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The Wandering Dropout

After trying really hard to find something useful to be good at, it looks like my calling in life is to travel and eat

Throwback: Christchurch Botanic Gardens in Spring

The Botanic Gardens in Christchurch are world-renowned, and for good reason.

Since they were only a few minutes from my front door when I lived there, I headed over every couple of days to soak up some sunshine or enjoy a peaceful bit of time with my book or my bae. 

I loved how the gardens were bursting into life in an explosion of colour over the spring and summer that I spent exploring them.

So this post it just a bit of a throwback to that happy time – almost a year ago – with some pics of the gardens in spring-time:

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Introducing.. the lulo

Lulo is gross if you try and eat it like an apple – sour and a bit bitter.

Whizz it up in a blender with lots of sugar and ice, though, and it becomes the most refreshingly zingy drink you’ve ever tried.

Also going by the name naranjilla (little orange) in Ecuador, it seems to be one of those fruits that doesn’t really exist in the English language or English-speaking-world.

So if you’re somewhere that sells ‘jugo de lulo’ I would aprovechar (make the most of) it while you can!!

Introducing.. the pitaya

Ooh yes, I’ve got more crazy Colombian fruits for you. 

The pitaya – originally found over here in South America and taken to Asia by missionaries, where it is commonly known as dragonfruit – is a deliciously refreshing, sweet fruit perfect for slicing up and chucking in fruit salads.

The seeds supposedly have quite a strong laxative effect so you’re supposed to swallow rather than chew them.. you’ve been warned!

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The outside explains the English name ‘dragonfruit’

Come Teach With Me?

 

Many people on here talk about wanting to travel more long-term and really get to know somewhere.. To live abroad and have the chance to explore a new country.

A country with the most public holidays in the world..

Well here’s an idea!

I’m currently working as an English Teaching Fellow (essentially like an English assistant / co-teacher) on a Colombian government-run programme – and they’re recruiting for more people interested in starting either in January or on 10th September.

It’s decently paid, especially for South America where paid English teaching is more difficult to find, very well supported, and experience teaching English is appreciated but not absolutely necessary so it could be a good first experience for people.

So.. why not apply? It’s an incredible experience. Really tough at times, but so rewarding when you see something click behind eyes that have never believed that they might actually understand English.

Oh, and you’d be in Colombia, meaning that spending the infinite long weekends drinking piña coladas on tropical beaches, climbing mountains, tubing down rivers, or relaxing in hot springs is very much doable🙂

I’ll leave you with some photos of things I’ve got up to while here:

Please feel free to message me for more personal insights and any advice! 

* A sneaky request: if you put me as the person who referred you (Maija Sequeira) then I get brownie points, which would be great as I want to work with them next year!

Watching Brexit From Abroad

Apart from the obvious reactions of horror and shock, the thing that has struck me most in the aftermath of Brexit is that I’ve only met one Brit (in fact, just one person) who is even vaguely sympathetic to Brexiters.

Being pretty far away from the UK, I’m only really exposed to a certain type of person of UK origin: those who love to travel, are exposed to and at least vaguely understand the beauty of other cultures. Those who see the EU as a solidifying force, albeit one they probably don’t entirely understand. 

In the past month-ish I’ve met hundreds of people who are genuinely heartbroken at the thought of what ‘we’ have chosen. The majority have talked – with varying degrees of seriousness – about reclaiming lost Irish/French/insert other EU country here heritage, or marrying into the EU, in order to continue to travel, to work, and to belong. 

But that potential personal reclaiming of EU-ness doesn’t quite take away the hurt.

I have Finnish citizenship. I can easily get a Finnish passport (my UK one only has 1 free page for stamps anyway so it’s pretty much fate..). But that doesn’t take away the fact that I am a Brit. 

And that every time I head back home, I now have to do so in the knowledge that over 50% of voters essentially voted against having people like my family in the UK.

I’m a born Londoner. I love the UK and it’s people, it’s all I’ve ever known as home. But I’m also about 0% British in terms of my blood. 

Where does Brexit leave people like me?

When I go back to London in December it’ll be to a new country, to somewhere I’ve never been exposed to before. 

All of a sudden I’ll be in a place where a majority (however small, it was still a majority) of voters chose to not want me to belong. 

For a whole generation of mixed-heritage, born-elsewhere people, the UK has suddenly become somewhere they have to question our own belonging.

It strikes me as weird to be driving wedges between people – especially given the current threats facing Europen countries – rather than allowing them to find solidarity in their Britishness. 

And for me? I guess it’s probably a good thing that I’m considering staying in Colombia for another year!

The Artery-Busting Bandeja Paisa

When I was in Medellín I obviously had to try the dish they’re so proud of, which apparently tastes a million times better in an authentic Paisa (=from Medellín and surrounding areas) restaurant.

So what is it? Essentially a big pile of rice and beans with various types of meat lumped on top, and a side of avocado. Plus an arepa and some fried sweet plantain. Oh and a fried egg of course. Continue reading “The Artery-Busting Bandeja Paisa”

Tayrona: Helloooo Paradise

Imagine endless yellow-sanded beaches being lapped at by sparkling blue waves. Add some lush, green jungle rising from the sea to eventually end in the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountain range – the world’s closest-to-the-sea mountain range. Continue reading “Tayrona: Helloooo Paradise”

Santa Marta: The (Unpolished) Jewel of the Caribbean

So, everyone knows that Cartagena is beautiful. The old city is gorgeous. There is cool street art, great food, and a bazillion tourists milling around taking photos of colourful colonial houses dripping in climbing flowers for good reason.

But you know what? It’s definitely not my favourite stop along the Caribbean coastline of Colombia. That honour, without a doubt, goes to Santa Marta. Continue reading “Santa Marta: The (Unpolished) Jewel of the Caribbean”

Introducing.. The Granadilla

So it looks like frogspawn inside.. but that sweet, gloopy mess filled with crunchy little seeds is one of the most delicious things you could ever try. 

I don’t have school today – thanks to the extreme work-aversion found in Colombia’s public school system – so I’m sat enjoying a late breakfast of fruit and iced coffee and promising myself that I’ll write some proper blog posts today.

If I write it in public I have to do it right?

Long live the granadilla❤

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