Hello, I’m Karen Edwards. I’m an experienced freelance editor, writer and journalist from London. For the last six years, I have been specialising in travel and lifestyle features for national and international titles, as well as inflight magazines. I write extensively on ethical travel, wildlife and conservation, traditional culture and travel as therapy, as well as lifestyle, behaviour, health and wellbeing.
Why Travel Butterfly?
I started this website, first and foremost, because I love to travel and I wanted to share our beautiful planet with those who may not be able to go out to see it themselves.
I am lucky enough to have had a vast amount of travel experience, and have been backpacking since I was 17. I’ve stayed in the grottiest guesthouses and taken 24-hour bus trips across countries. I’ve always aimed to find the reality of a place, 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.
Giving something back
Seeing as travel had given me so much, 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.
Having witnessed communities and wildlife being taken advantage of, just to make the ‘tourist buck’. Seeing first-hand how human presence affects nature and the environment has shocked me to my core. When we book holidays, plan a tour or buy items in a supermarket, we are not shown where the products come from. Everything has a story, and sometimes, it’s not a very nice one. We really should be aware of this.
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.
So, I wanted to do my bit to make things a little better. To inform, educate and tell real stories about real people, situations and issues in the way best I can, so we can all understand and consider the wider world. It may not always be a beautiful tale, but it’s always one worth telling.
Sharing a positive message
I am fortunate to have a partner who is just as fascinated by the world as I am. We travel together often and document our learnings either in writing, through images or through educational presentations, story-telling and leading expeditions to wild, remote places.
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, sharing stories from around the world honestly and truthfully 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.