I travel and I vote

I’m enjoying a traditional Bosnian ‘sausage sizzle’ in Mostar and hoping that fellow Australians don’t fuck up the federal election.

Below are a few things that I’ve thought about whilst travelling that have influenced the way I vote:

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Natural wonders

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the honour of exploring Antarctica, hiking through rainforests of Rwanda to see silverback gorillas, trekking through the wilderness in Patagonia, scuba diving on The Great Barrier Reef, and seeing Polar Bears in the Arctic Circle. I’m often left speechless by the pure beauty of our natural world. I love sharing these places with my travel companions and by sharing my photos. I really hope we don’t fuck up the whole planet for future generations.

Social inequality

While travelling, it’s easy to see massive social inequality. Particularly in developing countries where I see some locals driving Mercedes, while others live on the streets; some buying Gucci bags, while others collect firewood from the park to warm their houses. Back home, when I look out of my inner-city, upper-middle-class bubble in Redfern, I see it there too. Some people buying avo on toast for breakie, while others have no-brand baked beans; some having $20 cocktails at Bearded Tit, while others drink longnecks on the street. I know that sometimes it’s to do with work ethic or drug use or irresponsibility, but a lot of the time it comes down to pure luck. For those people, I think it’s only fair that they get a chance.

Health care

As part of my work, I visit hospitals all around the world, including a lot in developing countries. In some cities, I see newly built, fully equipped private hospitals that are only available to a select few, while the public hospitals are struggling with the overflow of patients, lack of staff and equipment. When I speak to the staff at the public hospitals, they all tell me the same thing; we are a poor nation and don’t have the money to take care of everyone. We don’t have that excuse in Australia.

Fellow humans

One of my favourite parts of travelling is meeting new people. Whether it’s fellow travellers from the other side of the world sharing travel stories, or locals welcoming you into their home. The colourful and foreign cultures from around the world make life interesting. Without multiculturalism, life on earth would be bland. For years I’ve heard Australians proudly announce to the world that we are a multicultural and friendly people. I hope to be able to stand by that statement.