The End of Girl vs Globe As You Know It

end of girl vs globe

If 2016 taught me one thing, it’s that money is not a big motivating factor for me.

I don’t mean that as a look-how-well-I’m-doing kind of humblebrag. Nor am I about to denounce all material possessions, burn my bras and join the Himba tribe. I bring it up because whenever somebody tells me how lucky I am to make a decent living as a blogger, all I can muster is a half-smile.

I realise that must sound incredibly ungrateful. I get to travel the world and get paid for it. What could possibly be missing?

Had I figured out the answer sooner, I would have written this blog post a long time ago. But this was not the kind of problem that could be solved overnight. In fact, for most of the year I didn’t even know I had a problem to begin with.

Sure, I would sit in front of my laptop for hours on end unable to think of a single original thing to write. But I just diagnosed myself with an acute case of writer’s block and went on my merry way.

Days turned into months filled with a vague sense of apathy, takeaway pizza and Netflix marathons. I chalked up my lack of productivity to the ominous grey skies of Glasgow, thinking things would get better as soon as I got some sunshine. They would, too, for a few days at a time.

But it was becoming clear that this was about a lot more than the weather. I was having some kind of quarter-life crisis and absolutely no idea what it was about.

Then, suddenly, the answer leapt out of nowhere like a sparkling Patronus. As most epiphanies do, it came from a completely unexpected place.

girl vs globe sabina trojanova portrait

Hoping it would kickstart my imagination I’d decided to participate in NaNoWriMo – a project aimed at writing 50,000 words during the month of November. I was sat at home doing research for my dystopian novel, figuring out which catastrophe was most likely to destroy society in the near future. You know, jolly stuff.

I was reading up on deadly hurricanes when it hit me. The worst catastrophe was staring me right in the face… and I was actively making it worse by crisscrossing the globe every chance I got. Yes, I’m talking about climate change.

Before you close this tab and vow never to return to my website now that I’ve clearly become an insufferable hippie, please hear me out.

The truth is, I was as shocked by my realisation as you may be. Ever since I started my blog in 2014 I’ve sincerely believed that I was helping make the world a better place. How could encouraging people to be more adventurous and open-minded be a bad thing?

It turns out my hectic lifestyle has a bigger social impact than I thought. Learning more about climate change and its causes has completely changed the way I think about travel. It seems there is a right way to travel – and that the way I’ve been travelling (and encouraging you to travel) is not it. Waking up in a new country every fortnight feels amazing. But it comes at too high a cost and I no longer feel like I can be just another silent onlooker.

Does this mean I’ll stop travelling? Hell no!

What I will do is travel differently. In many ways this is the end of Girl vs Globe as you know it. It is, however, also the beginning of a very exciting new adventure. What changes should you expect? Here they are…

end of girl vs globe

Vegetarian Food

The first thing I did after learning more about climate change was go vegetarian. Why? According to a World Bank Group study animal agriculture is responsible for 51% of human-caused climate change. Another study states it “only” accounts for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, but that is still more than the exhausts from all transportation – cars, trucks, trains, boats and planes combined.

I can see you tensing up. “Is she going to become one of those annoying evangelists who never shut up about the terrible effects of eating meat?” you think. Yup, I can read minds now. And it’s all because I stopped eating animals and…

Don’t worry, I’m just kidding! Although I’ve decided to become vegetarian I will not here to judge anyone. I might post a statistic here and there, but it’s up to you to determine what you want to eat.

I’ll be honest – it’s a learning process. I still occasionally slip up when eating out as a) I have quite a few food allergies that limit what I can order and b) am a total sushi addict. But I’m very glad to be doing this and determined to eventually become vegan. For once I’m even happy to be lactose intolerant as it means I’ve cut out most dairy already.

What does this mean for you? It means I’ll be finding the most delicious veggie-packed dishes from around the world and supplying you with recipes. I’m so excited for this new chapter of my foodie adventures!

Responsible Travel

There’s a lot wrong with the way we travel. On the one hand we have CO2 emissions from airplanes, melting glaciers and animal species going extinct. On the other hand there are international hotel chains who don’t contribute to the local economy, pollute the environment and trivialise a country’s culture.

