I’ve recently started at Travel Nation after spending 3.5 years as a freelance travel copywriter and working all over the world – from Cambodia to Colombia. Before that, I was a Senior Manager at Travel Nation’s sister company, Rickshaw Travel, and, around 10 years ago, I started my career in travel as a specialist South Africa safari consultant. Outside the office, I’m a salsa dancer, messy cake-baker, writer and hiker.
I studied a BA and MA in English Literature at York, and studied for a PhD at Cambridge in Shakespeare… before suddenly doing a massive about-turn and realising that academia was not for me.
One year working as a specialist in tailor-made Southern Africa safaris, almost 6 years working at Rickshaw Travel, eventually becoming Senior Manager, and 3.5 years on the road as a nomadic freelance copywriter for travel.
Bryony has visited:
Salsa dancing. I started learning to dance in Colombia and I’ve been completely hooked ever since. From time to time, you might even catch me on a stage in a small glittery outfit…
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
I have struggled with a panic disorder for my entire life and, not so long ago, I never believed I could – or would - travel anywhere. But look at me now! I feel incredibly lucky and I’m living proof that pretty much anything is possible.
Colombia. After arriving in Colombia not-so-fresh from a bumpy 4-day speedboat trip through the San Blas Islands, my (vague) plan was to spend a couple of months travelling through the country before crossing into Ecuador and continuing south to Rio. Famous last words! I got as far as Cali, just a one-day bus journey from the border with Ecuador, where I took a free salsa lesson at my hostel. And it ended up changing my life. Before I knew it, I was dancing for six hours a day, renting an apartment in the city and performing on stage in skimpy little costumes. I’ve now been back three times and spent, in total, nearly a year flinging myself across Colombian dancefloors. Magic.
Headtorch, extra passport photos, a little roll of plastic sandwich bags, a jar of pesto and a pink wig (you would be surprised at just how useful it’s been!)
Colombia, Nepal and Namibia
Sossusvlei Desert Camp in the Namib-Nauklaft National Park. There’s nothing but desert scrub and giant orange sand dunes for miles around, so you feel completely hidden in the African wilderness. A cosy tented hut, a cold beer, some sausages on the BBQ and a blazing sunset – life doesn’t get any better.
Such a tricky question! I think the Caribbean is pretty hard to beat for beaches and the water is always warm. Playa Ancon, near Trinidad in Cuba, is one of my favourites, as well as Arrecifes Beach in Tayrona National Park, Colombia and Tulum in Mexico.
Probably Colombia. It’s closest to my heart and somewhere that really changed my life.
Wheelie cases! I take my backpack pretty much everywhere. I tried a wheelie case for a weekend in Berlin recently, and I’ve vowed never to do it again because a) dragging it over cobbles was STUPIDLY NOISY and b) the hard case made it impossible to stuff into sneaky places on buses and planes. Nope. I’ll stick to my beat-up old backpack.
The Tiger’s Nest temple in Bhutan, the Alaskan wilderness, the Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the cherry blossom in Japan… so many places!
I’ve tried a crunchy and not-too-tasty mix of spiders, scorpions, maggots and crickets in my time. I’m pretty sure my stomach can digest anything by now…
One of my favourite things in the world is banana blossom salad in Cambodia. It’s fiery and peanutty with lots of lime and shredded chicken. There’s a place called the Old House Restaurant, just off Pub Street in Siem Reap, that serves the best banana blossom salad I’ve ever eaten (and – trust me - I’ve tried a few). Don’t miss it!
I have just spent 3.5 years freelancing whilst travelling, living everywhere from Vietnam to Colombia. After living out of my backpack for a few years, I figured it was high time to unpack and put down some roots. I also spent a brief spell selling jam on the streets of Colombia, but that’s another story.
India – hands down. India was a real shock to my system. There’s just so much going on! It’s proper sensory overload. It takes a little time to relax into travelling in India, but if you stick with it a while, you’ll soon be won over. I spent 4 months backpacking through India alone and it surprised me every single day. There really is nowhere quite like it.
Downtown Reno. Glitzy casinos with supersize all-you-can-eat buffets and rows of one-armed-bandits, with clusters of homeless people sleeping on the streets outside. The contrast felt so sad.
Once, I got my hand stuck in an ATM and some friendly locals had to help me get it out – using a tub of Vaseline. Yes really.
Buenos Aires - for Malbec, steak and tango.
Diwali in Delhi was bonkers. I was deaf from the firecrackers for days!
Hobnobs and roast chicken dinners.