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The Spanish Challenge: Walking the Camino with Spaniards

The Spanish Challenge: Walking the Camino with Spaniards

NB: Long-term readers may remember that during my travels through South America, I wrote a series of articles about my Spanish learning progress called ‘The Spanish Challenge’. It’s been a while since I added to the series – but the Camino is the perfect place for its resurrection! “Que es una chinche?!” It was almost […]

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You Know You've Walked the Camino When...

You Know You’ve Walked the Camino When…

A lot of people don’t understand the Camino. When you tell them you’re voluntarily walking four hundred kilometres through Spain with all your possessions on your back, they don’t believe you at first. Once you’ve convinced them that, yes, you’re serious – just like many thousands of other people from all over the world, who do […]

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Confessions of a Camino Newbie

“Is my little toe supposed to feel numb?” I’m walking through the forests of Sigulda with Janis, my Latvian guide. I’m wearing newly purchased hiking boots with equally new insoles which the shrewd saleswoman in Cotswolds Outdoors insisted I needed. I’m hyperaware of how my feet feel. At each step, with every shifting muscle and every twinge […]

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Sometimes I’m Scared to Travel – But That Doesn’t Stop Me

“Don’t you get scared? Travelling alone?” The girl from Paris spears a piece of pineapple as she looks towards me, across a table groaning with freshly cooked food. Outside, the sounds of Havana’s streets ricochet from one crumbling balcony to another, caught in the billowing folds of hanging laundry. I smile, mentally preparing the phrases […]

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A Travel Update: My Plans This Summer

This week, I flicked back through my diary and realised that it’s almost been a full year since I arrived home in London after eighteen months spent travelling through my favourite continent. One year since South America?! It feels strange to think about myself back then. I didn’t feel particularly homely about my return; if anything, I was more unsettled […]

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On Urban Walks and Inspiration

Walking in a city is an interesting occupation. At every step there are groups of people to squeeze between, smears of dog mess to hopscotch around and stretched-out wads of dirty chewing gum to avoid. There are oddly shaped houses and the glinting metal of office blocks glinting in the sun, mysteriously scented street food […]

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El Camino de Santiago: I’m Walking ‘The Way’ Across Spain

Over Christmas, my friend announced that she’s planning to run the London marathon in April. She’s running for a cause important to both of us: her mum passed away from breast cancer three years ago, the same cancer that took my own mum. My first thought was extreme respect – running for 26 miles straight is no […]

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The Romanian Radiologist who Lives at the Top of the World

At the top of the world sits a little red house. There is a garden just outside the front door, fenced in by a wooden gate, which looks out across a valley of mountains covered in trees. In the house lives a radiologist. For seven days at a time, he spends his days shuffling from room […]

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Sexism and Machismo: the Attitude to Women in Latin America

Travelling as a woman will always open up avenues that are unavailable to men. Despite being foreigners and strangers, women often connect with local children, young mothers, and old ladies with an immediacy borne from an innate trust in our gender. We are invited into Indian wedding ceremonies and Thai family kitchens, and given privileges that a […]

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Danish Lessons in How to Ride a Bike

I’ve never been a fan of cycling. The last time I actually owned a bike I was aged about 13, and it sat in the garden growing rusty while I argued with my mum about how embarrassing it was going to be for me to wear a helmet if I attempted to cycle to school. […]

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