June Travel Updates from That Backpacker from the Amazon Jungle in Peru

First of all, Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canucks out there!

I’ve been back home for a couple of weeks now and I’m planning on being here for most of July. After 5 months of solid travel in South America, it’s finally time to catch up on all the writing, photo sorting, and video editing from the trip, plus I have a dog and a cat who are also craving some affection.

Coming back to Canada in the summer is always fun and I’m amazed by how close to nature I feel – even in a suburban neighbourhood. The other morning I had breakfast in my backyard while two rabbits munched on grass, birds gathered round the bird feeder, and a squirrel ran about the trees.

The weather has been nothing short of wonderful here in Toronto with bright blue skies and long days. Seriously, the sun doesn’t set till past 9:00 p.m. How great is that?

Where I went

Peru: Iquitos, Amazon

Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo

Canada: Home!

Highlights of the month

Filling up my first passport

So, for the first time in my life I am getting a new passport because I filled up all the pages and not because it expired. Say what?! It may sound silly to some, but I’m feeling pretty accomplished! Now I’m just waiting for it to arrive in time for my next trip.

Exploring Sao Paulo with friends

I didn’t have high hopes for Sao Paulo. This is South America’s largest city and it is renowned for its big crowds, smog, and traffic jams, but Sam and I actually ended up having some really fun days in the city! We had our local friends, Andre and Dani from Viagem Criativa to show us around, and they took us to an izakaya run by a sumo wrestling family, a noodle shop that had the most delicious ramyeon, and we finished things off with karaoke…as you do! You can see our video of Sao Paulo here.

Cooking up a storm

Now that I’m back home and I have my parents’ fully stocked kitchen at my disposal (muahaha!), I’ve been having a lot of fun experimenting with some fun and healthy recipes. I’m currently loving coconut, strawberry and blueberry smoothies, and I’ve also been devouring zucchini bites loaded with quinoa, humus, squash, avocado, and cilantro. If travel is my first love, food is a close second.

Cool photo contest

Organization of World Heritage Cities – Asia-Pacific Photo Contest

The OWHC-AP is hosting a photo contest for images taken in World Heritage Cities (see list here). The goal is not only to capture the beauty of these world heritage cities, but to also capture a moment in time that creates a connection between people and place. Click here for more details on how to submit your images. There are cash prizes up for grabs.

Most popular Instagram

A photo posted by ✈ Audrey Bergner Jeffery ✈ (@thatbackpacker) on Jun 5, 2016 at 6:02am PDT

Umm, so I’ve been on a bit of an Insta-break since I came home (it’s good to put the phone down every once in a while), so I’ll leave you with this sunset over the Amazon Basin from a few weeks back.

What’s next?

I’ll be heading out to New Brunswick to spend a bit of time with Sam’s family and visit Hobie the Maine Coon who is probably a giant by now. I’ll be flying one way and then road tripping back, which seems to be turning into an annual tradition at this point. This will be my third time driving from New Brunswick to Ontario (and vice versa) for the third year in a row.

Then at the end of July Sam and I will be travelling back to…SOUTH KOREA! I know, I can hardly believe it. It’s been 3 years since I taught English there, so I’m beyond excited to be going back to explore the country as a traveller. Also, there’s going to be a huge Korean food series coming out on our YouTube channel, so stay tuned for that!

What did you get up to in June?