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Ben Westwood started dreaming of being a writer and musician at an early age. Growing up in England, he pursued both of his passions by studying music at Westminster University and doing a journalism work placement at national newspaper The Independent. He wrote his first travel journal during a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. After graduating from college, Ben decided to follow his passion for travel; with an English-language teaching qualification under his belt, he set off for Ecuador in 1998. In the year he spent there, he fell in love with the country--and one of its citizens. He returned to the UK newly married to study a postgraduate diploma at the country's top journalism school, City University. Ben worked for five years for The Daily Telegraph and Telegraph.co.uk as a travel journalist and online travel editor, writing articles on everything from encounters with Maoist guerrillas in Nepal to encounters with drunken Brits in Greece. After a brief stint working in adventure tourism, Ben moved to Ecuador with his wife and children in 2007 to combine his passions for teaching and travel writing. Since then, he has contributed to the The Rough Guide to South America on a Budget and continues to contribute to The Daily Telegraph. Ben currently teaches journalism, travel writing, English language, and the history of popular music at the Universidad de Especialidades Espiritu Santo, one of Ecuador's best universities. He still finds time to sing and play the guitar, and has released one self-funded album, Keep Dreaming.