My name is Keith Ruffles and I’m a 29-year-old male living in Belfast. Originally from London, I’ve also lived in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Leicester, Gwynedd and most recently Leeds.

I’ve always been addicted to travel; my first encounter with ‘abroad’ was as a four-month old baby on a day trip to Jersey. Ever since then I’ve travelled as much as time and money will allow, which sadly has never really been enough in either case. Some of the more interesting places I’ve visited include Belarus, Iceland, Canada, and right here at home in the British Isles.

Scottish Highlands – October 2010

It’s not always been easy to travel, however; for much of my youth I grew up in a one-parent family with a very limited income and all of my jobs – including my current position – have paid on or around the minimum wage. Being able to see as much of the world as I have has involved an awful lot of scrimping and saving.

So cliché as it sounds this trip around South America really will be a Trip of a Lifetime; some 30,000km and ten countries – and a French overseas department! – will present the greatest physical challenge I’ve ever undertaken. I can’t wait to get started…!

Apart from travel I’m also interested in politics, the media, sport – I’m a former national athletics champion! – the environment, animal rights and lots more besides; you can read a little bit more on my other blog Deus Ex Machina which can be found here and see some of my travel photos whic can be found here.

Academically speaking I’m a geographer, which complements travel rather well; I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the University of Leicester and another postgraduate qualification in broadcast journalism at the University of Sheffield.

If you have any comments, hints, tips or just feel like having a chat you can get hold of me either here or at my rather snappy and original email address


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