Last autumn, or fall, I spent three whirlwind months living with one of my best friends in New Orleans. Prior to my arrival, my only knowledge of New Orleans was a loose familiarity with it’s musical legacy. I had no conscious memory of the American South and I had only loosely been paying attention to the longer-term developments following Hurricane Katrina.
Love brought me to Ecuador. While some say all you need is love, Ecuador says all you need is Ecuador (literally, it’s the new tourism slogan) and if you want something a bit more no strings attached, I’ve got to say Ecuador has a pretty good argument.
My love for the outdoors originates in the mountains. My dad was a climber and mountaineer and my mum is also a mountaineer and avid hiker. Together they started dragging us up mountains from the age of 3. Due to their persistence and lack of choice, by the time we reached adolescence we had developed a profound appreciation for being in the mountains. My first serious mountain was Kilimanjaro, which I climbed at the age of 15. It was absolutely fantastic and I was lucky in that it was a relatively painless experience for me as I didn’t suffer from any altitude sickness. A year later I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. So it goes.