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Hi, I’m Mel, a travel content creator & writer from London.

Welcome to illumelation, a blog that encourages explorers to travel more deeply.

Mel Legarda illumelation Filipino British UK Travel Blogger at Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach in Iceland
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”


From cave trekking in Vietnam, to snorkelling with turtles in Palawan, to touring wine chateaus in France, to boating down the Mekong River with a terrible (repeat: terrible) stomach bug, every travel experience has enriched me beyond words.

As someone with British, Filipino and Spanish roots, I’ve always felt at home exploring other cultures.

And as a travel blogger of colour, it’s important for me to empower others from different backgrounds and walks of life to experience more of the world too.

I was born and raised in London, but I’ve had the travel bug forever. My parents had careers that took them all over the world, and they often brought me with them.

I got my first camera when I was 8-years-old, and I’ve been documenting my own worldview ever since.

“Live life with no excuses. Travel with no regret.”


I started writing on illumelation in 2015 after moving to Southeast Asia, to share photos and stories of amazing places in far-flung corners so far away from home.

I’d previously lived in Warsaw, Poland – an interesting experience for a culturally confused little girl who identified as British, but looked Filipino, who suddenly found herself having to speak Polish!

But moving to Manila and starting this blog was the best decision I ever made – one that changed my life.

My blog name came from the word ‘illumination’ – I wanted to share honest stories that shed light on different cultures. I began writing immersive travel posts with beautiful visuals, and it all snowballed from there.

I even got voted one of the Top 10 Travel Instagrammers!

So I hope you get inspired by this humble blog, tinted by my perspective as a millennial, as a dual-culture travel blogger, and as a human being who loves to explore.

Now, let’s go see the world!

Island Hopping In The Philippines: Essential Packing List

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