Top menu

Archive | Central and South America

Returning to Nicaragua

I first went to Nicaragua in 2012, as part of my backpacking adventure through Central America. Through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama, Nicaragua ended up being my favourite country in that part of the world. It’s hard sometimes to describe exactly what it was about the country that I loved so much; if I say that it was the colonial architecture, the stunning landscapes, the friendly people, or the fun parties, I could be describing any of the other countries, too. Much like finding a soulmate, we often can’t explain what it is that causes us to fall in love. It’s that magic spark.

When my mum surprised me with a Christmas trip to Nicaragua a few months ago, I was overjoyed. Not only would it mean spending the holidays with my family, a rare treat, I also got to revisit one of my favourite countries. I expected to love it just as much as I had the first time.

Continue Reading 25

2014: A Year in Review

This time last year, I could have never predicted where I’d be at this exact moment: sitting on the patio of my family’s rented casa in Nicaragua, a spiced rum and coke beside me, the sun dipping low in the sky before it sinks past the ocean’s horizon and out of sight. I thought that 2013 wasn’t a very big year for me, but it was; it was one of transition, of finally moving to London. 2014 started off slow, with almost no plans – soon it grew into a year of travel, a year of accomplishments, and a year of maturing (both in numbers and in mindset). Here’s a little review of the past year.

Be warned: there are lots of photos!

Continue Reading 30

Around the World: Bicycles

I sometimes set strange goals for myself when I travel. One of them is to go on a boat in every country I visit; another is to ride a bicycle in every country I visit. It hasn’t always been the case, but there’s something about riding a bike through a new place that can’t be beat: the bumps in the road, the sights whizzing by, the wind in your hair.

Continue Reading 11

Things To Do in Medellín

Medellín has had a terrible reputation in the past – due to the drug cartel led by the infamous Pablo Escobar, it was once dubbed the most dangerous city in the world. Thousands of innocent civilians died in the 1980s and 1990s due to the business of cocaine. After Escobar’s death in 1993, however, the city started to get back on its feet, and over the past two decades there have been humongous changes. It is not a city totally devoid of crime, but crime rates have fallen in huge numbers, and I for one felt safe in its streets.

Now, as the second biggest city in Colombia, it is a city of beauty and culture; surrounded by mountains, it offered us blue skies and green landscapes. Although we only had a few days there, we filled our days with as much as Medellín could offer. There are many things to do in Medellín, but here are just a few of the things we enjoyed.

Continue Reading 13

Places I’ve Sworn I’d “Leave Tomorrow”

The way I’ve travelled has evolved over the years. In the beginning, when I first strapped my backpack to my back and took off around Europe, I moved quickly, barely getting to know one city before hopping on a train to the next. While sometimes that is the most efficient way to see a lot in a short period of time, I don’t like to travel that way anymore. I prefer, at the minimum, a few days in each place, and to visit at least a few places per country. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way – I recently only had time for four days in Italy, for example – but, in an ideal world, I would be able to travel slowly. Over the years of adapting a slower style of travelling, then, there have been a few places that have just completely captivated me, or, perhaps, captured me.

Continue Reading 26

Cuban Rainbow

There are some places in the world that are defined by their colours, or their lack of colours. The city of Cairo, for example, remains muted and dusty in my mind, its smells and sounds the predominant senses. Havana, on the other hand, was bursting with colour: fruit spilling out of cartons, graffitied walls, outfits of the brightest oranges and yellows and reds, and, of course, the cars. I couldn’t stop taking photos of it.

Continue Reading 11

That Time We Went to San Agustín, Colombia

One month later, after a fabulous journey that lead us from Cartagena to Santa Marta, Taganga, Tayrona, Medellín, Guatapé, Salento, Cali, Popayán, and Silvia, our appetite for Colombia was not quite satisfied. One of us read something, or heard something, or saw something: how the seed was actually planted to visit San Agustín, I can’t remember. Somehow, however, we decided to leave our heavy packs in our beloved Popayán and travel for a few days to the centre of the country, to the place of the ancient megaliths: San Agustín, Colombia.

Continue Reading 24

Finding Footing in Paraty

The sun was shy during my stay in Paraty. One moment it would come out, round and inviting, turning the waves blue and the sand yellow. Just as your skin would warm, it would retreat, the ocean turning a black snarling thing again, the sand gritty and brown. Still I liked this place a lot, liked its charm and its maze of cobbled roads. I found a group of backpackers I had met in Rio and we sat on the beach come rain or shine. We drank sweating cans of beer and threw our barbecue scraps to the stray dogs who’d scratch and whine, driven crazy by the wafts of meat.

Continue Reading 32

A Mysterious World: Scuba Diving in the Galapagos

One hand is over my face, sprawled across my mouth and nose to hold my mask and regulator in their places. The other hand is at my waist, gripping my weight belt. I feel that familiar sensation in my stomach, the ambiguous churning that could be excitement or fear. My breathing is already rhythmic, meditative, the heavy rasps of the regulator audible over the waves lapping against the boat.

“Go when I say go, and have a wonderful dive,” the divemaster singsongs. “One, two, three, go!”

Continue Reading 42