Colombia Doesn’t Deserve Its Negative Reputation

By | 2017-10-19T17:52:59+00:00 October 19th, 2017|travel inspiration|

I never officially planned to travel to Colombia. After my study program in Buenos Aires, I had a 6 week window before my flight home from Santiago, Chile. My initial plan was to travel down the length of Argentina and up Chilean Patagonia. On a whim, I instead bought a one way ticket to Bogotá. Despite its negative reputation, something about Colombia has always appealed to my imagination and sense of adventure. Most Australians only know about Colombia because of what they’ve seen on Narcos. Consequently, it has a negative reputation of a country still run by cartels, with cocaine [...]

Why You Should Visit ex-ESMA to Understand Argentina’s History

By | 2017-08-16T15:15:37+00:00 August 16th, 2017|ethical travel|

When we travel, we seek vibrant new experiences that enrich our understanding of the world and of ourselves. However, I think it’s fair to say that most travellers are seeking out tourist sites of a positive nature. Waterfalls, iconic architecture, natural beauty, and street art are highlights of many locations around the world. However, to visit only positive tourist sites does a disservice to a country by not acknowledging history that has shaped it. I knew little to nothing of the history of Argentina before studying there on my political science study tour with AIM Overseas. Learning about the period [...]

5 Times I Was Genuinely Terrified While Travelling

By | 2017-08-04T15:31:50+00:00 August 4th, 2017|mental health|

I know that I’ve written a lot about how the media portrays certain regions of the world, like South America, in a negative light, and how inaccurate this is. I like to write about how the world is accessible and full of life lessons for the solo traveller, and that most places are no more dangerous than your hometown. I don’t want to suggest that travelling is mostly dangerous or that bad things will happen to you if you venture outside of your country. However, there have been several times when I was genuinely terrified while travelling. I’ve made a [...]

Top 5 Attractions in Cartagena

By | 2017-07-28T23:48:43+00:00 July 25th, 2017|travel inspiration|

The old colonial port city of Cartagena, Colombia, lies lazy and lethargic under a heavy blanket of pervasive Caribbean humidity. Long, labyrinthine alleyways wind between grand, multi-storey buildings coated in ivy leaves and perfumed flowers stretched across their brightly coloured faces and iron-wrought balconies. To explore in Cartagena is to brave the sweltering heat and to be rewarded with colourful streets brimming with local vendors, restaurants hidden behind shop fronts, and tiny squares surrounded by colonial architecture. These are the best sights that the city has to offer. Palacio de la Inquisición The Palace of the Inquisition is the former [...]

5 Misconceptions About Travel in South America

By | 2017-07-21T14:45:36+00:00 June 30th, 2017|travel inspiration|

Many of my friends and family were terrified when I said that I was travelling alone to South America for ten weeks. The media is full of so many negative misconceptions about the continent, which mainly focus on drug-fuelled violence, political instability, and crippling poverty. With the popularity of TV shows like Narcos, which follows the life story of the cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, many Australians’s view of the region is related to drugs and violence. This is coupled with the fact that South America is on the complete opposite side of the world to Australia and often overshadowed by [...]

5 Reasons to Leave the Gringo Trail in Boyacá, Colombia

By | 2017-08-22T15:50:19+00:00 June 9th, 2017|travel inspiration|

I’m a self-confessed gringa. I carried a Lonely Planet for the entirety of my travels through Colombia, and consulted it for recommended locations, hostels and restaurants. Of course, I liked to randomly wander and find my own places to enjoy, but I always had the trusty guidebook in my bag just in case. A group of men yelled gringa at me for the first time in Sogamoso, Colombia. Not out of spite or anger, but pure surprise. Locals are so unused to seeing foreigners, let alone young foreign women, that every person openly stared at me on the street. I turned heads [...]

Reclaiming Community Spaces in Medellín, Colombia

By | 2017-08-22T15:48:26+00:00 June 5th, 2017|travel inspiration|

During the 1980’s, Medellín was the murder capital of the world. In this post, I talk briefly about the conditions during the city in this time and the terrorist acts committed under the orders of the drug lord Pablo Escobar. No traveller in the world would have considered Colombia to be a place that they wanted to travel, let alone the crime hotspot of Medellín. Today, Medellín is a traveller’s favourite and highly recommended by every person in Colombia that I came across. Colombia itself is truly making its mark on the well-trodden backpacker route around South America and is [...]

The Ethics of Consuming Cocaine in South America

By | 2017-07-21T14:42:05+00:00 June 1st, 2017|ethical travel|

They don’t say the name Pablo Escobar in Medellín. He is simply referred to as ‘the most famous criminal in the world’. Everyone in Medellín has family or friends who were killed in the terrorist attacks that plagued the city under Escobar’s orders. I was on an educational tour about Pablo Escobar when the driver pointed to a mall and simply said, “My childhood friend died from one of his bombs there”. A large proportion of the city’s population seems to be suffering from PTSD, which can be seen in the avoidance of speaking Escobar’s name or anything about him. [...]