Chilling in the grass

Chilling in the grass @ www.siobhanmariephotography.com//

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Is irresponsible tourism partially to blame for the unethical treatment of people & animals

Ok touching wild animals, riding elephants, is just some of the most sought after experiences for backpackers, travellers, etc. To countries like, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam. The reason I’m just saying these countries is because, they are the ones I have personally visited & have experienced, therefore, I can comment.

After taking part in the majority of them I can honestly say I would never do it again. Why ? I will outline a few experiences below.

  1. I will never forget my visit to the bridge over the river Kwai, which, included elephant trekking. It was a beautiful day on the drive from Bangkok to the bridge, which always makes everything seem so much better. When we finally arrived in the town, after about a 5 minute walk, there was a baby leopard it was adorable, I just wanted to hold it but was obviously a bit sceptical at first. So I watched a while of how things were done. First I noticed the chain around its neck then, the handler kept using swift hand movement to control through fear & constantly feeding it bottles of milk when tourists were holding it, to for control reasons obviously. I will never forget the next part, the woman who went instead of me sat down, the cat did not want to play anymore it clearly had enough it was clear from its growling. Regardless, it didn’t stop the handler trying to make money. He forced the cat onto the woman’s lap, it was ok for a second then it locked onto her leg in a gentle way telling the horrible people to stop what they were doing to it. Luckily enough, the woman was super calm which kept the cat calm, resulting in, it letting go followed by a smack of a stick, by the handler. Furthermore, he holds up the bottle & says to me, do you still want to go. I couldn’t believe it “ I actually looked in a total confused state & said no it’s clearly obvious he’s had enough” he laughed   & said no-no he is fine. It’s because of people like him, doing things like that, which get poor innocent animals killed, because they were protecting themselves from people like him. To top it off it was a baby, clealy, they stole it from it’s mother, horrible.
  2. After the ordeal, the tour carried on to  the elephant trekking & I was already pissed off at what I had witnessed so wasn’t really up for it. We arrived at the place, there were some elephants in the water around us they looked happy I began to think, ok not so bad snap out of it. Then, when we got up on the podium to get on the elephant I remember thinking, I don’t want to do this the elephants looked so sick but, they had already started moving. There was a little girl no more than 10 leading the way, the elephant was being slightly disobedient so she jabbed a big steel stick in the elephants eye to control the poor thing, I was horrified. (Not her fault she is doing what she is being though from older people that was a taught exactly the same.)  It lasted all of 20 mins the whole time I just wanted to get off & see was the elephant ok. When we got back to base they wouldn’t answer anything I asked, I remember feeding the elephants some bananas, the poor things were exhausted their faces & everything were sunken. To say it was horrible is an understatement.
    IMG_1140 (2)
    It just wants to be let go free it wasn’t born to be chained to a bench

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    Look at the dehydration & trines of this poor animal. If this is not the picture of sadness I really don’t know what is.

Then there is the other side of it all, if they really knew how cruel they were being, would they still do it ? They live in countries full of corrupt governments that leave them no option’s, so the people have to do what they can, just to survive.

In Cambodia the human trafficking rates are appalling because people have to do what they can to survive while wealthier & educated people pay for sex with babies, disgusting. Read my blog in relation to trafficking A SHORT STORY ABOUT CAMBODIA

So really, when you think about it, it really is up to the tourist to not support this type of entertainment because after all, we are the ones keeping it in business !!! I always hear people say ohh but come on everyone else is doing it, so what, be different say no. Thinking like that is using denial to make ourselves feel better about what we are doing,   I say this because, it’s exactly how I was thinking until I did it even though deep down  I knew it was wrong & still did it. I denied myself the reality of it until I had the experience  of it & felt the guilt instead.

Written By Siobhan

Nosey Donkey

Nosey Donkey by Siobhan @ http://www.siobhanmariephotography.com

Me & my sister were just walking through these grounds & up pops his head, starts hee-hawing it was so funny. Then just stood there staring at us for ages 🙂

 

Dragon heads in a great pair of hands

This is a great photo I was so glad to have captured while visiting the Blue Mountains in Australia.

