From Farm to Factory: the Truth Behind Cuban Cigars

The first cigar I ever smoked was when I was studying abroad in Florence. My friend Kath had been given one as a present: we lit it up along with a lot of giggling, took turns with a puff each – and suddenly I felt horribly sick. No one had ever told me not to [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 2 }

Eating My Way Around East London

Good English food is one of the things I find the hardest to be apart from when I’m travelling. When I last came back to London in January, I spent two weeks practically inhaling my body weight in cheese. And bagels. And bacon, roast dinners, English mustard and the delicious weirdness that is Marmite – [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 7 }
Navigating the Cuban Casa System

Navigating the Cuban Casa System

“Flora, wait!” Esther came trotting down the hallway of the small bungalow in her nightie, waving her hands as I stepped over the threshold into the thick heat of the midday Viñales sun. “What time do you want your dinner tonight? And would you like chicken or fish?” A strange request from a woman I’d only [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 14 }

A Lack of Familiarity: Learning How to De-Travel

It’s been a month since I left South America. Four weeks ago, my last full day in Colombia, I was on the outskirts of Bogotá playing tejo in a giant greenhouse with a group of Colombian friends; everyone drinking beers at three in the afternoon, throwing metal pucks at little packets of folded paper filled with [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 34 }

Still in Love with South America

“So you don’t know when you’re coming back?” I remember the face of my best friend, slightly astonished, as she took in what I was saying to her. Finally making that decision – to not buy a return ticket, to lay myself open to the possibilities of whatever the road had in store for me [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 28 }

The Great Havana Hustle

What do taxis, cigars, horse drawn carriages and Buena Vista Social Club have in common? Well, they’re firstly all seemingly integral parts of a tourist’s experience of Cuba. And second, they’re yours – for a price. Understanding the great Havana hustle Havana is the first port of call for the vast majority of tourists visiting [...]

Continue Reading Comments { 18 }