Recently I was selected as a travel scout for Travel Insurance Direct (TID). Along with being selected as I was given an iPad and 1 years worth of travel insurance to pursue my travels with. As a travel scout, I was asked to make a total of 10 photo submissions of some of the unique places I had traveled to within this past year.
2015 has been the best year of my life; I was fortunate enough to travel to 16 countries and 111 cities. I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone, lived in non-english speaking countries, been tested in some crazy physical treks that I never dreamt I would have been able to do, experienced some truly amazing natural wonders and met some amazing people along the way. I have had an amazing experience in my travels and these are some of the highlights from my trip:
ENTRY 1 - GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
The Galapagos Islands was a last minute adventure for myself and a friend. We arrived in Ecuador and found a last minute cruise going to 3 of the main islands: Isla Santa Cruz, Isla Floreana and Isla Espanola. We spent 5 days exploring the vast biodiversity which Charles Darwin had famously based his theory of evolution! It was fascinating learning how all the different animals have evolve in order to survive in such a dynamic environment.
ENTRY 2 - LA GUAJIRA
Entering Colombia I had heard a lot about Guajira peninsula from other travellers. They told me how isolated it was and how beautiful it was to see the ocean and the desert come together to create an insane contrast in nature. When I arrived it was just as amazing as I had heard. I spent my days chilling in hammocks and swimming in the beaches and my nights laying on the dunes starring up at one of the clearest views of the milky way you can imagine!
ENTRY 3 - TORRES DEL PAINE
Trekking through parque Torres Del Paine was one of the toughest and most rewarding experiences in my life. My friend and I spent a week exploring Chilean Patagonia trekking and camping along the famous W circuit in Torres Del Paine. Over the week we saw mountains, waterfalls, rivers and glaciers as we moved through some of the most incredible landscapes.
ENTRY 4 - EMBERA TRIBE
The Embera are a tribe of indigenous people in Panama. Spending a night in the village and having the opportunity to live among the villagers was an unforgettable experience. In the village I met many of the villagers and it was inspiring to see how happy they were, embracing their traditions and living with only the essentials.
ENTRY 5 - SALKANTAY
When we arrived in Peru my friend and I signed up for a 5 day trek through the savage mountain (Salkantay) to get to the lost city of Machu Picchu. It was an experience of a lifetime walking through the ever changing terrain - we saw snow, mist, sunshine and everything in between!
ENTRY 6 - ORURO
I visited Oruro during Carnival de Oruro, a religious festival dating back more than 200 years. It was an amazing experience being amongst the brilliantly decorated locals performing their traditional folk dances.
ENTRY 7 - ATACAMA DESERT
We visited the Valley of the Moon in the Atacama Desert. The weathered stone and sand formations carved by the elements over time gave the valley an incredible other-worldly atmosphere.
ENTRY 8- SALAR DE UYUNI
The largest salt flat in the world - Salar De Uyuni sits south west of Bolivia. We made the trip from the border of Chile in a 4WD and passed through desert, lagoons and geysers to reach the salt flat.
ENTRY 9 - ACATENANGO
Acatenango is a volcano located near the city of Antigua and has a peak that soars to 3976m. The overnight climb to the peak of Acatenango was one of the hardest hikes I have ever done in my life. But when we made it to the top the view was absolutely breathtaking and definitely worth every step.
ENTRY 10 - VIEDMA
It took us two attempts to get to Glacier Viedma because the weather was so extreme, the winds and waves would not allow us to dock! On our second attempt we finally made it onto the glacier and we got to get close and personal with one of the largest glacier fields in the Southern Patagonian ice fields.