With family dispersed all around the world, I have been brought up with an interest in other countries and their cultures and regularly spent my summers on language exchanges or working in seasonal jobs around Europe. My passion for travel and languages led me to study French and Spanish so that I could develop a deeper understanding of the countries I was visiting. I completed a degree in Spanish and Business at University of Exeter, during which time I lived and worked in Peru for a year.
As I travelled and worked my way around Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico and Cuba, I had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in Latin America’s rich culture and develop a strong attachment to these countries and their varied geographical features. Since joining Audley I have been able to extend my travels to Argentina and Chile, where my love of the outdoors, breath-taking landscapes and culinary experiences has been fulfilled.
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Q&A with Kirstin
What/s your most vivid travel moment?
A special moment for me was when I hiked to the base of the Towers in Torres del Paine, in Patagonian Chile. I will never forget the feeling of accomplishment, gratitude and awe as I passed through the forest alive with colours of reds, yellows and oranges, climbed over the final boulders and got a clear view of the turquoise lake at the foot of the jagged, snow-capped Towers. That day we had experienced extreme wind, snow, rain and sun on the hike, and it was an invigorating yet humbling moment for me.
Where would you love to travel next?
Having never been anywhere in Asia, I am drawn to Vietnam and its history, and would love to see the ruins in Hoi An before traveling down its coastal route visiting the various hidden bays and caves. I am a food fanatic and would love to explore the local delicacies in the busy markets.
Which book, film or artwork captures Chile the most?
If you want a real taste of Chile, Pablo Neruda’s poetry gives a beautiful insight into the country’s defining features. As well as being a diplomat and politician, Neruda won the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature. My favourite piece, An Ode to Valparaiso, accurately depicts the port city even today; Valparaiso, how crazy you are… your uncombed hair, you never had time to get dressed, always surprised by life. His work has always intrigued me because he gives ordinary items great importance in his poetry, and his outlook has encouraged me to take pleasure in the simple things of life.