Guatemalan cooking class vegetarian pepian

What I Learned from a Guatemalan Cooking Class

I learned two things from our Guatemalan cooking class: number one is that making tortillas isn’t as easy as it looks and I suck at it, and number two is that the traditional Guatemalan dish of Pepian can be made vegetarian even though not everyone says it can.

We headed to a small town just down the road from where we were house sitting to meet an old Guatemalan farmer whose wife and daughters were going to teach us to cook. We went through the gate into their courtyard area where a long row of women were sorting coffee beans and dogs were sleeping in the sun.

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San Salvador Scenic Shot

What To Do with Two Days in San Salvador

After Charlie flew home to see her family, I immediately signed up to a language school in Guatemala. The problem was that I was currently in Nicaragua, 766km south of my destination, leaving me to answer the question: how could I get from Nicaragua to Guatemala in one piece?

I decided to take the Ticabus as they had got me from Costa Rica to Nicaragua without any problems, and at a reasonable price. However, when I saw that the ride would take a mind numbing twenty-seven hours, a completely unplanned few days in San Salvador to break up the journey seemed like a better idea.

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HESS teachers teaching in Taiwan - Charlie on Travel

Teaching in Taiwan: An Interview with Teacher Tu

I often get asked about my experiences of ESL teaching in Taiwan by people who are thinking about making the move and starting a new career on the island. What I always emphasise is that everyone’s experience of teaching in Taiwan is different – variables such as school and branch, workload, location, personality and whether you’re going solo or as a couple can be make or break. I’m interviewing different teachers in Taiwan to find out their thoughts on island life, ESL teaching and travelling. This interview is part of the Teaching in Taiwan series.

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On the terrace overlooking the Spanish school's courtyard

How to Choose a Spanish School in Antigua, Guatemala

When I found myself with free time on my hands during our house sit in Guatemala, I decided it was time to enrol for classes at a Spanish school in Antigua. A quick Google search for “Spanish school Antigua Guatemala” will pull up thousands of results, which is no surprise as this city is the most popular place to study Spanish in the country, along with Lake Atitlan. With a school on every street corner, just how do you choose a Spanish school in Antigua?

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House sitting in costa rica view over san jose puriscal - charlie on travel

What is House Sitting in Costa Rica Really Like?

We travelled Central America for one year and a large portion of that time was spent in Costa Rica. Why? Not just because Costa Rica is beautiful, but because there’s a lot of house sitting work out there.

Though it’s true that we house sat in Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala too, finding assignments house sitting in Costa Rica were by far the most common. When we accepted our first house sitting assignment in the small mountain town of Puriscal, we had no idea how many opportunities for house sitting Costa Rica there would be. We house sat for the same family in Puriscal multiple times and house sat once in Quepos. Though both of the locations where we house sat in Costa Rica were completely different experiences, they were both awesome. While every house and home owners are different, there are a few realities of house sitting in Costa Rica that you should know about.

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Ryan and Katie happy teaching in Taiwan 750

Teaching in Taiwan: An Interview with Teacher Katie and Teacher Ryan

I often get asked about my experiences of ESL teaching in Taiwan by people who are thinking about making the move and starting a new career on the island. What I always emphasise is that everyone’s experience of teaching in Taiwan is different – variables such as school and branch, workload, location, personality and whether you’re going solo or as a couple can be make or break. I’m interviewing different teachers in Taiwan to find out their thoughts on island life, ESL teaching and travelling. This interview is part of the Teaching in Taiwan series.

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Panajachel Lake Atitlan Guatemala morning - charlie on travel header

Why You Should Only Visit Panajachel in the Morning

When we docked in Panajachel, the main town in Lake Atitlan, early on a Saturday morning, our first impressions were that actually it wasn’t as crowded as we’d expected. We hadn’t planned on staying in the town but after a night on Jaibalito, which was lovely but rural, we decided we’d be better off staying in Pana so that we could take the bus directly from there back to Antigua the following morning.

We were wrong.

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Typical Guatemala breakfast at Deli Jasmin Panajachel Lake Atitlan - Charlie on Travel header

Cafés for Healthy Eaters at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

I’m a self-confessed healthy eater. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I want to eat fresh veggies and good grains all the time. On my weekend away at Lake Atitlan, I stopped by three of the lakeside towns – San Pedro, Jaibalito and Panajachel – and was excited to find that each place had some healthy, organic and even veggie places to keep my belly full. Here are the most delicious of the healthy cafés I came across at Lake Atitlan.

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Little Corn Island - Charlie on Travel 6

Simple Travel on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

The Corn Islands are a Caribbean cliché located 70 km off the Nicaraguan coastline, complete with virginal white beaches, trouble free skies and soothing blue waters. Shack up in a beach hut by the sea for under £14 ($20), and enjoy a carefree culture that is more Creole than Español. Whilst Big Corn Island is the first stop for travellers, the smaller and generally more loved of the two islands is Little Corn.

In most places, when you step out of the airport you are greeted by someone holding a sign with your name and a nice clean car. On Little Corn Island, you’ll jump out of a boat and be greeted by someone with a sign holding your name and a fairly heavy-duty wheelbarrow. Little Corn simply isn’t like anywhere else, and the fact that there are no cars on the island is just one of them. Don’t get too excited – that wheelbarrow’s not for you. It’s for your luggage, which will be wheeled along a dirt track to your little hut on the beach.

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Liezl and Darren at HESS teaching in taiwan header - Charlie on Travel

Teaching in Taiwan: An Interview with Teacher Liezl

I often get asked about my experiences of ESL teaching in Taiwan by people who are thinking about making the move and starting a new career on the island. What I always emphasise is that everyone’s experience of teaching in Taiwan is different – variables such as school and branch, workload, location, personality and whether you’re going solo or as a couple can be make or break. I’m interviewing different teachers in Taiwan to find out their thoughts on island life, ESL teaching and travelling. This interview is part of the Teaching in Taiwan series.

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