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The Salcantay Trek: Why I Closed my Eyes at Machu Picchu

This is the final installment of a three part series about my trek to Machu Picchu. Read the first and second installments here! The Incas were blessed with ridiculously small feet. I know this for absolute certain because, while mine are a modest UK size 5.5, I still spent the majority of my time at […]

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The Salcantay Trek: What to Do When a Crazed Horse Breaks Your Collarbone

This is the second installment of a three-part series about my trek to Machu Picchu. Read the first installment and the third installment here! The paths that wind downwards through the mountains on the second day of the Salkantay trek are narrow, twisting and peppered with rocks. But after a relaxing lunch, the views and […]

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The Salcantay Trek: Riding a Horse with Altitude Sickness

This is the first installment of a three-part series about my trek to Machu Picchu. Read the second installment and the third installment here! “Obviously I’m not happy you’re sick, but I’m really glad you’re riding on the horses too. I don’t feel comfortable around them and I think they can sense it…” Me and […]

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Crossing the Ecuador-Peru Border on Foot: the Longest 100km of My Life

How to leave Ecuador and barely enter Peru I looked out, bleary eyed, from the folds of sarong wrapped around my head. I’d spent the last half hour trying to fall asleep, but the combination of the Pan-American Highway’s ever present road bumps and a bus with zero suspension were doing their utmost to stop […]

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Cuenca to Cusco and Back Again: the Pitfalls of Planning a Trip to Peru

I stood in the small office, studiously trying to avoid the unflinching gaze of a prostrate Jesus. Under his crucified frame, a nun was peering at a computer screen, clicking idly through her Facebook page. “So…is it ok if I go to Peru next week?” I shifted uncomfortably as the nun looked me up and […]

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Citizens of the World: A Manifesto

“Excuse me.” A middle aged woman passing our table stopped for a moment. She looked down her heavily made-up nose at us haughtily; a group of English girls in an Ecuadorian coffee shop on a weekday evening, eagerly discussing our travelling plans for the next few months. Clearly the concept was not at all appealing […]

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The Spanish Challenge: Giving Up English for Lent

One of my major reasons for moving to Ecuador was to learn Spanish properly. I’ve tried learning languages before, and it’s never gone too well, despite my best efforts to the contrary. Years of primary school French resulted solely in a haphazardly memorised version of Frere Jaques; Italian GCSE threw me at the last hurdle […]

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Happy, Safe and Solo: Travelling in India by Yourself

When I told my dad that I was going to India by myself, his face fell. No matter that my cousin had travelled for a year through the country on her own; no matter, too, that I’d been travelling solo on various trips for the last six years. No: in his opinion, India was something else […]

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Am I Incapable of Learning Spanish?

The more I travel, the more I feel the need to learn the language basics of the country I’m in. Getting to grips with ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’, ‘what’s your name’ and ‘how are you?’, and the all important ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is simply common courtesy, and everything else you pick up is a bonus. But ever since […]

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Skydive coast Diani beach Mombasa Kenya

A Fear of Flying

This morning, I’m making my way to Gatwick, an airport I’ve frequented many times. I’m off to catch a flight to Morocco, on what will be my twentieth airborne journey this year alone. But I’ve got a confession to make. Every time I board a plane, I make my peace with dying. Like most people who are a […]

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