Here in Australia it's National Homeless Persons' Week. So I'm going to hop on my soapbox for just a few minutes. Because I want to remind myself that I'm truly privileged to be able to write a blog about travel (and to even complain, sometimes, because I can't travel as much as I'd like to!). The closest I ever get to homelessness is landing in a city without an accommodation booking and having trouble finding a place to stay because everything's booked out for some big festival. That is like 0.000000000001% of the feeling of being homeless, I guess. What I mean to say is, I really can't imagine what it must be like not to have a home for the night.
But it can happen to anyone. A couple of years ago, when I was teaching English as a second language to foreign students here in Perth, I regularly took in copies of The Big Issue and talked to my students about the problems faced by Big Issue vendors (a number of whom are homeless). Some of my students were from countries that are generally considered poorer than Australia - south-east Asian and South American nations in particular - and those students expressed their surprise at seeing homeless people on Perth streets. They thought that in a rich country like Australia there wouldn't be any homeless people. Their logic is absolutely reasonable but sadly their thoughts are just not true.
So my thought for the week is to hope that I can encourage you, my readers, to also consider what it would be like to be homeless, and consider how you can help. I'm a big fan of The Big Issue because I know the vendors who sell it receive half of the cost of the magazine, and I know that The Big Issue as a whole does great work looking after homeless people and others with various disadvantages. But I'd love to hear some other ways so let me know in the comments. And whether you're at home or off travelling, remember that we're really lucky. Okay, I'm dismounting from the soap box right now. Thanks for listening!