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MJ Lopes

The Wondering Wanderer

Read MJ's Articles

Born in Rio de Janeiro, MJ must have been under a month old upon boarding her very first flight. Travelling became a part of her life from a very early age, which just grew stronger and stronger after graduating from high school and moving to Vancouver, Canada, where she went to University and where her backpacking history kicked off.

During the 11 years spent in Canada, MJ traveled extensively, and from 2006 onward, started documenting her experiences through travel writing, as a form of sharing the world as she saw it, to those who wanted to see it.

Her insightful personal observations from experiencing life in its most authentic form, through focusing in engaging in social interaction with locals as often as possible, along with a never ending analysys of cultural and human behaviour differences around the world, has gained her a fair number of fans, that follow her along as she continues on moving around as often as she can. MJ aims to inspire people to travel more, and if possible, getting out of their comfort zone, and opening themselves to the world and some of its hidden gems, not easily found through the more conventional forms of travelling.

MJ is a big fan of local markets and cultural manifestations, such as traditional live music and dance acts, and religious rites.

If MJ is not picking her phone is probably because she is:

  • Trekking in the Himalayas just before jumping off the mountain top, paragliding her way down.
  • Gazing at the most incredible starry skies, while camping in Jordanian or Indian deserts or while boat hitch hiking in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Trying her luck and putting her bargaining skills to the test in some of the most incredible middle eastern markets, mostly for social interaction's sake.
  • Sharing a cup of tea with nomadic families in Iran's wilderness.
  • Learning new magic tricks and songs with school children at a Palestinian refugee camp.
  • Digging around for jazz clubs or traditional live music.

Or simply chatting away, anywhere in the globe, sharing her experiences and learning from whomever crosses her path, with whatever they have to share and enrich her life.

But do leave her a message after the beep, and if it happens to be an interesting one containing either a new song or a random interesting fact most people would find uninteresting, she might even send you a postcard, from wherever on earth she happens to be!


MJ's Been There Done That

  • Travelled to over 100 countries in all 6 continents over 3 decades
  • Hugged adult pandas in China
  • Walked among lions in Zimbabwe while camping in Africa
  • 2 trips around the World including a solo trip for 28 months
  • Travelled for over 4 months of continuous non stop hitch hiking through the Middle East and Eastern Europe followed by another 5 months of hitching in South America after a break in between, totalling over 30,000 KMs of hitch hiking away
  • Fluent in 5 languages and working on the 6th for the past few years

Recent articles by MJ

  • 24 Jan 2017
  • Travel Advice
Globetrotting away - There goes MJ!

Iran part I - Preparing yourself to be amazed!

Sadly, most people don't consider Iran as a holiday destination given the bad international rep it gets, most of which is largely disproportional or downright untrue. I'm here to dispel myths about travelling to Iran by helping you prepare ahead and navigate difficulties in obtaining a visa, arranging accommodation and getting around this vast and beautiful country. Fear not, fellow travellers, Iran is very safe and you will find it most uniquely enriching - let me show you the way!
  • 31 May 2016
  • Travel Story
Globetrotting away - There goes MJ!

Kathmandu and its valley - An unforgettable visit

Read about my emotional, eye-opening journey through wondrous Nepal, a Phoenix still rising from the ashes with a positive and infectious can-do attitude despite the heart-breaking aftermath of the 2015 earthquake. Find out why this is a destination to seriously consider and enjoy in spite of the shortcomings and some of the destroyed sites. There's still plenty of wonders to admire and I'll show you how. Join me on my amazing journey and discover what is it that makes this country so magnetically enchanting with some locations still a stunning sight to behold.
  • 05 Mar 2016
  • Travel Story
Globetrotting away - There goes MJ!

Incredible Sri Lanka - Beaches, culture and highlands

Come and join me on my dazzling expedition of stunning Sri Lanka and all its natural marvels; from the rich and captivating culture to the pristine beaches and the verdant highlands. From the inviting friendliness of the locals in coastal towns, to the surfing paradise beaches of the West Coast, the dramatically scenic hillside cities, lush tropical jungles and the protected national parks in the south; on my month-long trip I got to know this fascinating country inside out and I want to let you in on all the secrets.
  • 23 Nov 2015
  • Travel Story
Globetrotting away - There goes MJ!

Old and new in a bustling, safe and friendly Central American metropolis

Read about my journey through Panama city, the most unlikely of all Central American metropolis and the one that could most closely resemble Dubai due to its modern skyscrapers and wide avenues - yet there's a warmth here you can't equate to most other big capitals or ultra-modern hubs in the world, a unique and genuine quality that's definitely Central American and reminds you of the continent you're visiting and its unmistakably Latin hospitality. From exploring the city's oldest colonial quarter to visiting its most iconic attraction: the famous Panama Canal, blending in at local markets, shopping at impressive malls and experience the blessed beaches of the San Blas archipelago, there's certainly more than meets the eye in wondrous Panama; read on to find out more!
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