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In Paris, France/ Stories

The Girl With the Red Balloon

As a general rule, when in Paris, one must always wear black, gray, or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, navy blue. I don’t know what is different about this day, but I decide to break that rule and wear red. It is November 26, 2015. Thanksgiving Day in the United States, but just a regular Thursday here in France. Decked out in a bright red trench coat, I spend the entire day feeling self-conscious, trying to slip by unnoticed in…

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In Toronto

Nuit Blanche Toronto: How to Survive Your First All-Night Art Crawl

Attending Nuit Blanche in Toronto is a rite of passage. Every year on October 1st (give or take a day), from sunset till sunrise (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.), revelers admire contemporary art from all over the world displayed in the streets of Downtown Toronto for free.  Now, I am not an “art person,” but I’d like to be, so I jumped at the opportunity to hone my art appreciation skills in Toronto by twilight, wine glass in hand. (Actually, Ontario has pretty strict laws governing alcohol…

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In Cusco/ Stories

Faces of Peru | Daniel the Tour Guide

“How’s your heart?” Daniel whispers to me as we pick our way through cobblestone streets in Ollantaytambo, Peru, in the drizzling rain. We’ve just finished a harrowing 1.5-hour car ride through winding mountain roads that drastically change altitudes, so at first I wonder if he’s inquiring about my cardiovascular health. But I know what he means. “Mejor,” I tell him. Better. Daniel has a keen intuition I have never seen in anyone else, a sixth sense that feels what other people are…

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In Cusco

What’s the Weather Like in Cusco, Peru?

“The weather of the Andes is like the women of the Andes: changeable and unpredictable.” – A popular Cusco saying When I first landed in Cusco, I was decked out in two layers of shirts and pants, a jacket, a scarf, knee-high boots and wool socks—because a city high up in the Peruvian Andes must be cold all the time, right? I soon found out how wrong I was. When I walked outside of the Cusco airport, I started sweating…

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In Cusco

Transportation in Cusco, Peru

An old man was asking me something in Spanish as I sat, hunched over and groaning, on the side of the main square where the colectivo (shared van) had dropped me off. I had just finished a nearly two-hour ride through curvy roads and high mountains to get to Ollantaytambo, a city in the Sacred Valley of Cusco, and even though my body was now on stable ground, my stomach felt like it was still on that colectivo. I couldn’t…

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In Cusco

How to Get to Cusco From Lima

After spending four months planning my trip and forking out more than US$3,000 on flights and lodging, the time had come to begin my first solo international trip and my first trip to South America. With my 30-pound backpack and a whole lot of optimism in tow, I boarded the first of three flights to get to Cusco.…

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In Cusco

17 Foods You Must Try in Peru

Peru is widely regarded as one of the best countries in the world for food lovers. Its capital, Lima, is often called the culinary capital of South America. So of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you my favorite typical foods in Peru that I tried while I was in Cusco. Famous dishes such as ceviche originated in Peru, as well as some of the most adventurous ones, like cuy al horno (roasted guinea pig). …

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