I am a freelance travel writer and guidebook writer; over the past decade, I have contributed to a dozen or so Rough Guides guidebooks - South America, Central America, Southeast Asia and Europe, as well as three editions of the Rough Guide to Chile. I have also updated two editions of the Trailblazer Handbook to the Trans-Siberian Railway, and have contributed to over 30 Lonely Planet guidebooks with a geographical reach that spans six continents. Guidebook writing aside, I've written about Catalonian cuisine for The Independent, travelling on horseback to visit the remote Tsaatan reindeer herders on Mongolia's border with Russia and Russia's street art for BBC Travel and the top attractions in Papua New Guinea and the Falkland Islands for the Lonely Planet website. I was born in the former Soviet Union and have a particular affinity with Eastern Europe. Having started travelling at a very young age, I found that my wanderlust only increased with age. My degree in Comparative American Studies that involved my studying the history, culture and literature of the Americas and the Caribbean only helped to fuel it; to date, I have travelled extensively in every single Latin American country bar Venezuela. I'm an avid hiker and have trekked in Nepal, the Andes, Wales and the Alps and am also drawn to destinations in the extreme north and extreme south, such as Siberia, the Canadian Arctic, Tierra del Fuego and Svalbard. Besides that, I find myself drawn to destinations with distinctive indigenous culture, such as Papua New Guinea, the Highlands in the Philippines and Vietnam, Borneo, Benin and the Peruvian altiplano. A versatile writer, I'm equally happy researching boutique hotels in Budapest and Amsterdam and trekking through jungle in the Amazon.