Karen Edwards. Freelance Travel Journalist
for UK national magazines and websites.
Hi, I’m Karen Edwards. I’m a travel and lifestyle writer from London.
I am from London, but I also spend a lot of time in South Australia, where my partner Brad is from.
Why Travel Butterfly?
I decided to start this website, first and foremost, because I love to travel and I wanted to find a way to share our beautiful planet with those who may not be able to go out and see it themselves.
I have been backpacking since I was 17. I’ve stayed in the grottiest guesthouses and taken 24-hour bus trips across countries just to experience the real destination, not just the touristy parts. Somehow, even those grotty guesthouses, have made me feel alive and happy.
Since then, travel has become an active part of my life. It is not only a huge part of my career and my favourite hobby – but it is often my therapy. Being somewhere so beautiful that you can’t help but be happy to be alive has got me through some of my toughest times. Being ‘out there’ in the big, wide world seems to put life into perspective for me. Whenever I have felt confused, hurt or worse, being somewhere different, somewhere friendly and welcoming, has helped distract and heal me. In fact, travelling has freed my head and heart from pain many times in my life.
My work portfolio…
I have been working as a journalist and writing for national publications in the U.K. for over 15 years, and I have been a freelance writer for eight years.
Having completed a BA (Hons) Journalism course in Greater London, I kicked off my career writing about my other great love (music) and interviewing pop and movie stars for a living for magazines such as Fabulous, Heat, Hello!, First News, FHM, Grazia, Bliss, Cosmopolitan (U.K. and South African editions), OK!, More, New!, Notebook (Sunday Mirror supplement), Stylist and (my all-time favourite; R.I.P beautiful magazine) Smash Hits.
I even had the chance to edit the X Factor website for ITV and Freemantle Media UK – and still occasionally write for magazines and national newspapers like Metro, Daily Mirror and The Sun. I also launched a website for Skype in Media and often write tour guides and biographies for music artists.
As my interests changed, I moved on from the world of entertainment journalism to focus on travel and lifestyle.
For the last eight years, I have been writing about travel and lifestyle for both national titles and inflight magazines – specialising in ethical travel, wildlife and conservation, local culture, well-being and travel as therapy.
I absolutely love exploring and documenting the world; the wonderful places to visit, the fascinating cultures and extraordinary nature. I have written about travel and lifestyle for a variety of publications including Be Kind, Cosmo online, Conde Nast Brides, Discovery, Fabulous, Grazia, High Life, In The Moment, Metro.co.uk, Sunday Mirror, Sunday Times Travel magazine and Wedding.
I feel stupidly lucky to have been able to combine my passions (music, travel and writing) into a career. I’m very grateful for that. I’ve taught myself photography, too – and now my images often accompany my work in both print and online.
More about Travel Butterfly…
Seeing as travel had given me so much, I decided I wanted to do something positive with my ability to travel. The phrase “Be the change you want to see,” is something I truly believe in.
Seeing first-hand how communities and wildlife are being taken advantage of, just to make the ‘tourist buck’ brought it all home. Witnessing first-hand how our human presence affects nature and the environment, has shocked me to my core. When we book holidays, a tour or even when we buy certain products in the supermarket, we are not shown how those experiences come about, or where those items come from. Everything has a story, and sometimes, it’s not a very nice one. We really should be aware of this.
So, I wanted to do my bit to make things a little better. To inform, educate and tell real stories about real issues in the way best I could, so we can all understand and consider the wider world.
Travel is such a gift and privilege – and we can still experience culture, visit communities and go looking for wildlife without negatively impacting on a place or an ecosystem. Those of us who are able to travel are lucky enough to have the means to spread awareness.
In an era where world leaders try to convince us climate change is fake news, where business comes before preserving nature or where traditions are being diluted by modern life, this has never been more important.
So, I hope you enjoy Travel Butterfly. It will be a diary of heartfelt experiences, beautiful places and good people, as well as some ethical lifestyle tips and tricks for anyone who wants to make a bit of a difference in the world – after all, we’re all just learning as we go.
I hope reading this will not only encourage you to help bring good out there, but will also help you on your journey, whatever that journey may be.