About Flora

Flora Baker is the founder and editor of Flora the Explorer, where she writes about her travels around the world, her volunteering exploits and her ongoing attempt to become fluent in Spanish by talking to anyone who'll listen. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

Author Archive | Flora

I Joined London’s #WomensMarch with a Hundred Thousand Others. What’s Next?

I Joined London’s #WomensMarch with a Hundred Thousand Others. What’s Next?

“We only predicted 18,000 people today…” Sandi Toksvig’s voice echoes through the cardboard placards which fill Trafalgar Square. Faces are turned towards the sun; banners flutter below Nelson’s column, flanked by roaring bronze lions made 150 years ago. If I squint, I can see Big Ben in the distance. We are in the midst of London’s […]

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Why Life in Arezzo Really is Beautiful

From the moment I stepped inside Antonio’s small second-floor apartment, I knew I was going to like Arezzo. This jovial Italian B&B owner seemed resolved to ensure that I saw everything important in his home town, even with just eighteen hours at my disposal: so after Antonio had shown me my bedroom (complete with a view of […]

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Love, Loss and Jewellery, Eight Years On

My mum once pierced her ears with a needle and an ice cube. Well, not exactly. Mum was eighteen, travelling in the US, and it was her American friends who happily volunteered to do the piercing for her; Mum’s friend Lainey who slightly misjudged the needle’s point in Mum’s right earlobe and made the hole a few […]

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Che, Castro and the Legacy of Cuba’s Communism

Hugo and Consuela have a framed photo of Che Guevara above their fish tank. This middle-aged couple, my casa hosts in Santa Clara, have just bought three slices of peso pizza from the hole-in-the-wall round the corner. We sit at their small kitchen table, fans whirring overhead: I nibble at a corner of the greasy slice while Hugo sips […]

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An Explorer’s Motivation

Sir Ranulph Fiennes doesn’t like climbing. “I get vertigo,” he says matter-of-factly to the sea of faces in front of him, explaining that for a long time he refused to embark on any possible expeditions which involved heights. That is, until his wife Ginny died twelve years ago, when he set about trying to confront the fears […]

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What Makes You Happy?

This afternoon, a man on a bike cycled past me. He had headphones jammed in his ears and was singing along to music which was only faintly audible: the song was one I didn’t recognise, but the big smile on his face spoke for itself. ‘How nice – that man is really happy!’ I thought. And […]

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Life Above the Arctic Circle

Life Above the Arctic Circle

I woke with a start at 2.45am. The ship was pitching and rolling like a mad thing: coats on their hooks sliding back and forth across the cabin wall; the ladder at my side threatening to jump from its hinges and crash to the floor. From the bunk below, my cabin mate Helena sleepily opened our small […]

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A Pilgrim's Ode to a Camino Packing List

A Pilgrim’s Ode to a Camino Packing List

On September 12th 2015, I started walking through the city of Leon in northern Spain. For the next twenty days I walked to Santiago de Compostela, then onward to the coastal towns of Finisterre and Muxia where I arrived on October 2nd. It’s been almost a year since I set out on the Camino, and I’m starting […]

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The Day I Saw a Polar Bear

“Today, we’re entering the food chain.” Despite living on board the Quark expedition ship for a week, this was our first full day at sea. No more afternoons spent harbour-side in quaint little Norwegian towns; no more cruising past the open mouths of fjords. The ship was edging closer to predator territory, and now we had a new rulebook […]

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Sea of Hull: Why I Got Naked & Blue with Three Thousand People

At 4am in an English park, a man with a megaphone told me to strip. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only person he was talking to. The crowds of people around me had all been waiting a few hours for this command, and none of us hesitated to obey. As clothes began to fly and the bare […]

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