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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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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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Being Naked and Being Human

It started in Oslo, on a muggy summer Sunday with a hint of rain in the air. After two weeks on board an expedition ship I was relishing the chance to be walking around outside, with an entire day at my disposal to explore a city I didn’t yet know. Oslo has a fantastic amount of […]

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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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Women Only: Inside a Moroccan Hammam

On the afternoon of International Women’s Day, I sat on a tiled Moroccan floor in a thick cloud of steam, my bare limbs slippery and wet. An aged woman with an expression of intent concentration sat with her legs outstretched; my body placed firmly in between them, her practiced fingertips vigorously massaging black soap into […]

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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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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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Thailand cockroach insect

My Search for a Wax in Chiang Mai

“Look at your legs!” The impeccably dressed Thai woman looked up at me with sheer incredulity. She had her hand up my trousers, which were pretty damp around the cuffs. Cheers, rain. Outside, the bedraggled tourists shuffled past in flip flops and oversized see-through plastic poncho macs, slowly getting soaked by the downpour. The Chiang […]

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A Village Matriarch

One day, we go to visit Grandma. Grandma is 98, small as a child, and sits on a woven daybed covered by a tin roof, knees pulled up to her chest. She is Nong’s mother’s mother; a farmer her whole life, who raised seven daughters in this village. I realise how easy it is for […]

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A Little Village Wedding

When I casually composed a bucket list for my travels through India, my favourite and most ambitious hope by far was to attend an Indian wedding. But I didn’t just want to poke my head round the door of a stranger’s matrimonials; in my heart of hearts, I lusted after a personal invitation, and all […]

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