Mel in Subic, Zambales, Philippines - illumelation, 2016

Hey, I'm Mel!

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's Been 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.

Currently, I'm working as a freelance journalist in Manila.

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

In my past 12 months of living in the Philippines, I...

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

But in the past 12 months, I also...

  • Fell in love with my home country.
  • Realised I made the right decision for myself.
  • Found out that money isn't everything.
  • Learned to speak Tagalog.
  • Became incredibly independent.
  • Became an advanced scuba diver.
  • Founded a film magazine.
  • Hosted a film festival.
  • Lost.
  • Loved.
  • Met like-minded, inspirational people.
  • Made some friends for life.

And, 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:

You can sign up to my newsletter for more travel tales:


And who knows?

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