Irish Traveller, Dearbh has mastered the art of travelling with the purpose, combining her three passions and degree in Zoology, to make a difference while on the road.
She has already visited five continents and volunteered with several different wildlife organisation, yet, Dearbh doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
With the rise of tourism having the potential to disrupt the conservation of wildlife around the world, we love hearing stories like this and are encouraged to do our research before coming in contact with wildlife on our upcoming trips.
They say passion is contagious, well this is no exception to that rule. After hearing about Dearbh’s world journey, we are left feeling inspired by her selflessness and motivated to make our travels more meaningful.
You can read more about her mission here, but in the meantime, we’ve caught up with Dearbh and asked her a few questions about her photography and world travel (this was prior to knowing she was going to present us with something way better than what’s in her camera bag)
Meet The Girl Behind Life of Dearbh
I’m a blogger and zoologist who loves to travel the world and do some good while I’m at it. I’ve spent most of the last four years abroad, visiting five continents. I have worked with wildlife in Australia, New Zealand and Africa and though I still do a lot of backpacking, I am now focusing more on my career in wildlife conservation. I get itchy feet and can’t stay anywhere for more than a few months, so this current lifestyle suits me fine! Every now and again I come home to Ireland to see family and save money, but I’m always planning my next adventure.
Where in the world are you now?
Currently, I’m home in Ireland. Until last Christmas, I had been away for almost two years, and it was time to see my family again. I’ll be home for another few months, just working and saving money until I head to my next adventure – working as a field assistant for a turtle conservation group in Cape Verde!
How long have you been on the road?
The longest I’ve been away from home is almost two years, with another year away before that. During those times I wasn’t always travelling. I work for a few months somewhere, save, then backpack for a few months before repeating the cycle.
Why do you choose to travel?
This may sound strange, but travel doesn’t feel like a choice to me. It feels more like a need. There’s never been a question in my mind that this is what I want to do – see new places, meet new people, experience different cultures and, more recently, focus on my career in wildlife conservation with endangered animals around the world.
What is at the top of your bucket list?
Oh, so many things: Machu Picchu, Antarctica, seeing a polar bear in the wild, Everest Base Camp… I want to visit all seven continents, and I’m currently at 5, so that’s pretty good!
Favourite place you have visited?
While southern Africa is special to me and is where I want to settle down, regarding travel nothing beats New Zealand. I’m a self-confessed Lord of the Rings nerd, but NZ completely blew me away with its beautiful landscapes and friendly people. I spent a year there, but I still dream of returning someday. I’m so jealous of anyone about to experience it for the first time.
How do you travel? Solo, tours, couples, friends.
Almost always solo. I’ve gone with friends or family on shorter trips, and have met travel buddies while abroad, but for the most part, every time I arrive somewhere new I don’t know a single person. I’m ok with that – it’s how I’m wired. I’ve always been very independent and good with my company, and often I’m more comfortable alone than in a group. Being able to decide what you want to do each day, having the flexibility to change your mind at the last minute, not worrying if your partner is enjoying themselves – that’s real freedom to me.
Your favourite travel quote
As I said, total Lord of the Rings nerd here, so I’m going to have to go with – “not all those who wander are lost”.
Your favourite social media platform?
Instagram, definitely. I love photography, and I get so much inspiration from other travellers and bloggers there.
How often do you travel?
As often as I can. It’s usually long trips with short periods at home in between, but right now it’s a little holiday once a month or so – which is a new and strange experience for me!
What cameras do you use?
I bought my Canon 600D over three years ago. It was my first proper camera and I still completely love it. While at some point I’d like to upgrade (although if I’ll ever be able to afford that is a good question), I’ve found getting a couple of different lenses has made a big difference. I use a 24mm 2.8 lens and a 55-250mm lens. I recently bought an iPhone SE and really like the camera quality on that. I also have a GoXplore action camera, but its low price is reflected in its photo quality, so I usually only use it for underwater stuff.
Can you reveal you favourite editing software?
I keep meaning to get into Photoshop, but I just haven’t yet. I tend to stick to the basic software that came with my laptop, or GIMP for adding effects or text for blogging. On my phone, I like to use VSCO and Snapseed.
What are your travel essentials?
Aside from my camera gear, phone, passport and laptop, I’m never without a good pair of hiking boots, a pretty notebook and Themba my little-stuffed lion companion. Oh, and a mini hot water bottle. I often get really bad cramps, so it’s a total lifesaver.
Top tip for a first-time traveller?
Don’t be afraid to go it alone. Solo travel can be really daunting, but it’s so rewarding. Just stay safe – be aware of your surroundings, your luggage and your valuables. And be open to new cultures – other countries can seem really strange and alien, but that lack of familiarity is what makes them so memorable.
Best food you have eaten on the road and in what country?
Probably the roti in Indonesia and Malaysia. So simple and cheap. I was vegetarian at the time (now vegan), and I’m not at all adventurous when it comes to trying new food, so finding this easy meal was great. I must have eaten it twice a day when I could find it!
Connect with Dearbh