Mariellen started travelling at age 45 after the death of her parents and a period of depression. She set off on a six-month solo trip to India to study yoga and volunteer. And she immediately fell in love with India. Now based in Rishikesh, Mariellen’s blog focuses on meaningful travel. She’s dedicated to honest storytelling and authentic experiences – and debunks stereotypes of India along the way.
She writes about spirituality without the Western yoga cliches, and her tone is always inquisitive and never preachy. Mariellen often shares the life lessons she’s picked up in India: how strangers are kind or how money can’t buy happiness.
Seeing the universe as a loving, intelligent force that always has my best interests at heart — and learning to let go of the need to control, to let go of the need to “be” a certain way, and to surrender to the flow of life — has had an enormous impact on my experience of life. It’s made it much easier. And I am just a beginner on this path.
Whether she’s writing about the fishermen of Kerala who spontaneously joined relief efforts and saved thousands of lives with their boats during flooding, or about her trek through the Himalayas, she portrays India as a complex country that can’t be summed up in a single story.
Charlie is a Brighton-based traveller who fell in love with long-term travel after she spent a year in Taiwan teaching ESL. She writes about her adventures of exploring the world through house-sitting and working remotely.
For us, slow travel has been a mindset change. It’s about valuing quality over quantity. The quality of our travel experiences has become richer since we stopped thinking about the number of places, countries or sights we were trying to get to. The important point here is that slow travel can be experienced anywhere.
They offer plenty of tips on responsible travel, green living and vegetarianism.
I love their diverse travel guides that focus on local activities and culture, vegetarian food and ways to avoid the Instagram crowds. Their guide to Indonesia’s Yogyakarta, for example, is packed with great veggie restaurants, eco-friendly boutique hotels and silversmithing workshops.
Charlie explores gems where few tour companies go, and writes about her experiences with honesty and respect.
Emma writes about travel and slow living from her small town in Yorkshire. She once worked in the fast-paced fashion industry before she grew disillusioned and left her career behind to focus on writing. She traded in Manchester’s grey smog for the rolling green hills of the English countryside.
Emma’s great eye for detail makes her photography a visual feast of nature close-ups and everyday details. She loves nature, the Nordic lands and travel off the beaten path.
Emma is conscious of her role as an influencer.
For me, the most important message is the title of this post: travel for yourself, not to copy influencers. If you feel inspired by someone’s trip, do a little bit of research and see if that destination is right for you. Does it sound like the kind of place you would like to explore?
Emma knows what she loves. She won’t hesitate to skip Iceland’s Blue Lagoon as too over-hyped to opt for a dip in an isolated geothermal pool instead.
Jessica is a minimal lifestyle blogger living in England’s Peak District. She overhauled her life after surviving cervical cancer to simplify and focus on her priorities. Jessica left her office job behind and quit her retail therapy habits to embrace simple living and minimalism.
A proud owner of a 32-piece capsule wardrobe, Jessica’s approach to travel is no different. She loves packing light and streamlining her itinerary. Her guide to slow travel will inspire you to forget about that perfect Instagram shot and the pressure to make your trip status worthy. And her stories on visiting well-known cities will get you off the beaten path to uncover hidden gems.
We over-pack, over-plan, over-drink, have unrealistic expectations and we ruin what should be precious memories in the process. We return home exhausted wondering why we’d been so excited in the first place. Think about what you can live without and leave it at home, mindset included.
Jessica often travels to Scandinavian countries, and you can find some gorgeous guides to less obvious destinations like Malmo.
What I love most about Jessica is her willingness to learn. She doesn’t edit out her bloopers but instead uses her mistakes to learn and hone in on her personal tastes. In an age of influencers pushing impossible standards of perfection, Jessica’s blog is a realistic look at minimalism.
Ellie and Ravi are a Toronto-based couple who focus on how travel can improve the world and make a positive impact. Their responsible travel blog is about life-transforming journeys that help you become a better human being. Ellie, originally a Londoner, launched the blog during a sabbatical trip around Asia. Ravi, raised in Mumbai, often contributes stories about food as a way of connecting with local cultures.
Soul Travel focuses on helping travellers sift through the massive amounts of online info to make their travels sustainable – while avoiding marketing hype and greenwashing. The blog is a refreshing look at the age of overtourism and how Instagram has bred a culture of sameness.
For us, travel is about more than just economic or photographic exchange and opportunity.
Where we don’t interact, ask questions and learn about where we go, travel becomes all about us as the traveller. There’s a very real danger that we collect photos with nothing to say about them.
I love their posts on travel to places traditionally dubbed dangerous, like Iran, or their tips on sustainable travel in touristy cities.
Whether they’re writing about the impact of social media on travel, or sharing stories on the industry’s amazing potential to change lives, the blog is an optimistic look at what travel means – and what it can accomplish.
Emily and Aaron are ethical adventurers passionate about sustainable travel, especially when it’s off the beaten path. They love road trips and often volunteer abroad (Emily is a registered nurse) to support local communities.
They love to avoid the crowds and seek unique adventures that counter the impact of overtourism.
Whether it’s finding the local beaches in tourist hot-spots like Aruba, or sailing off the beaten path in the Bahamas, Emily and Aaron are fearless in making their own adventures.
We believe that travel done right can broaden our understanding of humanity and make a positive impact on each place we visit. We do our best to travel ethically and sustainably, and we want to help other travelers do the same!
