An Interview with Erin Niimi Longhurst

When Erin Niimi Longhurst began writing her second book, Omoiyari, the intention was that its release would coincide with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Focusing on two important aspects of Japanese culture – omotenashi (hospitality) and omoiyari (compassion), it might have given travellers a better idea of what they could have expected on their arrival …

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What to expect from a visit to Chernobyl

Early starts aren’t nice. They’re even worse when you wake up in a cold sweat imagining you’re trapped in Chernobyl and history has repeated itself. Thankfully, it became clear that hadn’t happened when I woke up, but it did leave me unable to get back to sleep from about 4am, four hours before my tour …

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Just what is Ukrainian food actually like?

Kiev is a strange place. It’s both breathtakingly beautiful and hideously ugly at the same time. The skyline is a mix of shining golden domes and abandoned Soviet buildings. There’s even a bridge across the River Dnieper that nobody has bothered either to put the finishing touches to or just knock down. This, and some …

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Montepulciano: A truly 21st century tour for a 6th century town

The town of Montepulciano is one of the best-known producers of fine wine in the whole of Italy. The picturesque little place is perched atop a hill in the Tuscan countryside. From a few kilometres away, you can make out the renaissance bell towers and the city walls – blots of brown and red on …

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I like Valparaíso, but it took a while to be convinced…

One of Chile’s most popular tourist destinations, there’s a lot to like about Valparaíso. That’s what people kept telling me anyway, but it took a lot of effort to find this stuff, and at first I really hated the place (okay, perhaps hate is a bit strong, but it was very hot, and a bit …

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There’s nothing to do in Santiago? What a load of rubbish.

Anyone who says that there’s nothing to do in Santiago is lying to you. I only booked one night in the city, thinking I’d be heading straight to Valparaíso and just using it as a stopover. However, it didn’t take me long to extend and that wasn’t because my hostel offered me 15% off. Just …

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Why the seafood market is the best thing about Santiago, and possibly the whole of Chile.

Chile is the longest country in the world, and most of this narrow country is coastline. It stands to reason then, that there must be some pretty good seafood, right? Even though Chile’s not famed for its food (except for empanadas), I was still excited to try what was on offer (like everywhere else I’ve …

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San Pedro de Atacama – a land of superlatives

San Pedro de Atacama, one of the northernmost towns in Chile is an intriguing place. Although there are more tourism agencies in the three streets of the town than actual people living there (20% are operated by robots) and it’s crazy expensive, the natural beauty surrounding the town more than makes up for it. 6 …

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