Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I was delighted recently to be tweeted by @Simply_Nomadic to say that they would like to nominate me for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award! This was such a nice surprise, and it’s great to be given something with a name that describes what this blog is all about – ‘sisterhood of the world’ makes me think of all the other brilliant solo female travellers I have met while on the road and how we look out for each other. I started this blog to connect with more travellers and try to inspire other women who might want to take the plunge and travel alone for the first time or those who just generally want some inspiration for their current trip and so ‘sisterhood’ feels very apt. But on a more individual level, it’s just great to know that two other excellent travellers have read and enjoyed the blog – I’m so pleased about that. So – thank you very much for the nomination.

The rules of this award are to answer 10 questions set by Petra and Veru from Simply Nomadic Life and nominate other female travel bloggers and ask them 10 new questions. Here are my answers…

1) Who has been the most interesting traveller you have met on your journeys?

This question has really made me think and remember all the incredible people I’ve met. I learn so much from people on the road – about life, love, the world, how to cook on one hob, how to survive food poisoning on a long bus journey…. just so many life-changing lessons! Some of those lessons really stay with me and I use them all the time to feel happier in life.  I even once met a guy who was on a season of Survivor – something I’d never watched, but he was somewhat eccentric and taught me how to cure Giardia without anti-biotics amongst other natural remedies. There’s no way of choosing one person that is the most interesting – the travelling experience is just full of new people and knowledge. (Sorry – bit of a cop-out answer!)

Too many brilliant people to narrow it down to one.


2) If you could take just one book for your travels,  which one would you pick up?

At home, I don’t love the idea of Kindles as I really like the feel of a real paper page. However, I’m so relieved I can take lots of books with me travelling via these devices as I can’t decide what I’ll feel like reading when I’m there. A great book I’m reading now though that I would take with me if I was visiting South America again is: Viva South America – Oliver Balch. I’m really enjoying this book as a fascinating bit of background and extra information about some of the countries I’ve been to – so I’d recommend this to anyone going/ returning.

3) What three items would you take with you if you went to a jungle for a month?

I went to the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador for a week and am thinking that if I was there for a month I’d take the following…

  • Deet/ mossy net – obvious reasons and just don’t want bites to ruin my fun
  • Waterproof/ Poncho – it spontaneously rained quite a bit in the jungle – my poncho was a life-saver… but careful of tarantulas getting stuck in the hood! (This happened to a girl I was with! Terrifying tarantula down her back moment!!).
  • Camera – this should probably be top of the list. Can’t go anywhere without my camera.
Amazon Jungle
The Amazon jungle in Ecuador. Views like I’d never seen before.I’d love to go for a month!!
Jungle Sunset
Jungle sunset


4) In which country have you met the most friendliest people?

People were friendly pretty much everywhere I went in Latin America. In particular El Salvador surprised me with how friendly the people were. It’s got a pretty bad reputation with the gang problem, but the rest of the people were just so helpful and welcoming that I really fell for the place. Initially I went for 4 days, just to try some surfing there, but I ended up returning and stayed for a couple of months – mostly in Santa Tecla. The people I met by the beach were so friendly in my first few days and they said I should come back and see more of their country…  so I just couldn’t resist.

Making tortillas
Making tortillas with a family I met through my friends in El Salvador. I was so bad at it!


5) Is there any place in the world that you are coming back to once a while?

There are so many places to see in this world that generally, I don’t think I will have the time to return to places once I’ve been even if I wanted to as I’ll always want to see more places. However, Ecuador has captured my heart a bit and I think I will find it hard not to return. There is still so much that I didn’t see on my first trip.

Sir David Attenborough got a bit addicted to the Galapagos, and I can see why! I think I’ll have to go back there when I can save enough money. There is still incredible wildlife on the islands that I didn’t get to see the first time round.

Galapagos Lizard beach
Marine Iguana on the beach, Galapagos Islands
Me and a sealion
I can’t resist going back to a place where sea-lions come and hang out with you while your camping on a beach!
Sealion family
Sea-lion family hanging out. Puerto Chino beach, San Cristobal island.

I would like to see more of Bolivia too…Oh and a little closer to home – I love the islands in Greece.  I lived there when I was 19 and have returned to quite a few different islands since. I’ll definitely go back again one day.

6) What has been the most delicious food that you have eaten so far and where?

Although Central and South America have my heart when it comes to travelling – they don’t really have the most delicious foods. I loved the pupusas of El Salvador and the fried plantain and Arepas of Colombia, but for the most delicious food ever eaten so far, I have to head to another continent.

I went a little bit pupusa loca in El Salvador. Not healthy, but very yummy!