I won’t go into too much detail – this is a story for another time. Besides, I’m sure you get my gist.

end of girl vs globe

But it isn’t all bad. When done right tourism provides jobs for locals, boosts developing countries’ economies and encourages cross-cultural understanding. To do my part and travel more responsibly, here are just a few of the changes I’m making:

  • travelling slower
  • finding eco-friendly and local accommodation
  • taking fewer flights (more trains, buses and road trips)
  • trying outdoorsy travel (hiking, camping)

What else am I missing? Any suggestions? I’d love to hear them in a comment below!

Eco-Friendly Fashion

Travel isn’t the only industry harming our beautiful planet. Fashion is a huge contributor to climate change. Want examples? I got them. Up to 20,000 litres of water are needed to produce enough textile for one pair of jeans. Who produces those textiles? We can’t say for sure. What we do know is that there are 170 million child labourers around the world, many of whom are working in the fashion industry.

As British journalist Lucy Siegle writes, “brands, retailers and consumers have all become fantastically adept at divorcing fashion from the very fact that it is been made by an army of living, breathing, human beings with resources which are depleting the environment”. Phew.

Luckily I’ve got a solution! For the next three months, I’ll be trying to live off a capsule wardrobe. It’s a simple concept – you select 20-40 items of clothing (including shoes and accessories) and only wear those. I haven’t settled on my final number yet but I’ll keep you posted and take you on this sartorial journey with me.

But that’s not all! I will gradually begin replacing my existing clothes with eco-friendly or vintage alternatives. I’ve put in hours of research and compiled a long list of “green” brands which I will soon share with you. Spoiler alert: it’s not all burlap sacks.

end of girl vs globe

I can’t wait to share this new chapter of my life with you. Are you as excited about it as I am? I sure hope so! I’d love to hear your thoughts (good and bad) and suggestions (good only) in a comment below.

tl;dr: As of 2017, Girl vs Globe will be all about living responsibly – from travel and fashion to food. Images by Anna and Haze.

  • Hoorah! I’m so excited for your blog this year and can’t wait to hear more about how you tackle this new direction.
    x.x.x

  • That’s great news Sabina, it sounds like the changes will definitely inspire you with your blog, and it will be really interesting to read about your new, sustainable travel adventures 🙂

    • Thanks so much Christine, it’s so lovely to read all this encouragement. It really means a lot to me 😀 <3

  • Babsi Dzino

    This sounds awesome Sabina! Very excited to hear about your green brands. I myself stopped buying meat and eat mostly vegetarian (when I am given the choice 🙂 ) Love to hear more, you go girl! 🙂

    • That’s so good to hear Babsi!! You go too, girl 😀 <3 I'm so excited for this new chapter xx

  • Way to go Sabina! I totally support your decision! ❤️ Although I don’t agree with the idea of vegetarianism as something good for the environment, because of several scientific reasons (not of the moment though), I am all for traveling and living responsibly. In fact, I’m going through a similar blogging “crisis” myself. All this time I thought it was a matter of blogging niche. I gave up my (very) successful food blog to start a travel and lifestyle blog. But this didn’t satisfy me either. I added style to the mix. Didn’t make me any happier either. Now that I read your post, I realize what was missing was substance and meaning. For me it’s all about slowing down and simplifying life. All that supposedly glamorous blogger’s life leaves me uninterested and empty. Fun is good, but where’s the meaning? So I’m currently at a turning point for my blog. You just gave me the final push to go ahead! Thanks! Wish you all the best to your new direction, I’m sure you’ll do great anyway. ❤️

  • Yes to all of these! Living and travelling more responsibly! I hope you find what you’re looking for through that and have much success!x

    • Thanks so much Camila!! I’m very excited to be going in this new direction and I’m really glad you are too 😀 <3

  • Awesome news, Sabina! Really excited to read all the new content you produce 🙂 X

  • I’m so excited for you!

  • Hungry_Healthy_Happy

    These are such good changes to make. I always try to take trains where possible and it’s a much better way to see a country. Although I did think different after a 2 day train down the west coast of America haha.

