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A Sustainable Journey

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Not every sustainable journey starts with a big, old party, but mine sure did!

My sustainable journey began under this moon at the Full Moon Party in Thailand

I was dancing on a beach in Thailand when the horrible reality of my impact on the planet smacked me upside the head. OK, fine, it smacked me in the leg.

Literally, a plastic bottle hit me in the leg. It was the first full moon of 2019 and I was attending the legendary Full Moon Party on Haad Rin Beach in Thailand.

There I was in my glow-in-the-dark body paint and my fast-fashion outfit complete with neon and fringe, passing around a communal bucket of booze, and letting the waves wash the sand off my legs from a night of dancing.

Getting ready for the full moon party in Thailand with a fast-fashion outfit purchased for just that night. Today I would never buy an outfit for only one night. This was the beginning of my sustainable journey.
Getting ready for the party. (Today I would never buy an outfit for just one night!)

The first rays from the morning sun revealed a sight that both struck me and stuck with me.

Garbage. Everywhere.

Haad Rin Beach in Thailand needs a cleanup every month after the Full Moon party when plastic bottles litter the beach.
This is what Haad Rin Beach looks like when there isn’t a Full Moon Party

I resolved then and there to quit using single-use plastic water bottles. For good.

It wasn’t always easy, but I learned along the way to avoid not only single-use plastic water bottles but single-use plastic everything. It is possible with a little legwork.

I avoid plastic while traveling full-time as a digital nomad, so you can do it too!

The evolution of a sustainable journey

My sustainable journey started with single-use plastic water bottles, but I now consider sustainability and ethical production in everything I do and everything I buy.

I travel with my own bamboo utensils, folding bowl, and even a reusable wine cup in my pocket! I wear clothing that is durable and ethically produced, and I ensure that the brands where I spend my dollars think about the planet alongside profitability.

Tips for a sustainable journey through life

This awareness extends to conscious travel

As tourists, we often don’t realize when we are harming the animals we encounter on our travels. I talk a lot about that in the following post. When I stayed the night with elephants at an ethical elephant sanctuary in Thailand, I learned so much from the elephants who are rescued from the tourism and logging industries.

Elephant Nature Park in Thailand is an ethical destination for sustainable travelers

It was a seriously moving and impactful experience.

Attending a festival can be seriously challenging when we’re trying to travel sustainably. But it is possible! Check out this post on attending the Mad Cool festival in Madrid sustainably. It includes a sustainable festival packing list, complete with biodegradable glitter! (Or get the list below.)

Printable, eco-friendly festival packing list

FAIR WARNING: Your sustainable journey will become a way of life

Once you take that first step to ditch single-use plastic it probably won’t stop there.

A collapsible water bottle for your zero-waste picnic kit
I purchase a five-gallon water jug when I am in a homestay like VRBO

For me, ditching single-use, plastic water bottles led me to notice all the single-use plastic that I was casually consuming without even thinking.

Sustainable packing list opt-in for men

Now I use shampoo and conditioner bars instead of bottles, and I even make my own sustainable lotion bars!

My sustainable journey will continue, and I will keep sharing what I learn with you.

Sustainable packing list freebie


Be sure to check out my comprehensive list of travel products to help you travel sustainably!

Thank you for reading this. Please contact me if you have story ideas or sustainability stats or products to share. I’m very passionate about sustainability, and I would love to hear from you.

About the Author

Hi! I’m Jen!

I’m a freelance writer and travel blogger who quit my nine-to-five after my fiancé, Jeff, died of cancer at the age of 40. When he died, I realized that life is just too short to delay our dreams. Since my dream was to travel and write, I now travel and write full-time. Today I wear hiking boots instead of heels and collect experiences instead of things.

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