When does a walk become a hike? When does a hike become a trek? Is a hike or a trek bigger? Is hiking just walking off-road? How pretentious do you have to be to call it hiking and buy a headlamp and walking sticks and then tell everybody you’re going hiking?
still don’t miss this stuff, but would happily endure it again
I have just spent the best part of 12 months in Latin America. From Mexico down to Argentina, across to Chile and up again. I wouldn’t trade this time for anything, and given the time and resources would gladly do it again. I left regretting so much that I was leaving behind. The endless Argentine nights; Venezuela’s daily head-scratching anomalies; the amiable people of Chile; Mexico’s 24-hour tequila consumption and the unique ability to breakout into a party, parade, protest or riot at a moments notice, complete with music, dancing and fireworks. These are a few of the features I will miss.
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has it been 3 years already?
I should have said yes to the ear plugs. It had been a few years since the one and only time I’d fired a gun. Now the ringing in my ears reminded me the blast is a lot louder than on TV. I even forgot where I’d put my beer down as I struggled to regain my equilibrium. Safety first, I’d been told, always put your beer down when you’re handling a weapon. It was time to stop for a moment anyway, I had fired way high and possibly into a distant highway.
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Cancun is disgusting. It is America’s prostitute. Its high rise hotels and nightclubs is a smearing of make-up on a once naturally beautiful face. Americans fly in: they throw money at it; use it; and leave, giving it just enough time to reapply some lipstick and spread its legs for the next wave of cashed-up tourists.
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I am fully aware that every time I quit my job, pack my bag and buy a plane ticket somewhere it is absolutely, solely, my decision. I am not forced into it and should have no complaints regarding any of the bi-products inherent in this selfish act of fulfillment. But this doesn’t mean I can’t find them slightly irritating and gripe and moan like a victim every once in a while. There are a few annoyances that stand out, particularly doing the backpacker circuit and having to live consistently in close quarters with other stingy, tired tourists often pretending to be polite to each other. These are six of them.
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I had to re-evaluate my decision to volunteer in the Venezuelan jungle as I dragged half a tree through deep swamp, the bark scratching against my sweaty, dirty, shirtless skin and providing a bridge for some of the region’s more rare and interesting insects to cross onto my body and interact with the mosquitoes already there, unable to be swatted away due to the weight of the wood I was painstakingly trying to keep up. All this for firewood.
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spreading the word
To my friends who live outside of Turkey:
I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because at the time of my writing most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.
Last week of May 2013 a group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and yoga students. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least…
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