1) Hi Jaz, and congratulations on being featured as a globelle gal in focus! Can you tell us where in the world we can currently find you?
Hi and thank you so much for featuring me!!
You can currently find me much closer to home (London) than usual! I’m in Calais, in France, working very hard in a refugee camp there known as ‘The Jungle.’
2) What inspired you to first start travelling?
I was inspired to travel from a trip to India with my family when I was very young. I was introduced to a lot of beautiful people there, and also the idea that beneath culture, habits, and other surface ‘differences’, deep down, we are all the same!
3) What's been your favourite place to visit, and why?
India remains my favourite country to visit. It’s very tricky to choose, but India is an explosion to every sense and if you just let go and allow things to happen and opportunities to arise, it is the most magical, exciting, incredible country! I have never met more hospitable, welcoming people and I also love the food!
For me, it has the most amazing mix of craziness, for example in the bustling markets, alongside the tranquillity and peace of the yoga retreats and ashrams.
4) Who would you say has been the most influential person to your travels, and why?
My boss at Pants to Poverty (an ethical underwear brand producing fairtrade, organic cotton underwear in India) has been my biggest inspiration when it comes to travelling. He knows how to push boundaries and break down borders, only to find yourself totally immersed. His passion for positive change and drive for a fairer world has also been influential to me.
5) What is the worst thing that's happened to you since being on the road? How did you deal with it?
Just after completely my yoga teacher training in the middle of the jungle in Costa Rica in March, I had a few months of travelling planned with my best friend, who had come out to meet me. Just a few days in, we were happily driving along a dirt track, around a beautiful volcano on a island off the coast of Nicaragua and somehow, we fell. Both of us suffered some nasty flesh wounds and I had a serious ankle injury, resulting in the rest of the trip spent in hospitals/on crutches. Having your leg in a caste on overnight ‘chicken’ buses, whilst lying on the beach and even during crazy hostel pool crawls was far from ideal.
Speaking no Spanish made things tricky too, but we took it on as a challenge, embraced the experience of a Nicaraguan hospitals and laughed through it together! What else can you do!
6) Obviously life on the road is about fewer possessions and more moments, but what is the one thing you can't travel without?
The one thing I cant travel without is a four-way plug (HQ: Genius!). It sounds ridiculous but it’s soooo useful! You just need one adapter (they are always in short supply), then you can still charge everything! I travel with quite a lot of electrics I guess, my phone (which I generally use as my camera) and my laptop so I can always blog about where I am and what I’m doing!
7) Since being on the road, you've started CalAid through your blog TheWorldWideTribe. What inspired you to do this?
CalAid was born very organically and it's momentum since was very unexpected. Just a few weeks ago I came to this refugee camp for the first time, as I live in Kent, very close to it, and wanted to bring some food and clothing and understand the real stories behind the headlines. I was emotional and overwhelmed by the experience and wrote a very real, rushed, raw post about the experience on facebook the following day. It went viral. Within a few days It was shared 62,000 times and the crowdfunding campaign I set up (with an aim of £1000) raised nearly £80,000. On top of this, my house and a few of my friends houses (whose addresses I naively put on facebook) were inundated with physical donations of shoes, clothing, bedding, tents and more!
CalAid was born to unify the efforts of all the people who want to donate and volunteer to make life in this camp just a little easier.
7) What does the organisation hope to achieve, and how?
The organisation does not have a political agenda or a view on immigration, but aims to provide humanitarian aid to the people living in this refugee camp. We aim to help the 3000 people here get through the winter, whilst living outside in tents. Many people need shoes, coats and other warm clothing, as their basic human needs right now are not covered. We aim to change that by providing access to these resources!
8) What does your day to day role with CalAid, and documenting the lives of those currently living in 'The Jungle', involve?
My current day to day is pretty crazy! My time is split between being on the ground in the camp, talking to people, building relationships and trust, distributing food and clothing and understanding what people need most; and sitting at my desk frantically answering emails, calls and media enquiries!!! I think we have found ourselves riding the wave of a shift of opinion in the UK as people want to hear a more human side to the ‘migrant’ stories they are reading. Its been a real whirlwind!
9) What does travelling mean to you?
Travelling to me means bringing people together as one, realising that we are all the same and the world is our home.
10) If you could offer one piece of advice to those travelling for the first time, either as part of a group or solo, what would it be?
Be brave! Task risks! Be open to opportunity! Follow you gut and travel with an open heart. It you go into a situation with love, love is all you will receive in return. Spread your light and follow your dreams!!!!
12) And finally, how can girls get in touch with you, and assist with the efforts of CalAid & The World Wide Tribe?
You can email me at Jaz@theworldwidetribe.com , twitter: @worldwide_tribe or Instagram @theworldwidetribe.
To donate: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/CalAid
To actively volunteer or donate physical items: