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It was a few years ago now, but the memory is still crystal clear. I had walked outside for some fresh air following a dinner of assorted gourmet plates. An after-dinner drink had me feeling a little light headed. Or, now that I think of it, maybe it was the 4000-plus meters of altitude. I was, after all, in the middle of the Andes Mountains.
Surrounded by silence, and under a moon so full and bright I wanted to reach out and touch it, I took stock. What an adventure. I was mid-way through an incredible trek between Bolivia and Chile and had already chalked the trip up as unforgettable. I was so far removed from my daily life yet I knew then the impact would linger once I returned to that routine. Surreal.
American writer and activist Helen Keller had the right idea when she declared, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Once the exclusive domain of the hardcore, adventure travel has evolved to become considerably more accessible with action to suit thrill-seekers of all skill and fitness levels. For some, “daring adventure” involves blood, sweat and tears. Others are happier with a healthy side serve of “cheers” – by way of a flute of Dom Perignon, that is. Regardless, adventurers love heading off the proverbial beaten track – literally and metaphorically – and resorts, hotels and destinations are racking their creative brains to deliver.
Our cover story this issue, written by Kate Symons, will whisk you away – far, far away – from your daily lives and, at times, your comfort zone. Choose Your Own Adventure, starting on page 54, features 20 of the most spectacular luxury travel adventures in the world to get you on your way. Travel is all about storytelling and you’ll have some great yarns for friends and family after tackling any of these. Have fun and remember, life goes by fast so get going before you can’t.
Of course, these aren’t the only adventures to feature in the issue. Among others, Christine McCabe writes of her time in Tanzania and Kenya with Sanctuary Retreats, an adventure to be sure (Wild at Heart, page 120), while Brook Sabin ventures to waters bluer than he thought possible with Regent Seven Seas (Into the Blue, page 78). Changing tack, our Digital Editor Madelin Tomelty has taken an in-depth look at luxury travel’s evershifting landscapes. It is really interesting to see how and why our priorities have changed. Take a look: The Luxe Evolution, page 46.
We had some big shoes to fill following the Photo Essay in our last edition, featuring Steve McCurry of ‘Afghan Girl’ fame. But, as you will see, starting on page 46, Australian-based underwater photographer Matty Smith is a very worthy successor.
As always, thanks for flipping through our pages. Whether you’re a subscriber or you’ve just purchased your first copy of Luxury Travel from a newsstand, your support means a lot. If you have something to say – good, bad or ugly – please do email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.
Meanwhile, travel well. It is truly one of life’s greatest experiences.
Gary Allen | Publisher