The ‘Shaman’: A Committed Solo Traveler Struggles to Reconcile Being Raped While Abroad

Longreads

Laura Yan | Longreads | July 2016 | 13 minutes (3035 words)

Three years ago, I quit my job in New York to go backpacking in South America. It was a blessed time, full of postcard travel highs: swimming in mirror-glazed lakes dipped in sunset, burning coca leaves for mystic rituals, falling in love with a hippie as we hitchhiked beneath the stars. I was 23, and learning to be wild and light and free. I spoke about my travels with an editor at The Hairpin, and wrote about it elsewhere. Sometimes readers emailed me asking for travel advice. They asked mostly innocuous questions: What should I pack? How do I save up to travel? Where should I visit? I tried to answer when I could. One girl asked if I’d ever been in serious danger.

I didn’t know how to reply.

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