likes, where is the boundary between real and fake? Between staged and candid? I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram.

Even as a self-professed influencer, I don’t get it. I really don’t. What is real? What is fake? Where’s the line? Where are the real stories these days? Where’s the authentic content? Isn’t that what we all want deep down? Real, bona fide, gritty, raw stories?

Or do I want to be skinnier, wealthier, smile-er, more perfect?

As I struggle to reconcile my role in this wild and crazy internet world, where authenticity has become a commodity, I can’t help but wonder how authentic can anything be anymore? Oh god, self-identity crisis INCOMING! Am I fake too?

HOW TO BUILD REAL INFLUENCE E-COURSE

I'm craving more authenticity on Instagram

How is it mentally right for anyone to see and consume this kind of stuff online OR try and emulate it? No wonder everyone is full of bitterness, stress, and anxiety; me included these days. We constantly bombarded with images and videos of completely unrealistic lives. How can we not compare ourselves to what we are told is the standard online?

I don’t know about you guys, but I begin to notice that the more time I spend exploring on Instagram, the worse it can be for me, especially if I’m not mentally stable, which is to say, a lot of the damn time. I’ve been going through some stuff over the past year, and I’m still pulling myself out of a burnout.

“UGH Liz why aren’t your legs longer and why don’t you have a thigh gap and why didn’t you get a better shot at this place? Why didn’t you think of that first? How did she get that job and I didn’t?”

The list goes on and on and on.

Oh, that’s right, you are short and love burgers and are anxious as all hell.

I'm craving more authenticity on Instagram

If my mental guard isn’t Teflon strong without any cracks, I quickly submit into the mire too. After all, isn’t it much easier to dwell on where you seemingly fail than to sit in your success and own happiness with who you are? Why can’t we just be happy with where we are? Me included?

Remember, comparison is the thief of joy. This is a part of my daily mantra and one of my affirmations I tell myself in the mirror every morning. Yes, I actually do this.

For instance, every morning, I get up and look at myself in the mirror and say (among many things), “you are enough.”

Stop comparing yourself to people on the internet; we’re all stars and doing our best. The hustle to keep up a perfect facade has been killing me for a long time now. I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram and social media; how about you?

Let’s all work together to sharing more of our real selves, not to be afraid, to be honest, and right, and to stop performing and instead be genuine. I’m speaking to myself as much as anyone, as it’s so easy for me to slip into “blogger Liz” and hide behind a shiny face.

I'm craving more authenticity on Instagram

The more and more I dwell on this, the more I think that I really hope my stories and posts have been inspirational, and if anything I’ve ever posted made someone feel like they weren’t good enough or perfect enough, I’m not only heartbroken but so sorry. In conclusion, we’re all wildly imperfect together in this messy world.

So next time you’re scrolling through social media and feel those dark thoughts start creeping in, please remember you aren’t alone; we’re all in this together. And the only thing those diet teas do is provide explosive diarrhea.

And I don’t know about you guys, but I’m dying to see more heart on blogs. I’m CRAVING some damn good stories and authentic pages to follow. I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram! What can I do better? How can I get more real? How do I find my voice again? Inspire me!

Do you guys have any recommendations for creative people who fit the ticket? Who are you enjoying following on Instagram right now? Please leave me a comment and let me know and I’ll share them. 

Come join me at the Travel Bootcamp and learn how to get paid to travel too

I'm craving more authenticity on Instagram

The post I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram appeared first on Young Adventuress.





Source link

I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram


Is anyone else just sick and tired of all the BS and fake behavior on Instagram? From picture-perfect vacation photos to the most killer bikini bodies to hashtag tags for likes, where is the boundary between real and fake? Between staged and candid? I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram.

Even as a self-professed influencer, I don’t get it. I really don’t. What is real? What is fake? Where’s the line? Where are the real stories these days? Where’s the authentic content? Isn’t that what we all want deep down? Real, bona fide, gritty, raw stories?

Or do I want to be skinnier, wealthier, smile-er, more perfect?

As I struggle to reconcile my role in this wild and crazy internet world, where authenticity has become a commodity, I can’t help but wonder how authentic can anything be anymore? Oh god, self-identity crisis INCOMING! Am I fake too?

HOW TO BUILD REAL INFLUENCE E-COURSE

I'm craving more authenticity on Instagram

How is it mentally right for anyone to see and consume this kind of stuff online OR try and emulate it? No wonder everyone is full of bitterness, stress, and anxiety; me included these days. We constantly bombarded with images and videos of completely unrealistic lives. How can we not compare ourselves to what we are told is the standard online?

I don’t know about you guys, but I begin to notice that the more time I spend exploring on Instagram, the worse it can be for me, especially if I’m not mentally stable, which is to say, a lot of the damn time. I’ve been going through some stuff over the past year, and I’m still pulling myself out of a burnout.

“UGH Liz why aren’t your legs longer and why don’t you have a thigh gap and why didn’t you get a better shot at this place? Why didn’t you think of that first? How did she get that job and I didn’t?”

The list goes on and on and on.

Oh, that’s right, you are short and love burgers and are anxious as all hell.

I'm craving more authenticity on Instagram

If my mental guard isn’t Teflon strong without any cracks, I quickly submit into the mire too. After all, isn’t it much easier to dwell on where you seemingly fail than to sit in your success and own happiness with who you are? Why can’t we just be happy with where we are? Me included?

Remember, comparison is the thief of joy. This is a part of my daily mantra and one of my affirmations I tell myself in the mirror every morning. Yes, I actually do this.

For instance, every morning, I get up and look at myself in the mirror and say (among many things), “you are enough.”

Stop comparing yourself to people on the internet; we’re all stars and doing our best. The hustle to keep up a perfect facade has been killing me for a long time now. I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram and social media; how about you?

Let’s all work together to sharing more of our real selves, not to be afraid, to be honest, and right, and to stop performing and instead be genuine. I’m speaking to myself as much as anyone, as it’s so easy for me to slip into “blogger Liz” and hide behind a shiny face.

I'm craving more authenticity on Instagram

The more and more I dwell on this, the more I think that I really hope my stories and posts have been inspirational, and if anything I’ve ever posted made someone feel like they weren’t good enough or perfect enough, I’m not only heartbroken but so sorry. In conclusion, we’re all wildly imperfect together in this messy world.

So next time you’re scrolling through social media and feel those dark thoughts start creeping in, please remember you aren’t alone; we’re all in this together. And the only thing those diet teas do is provide explosive diarrhea.

And I don’t know about you guys, but I’m dying to see more heart on blogs. I’m CRAVING some damn good stories and authentic pages to follow. I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram! What can I do better? How can I get more real? How do I find my voice again? Inspire me!

Do you guys have any recommendations for creative people who fit the ticket? Who are you enjoying following on Instagram right now? Please leave me a comment and let me know and I’ll share them. 

Come join me at the Travel Bootcamp and learn how to get paid to travel too

I'm craving more authenticity on Instagram

The post I’m craving more authenticity on Instagram appeared first on Young Adventuress.





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