What do you travel for? | I travel for…

What do you travel for? | I travel for…

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I believe that the times I have shown the most growth and potential have been when I have been surrounded by new places, people and situations. Many of these instances have been whilst I have been travelling which is why I’m so determined to continue exploring and pushing myself out of my comfort zone.

tolkien

It really is that first small step that you take that will lead you onto your next adventure however big or small. By making travel a focus I allow myself to start to take small steps towards my dream of exploring. I am determined and motivated to make travel a priority in my life because my life is about travelling! Planning, writing, expressing and saving are all examples of small steps I personally take towards achieving my goals.

buddha

It’s true and something I’m still working on doing. Until you experience other places and people you may not even realise the things that are dragging you down. It could be something as obvious as not liking your work or just simply wanting to get out more but other things aren’t as clear until you see it from a different point of view. Sometimes the energy and attitudes of people around us can impact on how we think about things – this can be positive and also negative. It isn’t until you step away from your situation that your able to look back and reflect on things. I am slowly starting to do this and going some place completely different to my ‘normal’ everyday life allows me to take some time to consider and evaluate my thoughts.

gandhi

Learning is the biggest reward of growth in travel, I have found that when you’re in a new environment the natural thing is to learn – places, names, culture, customs, language, new foods, festivals, climates, attractions etc. the list goes on about all the opportunities for growth you can get from travelling!

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

columbus

Of course it’s all well and good me saying all this but if you don’t actually go and do it then you’ll never know the potential growth you might have. I’ve found myself always working to save to go and travel because I enjoy new challenges and learning about new places. Its scary going somewhere out of your comfort zone but in my experience its been the best decisions and really rewarding.

alone

If you really want to maximise the potential for growth while travelling, go solo. Sounds scary right? Plan, be sensible and don’t worry. The media makes the world seem like a scary place, as long as you are aware and have some common sense then the opportunities you come across when going solo are endless! You’ll be able to plan your own routes, go at your own pace and really take some time to reflect on yourself.

“Whatever makes you uncomfortable is the biggest opportunity for growth” – Bryant McGill

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Join me! We all have one shot at life so make the most of it!

hakuna matata

 

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust | Adopting an Elephant!

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust | Adopting an Elephant!

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I have always had a deep love for elephants. I think they are incredible creatures and have so many human like qualities that make them relatable. They are the gentle giants of the african plains and graceful grazers of the asian forests. Everything about them I have always enjoyed studying from the very first elephant toy to the countless documentaries I have seen. With all that said you can imagine my excitement when I found out that on my trip to Kenya we would be stopping at The David Sheldrick Widlife Trust.

If you don’t know what that means, here’s who they are:

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Mission statement

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.

One of the main ongoing projects at the trust is their orphan project which includes rescuing and hand-rearing orphaned elephants. I couldn’t wait to get there.

What they say about the elephant orphan project:

At the heart of the DSWT’s conservation activities is the Orphans’ Project, which has achieved world-wide acclaim through its hugely successful elephant and rhino rescue and rehabilitation program. The Orphans’ Project exists to offer hope for the future of Kenya’s threatened elephant and rhino populations as they struggle against the threat of poaching for their ivory and horn, and the loss of habitat due to human population pressures and conflict, deforestation and drought.

 

To date the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in our care.

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You pre-book a place beforehand and pay a small fee to go and see the elephants, usually when they get back from a walk and go to bathe. The keepers hand feed them using bottles of specially mixed milk. It’s a great sight to see and if you love elephants then you’ll be in your element. Its great to see the elephants playing around and messing about in the mud with each other and whats also great to see is the bond the keepers share with each individual animal. The keepers become their surrogate parents and are with them 24/7 feeding, walking, bathing, playing and sleeping.

SlipTiring being an Elephant

Bros

Elephants by Jack Gunns on 500px.comIMG_0097

One Man & His Elephant by Jack Gunns on 500px.com

 

Your given the opportunity to adopt an elephant and donate towards the upkeep of the trust. Of course I did this when I was there, it was about £30 ($50) you can obviously pay more than this if you wish. Adopting an elephant let me re-visit the trust at the end of my trip to help put young Kibo (my adopted elephant) to bed as well as help bottle feed him. It finished my trip in Kenya on a high and was great to get a real intimate personal time with the orphaned elephants who were all a lot more inquisitive once there wasn’t a crowd of people around and just as playful! You also get regular updates about your elephant even after they grow up and introduced back into the wild, I often get e-mails telling me how Kibo and the new orphans are getting on.

