New York is one of those destinations you feel like you’ve visited before. The Statue of Liberty, Madison Square Garden, Central Park, Carrie Bradshaw’s ridiculously beautiful rent-controlled brownstone – tick, tick, tick, tick. New York lives in our heads from the moment we’re old enough to switch on a television.
You have to picture Europe as one giant bowl of ratatouille: there’s a bit of everything in there, it’s delicious and surprising, but it can be tricky to know where to begin. Do you pack as many flavours into a two-week trip as possible, or spend 12 days carefully peeling back the layers of a single onion, er, country? It all comes back to time: how much of it you have and where you like to spend it.
After hibernating through a long, dark winter, spring and summer are the seasons in which Europe reanimates. Alfresco diners begin to colonise old cobbled lanes, vineyards burst into life, Spanish grandpas siesta under olive trees and white-sailed yachts start their dance across the blue waters of the Aegean Sea.
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As expected, my Classic Peru trip with Intrepid was a phenomenal mix of culture – including Lima, the food mecca of Latin America; Cuzco, the ancient Inka capital of South America; and the islands of Lake Titicaca, which seemed to me a blast from the past as they really have not adopted much of our modern world.
Some of my favorite stops along the way included:
After five years of sprints, squats and step curls – give or take a few weeks on travels when there hasn’t been a group cycle class to jump in on – a fellow fitness enthusiast recently asked me “Why do you exercise?”
Honestly, I had never contemplated this question before. In five whole years I had not thought about why I put my body through rigorous lobster-face inducing workouts. As we were lying in our dormitory on an adventure through Western Australia, I had to really contemplate my answer. Was it because I loved the freedom of wearing crazy neon vest tops and printed leggings? Was it the weight loss? Was it because of the endorphins? Was it because I suddenly had a whole new group of friends who were all as mad about exercise as me? Or was it the competition with myself?
If you love trying new things, then you’ll definitely want to get your teeth into hormigas culonas. This literally translates to ‘ants with a large arse’ but don’t let that put you off!
To try this special snack you will have to go to South America and arrive in Colombia, a country famous for its rare fauna and flora, and maybe its ants.
When an endearing child with big wide eyes implores you to buy the shell necklace her mother made; when a friendly man in a funky bar wants you to join in the local ‘tradition’ of knocking back a shot of snake wine; or when the market stalls have an abundance of very attractive tortoise shell bracelets, hair combs and spectacle frames for sale…what do you do?