Indagare Magazine Fall/Winter 2020

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3-4 On My Mind

The Meaning of Travel

5-14 Where to Travel Now From Hawaii to Tunisia

15-16 Going Private

The benefits and how to do it

17-20 On the Road Again Tips on Covid travel safety

21-26 The Paris We Love

Six reasons we hope the French capital will be open to Americans again soon.

Insider Journeys: Preview 2021 27-40 Journey Highlights From Adventure to Impact trips

41-48 Kenya Reborn

By Melissa Biggs Bradley and Kathryn Nathanson

49-56 Worldly Visions

Photos by Dominick Walker

57-62 Slow Travel By Eliza Harris

63-72 Tunisia Rising By Simone Girner

73-77 Indagare’s Global Classroom



This page, clockwise from top: A Burgess yacht at sail; photographer Dominick Walker in Egypt; Carthage, in Tunisia. Opposite page, clockwise from top: Eden in Nairobi; hiking in the Adirondacks; flying over Alaska; a lesson in hieroglyphics in Egypt. On the cover: In northern Laikipia, Kenya. On the back cover: Newcomer One&Only Mandarina, Mexico.

As the world begins to open up and some Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, the team at Indagare remains dedicated to serving as your trusted travel advisor and resource. We will continue to provide well-researched, in-depth information if you’re ready to get back on the road, as well as virtual travel inspiration for your future trips. We are in this together. #howyoutravelmatters







n August 1, Kenya became one of the first countries to reopen its borders to Americans, and, in September, I made my first international trip post-lockdown, spending almost three weeks there. To arrive, I had to face new travel anxieties and entry requirements, which many might not feel comfortable accepting, I realize, but the rewards for traveling in these unusual times extended far beyond crowd-free airports. In fact, for me, the true meaning of travel—what it sometimes can show you about the world and about yourself—came more clearly into focus than ever before. Early in lockdown someone asked me where I would go first when the world reopened. I immediately said Africa, because I know how the continent relies on tourism—for employment, conservation and community empowerment. Over the past 20 years, I have been able to see the incredibly positive impact of travelers in providing livelihoods and improved health and education to communities all over east and southern Africa, as well as making strides to save endangered animals like rhinos and gorillas. In the first three months of lockdown, however, it is estimated that the safari industry lost $50 billion in revenue. Thousands of rangers have lost their jobs and poaching is on the rise across east and southern Africa. Since those early days of the pandemic, one of the things that has struck me is how quickly we can adapt—to urban silence, to hearing the birds, to noticing the spaces between us, but also to staying put and having our mobility restricted. As the holder of two of the most powerful passports in the world (U.S.

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and Australia), I had always seen my global mobility as an awesome privilege, sure, but I had also taken it largely for granted. Since March, we have had to accept being shut out of countries that we had always assumed were ours to visit. Last year alone, Indagare sent members to 122 different countries (the UN recognizes 193 in the world). This June, Americans were permitted to enter only 11. The numbers have recently increased—at press time, we can travel to 45, if we’re willing to accept new rules and restrictions, as well as adopt a measure of courage (see p. 17 for practical advice for traveling in the time of Covid-19).

for environmental protections and heritage preservation.

Until last March, before Covid-19’s arrival, one of the travel industry’s major concerns was overtourism, a phenomenon that can be seen in the toll that Venice, Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu have paid for their beauty, mystery and popularity. I’m on the board of the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), a non-profit based in Washington D.C., and two years ago, we held our summit on this topic, which we defined as “tourism that has moved beyond the limits of acceptable change in a destination, due to the quantity of visitors.” But now, I worry about its polar opposite: undertourism. A staggering 10 percent of the world’s GDP lies in tourism, which has proven to be a particularly effective employment vehicle for vulnerable communities, including women and youth, as well as a powerful motivator

