Smug travellers will regale you with tales of how they got off the beaten track and how they avoided the major sites and discovered a part of a city or country other tourists never got to see. I on the other hand hardly think its worth flying to the other side of the world and not seeing the major attractions, they are after all "must sees and must dos" for a reason.
All this machismo doesn't stop with horse riding in San Antonio de Areco as gauchos, locals and visitors alike feast on asados and dance traditional dances, hands held aloft and from the men an extraordinary feet movement with their feet seemingly becoming double jointed, flicking from side to side.
The Amazon rainforest is the largest gathering of trees on the planet, covering 5,500,000 square kilometers. The area is vast, spread across nine countries: the majority in Brazil (60%), followed by 13% in Peru 10% in Colombia and other small variants in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
Bolivia is big on "The Gringo Trail" with back packers wanting the adrenaline rush of cycling down the world's most dangerous road along with the surreal experience of a tour through the salt flats of Uyuni. However, for the older more sophisticated traveller (I'm including myself here) it's also possible to discover Bolivia's more cultural side along with a taste of adventure.
For me the undoubted highlight of Peru has been the people. I've only really touched on a small area of Peru - Cusco and the Sacred Valley, Arequipa and the Colca Canyon and Puno and Lake Titicaca yet I feel as though I've visited three entirely different countries as reflected in the traditional dress.
São Paulo is a place where creativity and originality are celebrated, and it can be experienced through music, design, fashion and gastronomy. Though the pace of the city is similar to other financial capitals, like New York or London, it has a particular dynamic that is unmistakably Brazilian and is a result of the diversity that makes up the city.
Impostor Syndrome describes the status of feeling like you don't know as much as you think you know on a given subject, that those around you know infinitely more, and that you might be found out as a fraud at any minute. Sound familiar? It's a problem from which even the most successful and outwardly confident people suffer.
Lomo Saltado is one of Peru's most loved dishes. Every household in Peru makes it and so do many restaurants. Every mum and aunt in Peru has their own recipe which differs from each other. Some make it with red wine instead of vinegar, others add beer, but like all our dishes, its all about great ingredients and flavours.
Government after government across Europe has been thrown out since the great recession began to drive back living standards. Whether on the centre-left, such as Gordon Brown and Zapatero, or on the right with Berlusconi and Sarkozy, political rejection has started to look inevitable. But Rafael Correa's massive re-election win in Ecuador yesterday was a reminder to his European counterparts that political defeat is no iron law of politics.