Sunrise at Cape Spear, near St. John's, Canada

Hi, my name is Dearbhaile and welcome to this wild life of mine!

All throughout university I had one dream – to travel the world as soon as I graduated. And though no one actually believed I would do it, I did. For three years I backpacked, worked, hiked, flew, rode horses and unicycled (ok that last one’s a lie) on four continents. I swam with whales in Tonga, walked across volcanos in New Zealand, sought out the unique wildlife of Australia, visited ancient temples in Indonesia, explored massive caves in Malaysia…I could go on, but that’s what this blog is for.

Read more: Swimming with Giants – the Humpback Whales of Tonga

Read more: Tongariro Alpine Crossing – To Mordor and Back Again

Read more: Wild Australia – the most unique wildlife you’ll ever see

Prambanan Temple Complex, Indonesia

I’m just an ordinary Irish girl with a love for animals, nature and the world we live in. If I had to describe myself in three words they would probably be – nerdy, sarcastic and caring. I like to think I’m witty too, but I’ll leave that one for you to decide.

After my final set of university exams in May 2013, I packed my bags and left Ireland for an incredible summer working in Chicago on a JI visa. After graduation, a Zoology degree firmly in hand, I set off again, this time to the opposite side of the world – New Zealand. I’m a self-confessed Lord of the Rings nerd, so it’s no surprise I completely fell in love with that country. A year was not enough time there.

A few months back in Ireland were followed by a year in Australia, including a four-month, 20,000km solo drive across the continent, three months in Asia, then another few months working in Australia again. Until June 2016, when everything changed.

While I love travelling, during my time in Asia I became disenchanted by it. Maybe it was the exhaustion, the busy cities, the constant moving from place to place, but all of a sudden I realised I wasn’t happy anymore. Losing my childhood pet and best friend didn’t help either. So I applied for, and managed to get a temporary job working as a rehabilitation assistant for a wildlife rescue centre in Malawi. I’d spent part of three summers volunteering with wildlife in Africa before and it’s my dream to make a career out of it.

The view from Signal Hill, St. John's, Canada

Read more: Bats, Caves and a Broken Heart – Mulu National Park

Read more: My Life as a Wildlife Rehabilitation Assistant

Now, I (try to) balance my budding career with travel. Wildlife conservation has always been a passion of mine, along with travel, art and photography. While this blog is about sharing my adventures around the world as a solo female traveller with all of you, it’s also about showing you how anyone can experience the wonderful wildlife this world has to offer in a responsible, ethical way. I’ve seen too many instances of abuse or ignorance on the part of tourists when it comes to wildlife tourism and I believe that with a little knowledge and prior research, it’s possible to interact with these animals in a way that benefits them as well as us.

When I’m not somewhere out in the world, I like to spend time with my family in Ireland. Even in my mid-20s, I still love that feeling of familiarity and comfort I get from stepping into my old bedroom after a long trip away. However, I have extremely itchy feet and find it hard to stay anywhere longer than three or four months, so even when I am at home I’m always planning my next adventure!

The view from the top of Zahara de la Sierra, Spain

I’ve also always been a bit of a loner, so solo travel just came naturally to me. While many people have called me brave for it, I guess there are different ways to look at it. While it’s not for everyone, I can definitely attest to the rewards travelling solo can bring. It can be scary, but totally do-able if you don’t let fear stand in your way.

So that’s me: just a girl who generally gets along better with animals than humans (hence why I’m normally found travelling solo), has too much sarcasm for her own good (according to my mother) and swears probably a bit too much. Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, I like to turn my back to the camera. Nice to meet you!

Here on the blog you’ll find a mix of stories, tips, cute monkey photos and some truths about the reality of my wild life from a personal perspective – what are you waiting for?

Read more: Why Travelling Solo Doesn’t Make Me Brave

Exploring Kings Canyon, Australia

Thanks again for stopping by. I hope you enjoy This Wild Life of Mine. Follow along on my social media to make sure you never miss a beat!

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