This slower, more-thoughtful approach is considered travel (the antithesis of careless, consumptive travel), and it begins with reflecting deeply on where you want to go, why and how, and then preparing and understanding your options, so you make better choices about how you spend your time and your dollars. It means thinking about the impact you have on a place. It involves an attitude of both ambassadorship and stewardship, leaving home with respect for the customs of other countries but also returning as a champion, by accepting responsibility for the footprints we leave, the mementos that we take with us and the privileged understanding of what we bring home. As Daniel Katz, the founder of the Rainforest Alliance, told me during one of the Global Conversations talks we’ve been

So, to me, it is clear that we must get back out there (when we feel comfortable, which remains a deeply personal decision), but how we do that will look different. It is clear that we have to take fewer trips. We need to dive more deeply into places, stay longer and consider our time and our impact. If the right place for the pendulum to land between overtourism and undertourism is in the middle, then the responsible traveler has to find the center for him and herself as well. We must broaden our global view, seek to understand how everything is connected, But the big questions remain: When we do and make decisions that are informed, next venture out, where will we go, and how thoughtful and effective, not just for ourdo we go—and when will we be allowed to selves but for the greater world that we love go, what will it be like? to explore.

running since April, “Once we visit a beautiful place, we become its stewards. We have a responsibility to support the people and places after we return home.” It is in this sentiment that I see our biggest opportunity to effect positive change—as travelers, as world citizens, as humans. I felt this keenly during my time in Kenya and expect I will when I travel to Rwanda for three weeks in November, leading two Insider Journeys. Travel may have changed, and hopefully, in the end, it will be for the better, with all of us being more conscious, considerate and compassionate. But meanwhile what hasn’t changed—what won’t change—is what travel imparts. Travelers in the ideal, wherever they are, are a community who offer gratitude and appreciation when they are away—mingling meaningfully with local residents, contributing something of benefit and returning with memories and a broader view to share with others. And when they reach home, they are the better for having gone away, too. From top: Melissa on the banks of the the Ewaso Nyiro River in northern Kenya; setting up for sundowners in Samburu Country.

In Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s words, “I am a part of all that I have met.”


Indagare is a members-only boutique travel-planning company. We offer curated content, customized trip-planning and group trips around personal passion points. Indagare Magazine is published twice annually exclusively for Indagare members. © 2020 Indagare. All Rights Reserved. See the magazine online at Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Trip inquiries and change of address requests can be made by phone or by emailing Indagare Membership Office: 212-988-2611 93 Fourth Avenue New York, NY 10003




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The lack of crowds has an alarming flip side, though. The United Nations predicts the travel industry will lose upwards of a trillion dollars

this year, putting the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people who work in the sector at risk. The sudden drop in revenues has had a calamitous effect on the ancillary benefits of tourism around the world, especially conservation and community empowerment. With all of this in mind, we’re cautiously getting back into voyager mode. From East Africa to New England, here’s what you need to know about the places that are open and enacting health measures to ensure safety. ~PETER SCHLESINGER


While navigating the New Normal makes for a markedly changed getaway, it also offers several advantages if you’re looking to travel in the near future. Some

of our favorite destinations have reopened with safety measures and cleaning protocols that will benefit visitors for years to come, and there’s a shift to spending as much time as possible outside. Another silver lining: no more worries about overtourism this year. It’s entirely possible that you’ll have previously buzzy destinations, from the beaches of Hawaii to the temples of Luxor, nearly to yourself.


LIKE ALL THINGS IN 2020, planning a trip is, well, different. For months, most of us avoided leaving our neighborhoods, and, currently, we find ourselves at a unique moment, when even visiting a neighboring state has potential logistical hurdles—from mandatory Covid-19 tests to possible selfquarantines—not to mention the ongoing risks of the virus itself.


