Melissa Ruttanai (@worldwinder) is a travel writer and SEO blogger. In 2010, with a tenured teaching position at a top middle school, she did the “unthinkable”—and quit. Now on a 2-year world adventure with her husband, Melissa writes in cafes and hostels, sharing her stories in hopes that others will think outside of conventional life, and travel. Her work has been published by International Living Magazine, Escape from America Magazine, DINK Life, Weekend Notes, and Flip Key Travel. You can also find her at You can also find her on Google+
I set off into the jungle with my guide Achiles on his narrow riverboat. We were heading deep into the Amazon for five days to visit Achiles’ friend Don Luis in the village of Nueva Utuquinia, roughly halfway between Pucallpa and the Brazilian border.
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Down the spine of the Andes Mountains just one hour south of Quito, the city of Latacunga fills its streets with streamers and parades the cathedral’s statue of the Virgin and Child through several neighborhoods.
In Baños, the internet isn’t a main mode of communication. The best maps are hand drawn and photocopied with scrawling notes. Business transactions can be low tech. People buy, sell, and rent through flyers in windows.
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