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On the road

10 days, Asia, Cambodia, Culture, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, On the road, Uncategorized

Cambodia beyond Angkor Wat

Few travelers venture into Cambodia’s remote northern regions. The country has a poor road network and is not fully cleared of landmines (laid in their millions over three decades of war). Instead, the majority of tourists base themselves in the lively town of Siem Reap, gateway to the 155 sq mile Angkor Archaeological Park and its hundreds of majestic restored temples. Unsurprisingly, Angkor Wat – one of the world’s largest religious monuments – remains the foremost attraction in the country and first-time visitors will not want to miss the pinnacle of the Khmer empire. But there is much more to be seen beyond Angkor’s boundaries.

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10 days, Culture, Destinations, Europe, Experiences, Italy, Itineraries, On the road

Sicily from east to west

On a map, Sicily is right in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula from which the narrow Strait of Messina separates it. Surrounded by three seas – Tyrrhenian, Mediterranean, and Ionian – it’s not too distant from mainland Italy, and its southernmost Island is astonishingly just a 113 km stretch from Tunisia. Laying between the civilizations of Africa and Europe, Sicily is a world apart. No wonder. A region separated from the rest of Italy not only by the sea but also by centuries of history and cultural experience. Yet, by traveling there, I discover, Sicily is also a vital part of the country.

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10 days, Africa, Culture, Destinations, Experiences, Itineraries, Morroco, On the road

In the Berber’s footsteps

On the edge of North Africa’s desert, I watch nomads shelter from the sun in a camel-hair tent. A man herds his camels with curved daggers hanging down his back, and a long colorful scarf wraps around his head and neck. Mules swing their heads and stare. In the distance, the great stone and snowy caps fold of the Atlas Mountains behind the man, the animals, the tent. 

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

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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