Life Update: I’m on the Move!
I don’t often share personal details on the web. In fact, for a while I tried to make my blog less about me and more about what I thought people wanted to read — I tried to replicate what I thought travel blogging was.
Recently I’ve come to the realization that what sets ‘The Pink Backpack’ apart from the billion other travel blogs isn’t going to be my collection of mediocre listicles — its me, the living and breathing person behind these words!
In my efforts to not inundate you with ‘travel diary’ posts, I swung into the opposite direction and muted my personality. I stopped sharing about who I am…my story, my journey, my dreams, my struggles and my successes. Ultimately, isn’t it those authentic pieces that truly connect us to one another?
So I’m hitting the reset button and reminding myself of why I started this blog in the first place. Exactly two years ago, I simply wanted a creative outlet to share my passion for travel. I wanted a way to stay connected to travel during the times I wasn’t able to leave home. I wanted a way to connect with other like-minded people.
Now I want to retrace my steps back to those roots because ultimately, the beauty of travel blogging is that there is no ‘right or wrong’ way to do things! There is no black-and-white definition of how to travel blog…so here I am, in full techno-colour!
Now that I’ve cleared the air, here are the juicy details!
I’ve never really explained what it is that I do when I’m not traveling. I am an Occupational Therapist by background but I haven’t practiced in a clinical setting since 2015, when I returned to school to pursue my PhD in global health. My university and current home-base is located in my hometown — London, Ontario, Canada. (Yes, there actually is a London outside of the UK!)
My area of study has been the perfect way for me to combine my interests in travel, culture and health, and I have been fortunate to receive many funded opportunities to travel through school. Recently, I have been a little less active on the blog and my social media because school has LITERALLY taken over my life! I’ve been super focused on submitting my research proposal (a 70 page document which outlines the “who/what/where/when/why/how” of my study) and once that is approved, I will switch to ethic review board applications to get the actual ‘thumbs up’ to start.
Basically, my research will explore gender equity as a social determinant of women’s health in Mwanza, Tanzania. It will be a community project in partnership with the Tanzanian NGO I interned for in 2016.
So that leads to my EXCITING news…(bonus points if you are still with me!)
I’M MOVING TO MWANZA, TANZANIA!!
The plan is to arrive in Cape Town in May for a conference and then backpack up to Mwanza by land, crossing through Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi! I’ve never backpacked through Africa before (aside from Tanzania during my internship in 2016) so I am really excited!!! If you are in the continent around that time, or in Tanzania throughout the next year, definitely reach out and say hi.
While I have lived abroad before and travelled plenty, 3-5 months has always seemed to be where I max out and come home…5 months living in Australia, 5 months in Europe, 3 months in India, 3 months in Tanzania. I’ve never really done the ‘expat’ thing long-term, so this will be totally new for me and certainly filled with (mis)adventures (for your reading pleasure, I will be documenting them all here).
If you haven’t done so already, make sure to subscribe to my blog so you won’t miss a post, and follow along on instagram!
Have you been to Tanzania? Got any travel or expat tips for me?
Let me know in the comments below!