They belong to a man who visits the top where the tourists start out their visit. He is a lovely polite man.

He used to be a tour guide there & now just goes up to see all the people for memories sake.

I remember chatting to him for all of 5 – 10 minutes he is full of knowledge & loves to tell his tales.

If you ever visit you will see him say hello 🙂

That happy face

TaffyIt’s the things in life, that we call the little things, that are actually, the biggest things that make the most impact on a person life. Like

  • Pets
  • A walk in nature
  • Reading a book
  • Taking a bath
  • Relaxing
  • Enjoying a new food

Just a few to mention.

I believe it is so Important to really enjoy everything that happens in life especially the “LITTLE THINGS” Learn how to be mindful in every situation & you will have a very happy fulfilled life. We always want more enjoy what you have & more will seem amazing 🙂

 

 

 

 

mama & baby

Happy Kangaroo and her baby.

This is a beautiful photo I captured while living in Queensland, Australia. This was a mama kangaroo who always came around the the balcony area of the apartment I was living at.  I would give her some fruit & she would happily just chill around the area all the time. Then one day out pops joey 🙂

 

 

If it scares the crap out of you do it if we let fear win we will never try anything.

DCIM999GOPRO

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
Elanor Roosevelt

I remember when I was younger always saying I wanted to bungee. As, I got older, this very much changed. I didn’t want to do anything that would call for a coronary I lost my nerve for everything. I hated roller coasters, anything fast I don’t know why it just happened.

So in Australia as my trip was coming to an end and I was going in the direction of Byron Bay, the highest jump at 14,000 feet. It was a now or never decision so I said f**k it. I told myself if I don’t do this now I will never do it again.

I remember paying for the ticket the day before I was shitting bricks. Paid for it & off we went to the supermarket to get the last supper. Pretending everything was ok.

When we finally go to the hostel we settled in chilled out & relaxed tried not to think about it too much *yeh right* There was meant to be a big storm coming the day of the jump I must have ( even tho I’m not all that holy) said every prayer over & over for it to be so bad we couldn’t do it & it was looking like it was gonna be bad. I was so happy because I was so nervous. Next morning wished one more time pulled the curtain the sun was splitting the trees. I was devastated !!

On the way I got a serious reality check of what I was about to do I couldn’t believe how stupid it was. Got geared up prepped up, given the direction of what to do’s. I started to feel so sick.

I got in first, thinking, I would be first out. Clearly, wasn’t in the right frame of mind because “first in last out”

It was about 15 mins up so to distract myself I was talking to my instructor & asked are you doing this long, he says, no I was a carpenter last week. That was it I was a ball of nerves for the rest of the journey.

Got to altitude level, doors opened the camera man & another diver just jumped straight our one of them clung to the side of the plane I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. One after another they were gone finally my turn I said I don’t think I can do it he pushed me along & said move it. I didn’t argue. When we got to the door he asked can you remember everything I nodded he said ok let’s go.

 !!!!!! Legs tucked, Head Back & up !!!!!!!

I closed my eyes, I could just feel us rolling. I had a really quick prep talk told myself open your eyes or you will regret it the rest of your life, so I did.

The free fall lasted all of 1 Min, the adrenaline rush was unbelievable from it, I could feel myself shaking in the air. Bang, shute opened & we were in glide. The views were amazing I could see the whole coast of Byron Bay. I wanted to stay up there forever.

He was such a good Instructor. My sister & friend were also in the sky he made it all the more enjoyable by gliding us over to them to say hello & check in. The landing was also amazing. I wanted to go back up again & only for the cost I would have.

When travelling on a budget we tend to scrimp on certain things. It’s only when you have a f**t it moment & do it you realise what you could have missed. Don’t scrimp on experience like this or you will have major regrets. And, don’t, let the fear stop you.

It is still one of the best days of my life so far, not only did I push myself, I loved every minute of it & would gladly do it again. Whereas, if I didn’t how would I know.

Try everything once for the experience and to get your own opinion 🙂

 

 

Leading Lines

Directions
Leading Lines

Ayers rock, Australia

Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia
The big red rock