I’m so delighted to announce that my story: ‘Saint Lucia: The birds and the baby’ was chosen as First Runner Up in the Terra Incognita Travel Blogger of the Year 2020 Awards.
The article looks at the power of nature in helping to heal mental health issues, and how my quest for the Saint Lucian Parrot helped to calm some of the struggles of pregnancy.
Travel Blogger of the Year judge Eilidh Munro said: “This moving piece shows how important it is for our wellbeing to connect with nature. Kate wrote with a clear purpose right from the start and I thought this piece gave us a refreshing and brave angle on the power of travel.”
I’m so excited to carry on this journey with Terra Incognita, as the prize includes a year’s Conservation Careers Academy membership, access to the Conservation Careers Kick-Starter online course and at least one of their AMAZING Eco tours from around the globe. I cannot wait!
In the meantime, I was invited to answer a few questions for Terra Incognita — and I must say, it was a welcomed opportunity to reflect a little more on that significant time…
Terra Incognita — blog interview
What prompted you to write about the topic of pregnancy? How is this topic normally dealt with and what can/should we do better?
I don’t think I’ve ever really read a travel piece about the challenges and benefits of visiting somewhere new during pregnancy, and that’s why I wanted to incorporate that experience in my tale of visiting the incredible island of Saint Lucia. The reality of living through a tough pregnancy was not something I could disentangle from those memories.
Saint Lucia is a wonderful place to visit, full stop, but having the opportunity to go there six months into my pregnancy meant that preparing for the experience was probably very different from if I had have visited at any other time. Your usual holiday planning of; ‘What shall I take to wear?’; ‘What shall I do first when I get there?’ and ‘Where’s the best place to grab a cocktail in the Sun?’ Is completely turned on its head.
Instead, you find yourself wondering: are there any risks to the baby – such as the threat of Zika virus? Will there be rest stops on the tours? Will the local food make me feel sick? But once you’ve got your head around swapping mojitos for mosquito spray, that’s where focusing on ecotours and engaging with nature really comes into its own.
What positive role do you think travel writing (and storytelling in general) can play?
I live for storytelling. I spent a lot of time reading Bill Bryson in my late teens and dreamed of going to new places. As I got older, I realised that with good writing, photography or filmmaking, I was already visiting these faraway lands.
You don’t really have to get on a plane and travel to the four corners of the globe to understand what’s out there – I have a house full of books, paintings and artefacts (some purchased, some inherited, some homemade and some acquired from junk shops) that remind me of the bigger world that I’m a part of.
Learn more about Saint Lucia
- Saint Lucia: The birds and the baby — my winning entry
- A guided tour of Saint Lucia’s tropical rainforest