Here at the Scrubba we love working together to achieve the lightest, environmentally-friendliest, and most convenient way for travelling and connecting with others around the globe. With that in mind, we wanted to introduce Sam, the newest member of our team, and get to know what inspires her commitment to travel, the environment, and the entire Scrubba philosophy.
Why do you love travelling?
Quite simply because it’s always a unique experience. Travel brings us together with people from vastly different backgrounds, inspires passion in cultures, languages, and environments that are totally different from our own, and fosters a genuine passion to learn more about the world we all share. From food, nature, and daily dress, to customs, belief systems, and politics, travel opens our eyes to things we’ve never seen, encourages us to embrace and perhaps even experience those things ourselves, brings us closer to people and nature, and offers something unique every time. It never gets old!
Why the Scrubba Wash Bag?
As a travel enthusiast I was so excited to come across a product that made doing laundry during lengthy backpacking trips easy and affordable. I love travelling with just carry-on luggage where possible, as it’s lighter and saves both time and money, so the ability to wash quickly and frequently was a top priority, and the Scrubba’s compatibility with nature and wildlife was also an important factor that drew me to the product. As an Australian I was also eager to support a local business and to strengthen my ties to my homeland even while abroad. When a job came up with the company shortly after my return home from a three-month trek across Europe, I decided I wanted to combine my love of travel with my previous professional and academic experience, and to put my efforts into connecting with other travellers and environmentally conscious individuals, all whilst working for a small, local company. So began my adventure with the Scrubba Wash Bag team.
Where have you gone and what are some of your favourite places?
I’ve currently visited the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, 23 countries in mainland Europe, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu, and Qatar, but have also extensively explored my home country: Australia. Although everywhere I’ve visited has offered me something new and exciting, I’ve particularly loved my trips to Lithuania, Russia, Norway, Greece, Denmark, Scotland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and New Zealand, as I’m so passionate about the landscapes, histories, and languages of these countries, and have had the fortune of meeting some wonderful locals during my visits. In terms of tourist attractions, some of my favourites are the Acropolis of Athens due to its embodiment of ingenious engineering and architecture, the Grand Canyon due to the indelible imprint it has made upon the landscape, the Northern Lights due to the majesty you feel when sprawled out under them, and the glaciers and ice caves of Svalbard, Norway, as the Arctic wilderness remains, to this day, one of the most beautiful, alien landscapes I’ve ever had the privilege of traversing.
Where would you love to go next?
There are too many options, but I’d probably choose to visit either the beautiful, intriguing Machu Picchu in Peru, or the winter glory of Iceland or Greenland. However, I’m also incredibly interested in the spectacular scenery of Tanzania, the lengthy history of Japan, and the natural beauty of Cambodia, India, Bhutan, Mongolia, and Jordan. If possible, I’d jump on a plane to check out these places tomorrow.
What’s your favourite aspect of travelling?
I love it all, but I particularly love experiences that take me out of my comfort zone and introduce me to something new. This is why I usually travel in the winter season – it brings me into contact with environments and weather patterns that are different from what I’ve previously experienced. I’ve spent time living with host families as part of exchange programs, have enrolled in language courses whilst abroad, have travelled with my school, with friends, with a partner, solo, and with people I’ve met in my dorm room. I’ve gone abroad with loads of technology and I’ve taken myself off the grid. I’ve turned 24 hour delays at airports into whirlwind sojourns, and I always try to capitalise on an opportunity and to convert negatives into positives. I particularly love getting physical and partaking in winter sports, and in the past I’ve been lucky enough to get involved in tons of activities including hiking, snow-shoeing, snowmobiling, dog-sledding, ice-caving, skiing, paragliding, parasailing, jet-skiing, and white water rafting. Basically, I’m up for anything that is a little bit unfamiliar.
We look forward to embarking on this new journey together. Welcome to the team!
The Scrubba team is passionate about helping those in need and over the last couple of years we have donated over $35,000 USD to fund 3 water related projects in Bangladesh and Ethiopia. The first project took over 18 months and we are pleased to announce that it is now complete and providing over 1000 people with safe water and sanitation.
This project came to fruition from our $15,000 USD donation to charity: water to build the infrastructure required to plumb a water system for three schools in Bangladesh. In rural areas of Bangladesh, many people lack access to basic sanitation and clean water and this can have a devastating impact on the health and education of students. An anonymous donor generously matched our donation bringing the effective value of the project to $30,000 USD.
The project is now complete and 1031 students and teachers of Mahbubenessa Girls High, Nazrul Academy High and Rashidpur High now have access to clean and safe drinking and washing water.
To see where these projects are, enter the following GPS coordinates into Google maps:
- 23.00725, 91.07338889
- 23.01111111, 91.00408333
- 23.01480556, 91.10222222
The project will provide an ongoing supply of clean water as well as vital training in water and sanitation hygiene. These are a collection of photos from the schools:
Thanks to our customers, we were able to be a part of this fantastic project. But, it doesn’t end there. In our travels, we have seen first-hand how scarce clean drinking water can be and decided early on to find a way to help tackle the issue of providing clean water to remote parts of the world.
