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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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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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In Pursuit of Storytelling

“The day the compass spun…” Eleanor’s eyes were bright, her knife and fork abandoned at either side of her china plate. “It was when we skied along that frozen river – Bob, you remember?” They’d been hiking in Iceland, some hours away from Reykjavik, taking care to always keep their hire car in sight: winter had heralded a virtual […]

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I’m Going to the Arctic Circle!

This week, my laptop died. I was mid-sentence at the time, hovering over which new Spotify playlist to accompany writing a chapter about Peru when suddenly my screen went black. No amount of frantic clicking would wake it up again. But while I panicked, half-sobbing on my orange fluffy carpet (evidently I was too distraught to […]

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My Quiet London Love Affair

“Shall we walk home through the city?” Beverley and I had been out for lunch on a sunny Sunday in London’s Southbank, treating ourselves to burgers and beers beside a window that curious tourists kept peering into. After wiping up the last of the ketchup with our remaining sweet potato fries we headed outside to […]

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Thoughts From the Window Seat

It’s finally springtime in London. Joggers and dog walkers are multiplying; people walk down the pavement with sunglasses and smiling faces. This morning I am sitting at a desk in the new house I recently moved to, with the green spines of my flatmate’s aloe vera plant snaking towards my laptop screen. I am writing – more […]

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A Whirlwind 24 Hours with Ten Italians in Medieval Tuscany

“The coffee is different in Campania…” Marianna winces slightly as she sips her espresso. I’m sitting around a cluster of narrow wooden tables with a group of Italians, all who hail from different regions of Italy – and all of whom seem very concentrated on the coffee cups in front of them. They’ve spent the […]

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