Sunday postcard from… Oruro, Bolivia

Hello friend! I surely hope you’ve been better than me.

Oruro is a god-awful, no-good lousy town. I make up my mind as soon as I jump out of the bus and the poignant smell of piss and trash hit me, a cocktail so typical to third-world towns and bus stations but which I have so far successfully avoided in Bolivia. It’s close to midnight, my mouth hurts and I’m alone in a new city that looks like a suburb to a violent Wild West village. I stomp past a woman yelling for passengers to the bus to Cochabamba, my next destination, and I long to jump on it and leave behind the empty, dark streets of this useless town, but I’m in need of a nice sleep and a thorough toothbrushing session even more, so I trudge along. more “Sunday postcard from… Oruro, Bolivia”

Don’t Expect Travel to Solve All Your Problems

So you’ve packed your bags and quit your job. You’ve closed your phone plan and advised your friends and family that you might go days without contact with the freshest memes and news on terrorism while you’re on some far-away hike. You’ve filled your first aid-kit, bought a dozen tiny travel gimmicks that that one travel blog told you to get, and your tickets and itinerary are printed and in a see-through folder. more “Don’t Expect Travel to Solve All Your Problems”

Is Brazil Dangerous to Travel?

When my Plan A to go on a student exchange to Chile failed, I immediately jumped on a poorly-planned, impulse Plan B; I felt I needed to go to South America anyway, so I picked the only remaining option and chose a city in the south of Brazil. I got accepted and started to learn Portuguese with probably more enthusiasm than skill. And almost without fail, everybody who heard – my mum being the loudest – asked me:

‘Why are you going there? Isn’t Brazil dangerous?’ more “Is Brazil Dangerous to Travel?”

The Back-to-Black Blues

This time the Back-to-Black Blues has already hit me three days before starting my arduous journey home.

Saturday, August 26, 11.35 a.m. I’m shuffling towards a lagoon that is supposed to house some flamingos but which, frankly, looks as dull as a bathtub, in the middle of a group that’s a mixture of families with excited children and backpackers who look slightly disappointed that the tour has so far not been even close to what we all expected. more “The Back-to-Black Blues”

Sunday postcard from… Machu Picchu, Peru

Hello friend, how are you?

This postcard is going to reach you late. (Just blame the South American postal service and hope that it doesn’t take as long as it took for that care package mum sent me from Finland – I can’t believe I waited five months for a bloody cheese slicer.) Actually, I’ll probably arrive home before this card does. I’ve been doing the maths, adding up numbers like a diligent little first-grader since that is about the level of maths that has been required in order to complete my calculations. Let me just catch you up to speed: more “Sunday postcard from… Machu Picchu, Peru”