Falling in Love Isn’t Always Easy

If you’ve talked to me since I landed in Argentina, you might have heard the words “westernized,” “developed,” and even the occasional “disappointing.” While I’ve been told (and hate to admit) that I generally lean on the pessimistic side, I can’t help but frown at the English conversations, lack of surprises and level of comfort…

Hiking the Quilotoa Loop

Sigchos – Insinlivi – Chugchilan – Quilotoa Total distance: 21.5 miles Total ascent: 7,059 ft. Maximum elevation: 12,777 ft. My last week in Ecuador brought me new “adopted parents,” insight into new muscles, numerous daylong pets and a greater awareness into life in the Ecuadorian Andes. During my last few days on the coast, I…

Becoming More Than A Volunteer

I like to believe that things happen for a reason. There’s no mistaking that the unforeseen, unfortunate experience I had led to me this point—finding a loving family and a second home in Sinchal, Ecuador. In early November I needed to find another WorkAway (an opportunity to volunteer in exchange for room and board) fast….

A Weekend in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

I broke this weekend trip up into steps. I’m nearly 90% sure that staying at a Workaway for two weeks, with an American family, speaking English put me back in my comfortable little bubble—making it difficult to get back into the explorer mindset. But an internal conversation and a few texts from Mom later, I…

Ecuador: North to South

After crossing the border with Colombia, I’ve been working my way down south and am now in Vilcabamba—a short five hours from Peru. Each and every one of these cities deserves its own post, but here’s a culmination of my time in Ecuador thus far: Otavalo: I went straight to Otavalo after crossing the border….

The Reality of Traveling Solo

You see my filtered photos and read my stories. I’m experiencing new things every single day and seeing things people only dream of. I feel so grateful for this. But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s more than just surreal experiences and incredible landscapes. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. And it can be lonely. The…

Crossing the Colombia-Ecuador Border

Pasto – Ipiales – Rumichaca – STAMPS – Tulcan – Otavalo I started the journey across the border in Pasto. It’s 2.5 hours from the Colombia-Ecuador line and a good stopover so you can start the border crossing in the morning to avoid any nighttime transport. I was with a girl I met at the…

The Colombian Hostel Trail

Cartagena | Hostel Media Luna We found this through a number of blogs as the top place to stay in Cartagena due to its fun, lively culture, and figured we would start our first night in Colombia with a bang. Welcomed into an open courtyard with a pool, we stayed in a 6-person dorm and…

Exploring San Cipriano, Colombia

This tiny village close to the Pacific coast in Colombia is another world. Because I was somewhat tired of city life and wanted something more adventurous than concrete and street vendors in Medellin and Cali, I decided to head to the strongly Afro-influenced San Cipriano, which is an up-and-coming circuit on the Colombian backpacker trail….

Colombians: A 90 ft. View

I hate stereotypes and stigmas, but we all have them and they all exist. One of the things that I’m so excited to do during this trip is explore cultures and people in order to understand how they differ from cultures that I’ve experienced. While much of the following has been discussed with locals, other info I’ve…

Salento, Colombia: Palms, Coffee and Horses

We heard through the grapevine that Salento was the place to go. In the heart of coffee country, it’s a small town with access to hiking, the wax palm valley and multiple coffee farms ready for backpackers to explore. We made our way from Cali via a five hour bus to Armenia and then hoped…

24 Hours in Tayrona National Park

There are a few options when it comes to getting to Tayrona via Taganga. And there are a host of things to take into account when visiting the national park on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. One is via boat. You’ll get quite the shoutouts on the main drag in Taganga. “Tayrona, Cabo San Juan,…