Travel

Q&A with Ayngelina Brogan: A Year and Half of Eat-Pray-Love-ing

Q&A with Ayngelina Brogan: A Year and Half of Eat-Pray-Love-ing

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we like to contact travelers who’ve had firsthand experiences around the world. Today we’re happy to feature an interview with Ayngelina Brogan from Baconismagic.ca, a Canadian girl who’s been Eat Pray Love-ing her way through Latin America.

Ayngelina Broagan in Amman, Jordan
Ayngelina Broagan in Amman, Jordan

Just over a year and a half ago, Ayngelina left her job, boyfriend, apartment and friends to find inspiration in Latin America. Having read about Elizabeth Gilbert’s spiritual and personal discovery in “Eat, Pray, Love”, Ayngelina realized that at 32, it was probably her last chance to travel long-term before deciding if she wanted kids. She bought a one-way ticket to Mexico and has been traveling ever since. Her journey of self-discovery is full of life lessons, emotional reflection and inspiration.

1. You recently shared a beautiful picture of you in Amman, Jordan. What was your favorite part of this trip? And where are you headed next?

The food is always the most memorable aspect of any country. I love art and architecture but I connect most with the culture in food and eating it with people I meet. Next I’m off to Spain, my trip began in Mexico and I spent 14 months traveling South to Argentina and now I want to see the “motherland.”

Jordanian food
From Ayngelina’s post “Jordan surpises a food snob”: A mix of falafels, lamb, mouttabal (roasted eggplant, yogurt, tahini, garlic and lemon), green lemonade with mint,

2. You’re passionate about food. Which city/country have your taste buds been most impressed by so far and why?

I have such a hard time answering this because it must be like asking a mother to pick her favourite child. But here are a few highlights for me. Mexico: the food is unbelievable and so unlike the tex mex we get at home. Sure I love nachos but they cannot compare to the complexity of authentic Mexican cuisine. Peru: love the heat that you often don’t see in other Latin food. I grew up on the ocean and the seafood dishes in Peru, especially ceviche, cannot be beat. Italy: I usually gain a lot of weight while here but I never regret it, Vietnam: A lot of people love Thai food but I actually prefer Vietnamese, it’s a bit lighter, less sweet but just as fresh.

3. Is bacon really the answer to everything?

Well pork certainly is the answer to a lot of things. Last night I made a butternut squash soup that wasn’t very flavourful so I added pancetta and then it was delicious!

4. At Busbud, we encourage travelers to discover new destinations different from the mainstream attractions bundled with flights or trains. Which “bus-only” destination would you recommend to travelers in South America?

Well I didn’t fly in South America, except for a few times in Colombia because it was cheaper than the bus. But my hidden gem is a tip a local gave me on a bus! Cajamarca, Peru, is in the North and lots of South Americans visit it, but few foreigners. In fact, while Peru is laden with tourists they seem to concentrate on the South but this town is tucked in the mountains and has amazing cheese, chocolate, sights and people.

Pre-Inca ruins at Cumbe Mayo, near Pujamarca, Peru
Pre-Inca ruins at Cumbe Mayo, near Pujamarca, Peru

5. For readers who long to travel but are afraid to take the jump, what advice can you give them to overcome their fear?

Start small. You don’t have to be like me and buy a one way flight to Mexico, many years before that I did much easier countries like England and New Zealand. Once you get the hang of it you realize that traveling in a different language isn’t so difficult, when you show up at a restaurant they know you want to eat, at a hotel they know you want a bed and at a bus station that you want a seat.

Thanks Ayngelina!

For the story behind the pictures featured in this interview, read her blog posts on Jordanian Food and Northern Peru.

You can follow Ayngelina’s journey on her blog, Bacon is Magic, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. If you have suggestions for bus travelers you’d like us to interview, please contact us.