Costa Rica wildlife. Clockwise from left: Aperol in Croatia and the Adriatic coast; on safari. Opposite: The Maldives

WHY PLAN WITH INDAGARE As the world begins to open back up and some Covid-19 restrictions are lifted, the team at Indagare remains dedicated to serving as your trusted travel advisor and resource. We will continue to provide well-researched, in-depth information, if you’re ready to get back on the road, as well as virtual travel inspiration for your future trips. We are in this together. #howyoutravelmatters



Volcanoes, waterfalls and verdant cliffs tumbling into the sea are all on offer in the Aloha State, where adventure is only a hike—or heli-tour—away. The water stays warm enough to swim, snorkel and surf year-round, and each of the five main islands—Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Oahu and Kauai—come with their own temptations, including the lava fields at Kilauea or kayaking along the jagged Na Pali Coast. Entry Requirements: All arrivals over the age of five must show proof of a negative test result from within 72 hours of travel and conducted by one of a dozen health partners nationwide, including CVS and Walgreens. Visitors to The Big Island must take a second, rapid-result test upon arrival. At press time, inter-island travelers will still face a mandatory, and enforced, 14-day quarantine. Indagare Tip: Maui’s iconic Road to Hana is a jaw-dropper of a day trip, but usually one that also comes with frustrating traffic. This year presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the lush coastal route with near-empty roads.

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Costa Rica

Get a dose of “pura vida” by exploring the incredible nature of Central America. Although it makes up only 0.03 percent of the earth’s surface, Costa Rica is home to six percent of its biodiversity, including everything from the ocelot to the Jesus Christ lizard—named for its ability to walk over water. And while the local sloths may be lethargic, visitors often opt for action: zip-lining through jungle preserves, snorkeling the reefs and surfing the Pacific. Entry Requirements: Beginning November 1, arrivals no longer need to show proof of a negative PCR test. Instead, they must purchase medical insurance to cover any Covid-related medical treatment or extended quarantine lodging. Indagare Tip: The coasts get most of the attention, but Costa Rica’s interior is stunning in its own right. Where to stay: Nayara Tented Camp, which opened last winter just before lockdown on a reforested hillside that’s part of a sloth sanctuary. Expect tents with private, spring-fed plunge pools and views of the Arenal Volcano.





Embrace the season with a journey to America’s Last Frontier. The days are short and cold, yes, but they’re also filled with heli-skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing and glacier-trekking. Plus, the night sky brings its own dazzling charms, with the aurora borealis dancing overhead.

In the Galápagos, December to May is the warmest season, when daytime temperatures can hit 90 degrees and the ocean—usually chilled by the cold Humboldt Current—is warm enough for lengthy, wetsuit-free excursions. See dozens of endemic and endangered species including the giant tortoise, Pacific green sea turtles, blue-footed boobies, penguins and marine iguanas on this famously remote archipelago.

Move around between several of the state’s best hotels, each located within a ski-pole’s length of some of the area’s most breathtaking landscapes: Sheldon Chalet for the best access to Denali; Winterlake Lodge, where you can go dog-sledding on the Iditarod Trail right from property; or Tordrillo Lodge for helicopter-based activities.


Entry Requirements: All visitors must either show proof of a negative Covid PCR test result or purchase a test upon arrival and self-isolate until the results return negative. Indagare Tip: Don’t rush it. The state is massive—larger than California, Texas and Montana combined—and warrants at least a week to get a true feel for its varied, natural beauty.

Entry Requirements: To enter Ecuador, travelers must provide proof of a negative Covid PCR test taken within 10 days before arrival. To continue to the Galápagos, you must provide proof of a negative result taken within 96 hours prior to arrival in the Galápagos. A new test can be taken in Ecuador, if necessary. Indagare Tip: With a chic, minimalist design, Pikaia Lodge, reopening November 1, offers comfort with a conservation focus on Santa Cruz island. To maximize time at sea, combine it with an expedition yacht, like the new Origin and Theory vessels from Ecoventura, part of Relais & Chateaux.


Caribbean After months of lockdown, most islands are ready for visitors again. Two hotels we love: On St. Barth’s, the Oetker Collection’s Eden Rock reopened in October, still fresh after a two-year renovation it unveiled just months before borders closed last winter. And along the pink sands of Harbour Island—a Bahamian cay near Eleuthera with zero reported Covid cases thus far—The Dunmore’s beachfront cottages and villas are reopening November 5. Entry Requirements: To protect both visitors and locals, the islands we love have enacted Covid-19 test requirements for all inbound travelers. Arrivals must have a negative PCR test within three to five days prior to departure in most cases. Indagare Tip: For extra seclusion, consider Mustique, a private island in St. Vincent & the Grenadines. You may bypass the country’s five-day self-isolation requirement with proof of a negative PCR test (conducted within five days of the trip), and a rapid-results test upon arrival.


