10 Tips For More Meaningful Travel

What’s the difference between a tourist and a traveller? And how can we have more meaningful travel experiences even while traveling for leisure?

Throughout my experiences of being a tourist, exchange student, international intern and expat, I have been reflecting constantly on these questions of identity, foreignness and the assumptions bound up in the practice and concept of travel. Continue reading 10 Tips For More Meaningful Travel

No chocolate fix at Sweet Addiction

Question: What does a $14 million state-of-the-art glasshouse and a $15 entry ticket to the new Sweet Addiction chocolate exhibition get you? Answer: Three cacao pods and two complimentary Lindt balls. Look, I know we’re latitudes away from chocolate’s South American origins, but when three pieces of cacao fruit are all you see in an exhibition pitched at chocolate lovers, you wonder if you’re getting your money’s worth. Unless … Continue reading No chocolate fix at Sweet Addiction

Carnaval Act II: Oruro-Tarija-La Paz

After Oruro, the roadtrip. Oruro to Potosí (Saturday) Making it from Oruro to Tarija in the one evening was wishful thinking. We get halfway, pulling into Potosi, a little before midnight. It’s Saturday night, but there’s no party and we can’t even get a local beer – so it’s a can of Paceña, then to bed. Potosí to … Tupiza? (Sunday) A beautiful, sunny day. … Continue reading Carnaval Act II: Oruro-Tarija-La Paz

Carnaval Act I: Oruro

4.30am. Get up after 5 hours of sleep. For some reason, it’s easier than dragging myself out of bed at 7am. 5.15am. Our tour bus leaves La Paz for Oruro. I get some sleep. 9am. We take our seats at the stands on Avenida 6 de agosto (aka Avenida Folclórica). Parade’s already begun, other stands are gradually filling up, sun is out. Partly what you’d expect … Continue reading Carnaval Act I: Oruro

Two words for Washington

If I could choose two words to describe Washington, D.C., they would be EMPIRE and EXTRAVAGANCE. Perhaps they are two words that historically have gone hand in hand: the latter both reinforces and is a projection (and perhaps a symptom) of the former. In twentieth century history and politics classes we often discussed the USA’s imperial character. All the monuments and memorials I saw in DC last week seemed … Continue reading Two words for Washington

Meeting Moscow

Moscow was hot and muggy when we landed. She was temperamental – at times overcast, at times sunny. She was vast, immense like Russia itself. She was full of metro stations, Italian restaurants, kebab outlets. She was completely Cyrillic and very little English. All in all she was quite pretty, really. We dragged our broken suitcase and four backpacks to Lux Apartments (a euphemism if ever I came across … Continue reading Meeting Moscow

Chile (31 de julio-5 de agosto)

Observations Santiago is a beautiful city. I didn’t think it’d be ugly, sure, but it’s flat, immense, with a river flowing through, and you can see the Andes rising up in the east even from the city centre. It’s also quite European in style and feel. Fantastic for exploring on foot. Chileans really like fast food. And they do a decent job of it. Hot … Continue reading Chile (31 de julio-5 de agosto)