Category

Trekking

10 days, Culture, Experiences, Itineraries, Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Trekking, Wildlife

The tribespeople of Papua New Guinea

It’s the first morning of our expedition in Papua New Guinea. We trek through a dense jungle punctuated with waterfalls and scored by deep gorges, which in turn are crisscrossed by thickly knotted vine bridges. In the distance, the music of rare species of birds, and that feeling of life being as close to perfect as it could ever possibly be. We hike up alongside dozens of types of wildflowers until Thomas, our local fixer in the Highlands, Max – a photographer -and I reach the first tribal village. “This is a fortune-teller tribe,” says Thomas, “The men here use their ancestor’s skulls as instruments to foretell the future.” I look around and find a bunch of red and yellow-painted skulls lined up in a hut. There is nothing more bizarre.

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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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7 days, Beach, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, Kite surfing, North America, Trekking, United States

Kauai: the highs of a lush island

There had been heavy rain since we landed in Kauai, but now the clouds are slowly lifting. The sun insists on making its way through as I stop paddling for a few seconds to admire dramatic emerald mountains around Hanalei Bay – a long right-hand point break in the long stretch of beach where I am surfing – with views to cascading waterfalls.

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3-5 days, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, North America, Trekking, United States

In between worlds in the city of Angels

Los Angeles has a soul. La-La Land is filled with the glamour of Hollywood and movie set backdrops. Yet, it’s also home to some of the United States’ very best museums, like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum, outstanding art galleries, and architectural masterpieces like the Getty Center. Sure, it’s a sprawling metropolis with eternally congested freeways, but it also contains one of the most diverse and unique sets of neighborhoods in the States. It’s a town that feels like a country, and is so culturally diverse,  where the greatest challenge for travelers is not what to do, but which version of this vast city to embrace. 

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3-5 days, Destinations, Europe, Experiences, Italy, Itineraries, Trekking

Slow Umbria

I love the effortlessly sophisticated, the outrageous, and the romantic sides of Italy, from a heavenly pasta to the most spectacular monuments. It’s capable of stirring emotion and touching every sense, in a way that’s unrivaled worldwide. No wonder its extraordinary mix of archaeological treasures, architecture, exquisite cuisine, and fine art has long proved irresistible to travelers. But as much as I adore Italy, I cannot deny that with all its allures, comes the inevitable growth of tourism.

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5 days, Culture, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, Oceania, Papua New Guinea, Trekking, Wildlife

Land before time – Into the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

From a fenced-window car, I see barbed wires. Everywhere. I also watch kids on the streets carrying machetes bigger than themselves. I have just landed in the deep mountainous interior of Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands – a place that has long set in the very edge of my imagination. On Thomas’car – our local guide – we head from Tari town to Tari’s countryside, in the center of the Huli country in the Hela Province. I’m pretty aware of PNG’s reputation for being especially dangerous, overrun with gangs of hoodlums and terrorized by violence. But I’m also mindful that Papua New Guinea is without a doubt among the most culturally intriguing frontiers left on the planet. I am traveling in a place that both frightens and excites utterly –  because it feels like the real thing. 

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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, 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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5 days, Asia, Culture, Motorcycle, Myanmar, Trekking, Wildlife

Untouched Chin

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.

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10 days, Culture, Nepal, Trekking

On a journey to Everest Base Camp, I witnessed more than a magic scenery

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.

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