A Healthy Response to Privilege is Gratitude, Not Guilt

It’s easy to feel guilty about having an advantage in life due to the accident of being born in a first-world country to a middle-class family. Being able to travel is considered an incredible luxury – more like a pipe dream, really – by nearly half of the world’s population, who live on less than $2.50…

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Don’t Let the Pursuit of Experiences Turn Into a Status Game

A strong case can be made for prioritising ‘experientialism’ over materialism; that is, looking for contentment in experiences, rather than material things. Psychological research shows that pursuing experiences over things makes us happier. Materialism has been linked to personality disorders such as narcissism, social anxiety and generally being dissatisfied with life. Taking some time out to travel might…

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Making a Difference in Developing Countries: Volunteering vs Tourism

There has long been controversy about ‘voluntourism’: an industry that caters to (mostly) Westerners and places them on volunteering programmes in developing countries. The industry offers those on a gap year the promise of making a difference in the deprived lives of others. On the surface, if a volunteer is flying to the other side…

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