Teja on the Horizon began from an idea, to see if I could do better in science communication and do more to share the sustainability vision to the public. On this blog, I write many stories from the lens of a slow travel mindset, letting my readers into my brain as I continue developing better and improved sustainable travel habits.
I also specifically write reviews of my attempts at sustainable travel, including sharing things that didn't quite work or go so well. I think it is important for people to know it's ok to mess up on a long but worthwhile journey. Everyone is trying - everyone only has to keep trying. You can start trying too.
I also share my own go-to resources, which I really use to help plan a more sustainable trip, and also to carbon offset my year. You can find these in the top menu under 'Sustainable Travel'. As I try more things, over time I may add to these resources - or you can contribute to it too!
But most of all, I've tried to wrap science communication in everyday travel decisions, and show the way knowledge adds depth to how we experience the world.
Teja on the Horizon Expanded Universe
But Teja on the Horizon is not just my travel blog. We are living in a time when mankind faces numerous global challenges. Together with its other channels, it is my sustainability and science communication platform to advocate for our world.
Teja's Twitter Feed
My newest social media channel is my Twitter account (@nuraini_arsad). I chose to use my real name instead of my pen name, because here I tweet about both my travel writing & sustainability interests, as well as my more professional environmental science topics. It is a fuller version of my public self.
If you're Gen X or older, my Twitter is basically me reading the newspaper in the morning, and handing over interesting pages to you across the breakfast table. It is the most real-time of all my channels.
That said, I do set aside some days for specific content. On Thursdays I will share travel articles I found interesting, and on Fridays I will tweet any new content from this blog.
A brand new year! Time to do my carbon accounting for 2019. #carbonoffset #sustainabletraveler #sustainableliving #carbonfootprint #newyearresolution @terrapass
One Key Choice to Sustain the Sustainable Journey - Teja on the Horizon - https://t.co/Z1w9azaSwq via @Shareaholic
— Teja on the Horizon 🇲🇾🌏 (@nuraini_arsad) January 3, 2020
Teja's Facebook Page
@Teja.on.the.Horizon is the blog's Facebook page, and curates content about our world (natural and built, science and art), sustainability issues, and shares practical inspiration to take active part in our common endeavours. This is a travel Page for travellers who are curious about sustainable travel, knowledge, and personal growth.
The themes are regular for each day of the week:
#WebMonday - general article about travel or sustainability that I found interesting from the web.
#ThinkTuesday - awareness topic, typically related to travel & sustainability issues.
#WorldWednesday - spotlight on one place, usually under-appreciated, off-the-beaten-path, alternative, or quirky destinations.
#TidbitThursday - something curious about our world!
#FridayInspiration - inspiring ideas, solutions, or stories about people making a difference, and call to action!
#SaturdayStories - content from this blog!
#TejaSunday - a feature photo of either a sunset or a sunrise (because of the origin story for why I chose the pen name Teja).
View this post on Instagram
What I’m really in Cairns for, actually, is not just fun and games. This week is when I turn volunteer, helping collect survey data for monitoring coral health in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The survey location is around Fitzroy Island, which receives relatively high tourist numbers who either stay at the sole resort on the island, or are day trippers. 🌏 Environmental volunteering is a type of travelling that’s a form of slow travel, and usually a lot more satisfying than conventional travel. You learn not just about the cause itself, but also pick up nuances like how the people at a location feel about certain issues, how they feel about the place they’re in, how they respond to certain things that could be different from home. 🌏 So it’s hard when people back home ask me, oh you’re on holiday again? Yes... but it’s not a frolic in an all-inclusive resort. It’s learning how to choose local and ethical tours at the location, about thinking of what good to leave behind, what good to take with you, and spending as locally as possible - yes, even in a developed country like Australia. But more on that later. @oceans2earthvolunteers #volunteer #volunteering #voluntourism #volunteerism #volunteertravel #travelforgood #goodvibetravel #travelgood #goodcause #sustainabletourism #earthlingmovement #slowtravel #thisissustainable #responsibletravel #travellocal #localtour #travelbetter #fortheearth #thereisnoplanetb #conscioustravel #tejainaustralia #tejaonthehorizon #sukarelawan #nsyftravel #muslimahswhotravel #jalan_travel #makanangin #tamanlaut #greatbarrierreef #holidaytravel
I took a long time to work out how to use Instagram that felt authentic to me. I know that the image of the female traveller is often 2-dimensional, and completely unrepresentative of myself in almost every way. Furthermore, the constant encouragement to travel, as if it were an entitlement and irrespective of the impacts to the destination, is opposed to my blog's sustainability ethos.
Not to mention the fact that a purely visual media often encourages you to judge quickly, without reflecting. This is again contrary to the sustainable travel message I advocate.
But I soon realised that I had a cache of travel images that I took because my quirky sense of humour found them amusing. And there were more, which I found poignant in some way. Or that reminded me of knowledge concepts I had learned, but do not often see examples of.
Sure, it would not be an account with thousands of followers. I would, after all, be asking my followers to look twice at the image, become curious enough to read. I may not be a good enough photographer to hook that initial attention. It would be geared to my sometimes strange and offbeat way of thinking. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea.
But it was a part of me that didn't really have an existing channel of expression, other than directly with family and friends. Yet it is this precise, lateral, connected, quirky mind that I credit with my insight, which is so crucial to my work, my storytelling, sustainability, and faith.
And besides, I could keep up such an Instagram account since it would be fun - and have a purpose!
Teja's Mailing List
What does a subscriber to Teja on the Horizon's mailing list get, that isn't already provided on these three main channels?
The reason why I have a mailing list at all, is because I know friends who have little time to be on social networks. And that can be you, too!
Sometimes all you want is to know what it's really like, in a faraway land. You may not want to actually go, yourself. Sometimes you just want to know that in a distant place, others are also trying to do right by the world just like you. You are not alone.
And sometimes, you just like to hear about things that could be possible, if you changed how you thought, or did something differently. It may be just enough to inspire you to try a new mindset. You might tell your children about different ways of doing things, the ways of people they may never meet.
So the monthly newsletter basically compiles all content that I produce, whether on this blog or somewhere else, and gives updates for every project that grew out of my travels. I also often explain in the newsletter a bit of backstory for some of my trips, which do not appear anywhere else!