Adopting an elephant

I’d really recommend visiting this place and I’m sure you’ll agree seeing the amazing work they are doing to help orphaned animals all over Africa. Keep supporting this essential wildlife trust. You also see some rhino and giraffes whilst your there!

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If you’d like to see more of my travel photos from Kenya or my other photography then check my social links!

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Chitwan Safari at the Eden Jungle Resort | Travel Talk

Chitwan Safari at the Eden Jungle Resort | Travel Talk

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Whilst in Nepal I made sure I got to visit one of the regions famous national parks in Chitwan. Located in the southern part of Nepal, Chitwan is about 6-7 hours travel from central Kathmandu via tourist bus. I would recommend travelling in a tourist bus as you get your own seat, water and toilet breaks; the driving is also ‘slightly’ safer as there are less people in them compared to one of the local buses.

I went on a 2 night 3 day safari tour at the Eden Jungle Resort which cost around £59 ($90) which I thought was super cheap for what you get!

Eden Jungle Resort
Eden Jungle Resort

The bus journey from Kathmandu was incredibly long and we got stopped a few times due to small landslides (which are very common throughout Nepal before you worry) along the way. Bring some food, a book and some water; maybe pack some travel sickness tablets just in case. You do stop off a few times for toilet breaks and at local cafes so there are opportunities to get food along the way, however always keep in mind in Nepal that the food may not be what you are used and ‘nepali belly’ much like ‘delhi belly’ is quite common amongst travellers. Be smart about food choices, I pretty much stuck to rice and momos!

Once I arrived at Chitwan we were picked up and taken to our home for the next few days. We were greeted with smiling friendly faces – as you get anywhere in Nepal – and briefed on the iteniary. We were taken to our rooms and were able to have a quick freshen up before heading out on a tour of the resort. The rooms are fairly basic but sufficient for what you need, its not luxury but does the job. You are provided with beds, a ceiling fan, nets and a bathroom; consisting of a western toilet, sink and shower.

We immediately went for a tour around where they kept the elephants and shown around the grounds. We were lucky enough to see one of the famous one horned rhinos bathing in a stream in the first 20 minutes of being there! They showed us the river which at the time was overflowing due to it being the monsoon season. We were able to watch the sunset and then head back for a cold everest beer!

Elephant HairdoOne-Horned Rhino

Later that evening after a buffet style dinner we were driven to the nearby Tharu village where we were treated to some traditional tribal stick dancing. This was a great atmosphere and interesting to see the tribes cultural heritage. Afterwards we headed back to our resort to get some well earned rest after the days travelling but not before we squeezed in a few more everest beers!

The next day we had an early breakfast (breakfast and dinner are included at the resort) and went down to the river where we got into canoes down the river. There are opportunities to spot gharial crocodile, various birds and monkeys. We got out further down the river and went for a short walk through some local villages. Unfortunately when I was there we were not able to go over to the elephant breeding center to see the baby elephants as the river was so high we could not cross safely, however you are usually able to see them up close.

During the afternoon we had some free time so went into the local village to have a look for some souvenirs and to grab a quick lunch. Lunch turned into nearly 2 hours waiting, always remember your on nepali time haha

chitwan 1
You’ll get used to seeing elephants just walking around the village!

We headed back to the resort to quickly freshen up by taking a shower…with an elephant. A pretty cool experience but definitely came out smelling a lot more worse than I wen into it! I made a quick purchase of one of the resort t-shirts and went for another shower minus the elephant.

the best way to shower in nepal! #elephant #powershower #nepal #travels

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Hatti are awesome #elephant #nepal #travelling #closeup #vscocam A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

Next we jumped into a jeep and travelled over to the forest where we were then able to go on an elephant safari. It was a really cool way to see the reserve and some of the animals including deer, rhino and monkeys; left me feeling a bit achey in my legs though! During the Chitwan Safari you have a well experienced guide who spots all the animals a mile off through trees and bushes. When you get off at the end theres usually children selling bananas for a few rupees to feed the elephants with make sure you buy a few to reward them for all the walking they just did.

