My Morocco Moment of Ambedo

Most of my chatter these past few months has been to talk about the travel world pre-Covid19. From reminiscing about the “old days“, to sharing discoveries just before lockdowns swept in that now take on different meanings with our new reality, or simple yearning to get back out there and explore. This period of staying […]

Finding My Way North – the Camino de Santiago

I’ve found that the old dictum “hindsight is 20/20” has taken on new meaning this year. My realization has been that for much of my adult life, travel has defined my most significant moments. I don’t want to come off sounding like some Instagram travel influencer racing around the globe to collect passport stamps for the […]

Where’s Oualidia?

About 45 minutes into the drive south from Casablanca, the landscape starts to change. Fertile agricultural land gives way to firm red earth and barren rocky soils. Waist-high stone walls of marine limestone punctuate the empty rolling hills. You turn off the new tollway for the old coastal road, beginning at the unattractive port town of Jorf […]

Tuscia? Touché

Meet the region of Tuscia [“Two-Sha”] – Tuscany’s rugged cousin. A few weeks ago, once the lockdown was partially lifted in Italy and we could travel within the regions where we live, I decided to escape and so to Tuscia, just a few kilometres outside Rome, did I head. Geographically, Tuscia stretches from the coast […]

Birding is Boresome and Other Myths

Let this be an ode to the non-tactile senses. To the joy of looking and seeing, the richness of listening and hearing. To being still long enough and staying put long enough to enjoy some of the world’s subtleties. About 15 years ago, I had burrowed my way into the professional world of travel. In […]

One Step At A Time

After a 7 hour train journey from my home in Provence to Evian-les-Bains on the shore of Lake Geneva, I find myself standing on the side of a road, surrounded by beautiful alpine scenery on one side and the clear waters of the lake on the other. I am holding a piece of cardboard salvaged […]

An Expedition to the Stars

The story I have to tell begins in Portugal in 1881. A team of scientists from the Lisbon Geographic Society gather to undertake an expedition to the Serra da Estrela mountains some 300km away. The Serra, the highest point in continental Portugal (the peak at Torre clocks in just shy of 2,000 meters) acquired its main […]

Venice, The Fragile and Resilient

Venice recently made headlines for all the wrong reasons. On November 12th the city was swallowed by a whopping 187 cm (or six feet) of “acqua alta” (high tide) above mean sea level. It was just a few centimetres below the record reached in 1966, which Venetians still refer to with horror as ‘Acqua Granda’ […]

Mountain Magic

When I was younger I used to love lying on the beach. I could do it for hours, day after day. I had no care for SPF, much less so for changes in elevation. The sun, my towel, and a flat bit of sand by any body of water was all I needed. And then, in […]

Turkish Black Sea

Turkey spans continents, it defies expectations (mostly by surpassing them), its cuisine is constantly impressive, and then the separate regions within this vast varied country are themselves myriad, from the thriving cultural hub of Istanbul to the Azure Coast, from the interior splendours of cave-like Cappadocia to the historical highlights of Ephesus. You can now add another to […]

The Waves of Inis Meain

A dreamer for surf, I always imagined my life would follow the tides and know the nooks and crannies of some little seen coastline like the back of my hand, but I never lived on the salt water, at least not for long enough to get used to the patterns of the sea. All the pot-smoking […]

A Sebastian in Heaven, A Sebastian on Earth

Don’t worry.  I’ve not gone off the deep end (yet). The title is a rough translation of the hymn to San Sebastian, aka Donostia, aka one of the Coolest Coastal Towns in Spain.  It’s also much more readable than the original Basque: Sebastian bat badu zeruan, donosti bat bakarra munduan. But Basque aside, I’m not hot […]

In Naples, more is more

Naples doesn’t do subtle. Everything in the Southern Italian city is about abundance: if you’ve been there before, you’ll certainly know that food doesn’t come in small doses, nor with light preparations. And if Baroque is one of the arts that best encapsulates the city’s spirit, Naples has also made a name for itself for […]

Globe Trotters

We’ve been out on the road this year…. a lot. At half-time on 2019, our trotters are worn smooth, and it’s time to take stock. The pictures above flooded my inbox when I naively wrote to our planning team to ask for a few shots from recent research trips. I was struck by the awesome […]

This Little Piggy Went to Market…

We were on our way to the market, as lead by our guide, the ever-capable and personable Paco, when my co-culinary-conspirator, Susannah, mentioned in a hushed tone that she had never visited this market before, as she had been warned-off by friends and people-in-the-know, that it was too dangerous to visit, especially for a non-Mexican […]

Year Of The Pig

It’s the year of the Pig, folks, and to celebrate our star-studded shredding of the 2019 Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialists List (5 of our planners listed… more than any other company in the – ahem – world) we all gathered in Toronto last month for what can only be described as a good […]