Hi, I'm Mel!
A travel blogger and digital journalist from the UK.
I grew up in London, with Filipino-Spanish roots.
Welcome to illumelation, my travel blog full of adventure, discussion, and human connection. I created illumelation to inspire others to travel, to shed light on different cultures, and to share beautiful experiences from around the world!
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.
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 20-something millennial woman, as an ethnic minority travel blogger, and as a fellow human being who loves the world.
Either way, I hope you enjoy – and thanks for reading :)
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 meaningful, honest stories that uplifted, motivated, and enlightened others. I started to focus on immersive travel writing, unique personal experiences, and beautiful sun-soaked visuals. It all snowballed from there!
From 1999-2001, our family moved to Warsaw, Poland – an interesting experience for a little mixed race girl who identified as British, but looked Filipino, who suddenly found herself having to speak Polish!
In 2015, I felt my soul die after graduating university and starting a 9 to 5 job. 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.