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.
Gushed about in guidebooks and beloved by the backpacker set, every day, thousands of travelers flock to Thailand’s sandy beaches, towering limestones cliffs, jungles and temples. With more than 30 million visitors a year, Thailand is no longer the region’s most adventurous destination, and the damaging effects of tourism are almost everywhere.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 always when moving from the city to the wilderness, it is the emptiness that excites me – Africa at her most serene and minimalist. 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 in 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
It’s six o’clock in the morning and we are sitting in a safari car in the Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan. Another jeep parks alongside just before we spot a beautiful tiger. We start talking to two photographers in the car next to us about remote locations to travel to. They are from Australia and seem to be the type of people who know where the wild things are. We share our experiences. They mention their favourite wildlife places in Australia, and that’s how I hear about Ningaloo Coast for the first time, two years ago, while tracking tigers in India.Continue reading
The pursuit of freedom has always been behind great travel experiences, whether it’s on horseback, by motorbike or practicing extreme sports. I enjoy exploring this idea during my journeys. I travel to discover new cultures, get lost in remote locations, encounter exotic wildlife or experience the pristine nature. Since two years ago, though, I found one more reason for travelling. And this is called Kite Surfing.Continue reading
It was during a trip to Bhutan, a year ago, when I first saw, and subsequently fell in love with the Himalayas. You see, those giant mountains mean different things to different people. To some, it represents a chance to meet with and conquer a real-life giant, something every mountaineer finds irresistible. To others, it is a region to be feared, respected and admired from a distance. But to me, it was a sort of mystery, waiting to be unraveled. The five days I spent in Bhutan were clearly not enough. I wanted more. I had to travel deeper into the region and walk among these giants to fully grasp their magic.Continue reading