Kashgar: Behind the Façade

Kashgar: Behind the Façade

The sweet smoky odor of grilled mutton and cumin saturated the surprisingly cool summer breeze as I walked along Aizirete Lu near the famous Yengi Bazaar in the ancient city of Kashgar. The crowded streets were lined as far as my eyes could see with brightly colored umbrellas shading large bags of spices, carts filled with fresh fruit, and butchered meat hanging precariously above crude scales on fragile makeshift tables. ...read the full story

Naked by Choice: Owning the Bushmen Myth

Naked by Choice: Owning the Bushmen Myth

We marched for hours through the high grass and endless scrub of the central Kalahari. The “Old Man,” as he is known in the village, stopped only briefly to examine a small dent in the sandy soil or inspect the trace of a passing animal. He moved gracefully over the inhospitable land with a confidence that comes from centuries of accumulated knowledge. We followed at a distance as he scanned ...read the full story

Pushkar: Gypsies, Gods & Dromedaries

Pushkar: Gypsies, Gods & Dromedaries

I hopped off my camel cart on the outskirts of the fairground, opting instead to walk the sandy corridors between tents and animals where thousands of India’s desert nomads were welcoming a new day. From a distance, it looked like a Rajput-era military encampment with hundreds of tents erected in endless rows. The movement of animals, carts and countless people dressed in traditional tribal colors created a bustle of activity. ...read the full story

The Sacred City of Shiva

The Sacred City of Shiva

It was only my first full day in India but I was already beginning to appreciate the beauty and rhythm nestled amidst the seeming chaos that surrounded me. As the last bit of daylight surrendered to eerie pockets of neon illumination, I mounted a cycle-rickshaw near my hotel and was quickly swept through a narrow meandering maze of tiny alleyways. Cars, rickshaws, scooters, bicycles, pedestrians, and sacred cows all competed ...read the full story

The Lure of Tibet

The Lure of Tibet

For years I longed to visit Tibet. Maybe it was a fascination inspired by romantic movies or the powerful lure of a distant land of myth and legend that few western travelers have ever seen, but I could barely contain my joy as I crowded at a portal window to steal a momentary glimpse of a magical snow-capped mountain as we made our descent into Gongkar Airport. I was traveling alone ...read the full story

Nepal’s Everest Highway

Nepal's Everest Highway

We started hearing our first reports in Namche Bazaar. The news wasn’t promising. Heavy snow had temporarily closed Cho La pass. For almost a week as we journeyed higher into the mountains, the thought of a dangerous 10-hour trek over a snow-covered pass in the Himalaya lingered unspoken as we gathered around dung-fueled stoves in our nightly teahouse sanctuaries. The pass is the shortcut to Everest Base Camp (EBC) across ...read the full story

Machu Picchu: The Lost City of the Inca

Machu Picchu: The Lost City of the Inca

We walked for days over and around some of South America’s most stunning and inaccessible mountains. We walked as the Inca did, step by step toward a mysterious destination that has captivated the world since 1911. After one final ascent of a massive wall of stacked and broken granite, we passed through Intipunku, the Sun Gate, and stood motionless staring down at the cloud-shrouded enigma of the Inca. We had ...read the full story

Galápagos: The Enchanted Isles

Galápagos: The Enchanted Isles

The towering peak of la Cumbre was hidden behind a vaporous cloak of dense fog, intensifying the mysterious stillness as our “panga” shuttled us towards an unearthly landscape. We carefully made our way across the slick hardened lava, taking our first tentative steps along the rugged coastline of Fernandina. In the cracks and shadows where the volcano meets the sea, some of the strangest creatures imaginable took notice of our ...read the full story

Nepal Through Innocent Eyes

Nepal Through Innocent Eyes

I could hear him coming as I glanced across the room of my trekkers lodge. The pale green numbers of my alarm clock were glowing 5:37 in the darkness, “The mountain is clear, the mountain is clear,” whispered our guide Raju in a voice so soft it seemed intended to awaken us without actually disturbing our sleep. After a few more stolen moments of rest, I dragged myself out of bed ...read the full story

The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth

At the first light of dawn in Kenya’s Massai Mara National Reserve, safari trucks speed off into the sunrise in hopes of a close encounter with one of Africa’s glamorous cats. The early morning is the best time to catch a glimpse of the beautiful and elusive animals before they seek shelter from the midday heat. While lions, leopards and cheetahs are thrilling to see in the wild—offering the sexiest photographic ...read the full story