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I was on a plane to India, excited to finally to explore the wild and tropical world my Dad had told me stories of for my entire life.

It’ll be nothing like what you expect.

– his last-minute words, which I realised were true the moment the smog thinned and the dense slum by Mumbai’s airport glided into view.

Ten years ago, after a week in the village where my Dad was born, the Godavari Express rolled away with me on it, and he disappeared into the distance. I was on an adventure – no Google Maps, no TripAdvisor, no internet. All I had with me was a week’s worth of salwar kameezes, an outdated guidebook and two fake wedding rings – one for me and one for my other half.

It was countless conversations with locals, rickshaw drivers and fellow travellers that guided us through India for three months, and despite technology having evolved immensely now, this is still exactly how I like to operate.

My name’s Leah Pattem, and as I enter my third decade on this planet, I’m still none the wiser: the more I learn about Madrid, the more I realise there is to know – a weary loop unless the adventure is the finding out part. And do you want to know what makes those adventures even more exciting? Being able to take you along for the ride too.

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