Elephant EyesElephant Safari

Deer Ears

can’t get enough of these guys #elephant #nepal #travelling #safari A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

legit jungle book #chitwan #jungle #safari #nepal #travelling #vscocam

A photo posted by Jack Gunns (@jackgunns) on

For the evening we went our for dinner to make the most of some of the western food that is available here before heading back to our homestay placements. Grabbed yet another couple of everest beers – my favourite if you couldn’t tell by now – before heading to bed to get some rest and digest the days elephant antics.

Early morning wake up call for some bird watching and breakfast and then back onto the tourist buses to head back to Kathmandu.

Chitwan is a great few days away activity whilst travelling around exploring Nepal. I’d head there between october-march to really get the most out of the experience the temperature isn’t too bad at around 25°C, the best months for viewing game is late january-march as the grass is cut shorter improving disability. Check out Lonely Planets essential guide for your trip.

If you’d like to see more of my travel photos from Nepal or my other photography then check my social links!

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What do you travel for? | I travel for…

What do you travel for? | I travel for…

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THE VIEWS. The awe-inspiring, jaw dropping, serene views you can witness when traversing the four corners of the globe. Wether it’s a paradise beach straight out of a getaway magazine or an incredible cliff face overlooking a forest backdrop, you can’t help but travel for those views. That sense of feeling that theres so much more out there. The kind of view you can’t take your eyes off of; right up until the sunsets, still transfixed as a blanket of stars covers the night sky and on till the morning sun stretches its sunbeam arms over the horizon.

I travel for those views. Some travel for the view out of a balcony window overlooking a bustling city full of life and some travel for the infinite blue skies. Where ever you travel to you go for a different view that you wouldn’t find at home, to discover and explore. But most of all, to just see more than any screen or photo can ever do justice.

My passion as an explorer compels me to keep viewing the world and discovering new places. I hope to inspire others to go out and see more passing on my infectious passion to travel. I hope these posts help to provide some sort of motivation for you to break free from everyday life, even if just for a little while. Creativity is contagious, pass it on!

Here are some that I have looked upon:

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Landscapes I

Snow Mountains

Aussie Coasts

The Village

Warm Crisp Mornings

Waterfalls

Shadows of Mountains

If you’d like to see more of my photography then check my social links!

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I’m now @gunns_travels on instagram!

I’m now @gunns_travels on instagram!

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If your a fan of photography and also a ‘wanderluster’ then check out my new instagram account to satisfy the whimsical dreamer inside of you. You can expect an array of snaps from colourful cultures and faraway places! I’m a passionate explorer and love to travel capturing every moment of my journeys. Documenting it along the way is a great way to connect and share those experiences with others. It also lets me keep a photographic journal that I can share. I also love to look at other instatravellers accounts as it gives me inspiration for my next trips and helpful insights into planning – as well as indulge my visual appetite with beautiful images from all over the world. If your a #travelgrammer then send me your link, i’d love to have a look at your captures!

You can expect to see images like these…

Start travelling the world with me!

What do you travel for? | I travel for…

What do you travel for? | I travel for…

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I travel for many reasons and one of them is to create long lasting bonds with people or places I come into contact with. Every place I’ve visited I have been helped, looked after and taught about the kinds of things text books could never compete with. Theres nothing quite like the feeling of interacting with someone who is from a completely different walk of life to you, its refreshing and you can learn a lot. If your finding yourself doing the same repetitive routines and getting frustrated with the constant monotonous goings on you go through each day – then change it. No one else can do it for you, work hard, save up and just go somewhere different – I don’t mean the kind of ‘relaxing 5 star tanning retreat in the Algarve’ (unless this is what does it for you) I mean the kind of place you’d never have considered before. Be sensible about it. Be free. Be happy.

‘The biggest adventure is outside of your comfort zone.’

The biggest leap out of my ‘comfort box’ I ever took was signing up to help in Nepal for over 2 months. To go live with a nepali family in a village on the side of a mountain. To embrace a culture on the polar opposite spectrum to my own. To open myself to a completely different way of living. To learn so much more than any study had ever taught by people I couldn’t verbally communicate with.

As my bro Rahul would say “pinky promise you’ll be happy uncle ; make that promise to yourself – don’t settle for anything less.