Follow me as I blog my way through 12 months of travel, 20 countries, 2 volunteer programs, 44,000 miles, over 20 flights, countless chicken bus rides and 365 wonderful work-free days.

PLANNING

If you’re anything like me, when planning a trip you become obsessed with anything travel related, particularly when it comes to the places you are visiting.

I have spent hours ‘researching’ the internet, reading blogs and books and basically trying to gather whatever information I can about the destinations I’m going to.

I wished that I could hit a magic button that would take me to all things Latin America. Unfortunately there aint no such button, so for those of you who might be interested, here is a list of, what I found to be the most helpful and entertaining blogs, books, and odds & sods relating to Latin America.

BLOGS

Bacon is Magic
This blog tells the story of Ayngelina as she travels solo throughout Latin America. She is almost as fanatical about food as I am and focused a lot on it throughout the blog. Maybe why I like her so much. Informative and interesting.
http://www.baconismagic.ca/

Globetrotter Girls
I recently came across this blog and haven’t been able to stop reading. It follows Jess and Dani as they travel all over the world. They’ve been going strong for over 2 years now and are still at it. They’ve been almost everywhere so it’s great blog no matter what country you’re interested in reading about.
http://globetrottergirls.com/

The Lost Girls
This is the blog about 3 girls from New York who quit their dream jobs, leave their boyfriends and everything else behind to go on a RTW trip for a year. They have long since returned home and now have a booming website and even a book out (which yes I’ve read)
http://www.lostgirlsworld.com/category/lost-girls/lost-girls-rtw-adventure/page/17/

Chronicles of a year long break up
This blog follows the journey of Gary and Ro, a couple from Ireland who travel everywhere from Japan to Australia to Chile. I especially love their focus on photography and the quirky way in which they write.
http://yearlongbreakup.wordpress.com/

BOOKS

‘Backpacked: A Reluctanct Trip Across Central America’
by Catherine Ryan Howard

A book about Catherine, an Irish 20 something who agrees to go backpacking with her best friend across Central America. Apart from being a really good read, it is also quite informative and is the inspiration behind including Guatemala in my travels.

‘Oh Mexico’
by Lucy Neville
This true story tells the story of a young Australian girl, Lucy, as she moves to Mexico City, finds work teaching English, meets the love of her life and masters Spanish. A really easy book to read and fantastic for lovers of all things Mexico (like me).

‘That Bear Ate My Pants’
By Tony James Slater
A book about a guy named Tony who goes to Ecuador for 3 months to volunteer at Santa Martha Centre for Animal Rescue. A good read and quite funny. Recommend if you’re interested in animals and Ecuador.. well dur!

ODDS & SODS

http://www.volunteerhq.org/ – Volunteers look no further. International Volunteer HQ is a New Zealand based company who offer a wide range of volunteer placements across the globe. They’re prices are really cheap (compared to most I have found) and I’m so grateful I accidently stumbled across them.

http://www.casarosario.com/index.html – A cool sounding Spanish School in San Pedro, Guatemala. They do one on one Spanish lessons for $130 a week. Includes 4 hours of lessons a day and a home stay with a local family, including 3 meals a day. Have heard good reviews.

http://cookingclassesoaxaca.com/ – The website is a work in progress but I have heard fantastic reviews of this restaurant offering cooking classes in Oaxaca, Mexico. Chef Agustino offers all day classes focusing on vegetarian or meat dishes. Also includes a trip to the local market in the morning and you eat all the dishes you make. Enough said !!

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ – Not only gives information about every single city and country known to man but has a really useful forum which covers everything from bus routes to solo travel.

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ – gives reviews on hotels, attractions etc. I take most comments with a grain of salt but it may help to put your mind at ease about a burning question.

AFRICA

Where is poor Africa you ask?? As I am pretty much booked solid in Africa, from the day I arrive to the day I leave, I haven’t done an aweful lot of research. Feel free to let me know what I’m missing out on by leaving a comment.

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