Go Travel and Talk’s ‘Blog Feature of the Month’ is all about connecting each other with the inspiration we need to EXPLORE, SHARE and IMPACT. The purpose of this monthly feature is to showcase explorers who are out in the world making a positive impact, and to empower each other to get involved. By joining the Go Travel and Talk community and learning from one another through sharing our insights, stories and experiences we believe that TOGETHER we can positively shape the future of travel.
Go Travel and Talk’s ‘Blog Feature of the Month’ July 2019 goes to Hazaar The Bazaar by the inspirational Imogen Kars; an ethical travel blogger and alternative media journalist from Australia.
What Imogen has created with Hazaar The Bazaar is something completely unique - vividly bringing together her passion for travel and activism. She offers powerful insights and incredibly helpful articles on how we can use travel as a catalyst for change, celebrating and encouraging our power, on an individual and collective level. It is inspirational, candid, and highly addictive!
Her writing is point blank, discussing challenging topics that people often avoid. Imogen breaks these down in a way that is digestible and hugely emotive, igniting that urge within us to do more and be more. She covers topics like Greenwashing, Our Internet Impact and Controversial Destinations - articles that really make us think about our impact and how we can travel more ethically.
Imogen says on her website, “I am passionate about using exploration as a big fat positive: to create a more connected world and work on combating social and eco issues” - and we can’t wait to see what is next.
Imogen - thank you for all that you are doing, for the awareness and knowledge you are spreading and for bringing your witty and insightful writing into our personal orbit!
Hi groovers! My name is Imogen and it's lovely to meet you!
I grew up in the tropics of Far North Queensland Australia, spotting crocs on the weekend with my dad and chasing roos in my backyard. I couldn't have had a more grounding upbringing. I’m about 4’7” (YEP - you read that right), I write and produce dreamy shoegaze music, create digital art and freak out about words: writing them, reading them, oogling over them, you name it.
I run an ethical travel + alternative media hub called Hazaar the Bazaar, focusing on sustainability, social justice and everything in between. The aim is to start the conversation and help individuals become aware of the depth of their impact, good and bad.
The heart and soul of HTB focuses on the social impact of tourism.
While HTB is a resource for travelling ethically, my goal is also to bring challenging and eye-opening topics into your personal orbit. My role here is not the expert: it's the messenger.
My travel journey began when I studied abroad in France during university. Those six months flipped my life upside down and I knew I had caught the explorer bug bad. It wasn’t for a few years, though. that I realised I could combine travel with another huge passion of mine; activism. The planets just kind of aligned one day and
I realised I had tapped into something really special and I had found my calling.
What does exploring mean to you?
I don't think I realised until this very question how reliant my life is on exploration, so great question! This might be a little off topic, but when I think of exploring, I don't just think of travelling. It more so refers to my itch for delving deep into my curiosities, whatever they may be. Whether I'm exploring another country, my own mind, a topic I'm passionate about or my partner's childhood stories, there's something very special about continuous dedication to evolving yourself and your perspective of the world around you.
It keeps me joyous, fulfilled and open.
To be more precise in terms of exploring while travelling, my definition has changed a lot over time. When I first began travelling I might have told you exploring meant walking around the city I'm in. Now, I soak up the feeling of where I am, and try to tap more into exploring how the locals live, how they eat, how they think. It's all dependent on my mood though.
Exploring to me means everything I feel, encapsulated into one tiny word.
Why do you believe in sharing your experiences?
Hmm, these questions are making me think big! I love it! I am a journalist by trade, and a creative writer by heart, so I have always shared parts of myself- whether it be through a song or a piece of fiction. My big bang, in terms of wanting to share, was when I realised that, as a journalist, I literally get to give the microphone to anybody I want and talk about ANYTHING I want. That's big. So many people in this world can't do that. I realised this podium was a bit of a super-power and a privilege, so I needed to share things that mattered.
I began Hazaar The Bazaar wanting to share my travels and my journey through sustainability, but it's evolved into more that than. I share with the aim of encouraging conscious travel, hoping to trigger a bit of a domino effect in people. When the domino begins, a conversation is triggered, and conversations are always a catalyst for changing the big stuff.
How do you make a positive impact through travel?
Aside from sharing it with the travel community and triggering a little bit of a domino effect, I travel very slowly and locally. I still have a looong way to go with becoming the most conscious traveller I can be (I'm not even close to zero waste, I'm moody so some days I don't want to engage with locals etc), but I feel like my positive impact is often very direct to the individuals I meet. Also by travelling slowly, we can unpack and explore cultures as best as we can, while sharing our knowledge with my community. Travelling slowly also means our environmental impact is as low as possible.