I think my favourite food so far has been in Morrocco. I love all the hummus and veggy Tagine, full of yummy spices.

The frenetic markets of Marrakech serving up a variety of delicious delights for my tummy

I’ve got very high hopes for good food in my upcoming trip to Vietnam too – so watch this space…

7) How many languages do you speak? Do you enjoy learning new languages while travelling?

I spent almost all of 2014 learning Spanish in various countries in Latin America and I loved it. The Spanish is a little bit different in every country, so it was quite challenging to master as I travelled around and may have been better to stay in one place for a bit, but I was quite good by the end. In my experience, the top places to learn were Guatemala – it’s really affordable there if you’re on a budget and Ecuador – it’s really clear Spanish there, so easier to understand what people are saying to you. I also went to a really good school in Dominical, Costa Rica.

Walking to school, past coffee trees and chicken in San Pedro, Guatemala.


I’m an advocate for learning a language while travelling as it really enhances the experience. There is nothing better than being able to have a chat and learn about the area with a local in their own language. People really appreciate that and it feels good to be able to do so

Studying with a beer and a cat
Studying spanish with a beer and a cat – Guatemala style.


So I guess I speak two languages now – English and Spanish. But trying to learn a bit of Vietnamese for the next trip and hoping I can speak Italian one day too as it’s a beautiful language.

8) What has been the most interesting animal that you have seen and where?

Ahhh – another really difficult one. Anyone who knows me, knows how animal obsessed I am. Define interesting! 😉 I’m going to go for the Galapagos tortoise. It’s got an incredible history and happily they are starting to raise their numbers again. They can now sit happily in a mud pit all day and munch on a few leaves, without the threat of a human.

Tortoises history in relation to humans is quite harrowing and the reason for 3 types becoming extinct. In the past seamen realised that the meat of these enormous creatures could feed them on a trip. And then tortoises began to be used for their oil, which was used to light lamps in Quito. This happened for more than 200 years and between 100,000 to 200,000 tortoises were killed. Hard to believe anyone could do this when looking at them – so cute.
Tortoise in the trees
Conservancy of the tortoises is now a great importance in galapagos and as a tourist is possible to see tortoises in several places and learn a bit more about them. You can see tortoises of all ages in the sanctuaries and the aim is to get them back out into the wild. Here’s one who was hiding in the bushes in San Cristobal at the Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado. Definitely worth a visit. I met a volunteer there who had been travelling, and then just couldn’t leave so ended up staying for 2 months. I’m not surprised!
Tortoise face in mud
Apparently tortoises spend about 16 hours a day resting. They like nothing more than finding a nice muddy puddle to wallow in and this fellow was having a whale of a time.
Me and a tortoise
My first extremely exciting encounter with a galapagos tortoise in the wild. This lovely guy was at Reserva El Chato on Santa Cruz Island. It was the first thing I did on arrival and I instantly knew I was going to love these islands!


9) What beach have you liked the most?

I’ve discovered that this is an impossible question!! I’ve been trying to write a blog post about my favourite beaches, but there are just so many and it depends what I want to do on the beach (sun bathe? Surfing? Swimming? etc etc) Anyway, instead of avoiding the question, I’m going to just tell you about one of my many top beaches that is very awesome and it is… Parque Nacional Tayrona in Colombia. It’s like Caribbean paradise, inside a jungle full of monkeys and multi-coloured crabs and lizards amongst other things – so it has all of my favourite things in the same place. I slept in a hammock and ate chocolate bread and Arepas every day as well, and I never wanted to leave. You can read more about  my time there here. But here are some pics…

White sand, blue sea, barely any people. It’s a paradise.
The multi-coloured lizards made me so happy. They filled the jungle with bright blues, greens and reds.
This view. Every morning. Heaven
Another beautiful green lizard hanging on the beach and about to scuttle away.


10) Have you ever hitchhiked during your travels, where and what has been your experience?

I don’t really hitch-hike at all during my travels – I mostly travel alone and in the places I have been it hasn’t felt safe to do so. That said, when I was in Puerto Lopez in Ecuador, we decided to take the bus to Playa de Los Frailes. The beach is a few kilometres and it’s possible to walk  but the sun was scorching and we were tired… So, myself and a girl I’d met in the dorm decided to at least try and hitch. She was a very beautiful german lady, and it didn’t take long for 3 men to pick us up. They were 3 Ecuadoran holiday makers in their 60s and 70s and fell instantly in love with my blonde friend speaking her excellent Spanish and they insisted on having their photos taken with us. So the one time I did hitch, I’d say it was a great experience.

Beach ecuador
Playa de Los Frailes. Worth the journey. Another paradise.


Thank you again for the nomination Veru & Petra

My nominations and questions are coming very soon…

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