    • Hahah yeah it isn’t always the most comfortable option – but it definitely can be 😀 I’m so glad you’re excited about these changes as well <3

  • Fabulous move! 🎉🎉🎉😘

  • You absolutely must try WWOOFing or something like that. Living on an eco friendly farm, living with locals, free accommodation and food provided for a few hours of such rewarding work per day, with ample time to still run a blog which will no doubt have the most unique content out there… that surely has to be the way to go. I only did it once when I lived in the UK, for 3 weeks I lived on a cider farm and it couldn’t have been a more beneficial, rewarding and unique experience. I have never learnt so much in such a short space of time. You should try it out! Check out http://www.wwoof.com.au or http://wwoofinternational.org or https://www.helpx.net or https://www.workaway.info . I used Helpx for my stay, and usually WWOOF and helpx have similar hosts who post on both so you’re usually Ok just having membership to one. This has got to be the best way to slow travel. I wish you the best of luck!

  • Accent Banter

    Woohoo, great idea! Good for you! Really looking forward to your future content (particularly the ‘green brands’ list you mentioned) Sustainable Fashion & Cruelty-free Cosmetics are my new year’s resolutions… Apparently it also takes around 700 gallons of water to make enough cotton for ONE t-shirt! Who knew!

    Good stuff here – http://www.manrepeller.com/2016/06/sustainable-fashion-materials.html

    P.S Can’t wait for travel inspo x

    • Thank you so much for that link- I’ve bookmarked it and will be referring to it in the future!!! Such a good resource, and I love Man Repeller 😀 Yeah – I’ve never done much beauty content on this blog before, but will start to now.

      And whoa – 700 gallons. That’s insane!! 🙁 xx

  • Tim

    Good for you girl and I completely agree there are loads of ways to travel sustainably. I am a little confused about the fashion part though. Why not just keep the clothes you have and vow not to purchase more unless it meets your criteria. By just reducing to 20 or so items doesn’t that contribute to the waste…or are you donating them? Curious to see how this unfolds but applaud you.

    • That’s a great question Tim!! I will not be purchasing any more clothes from non-sustainable sources. But I will probably buy a few new pieces to tie my wardrobe together and make it easier to style. I don’t have some capsule wardrobe essentials like a good blazer or pencil skirt, for example. Once I’ve bought those I will not be adding any more.

      As for the clothes I’m discarding all of them have been donated to charity – Human Relief in the UK more specifically 🙂

  • Sarah Jeffrey

    This is so great! I’m always so happy to see more & more people becoming more aware of how their actions impact the world☺️ If you haven’t already seen it, Cowspiracy is an awesome documentary about animal agriculture & climate change (it’s not gory or anything – I think there’s one bit where a duck is killed but other than that there’s no blood, guts or violence) I’m excited to read your posts about travelling more responsibly – it’s amazing you’ll hopefully be able to inspire so many more people to do the same☺️ Xx

    • Thanks so much for your lovely & positive comment, Sarah!! I just watched Cowspiracy last week and thought it was a fantastic documentary. To be honest, gore in these videos doesn’t bother me.. it’s important to see the reality, however terrifying 🙁 I’m so glad you’re excited about this new chapter.. you bet I am too 😀 xx

  • Veronica

    You look SO gorgeous in these photographs! Also love the message here, I think it’s incredible that you’re putting more purpose into your content too, I’d love to read about different things I can do daily to help out our lovely planet. 🙂
    sending love from Canada <3

    • Thank you so much Veronica!! Glad you like the photos 🙂 That’s really good to know – I’ll definitely keep this in mind when writing future post <3 Where in Canada are you? I LOVE Alberta… but it's also the only Canadian province I've been to 😀

      • Veronica

        l’m from Alberta!! Haha if you visit Canada go very west or very east, skip the middle of the country – nothing cool there 😉

  • Luke Marlin

    So one might say that the Girl and the Globe are on the same team now? 😉

  • I think more people should think like this:)

  • martina bozikova

    That’s so cool! I support these decisions 100%. I’ll be vegan for a year this February and it was one of the best decision I made! Cooking has begun fun again, I feel more at peace that I contribute to world at least with my food preferences, oh and it cleared up my skin! This year I plan to expend my “veganism” on cosmetics. So I can only recommend it and cheer for you. It’s not actually that hard as it may seem, so go for it whenever you’re ready 🙂

