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The Spanish Challenge: a Surprise Return to Paracas, Peru

Men scurry along either side of the barrier which divides the congested highway in two. They carry paper-covered boxes of snacks to sell to car drivers through their windows: small biscuits, wafers, hot peanuts. Boys with stacks of newspapers pass women wearing tracksuits and pushing supermarket trolleys, who yawn as they delve inside their bumbags filled with loose change. The […]

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So You Want to Volunteer in South America?

“I’m going to teach English in Ecuador!” This gleeful announcement was made to my dad in the summer of 2013, just three days after I’d flown back home to London from South East Asia. Still in the travelling mindset, I was already plotting my next volunteer move. Although it may sound like a spontaneous decision, the […]

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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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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 […]

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Don Elias and the Coffee Culture of Colombia

I've been battling an obsession with coffee for a long time. Despite adoring the taste, the caffeine buzz, and the resulting burst of productivity, coffee also makes my skin break out, gives me the shakes occasionally, and sometimes causes a buzz that's a bit too much for me to handle. So after a few too […]

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Meeting the Kogi Tribe of Palomino… Almost

We were trundling down Colombia’s main coastal highway in a local bus, fresh from Tayrona Park and on our way to Palomino, when I saw them. Two boys dressed head to toe in white, standing solemnly, their bare feet curling in the dirt. Brothers perhaps; definitely together, members of the same community. The bus moved […]

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The Dark Side of the Galapagos

The Galápagos Islands are infamous for their scenery and wildlife. They’re a dream destination for thousands of people around the world who crave the crystal clear waters, the multitudes of colourful fish, the diving and snorkelling opportunities, the bizarre plethora of confident sealions and skittering iguanas, and the chance to sit back and relax on […]

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That Time My Neighbour Had a Threesome in Front of Me

I woke up to a huge breast in my face. I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at to begin with, but as my eyes focused slightly and I had flashes of what had happened the night before, things got clearer. Definitely a breast. Above it, a woman was sleeping peacefully. I was looking […]

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The Spanish Challenge: Being a Journalist in Colombia

Coming to Medellin was always supposed to be the final push on my Spanish skill levels. I would live and work in the Colombian city for four months, emerging with not just a introduction to journalism under my belt, but also with an easy fluency in the Spanish language and a legacy of Colombian friends […]

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Parque Tayrona: a High Price for Paradise

There’s a place on the Colombian coast that is spoken about with reverence. Tayrona National Park is widely considered to be one of the country’s must-see locations; a huge stretch of protected land comprised of a unique mix of sand, sea, mountain and rainforest, with huge boulders littering empty stretches of beach and tall palm […]

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