Hey, I'm Mel!

Anemone Swimwear Bikini on Naked Island, Siargao - illumelation.png

And this is illumelation, an introspective travel blog.

In 2015 I left my job in London to chase sunsets in Southeast Asia. And you know what?

It was the best decision I've ever made.

It taught me that the world was far, far bigger than the western metropolitan bubble that I grew up in.

I moved to Manila, in the Philippines. I'm back in London now, but since then, I've freelanced as a journalist and content creator.

It's a career that continues to enable my love for travel.

In 24 months of living abroad, I...

  • Cried a lot. (As in, ridiculous amounts.)
  • Suffered terrible homesickness.
  • Struggled a lot with my cultural identity.
  • Missed my friends and family like crazy.
  • Wondered whether I was throwing my life away.
  • Experienced being extremely broke. (Still am!)
  • Attempted a long distance relationship.
  • Became best friends with Netflix.

But in the past 24 months, I also...

  • Fell in love with my home country.
  • Found out that money really isn't everything.
  • Met like-minded, inspirational people.
  • Became an advanced scuba diver.
  • Immersed myself in new cultures and countries.
  • Interviewed VIP celebs on the red carpet.
  • Saw the craziest sunsets.
  • Grew hugely independent.
  • Matured, a lot.
  • Gave and received a lot of love.
  • Made some incredible friends for life.
  • Started my own business (!!!)

And, most importantly...

  • Learned a lot about what makes me happy.

Lately, I've realised that life is short.

Really bloody short.

And I want to make the most of it.

So this blog is my little collection of travel experiences, illuminations, and human connections I've had so far.


Take a look at my recent stories:


Or read some recent thoughts:


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And who knows?

One day, maybe we'll take a trip together :)