  • Thanks for nice blog..

    find travel companions at TravelMeetdate…

  • Sabrina, hi! I’m not sure I’ve ever commented before, but I wanted to chime in on the sustainable travel idea. Cars – especially solo trips – are worse for the environment in terms of CO2 emissions per gallon, as compared with planes (Source: Yale Climate Connections – http://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2015/09/evolving-climate-math-of-flying-vs-driving/ .). With buses and carpooling, it really depends on the quality/maintenance of the vehicle and number of people who contribute to each gallon consumed (there’s a great chart in that article about it; transit buses are surprisingly BAD for the environment, it turns out!).

    What might make more sense is to look for electric rentals when you want to drive, but to not rule out planes – especially if the company has a strong environmental sustainability policy in place (if you Google “environmental policy airlines” you can see tons of different airlines and to compare to find those you most agree with).

    Just wanted to throw a little more research out there. 🙂

    • Hi Valerie, thanks so much for your thoughtful comment!! 🙂 <3 I've read lots of conflicting studies about this exact issue.. With flying you have to account for high altitude climate forcing and other factors (although you probably know this already) so I still believe it's more detrimental than ground transport in many cases. But I totally agree about carpooling and using vehicles to their full capacity.

      Having said all this, I'm definitely not going to stop flying. I've worked with KLM in the past and they are regarded as one of the 'greenest' airlines so I'm sure we'll collaborate again in the future 🙂

      Again, thanks so much for your comment and giving everyone reading this more studies to look through 🙂 <3

  • Amanda

    With knowledge comes change. The more we learn the better we can be at helping the earth and the people living on it. Good for you!

  • Yay! Welcome to the slow travel life 🙂 I’ve been trying to be more eco-friendly in my life and while traveling the last few months, and it’s definitely a learning experience.

    I love the idea of capsule wardrobes! When I went to Korea two years ago, I tried to limit myself. You probably already know of them, but my absolutely favorite sites to help are:

    http://www.un-fancy.com/ (I don’t think she does capsule wardrobes now, but she started out doing them. Now I believe she focuses on shopping local instead of big franchises)

    https://anuschkarees.com/ (SO many amazing tips not just for clothing but health as well).

    Can’t wait to see all the content you come up with!

  • the_mindful_mermaid

    Hi Sabina! I have followed your blog and instagram since I first started my blog a little over half a year ago, and always looked up to your success! I can’t tell you how excited I am that you are transitioning to a sustainable travel and lifestyle platform.

    I myself focus on culture, sustainable travel and fashion with my blog. Sometimes it is disappointing seeing so many huge bloggers not use their platform to inform their audience about the negative affects of travel (and fashion). I support your decision 200 percent, and would love to connect in the future to bounce any ideas off about sustainable travel.

    Congrats on your success and your new era! <3

    -Alex, mindfulmermaid.com

  • Nuraini Arsad (Teja)

    I think this is an awesome thing you’re doing. My day job is right at the heart of the conflict, and I got to writing more publicly after a series of volunteer travel gave me some awareness of the need for scientists to connect with influencers and concerned millennials. Almost the first article on my blog was on carbon implications of travel (http://tejabahiya.com/sustainability-travel/); because of my professional background I felt I had to lead with that.

    On my personal FB I run a public album series to give ordinary working people with practical tips from my own life habit transitions – when it dawned on me that things I thought were obvious, are actually not. The most popular shares tend to be the simplest, kind of unglamourous ones that frazzled working mothers can use to relieve pressure on their families. If you want maximum impact, you’ll need to target the habits of the mass.

    In the context of travel, aside from supporting and boosting sustainable tourism, maybe you can use your audience clout to popularise or “trendify” the practical and mindset change solutions to the biggest impact mass tourism habits – for instance, to shift away from the prevalence of plastic bottled water, and the ubiquitous use of plastic drinking straws, especially at marine or remote travel destinations. Not many things change habits better than social (dis)approval.

