The air is so thin that my Royal Enfield Motorbike struggles to keep moving from the lack of oxygen. My mind often becomes hazy and my heart labours just like the motorcycle, but every time I look up from the terrifyingly steep, pothole-riddled and rough road I see some of the most majestic scenery I have ever witnessed. Stark and jagged mountains, rugged blue glaciers, remote Buddhist villages, and mountain passes covered in colourful prayer flags. This is just some of the epic landscape set before my eyes on this journey. Every hour I climb higher and closer the Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable pass set at a dizzying altitude of 5602 m. This is one of the world’s last great adventures to be had!
For most travellers, they see Antananarivo or Tana for short as merely the gateway to the far-flung island of Madagascar. A quick hop onto your 4×4 and you’re out of there as fast as possible. Those who linger here longer find something much different. Underneath the traffic-clogged streets, decaying buildings and mess of power lines is the lifeblood of Madagascar as a whole. In Tana, you will find the new face of Madagascar, but also the old mixed with its diverse population that hails from the tribes from every corner of Madagascar. Tana is also where you can see the island history, from the kingdoms of Malagasy tribes to the colonising French, it’s all here in one big wonderful melting mix. Before you think all Madagascar has is lemurs you need to see its equally impressive culture, starting here in Madagascar’s capital city, Antananarivo.
Soaring above a bay full of thousands of massive icebergs in a bush plane,hiking along ancient Inuit paths past colourful villages, searching for families of whales, kayaking through Ice fjords and venturing to one of the largest disappearing glaciers in the world. These are just some of the amazing experiences to be had around the UNESCO town of Ilulissat on Greenland’s North.
Tourism in the Arctic is a new idea and because of how remote it is, getting here has kept the tourist crowds away. Instead, you will find the hardcore travellers. The one’s who venture to the ends of the earth hunting for their next great experience. And I can assure you once they venture into Ilulissat and join in on the authentic activities, they will never forget it. From the howling sled dogs, dazzling northern lights, hospitality from the Inuit locals or the stunning scenery, Ilulissat, Greenland is the next big travel destination!
When it comes to travel I can without a doubt say, that I travel a lot. Meeting new people is a common occurrence for me and I am often asked: “where is your favorite destination”. This is a hard question as I have found something I like in every country I have been to. An easier answer is my favourite places to travel are the hardest ones to get to, the most remote corners of the planet. Here life is tough, often nomadic or tribal, based on survival rather than living. The environments are extreme, it can be very technical and travel here can require a lot of planning but it is by far the most rewarding kind of travel I have ever encountered. So, if you’re ready, lace your boots up and pack your bag and let’s go to the most remote corners of the planet! Read More
The media shows the civil war raging on in several regions of Yemen, but what it fails to show is the absolute blissful peace high up in the mountain top settlements of Haraz. Miles of terraced fields cut their way up the mountain side all the way to the gates of the gravity-defying, medieval Yemeni villages. The trails twist and turn through the farmlands and descend into Arabia’s wilderness, while the fresh mountain air makes for clear, scenic views over the Arabian plateau. The war is nowhere in sight and the residents of Haraz go about life as they have for centuries. Hiking from one village to another, traversing the mountain valleys along the way, gives you a deep understanding of one of Yemen’s oldest and most traditional cultures. Most exciting of all, it takes you to a remote corner of the world once thought to be lost. Read More
The more I travel the harder it is for me to get excited. The once vibrant picture becomes more mundane and “normal”. Arriving to Western Madagascar changed this perspective. Having previously believed I may have seen it all has been turned upside down by this stunning region. When the pavement ends so does the modern world. Ancient Baobabs soar above, lemurs leap from tree to tree, eerie jagged rock formations conceal spirits of the dead and wild Zebu stealing tribes rule the areas as they have for centuries. I came looking for adventure and Madagascar gave me exactly this! Read More
Top “Off the Beaten Path” Travel Experiences
With the click of a button you can explore the world’s hidden wonders, get off the beaten path and set off on your next adventure, but for the jaded traveler the average travel experience can seem mundane. After Eleven years in search of unique travel experiences I have devised a list of my favourite off the beaten track travel experiences from around the world. For those of you who are looking for something more than the average trip where you can delve into the unknown this list will help inspire your inner explorer, but most of all give you an insight into the lesser known corners of the world! Travel off the beaten track! You won’t be disappointed. Read More
The tiny island of Bali hosts stunning lush tropical landscapes riddled with rice terraces and active volcanoes. It’s also home to an ancient Hindu culture that has left its mark here with intricate and ornate temples that reflect the islands intense beauty. Unfortunately for us travelers this is no secret and tourists have been flocking here for years. For the savvy traveler there is plenty of opportunity to find the parts unknown. After visiting Bali frequently for the past ten years I have developed a guide to help you find the authentic Bali you have been dreaming of. See why Bali is one of my favourite Islands! Read More
Yarlung Valley, Tibet
High in the Himalayas I clamber through a dark cavern deep into the mountains heart in search of the Guru Rinpoche’s path to enlightenment in the Yarlung Valley the cradle of Tibetan civilization. The cave opening is barely wide enough for me to squeeze through. A weathered old leather rope was placed here hundreds of years ago by pilgrims to help assist in pulling yourself to the other side, this is not for those who are claustrophobic. Finally, I reach the heart of the mountain. Wafts of juniper incense and the heat from the butter lamps make the air heavy. In the distance you can see Tibetans gathered around a large gold statue murmuring mantras.
For Tibetans a pilgrimage should be a difficult and dangerous event, this way when you finally complete the journey the sense of reward is there. In Tibet’s Yarlung Valley there are many of these karma boosting journeys taking place. Those who make it to the Yarlung Valley will find one of Tibet’s oldest and culturally rewarding experiences. Read More
Travel Packing Tips
Every time I take a new traveler with me on another Uncharted Adventure the first question I am always asked: “What do I bring?”. After 11 years of countless mistakes of over packing, forgetting things, and bringing the wrong gear, I can confidently consider myself to be a travel packing expert. This guide can help you learn the ways of travel packing and avoid all the troubles that go along with what seems like an easy task. So, grab your backpack, and prepare yourself for your next big adventure!