HASHTAG CHEFCHAOUEN, #NOFILTER

You may know Chefchaouen already, but under a different name: Xauen or Chaouen among others. Or perhaps you’ve seen any one of the millions of photos of it on Instagram, “The Blue City” or “The Blue Pearl” being some of the confoundingly inaccurate nicknames for Chefchaouen that I suppose sounded good to some PR folks […]

Italy’s Boundless Zest for Citrus

Italy’s food culture is a constellation of countless regional specialties, so place-peculiar that dishes can vary significantly in the span of just a few hundred meters. Such is the case of some mountain valleys, for instance, where the natural landscape has helped keep the local from spreading further. But one aspect that unites all these […]

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 […]

How to paint in watercolor

Sidewalks and the paved parts of the urban landscape have a funny definition in some Asian cities.  On the Silk Road after midnight, the roads and sidewalks become the communal domicile, as beds are dragged out into the streets to enjoy the cool breeze of the desert nights. Hanoi and Bangkok are two cities so […]

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 […]

Greek music: beyond Zorba

I am trying to recall my first introduction to Greek music. I was a teen when my parents took me on holidays to the island of Corfu. Was it during the taxi ride to the hotel – taxi drivers love their music, and they like it loud – or was it that night we signed […]

Fair + 1

Long before founding Trufflepig with my best friends in 2004, I got my start in the travel industry as a 20 yr-old bike-tour guide with a braided ponytail, mutton-chop sideburns, leather pants and the inflated confidence of youth. But no real idea what I was doing. Not surprisingly I screwed up spectacularly in those early […]

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 […]

All Hail the Himalayas

There is much discussion in the shell-shocked world of the travel ‘industry’. What’s lost, what’s coming back, what’s never to return. Goodbye to the city break? Good riddance mass tourism! Farewell fly-and-flop. Well, I don’t know the answer to all that, but I do know that there is one journey I currently cannot get out […]

Sisters of Fate – A Fado Playlist

As I’ve been writing this post, Portugal has been commemorating a special anniversary: the 100th anniversary of Amália Rodrigues. Her name may not mean much outside Portuguese-speaking circles, but here she is revered as the “Queen of Fado”, and her birthday is an appropriate time for me to confess: I am a die-hard fan of this music. […]