Skip to main content



Hi, I’m Mel Legarda

a content creator and travel blogger based in London, with British, Filipino and Spanish roots. Welcome to illumelation, a blog I created to inspire others to travel by sharing beautiful experiences from around the world.


i. how it all began

I first started illumelation in 2015 after moving to Asia. I’ve always loved writing, travelling, and photography. My blog name came from the word ‘illumination’ – I wanted to share honest stories that motivated and enlightened different cultures. I started to focus on immersive travel writing, unique personal experiences, and beautiful sun-soaked visuals. It all snowballed from there!

ii. my personal story

I’ve always had the travel bug. I was born and raised in London, but I’ve travelled since I was inside the womb. My parents had a career that took them all over the world, and they often brought me along with them. Every year we would visit family and friends in the Philippines, in the US, around Europe, and explore new places together.

From 1999-2001, our family moved to Warsaw, Poland – an interesting experience for a little culturally confused girl who identified as British, but looked Filipino, who suddenly found herself having to speak Polish!

In 2015, I felt my soul get crushed after graduating from university and starting a 9 to 5 job. The world was calling. I decided to quit and move to Manila, Philippines. It was the best decision I ever made for myself, and a choice that changed my life.

iii. wandering souls

From budget backpacking around Vietnam, to sipping champagne in a luxury hotel in France, to scuba diving with turtles in Indonesia, to being stuck on a Mekong River boat with a terrible stomach (repeat: terrible), every travel experience has enriched me beyond words. If you’re still reading this, I’m sure you feel the same!

I hope you get illuminated and inspired by this little travel blog, tinted by my perspective on life as a millennial woman, as an ethnic minority travel blogger, and as a fellow human being who loves to explore. Now, let’s go see the world!

Enjoying fresh buko in Siargao, Philippines

Enjoying fresh buko in Siargao, Philippines