Experience has also taught us that most life-changing adventures happen when you step off the tourist track. The stories you’ll be telling for years to come will be the ones you create for yourself with a place and its people, not the ones you get from an impersonal tour.
Daniel and Audrey, an American couple based in Berlin, focus on adventure and travel as a force of good. Their motto is: “Driven by Curiosity, Guided by Respect.”
The couple’s story began in Prague, where Audrey often heard negative stereotypes about the former Soviet Union. They decided to see it for themselves, and set off on a five-month journey across the Caucasus and Central Asia. They continued their travels to lesser-visited regions while focusing on meaningful connections with locals.
An over-arching theme of our journey — and our lives — began to take shape: to share stories of people and places that usually don’t have a voice, with the aim of humanizing faraway places that people might otherwise never hear about or actively disregard. Why? Because stories connect people like no other mechanism. This connection helps dispel stereotypes and fears, and slowly replaces them with curiosity. It shifts the prevailing narrative, displacing the “one story” with the actual story of many — the story of humanity.
Linda’s blog focuses on eco travel, sustainable living and green design. She’s passionate about the natural world and committed to mindful travel. Originally from Northern Ireland, Linda is a freelance writer based in Melbourne.
Her stories offer plenty of less-obvious travel destinations and inspiration, whether it’s an off-grid mountain hotel in the mountains of Norway or a farm and botanic garden hidden away in the concrete jungle of Hong Kong. Linda’s posts are always unique and offer insights, interviews and updates on the world of sustainability.
So often you hear that encouraging sustainability makes people feel guilty. We say ‘balls’ to that! Every single day we come across a person or group of people doing amazing things to help build a more sustainable world. There seems to be more action than guilt.
I love the blog’s more luxurious content, like the beautifully visual guide to agriturismos around Italy that serve up home-cooked food made with freshly picked ingredients.
There’s also plenty on eco-friendly accommodation, tips on recognizing green washing, or how-to posts on planning an eco friendly vacation.
Alejandra and Warner are a couple who left behind their day jobs to sustainably travel the world. Before Tinder brought them together, Warner was an architecture student who’d suffered a nervous breakdown. The couple both needed a life overhaul when they met. Over a dinner of Ethiopian food, they made a pact to save money for a year and then hit the road.
Their blog is a beautifully-designed feast for the eyes. There are stories on how they shifted to slow travel after a whirlwind tour of India, and posts on the importance of sustainable travel and how tourism can hit local communities hard.
Traveling, for us, is not so much about visiting places and a check list of sights, it’s more about the encounters we have, fully indulging in the places we visit and local life. People all over the world eat, work, interact, entertain and live in different ways, and only when trying to slow down and integrate do you start to understand and appreciate these differences.
Susanna is an Alaskan and her blog is a bit of everything. She writes about outdoor adventure travel, geeky travel and responsible tourism. She’s also passionate about extreme sports, video games, feminism and eco-tourism. Her writing is a mix of all her interests.
Susanna left behind her small town in Alaska for Las Vegas, then settled down with her partner in Munich. She writes extensive tips on how to reduce your pollution while travelling from planning ahead to researching your destination.
If we can’t change the way we travel to improve the places we visit, then we should not be traveling at all. If we start respecting destinations as much as we do our own homes, happily spend more money to make the right choices, put our money toward eco-tourism, and plan ahead, then we can finally go above and beyond chugging wine spritzers with our mouth to save the planet.
I love Susanna’s hipster guides to various cities that promote small business and geeky hangouts, like her look at farmer’s markets and boutique hotels in Las Vegas. And her geeky travel guides to cities like Munich list off-beat attractions like seeing BMW World or browsing the city’s comic book shops and historic libraries.
A house-less (not homeless) blogger, Tracey traded in her 9 to 5 for a “rootless rambling existence.” She’s also an experienced house-sitter and stays in the same location for long periods. Originally from Lincolnshire, Tracey kicked off her wanderlust adventures at age 26. She flew solo to New York and only returned home when the money ran out. In 2009, she gave up her flat and most of its contents and set off to India.
Now we’re modern day nomads. Independent travellers. House-sitters. Foot loose and fancy free. Just a rucksack and the open road. It’s not about visiting ‘sights’ and ticking off bucket list items, it’s about experiencing a place, being open, trying to see in a different way.
What I love about Wondering Woman is the brilliant writing and evocative language. Tracey’s descriptions make you feel you’re experiencing the journey right along with her.
Flo’s slow travel blog is an invaluable resource for luxury, boutique and beyond-the-ordinary travel experiences. The Hong Kong-based blogger worked exhausting hours in the corporate world until she realized her health and relationships were suffering. She decided to leave it all behind to travel, learn new skills and focus on her health. Flo graduated from a yoga teacher training program in 2015. And she loves to deepen her practice by incorporating yoga into her travels.
Flo loves to travel deeper, especially when she’s writing about overtourism. Her guides on Hong Kong are full of local insights from where to find local markets and street art to where to pick your own strawberries.
Practice some non-violence and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage to step on the mat to practice. Have you been traveling for 24 hours straight without any sleep? It might be time to get some rest before you head out sightseeing. That lady at the airline counter who you’re yelling at because the flight was cancelled? Maybe stand in her shoes for a minute. Most recently, I was shocked at how rude people were to each other at the Taj Mahal in India – pushing and shoving each other out of the way for that money shot. What for? A photo for Instagram?
Her stories are a testament of the power of yoga for both fitness and personal change.