When the seaplane lands on the waters of a remote atoll, in an Equator-straddling island somewhere in the Indian Ocean, I am not able to anticipate the dramatic wilderness of the place. The navy-blue waters sometimes interrupted by shades of infinite turquoise are, perhaps, the most obvious appeal of the idyllic paradise where I am headed. But there is so much beyond that. Beneath the surface of this ridiculously alluring ocean, lies one of nature’s most extraordinary events – and this is what drives me to this part of the world in the first place.Continue reading
On a journey to Ladakh, in the shadow of the Himalayas, I travel the world’s highest road and come across cultures and religions so diverse – yet they are just a few kilometers away from each other.
“Vietnamese people eat not to get bored,” explains Neville Dean, as I try another “pho,” in Hoi An food market. Neville is our guide in a food tour across the streets of the ancient town of Hoi An, in central Vietnam. It’s 7:30 am, and we have our fourth dish. “Eating is the best way to immerse yourself further in Vietnamese culture,” he points out.Continue reading
On a day in late January 2017, I land in Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, one of the last countries to open up in Asia after 50 years of isolation under the rule of a military junta. I’m only in Yangon for 12 hours before leaving for a five – day expedition across the Arakan Mountains, in western Burma. Despite being relatively new to tourism compared to other South-East Asian countries, in Myanmar, the heat is on. The much-touted places to visit – Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake – are on the standard schedule. But I want to be taken off-piste. It is that curiosity about the unknown with all its challenges that drives me to a forgotten part of this exotic country.
Five years ago, on a trip to Venezuela, I scuba dived for the first time. It was a journey that kicked off my passion for the ocean and its conservation. Since then, I’ve been traveling the world improving my diving skills in search of the most pristine coral reefs and wildlife. The more I understood the ocean, though, the more I challenged myself to be in harmony with the sea. I desired to dive with no weights and tanks, in the most natural way possible alongside the greatest’s marine creatures on earth. Then, I went to Hanifaru Bay – the world’s largest manta ray feeding station located in the Maldives – where one is not allowed to scuba dive.
Over the past four decades, one of the most exotic destinations in the world turned into the most visited country in Asia, thanks to its stable political atmosphere and the development of its capital as a crossroads of international air transport.Continue reading
There is something about Flores that is rather unearthly. This diverse island in Eastern Indonesia with its savannah landscape, pristine oceans, impressive volcanoes and lakes resemble a wilderness that seems to belong to another place and time. Though it is just an hour flight from the internationally-acclaimed Bali, Flores is an island still covered in relative obscurity.Continue reading
From the sky of an almost empty Savannah, we spot three herds of elephants running across Mozambique’s once war-torn plains. As we move from the city to the wilderness, it is the untouched that excites me – Africa at her most genuine. But the open vista has never been like this. 15 years of civil war tore apart one of the densest wildlife populations in Africa, and now, 25 years later, the megafauna is slowly getting back on track. Unlike our previous trips to Africa, though, this time we are not looking for the Big Five. We travel to Mozambique in search of what lies beneath the surface. As our chopper turns from the Bush to the Beach, I’m seduced by 2,500 Km of a dramatic and untouched coastline. And then I’m convinced this journey is all about the ocean.Continue reading