Charity: water, an organisation dedicated to helping remote communities access clean water was the perfect fit. With a high level of transparency and the support of some dedicated anonymous donors to cover administration costs, we know that 100% of the funds we donate go towards the actual projects we are supporting.
With such amazing results in Bangladesh, we have also partnered with Charity: water on 2 separate projects in Ethiopia. We have donated $20,000 USD to fund 2 Ethiopian well projects in their entirety. The projects are well underway and once completed, will provide life-saving water, hygiene and sanitation to communities in the Tigray region. These donations were generously matched by an anonymous donor resulting in a total of $40,000 USD donated. The projects will include the construction of new drilled wells that will supply hundreds of people in the area.
Stay tuned for updates on this and future projects. And thank you for helping us give back.
Scrubba Wash Bag founder, Ash Newland knows a bit about travel. In fact he has been to over 40 countries, and goes on several international trips each year. He has certainly come up against many airport related challenges. In this blog, Ash shares some simple rules that make his travels smooth and efficient.
Wherever possible, I travel with carryon luggage only. This helps me
- Avoid spending precious time at the bag drop and collection
- Beat the taxi/public transport queues
- Avoid lost luggage
If I do need to pack more and check bags in, I pack enough in my carryon to survive a few days in case my luggage is lost. Baggage mishandling is on the decline, but there were still 7.3 bags per thousand passengers mishandled globally in 2014 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/benkepes/2015/04/08/minimizing-the-impacts-of-lost-luggage-the-scary-statistics/#422199155e67).I always pack my phone charger, basic toiletries and a change of clothes in my carryon bag.
Also my Scrubba Wash Bag so I can easily wash my clothes if my luggage does go missing.
A pen is almost my number 1 carry on item especially for international travel. I fill out immigration forms before I land and the rest I can fill out while waiting in those inevitable queues.
Check in and Security
There are plenty of ways to make the check in process as efficient as possible at the airport. I always check in online and have my boarding pass sent to my mobile phone. It not only saves paper, but helps me keep track of my boarding pass.
I prepare in advance for security. I put my wallet, keys etc. in my carryon bag and take my laptop or tablet out before I get to the front of the queue. This speeds up the process for everyone.
If I can choose my seat, I try to sit as close to the front or back (if they open the rear as well) of the plane so I can make a quick exit. Especially if I am travelling with carryon only.
On a long haul flight, I pick a seat towards the back to increase the chance of a spare seat next to me. In a 3 seat configuration I choose one with the middle seat free (ie someone on the aisle). The middle seat can then only be filled with a single. Check http://www.seatguru.com/ for notes on particular seats.
If I want some space to myself before being crammed onto the plane, I sit at a different gate to the one I am departing from. I make sure I am close enough to see if people start boarding and hear if there are any announcements at my gate.
For international connections, I check if the airport offers free wifi (many do). Otherwise I walk by the airport coffee stores and check their wifi access or offerings. Buying a coffee is often the best way to connect for an hour or so.
I usually prepurchase duty free. The pickup line is normally shorter than the register line. If I have a couple of hours to kill on the way out, I will be in a better mind space for working out what I need to buy than after a long haul flight.
On the flight
I pack a rollup drink bottle and fill it past security. On the flight you can also ask for it to be filled. This saves buying airport water at inflated prices.
For longhaul flights I wear a long sleeve top. It will get cold and blankets aren't always available or large enough.
I bring a small thin bag to organise my personal belongings in the seat pocket. Seat pockets tend to be pretty filthy. Plus, I am less likely to leave small items behind. If I have a window seat, the Scrubba packing cell is often able to loop over the armrest and is a good alternative for storing small belongings close by. Otherwise, you can get specially made products such as the Air Pocket (airpocket.com.au).
Getting out the other side
When I get off the plane, I don’t go to the closest toilets unless I am really busting. Airports have lots of toilets and going to one a bit further along is less likely to be crowded.
I look up details of transport options ahead of time. A quick search will give me an indication of taxi costs from the airport and other details of public transport options. To save money I usually look up some blogs and get their tips. If I do take a taxi, I make sure it is an official taxi and ask how much the ride is likely to cost. Where possible I insist they use the taxi meter. Again reading blogs and travel tips specific to that area is invaluable.
If you have checked in a bag and are waiting at the carousel for the bag to appear, stand back from the carousel. If everyone did this, it enables more people to see when their bag has arrived and gives room for them to safely approach and remove their bag.Finally, if you have large bags you may want to check the oversized luggage area before stressing that your bag has been lost.
Overall, the best advice is to travel light and to be organised. One of the best ways to do this is to pack a travel laundry solution like the Scrubba Wash Bag.