    A project I was part of last year managed to convince one reasonably swank resort to shift to metal straws, and another two to consider it, but without a major shift in traveler habits, most resorts are reluctant to anger their guests by doing these “risky” things. More success with filtered water dispensers though, as an option to encourage guests away from bottled water.

  • Helen Davies

    I think this is wonderful Sabina and looking forward to reading! Much love! Helen x

  • I can’t wait to see what you do next! This is so exciting and to be honest, I’d probably read anything you wrote because I love your writing style aha. xo

    • Aww Sophie, that’s honestly the best compliment ever!!! So glad you enjoy my writing <3

  • Priyadarshini Rajendran

    Wow, great decision. Hope more of us follow your example. Kudos!

  • Jennifer Pepple

    I agree on many points. I’m getting my master’s in Sustainable Tourism and am learning that even with simple little changes in our travel styles, we can make a big impact! I share one post per month on sustainable travels. I’m glad more
    people are hopping on board with this concept because the negative impacts travel has on the environment are real and must be addressed.

    • That’s amazing, Jennifer!! What a fascinating topic of study 🙂 Where can I read your writing on the topic? xx

  • I love your new aims and goals! I look forward to seeing your take on travel in the future and what is next for you 🙂

  • I absolutely loved this post and admire you so much for doing this! I’ve been vegetarian for two years, slowly transitioning to vegan and am very conscious about recycling, using less plastic, buying second hand clothes or repairing the ones I already have, etc. This year I am going to make more efforts to travel slowly and support local businesses rather than worldwide franchises. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this incredibly important matter!

  • Kiara Gallop

    I’ve been vegetarian since I was 13 years old (although I do have a bit of a weakness for sushi too, and salmon – so pescetarian really!) so I’m looking forward to all the yummy veggie recipes from around the world 🙂 And eco-friendly fashion is definitely something I’m interested to learn more about too!

    • Thanks so much for your support, Kiara!! That means a lot to me 🙂 That’s really awesome, I didn’t know you were veggie. I have lots of recipe ideas – can’t wait to start sharing them!!

  • This post makes me so happy, Sabina! I’ve been making an effort to be a more sustainable, ethical, and responsible traveller (including being vegetarian and eating more and more vegan food for the past 4-5 years), and have been implementing many of the other actions you’ve mentioned in this post. I think it’s so important that we all realise the affect that travel has on the environment and on other people, and try to do the best we can to minimise our impact. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this journey will take you 🙂

    • That’s so good to hear, Ashlea!! The more of us do it – and show our readers how fun it can be – the better!! 🙂 <3 Really excited to be doing this. I love your blog btw!!

      • I absolutely agree, this has to be a mass movement as it will only start working if we all make an effort to change our ways. I love your blog, too! 😀

  • So excited for you and for the new direction of your blog! If you make your way to Canada again, let me know! I live in a region with a stunning landscape (perfect for outdoorsy, hiking adventures with awesome views) and a strong farm to table movement. And it also happens to be a wine region with some great organic wineries! I’d be happy to share tips or show you around!

    Alix

  • So, up until now I knew very little about you besides your Instagram presence (which is bomb, btw) and that you love to help women create lives they love with a travel-centric focus (like I do!) but this post seriously blew me away. I have CHILLS reading this post. I am incredibly inspired by you making this change in your life and in your blog. I have been having similar desires to make my content space on the internet a whole lot more responsible, authentic, and sustainable for the world I want my children’s children to live in.

    “On the other hand there are international hotel chains who don’t contribute to the local economy, pollute the environment and trivialise a country’s culture.” <— SO MUCH THIS. The more I travel the more I despair at the cultures that have been LOST to tourism. We preach a lot about the "amazing effects" of tourism, but what about the truly sad ones? I am actually publishing a post today about one such place where I felt the sad effects of tourism very strongly.

    I want to say thank you for taking a stand. We can all work together to heal our planet, and even our little internet voices can have a huge impact! <3

  • I just thought I’d check up on you and came across this post right now, and … I could not be happier for you. For you, you’re thinking “why did it take me so long to realize this?!” but the fact is that you’re very young to have discovered this sense of purpose, which some never do! I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings for you. (By the way, I’m also a vegetarian and a big environmentalist — I’m excited that our movement has a new recruit!)