My Story

My name is Kelly Thornhill I moved to Latin American in 2000.

Kelly Profile pic

I have been working in Tourism for over 15 years.  I hold a BTec in Tourism & Leisure and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations.  I am fluent in Spanish and am currently completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Travel & Tourism at the Universidad de Quilmes in Buenos Aires.

I have enjoyed the privilage of many Spanish courses throughout South America as well as many amazing experiences both personal and professional.

I taught English as a foreign language in Ecuador, worked as chief sales representative for a Rafting Company in Venezuela and visited Angel Falls & Climbed the Table Top Mountains.  I sailed on the Amazon to Iquitos and visited Machu Picchu in Peru, I spent a year as Dive Master on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia and have visited the intriguing statues of San Agustín.

All in all, I’ve camped, sailed and dived my way through this amazing continent!!

In 2004 I arrived in Mendoza, Argentina and prompty started a Wine Tour company called The Grapevine.  I spent the next 10 years running the business, travelling the length and breadth of Chile & Argentina and raising a family.

I have always had a love to travel.  I am fascinated with different cultures, different languages, simpler lifestyles. I was fortunate that my parents took us (me & my brother) abroad once a year when I was young, I have great memories of those family holidays.

I spent my first working summer abroad in Rhodes, Greece when I was 17. Later, when I finished college, I travelled to Madrid, Copenhagan and Germany.

When I was just 22, and in my first year of University, I tragically lost my Mum.  My whole life was turned upside down and I was totally lost.  I would say that the idea of a trip (to South America) was initially born out of my desperate need to run away from the pain and the “empty” feeling that loosing her had left me with.  As soon as I finished Uni (with a 2:1) I got some money together, bought a rucksack and some walking boots and off I went.  I left the UK in search of something.  The search turned into a 15-year epic healing process!

Such a long time away immersed in so many different cultures enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams and opened up my mind to so much. I found myself on a very personal journey of awakening that I know will last the rest of my life.

In April 2013 the time felt right for me to move back to the UK.  So I did, with my partner and our two daughters Chloe then (4) & Carmela then (2).   I have been enjoying getting to know my family and friends all over again and I love everyone getting to know my own familiy too.

I wanted to try and document my journey around Latin America but wasn’t sure how, I didn’t know what angle to take, where to begin…until now.  I am not a professional writer so when the idea of this Blog first presented itself to me I was a little apprehensive – there are so many great travel writers and bloggers out there, I wondered how I would ever compete with them.  So I decided to not even go there, I can’t compete with such professionals.  I looked to my strengths…and what I do have is a very unique journey.

So I will be posting about places I have visited, places I have passed through and places I have called home for a while.  I will post about the people I met and the friends I made along the way.  I will also try and share some of the lessons I learnt, the mistakes I made, and post tips and useful information for people visiting.  I will also have monthly posts from guest bloggers – so it should hopefully be quite interesting and informative for followers.

Although I am now based in the UK I still share my time between the UK and South America, where my second home is Mendoza, Argentina The Land of Sun & Good Wine.

I home educate my two girls (4 & 6) and as much as I would like to write about where our Home Ed journey takes us here I think I will save that for another blog…watch this space.

As I said, I am fluent in Spanish (it would be unbelievable not to be after so long in South America right?) I run Spanish classes & OnLine Spanish Courses as well as translation work and other fun language things.

Later this year I will take the DELE Superior Level C2 (superior) exam (Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language) and in September I will be starting the PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector) course.

I would love to hear from any bilingual families or anyone who has travelled to or lives in South America and invite you to leave your comments. Thanks!

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