Half a lifetime in debt: 18 years with my student loan
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Half a lifetime in debt: 18 years with my student loan

People call it the rat race, but it doesn’t feel like a race. No one’s competing to get ahead of each other, we’re just trying to stay afloat. It’s a hamster wheel, treading water, a treadmill – every year I put money back into my student loan, and every year the interest mounts. I put money into my “flat deposit” – yet at the end of the year I’m just as far from buying a home as I was at the beginning. Continue reading

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Five years on from Cuba – Why I wont go back
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Five years on from Cuba – Why I wont go back

Five years ago, over Easter 2012, I realised a long-held dream and flew to Cuba. The paradoxes were mind boggling. I had spent time in developing countries, in rural areas without electricity or running water. I’d visited subsistence farmers and township dwellers and tribal people living in mud huts. I knew what poverty looked like – and it didn’t usually have a framed Masters certificate on the wall and half a dozen letters after its name. Continue reading

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: new story published by Bradt
Community Tourism / Creative Writing / Ecuador / Latin America / Uncategorized

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: new story published by Bradt

“Where everyone knows your name” is now published by Bradt Travel Guides. The tale takes place in tiny Wimbí, an Afroecuadorian village along the farthest reaches of the Cayapa River, as it snakes its way through the Chocó rainforest. Separated from the Amazon by the Andes, the Chocó is remote, barely explored, and bloody hot. Continue reading

Colombia: trekking into the heartland of the Muisca
Colombia / Latin America / Uncategorized

Colombia: trekking into the heartland of the Muisca

It’s not every day that you get a tattoo while 3,000m up a mountain. My tattooist was a delightful little Colombian named Maruja, and her simple tools were plucked from the Andean mountainside, just as they had been for centuries: a plant, and a pinch of soil. This was no ordinary traveller’s tattoo: this was a Muisca tattoo Continue reading