I was actually really enjoying Escape Monthly until this box. They were a bit on the expensive side, but I felt like I was getting a lot in the boxes and the value was there. In addition, I had found the items to be useful and very similar to the kinds of things I would buy when traveling. So when they announced Australia as their destination for March, I was thrilled! This is one of the places I have not been that I really would like to visit. I don't, however, feel like I experienced it at all through this box.
For starters, I was pretty disappointed that they normally send travel guides but for the one place I may actually use it, they sent a book about living abroad. I have no plans to live abroad and if I did, it wouldn't be somewhere I have not even visited. Why would I get a travel guide to Portland and not to Australia? This doesn't make a lot of sense.
There were not many items in this box that I would likely use and nothing really screamed value, especially since I was paying for the more expensive box. There was a bag of licorice I am excited to try, but that was next to a bottle of emu oil cream. I've only gotten three boxes from Escape Monthly and two have included products from dead animals (jerky in last month's box). Now, I can understand that everyone isn't a vegetarian, but this should be a rarity, you would think. When I canceled because of this, I was told that Australia has strict animal rights laws and that the emu oil is ethically sourced. I suppose we have different ideas of ethics, because killing things is just not ethical to me, no matter how you do it.
There was also a stick of sunblock from Australian Gold. I'm not sure if they are cruelty-free, although they may be, but also this is for sale at the CVS down the street so I'm kind of bummed to find it in this box. The whole point of Escape Monthly was exposure to items I wouldn't be able to find locally. Australian Gold has their corporate offices in Indiana, which is about as not Australia as you get.
The Simple Scents soap is definitely cruelty-free and although you can also get this locally, it's not as common. I guess I really hoped they would source from local Australian companies, not international corporations.
We received a bottle of hibiscus flower concentrate, which you add to drinks. I don't drink a ton, but I suppose I will try this eventually. This was one of the highest value items in the box, but at least it's unique.
I suppose lots of people are excited about these beauty products, but since most of the box's value was in these two items and - you guessed it - they are, yet again, anti-aging products, I'm pretty much done with subscription boxes that send beauty and skin care products. People seem to use a lot of this stuff, but it's never been a concern of mine - and I don't use much on my face and skin. Correlation? Maybe.
There were also tea tree oil toothpicks, which will probably come in useful at some point. I suppose you can never find toothpicks terribly useless, but at the same time, is anyone enthusiastic about them?
Basically the only items I really liked were the licorice and the clip-on koalas. These are really cute, but I decided that the combination of dead emus and low value, added to the fact that several of these items can be bought at Target, was enough to call it a day with Escape Monthly. Next month they are visiting Japan, so it's good timing anyway as I planned to skip that month (I get a lot of fish and gelatin in Asian-themed boxes).