Category

On the road

14-18 days, Beach, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, New Zealand, Oceania, On the road, Trekking

New Zealand’s love story

When I take a taxi ride to Changi airport in Singapore, on a warm evening in late December, I’m aware I’m headed to New Zealand – a country I’ve been longing to go to. I have a brief idea of the itinerary: a few hikes to pursue, beach towns, wineries, restaurants to visit. But I’m not on full control of the program. I notice there are a bit more than the usual blanks in the plan. “We might give room for serendipity to take hold,” I’m told.

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10 days, 12 days, Beach, Culture, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, North America, On the road, Trekking

The shifting land of Hawaii’s Big Island

As the plane tips its wings toward the airstrip, I can see a mass of volcanic lava covering a large part of the land below, the green and blue turning into an immense brown, so alien as if I am reaching somewhere uninhabited, perhaps the edge of the world. On the horizon, volcanoes rise from the floor, reminding this is a place whose history has been shaped by fire; a far off group of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean formed five million years ago out of powerful volcanic combustion.

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5 days, Australia, Beach, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, Oceania, On the road

Esperance’s impossible blue

Traveling 631 km south-east of Perth – one of the most out-of-the-way cities on Earth, in far-off Western Australia, is a long way from anywhere. As I traverse Western Australia, I’m hit by that uncanny fizz of sacrifice, the struggle that reminds me this is a part of the world for the patient traveler. The one willing to move slowly and endure large, empty distances to discover pure landscapes, where few others have been. It’s a place that makes you feel things and realize that travel, after all, is an act of movement. I’ve been hooked on WA for a while; perhaps it’s the challenge of getting here, the sense of conquest at the end of each journey that I find so appealing – or it’s the effort that always, always pays off.

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6-8 days, Asia, Culture, Destinations, Experiences, Indonesia, Itineraries, Motorcycle, On the road, Trekking

Fresh eyes on Bali

It’s almost harvest season in Munduk Mountain Valley. The sun is about to set, and birds approach the rice fields, despite chased away by farmers, who remain on constant alert. Here, in this pocket of North Bali, there is a sublime emptiness. The climate is surprisingly refreshing and the vibe, bucolic. I’m in Sanak, a small family-run retreat, where I find myself amidst tropical landscapes with scenic mountains. It has the essence of an older Indonesia and feels like the Bali of another time.

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10 days, Australia, Culture, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, Oceania, On the road

The sacred sites of Australia’s Northern Territory

We rise up in a Cessna over the Wetlands of Australia’s largest National Park. My stomach lurches as I look down on an incredible variety of landscapes – coastal swamps, floodplains, lowland hills, escarpment, monsoon rain forest, and ancient plateau. Beneath me, crocodiles scuttle into the East Alligator River, and a fabulously diverse range of birds navigate over the plains. I look in every direction and see nothing on the horizon. From the sky, I have a glimpse of the immensity of Kakadu’s wilderness: it’s half the size of Switzerland – the whole Park is a protected area of nearly 20.000 Km2.

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10 days, Australia, Culture, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, Oceania, On the road, Trekking

Into the wild Outback

For six days and six nights, I sit on a land cruiser and watch a never-ending highway in front of me. I observe the same vast and flat horizon for hours. The road, the sunshine, the red earth.  It’s dry as hell. I feel the dust getting under my skin and the sun warming my bones. We drive across iconic highways and go deep into the prehistoric outback of Kimberley – a geological wonderland in North Western Australia.

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7 days, Asia, Culture, Destinations, Experiences, India, Itineraries, Motorcycle, On the road

Rajasthan on two wheels

I first traveled to India a few years ago. That was a short three-day trip, but long enough to give me a flavor of a compelling, out of the ordinary country. I watched the sunrise from the remarkable Taj Mahal, drove 300km from Agra to Ranthambore National Park on a Royal Enfield Bullet, and tracked wild tigers in their natural habitat. Rajasthan is a place that moved me. I fell in love with the culture, the land, the people, and have been going back ever since.

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4 days, Culture, Diving, East Timor, On the road

Timor-Leste or East Timor: What is it like?

If you have the curiosity to experience what an undeveloped and new nation is like you should go to East Timor. I say a new nation because this former Portuguese colony became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century in 2002. The country was utterly ruined in 1999 when the Indonesian troops who had occupied it for 24 years were forced to withdraw after a United Nations referendum resulted in its independence. Almost 15 years after this event, it still lacks in resources, and there is not too much happening in East Timor. And this is the reason why we decided to visit this little nation in the Indian Ocean. We wanted to see with our eyes how a country in its very beginning looks like.

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