Maldives November through March sees balmy temperatures and clear blue skies in this island nation of more than a thousand atolls—and some of the world’s most fabulous resorts—off the southern tip of India. Spend days lounging beachside or at your overwater bungalow, but be sure to take a dip under the water as well: manta rays, whale sharks, sea turtles and dozens of species of fish make the reefs here “feel like The Little Mermaid come to life,” says Indagare’s Sasha Feldman.

Indagare Tip: The best resorts in the Maldives are on their own atolls—mini communities, which is a major safety feature in the age of social distancing. And while the country only began requiring proof of test results in September, some resorts took extra precautions. Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi both require guests and staff to take PCR tests upon arrival and one week into the stay. The payoff: a mask-free experience, if you choose.

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Entry Requirements: Proof of negative PCR test results from within 96 hours prior to departure.



For a much-needed dose of European charm, head to this strip of land on the Adriatic Sea. Ancient walled cities—Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik, to name a few—and hilltop villages hug the coast, while Zagreb, the inland capital, has a medieval historic center and a thriving arts scene. This year, the northern port of Rijeka has vaulted onto the itinerary, as Europe’s 2020 Capital of Culture. Despite the pandemic, the town—just an hour’s drive from Trieste—has unveiled a slew of redevelopment projects, theatrical events and museum exhibitions, many of which will continue into 2021. Entry requirements: Arrivals must show proof that they are staying within the country, such as hotel reservations, and present a negative PCR test taken 48 hours before arrival. Indagare Tip: Time your trip to include Zagreb’s beloved Advent festival, held throughout the month of December. Officials have announced that the cinnamon-scented reminder of Croatia’s Habsburg heritage will still occur, albeit with alterations.

Egypt The sheer span of Egyptian history boggles the mind: Cleopatra’s reign is closer in years to the moon landing than to the construction of the pyramids at Giza. Home to more than a third of the world’s antiquities and the only remaining Wonder of the Ancient World—the pyramids—it’s been fascinating travelers for millennia. And visiting in the winter means you avoid the sweltering heat.


Entry Requirements: Arrivals from North America must show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 96 hours of their flight departure time. Indagare Tip: Be one of the first to see the decades-in-the-making—and still unfinished— Grand Egyptian Museum, which will soon house the complete collection of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Indagare can arrange private access and guides to the museum and the pyramids, as well as special experiences in Cairo, Luxor, the Nile and beyond.




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With windswept, shipwreck-peppered coastal dunes, a Mars-like desert and a population density akin to Mongolia’s, a safari in Namibia is more about taking in the silence than seeing animals en masse. While the country is home to fascinating wildlife, including endemic lions, critically endangered rhino and the cheetah, it makes visitors work harder to see them, as they’ve all adapted to blend in and don’t congregate in the massive numbers seen in the Serengeti or Maasai Mara.

Tanzania is substantially larger than Kenya, with wildly varying climates between its plains, highlands and coasts. On the Serengeti, December through March is “Green Season,” when migrating herds of wildebeest and zebra converge by the thousands. Expect some rainfall, but also stunning photo-ops, with newborn calves against a verdant backdrop. On Mount Kilimanjaro, conversely, this is one of the driest—and best—times of year to climb Africa’s (and the world’s) tallest free-standing mountain.

Entry requirements: Visitors must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test, performed within 72 hours prior to boarding their flight and have a temperature below 99.5°F. Indagare Tip: December through March coincides with Namibia’s wet season, when watering holes are plentiful and resident springbok, zebra and wildebeest give birth on the plains of Etosha National Park. Spend a few nights at Onguma, The Fort, a neighboring private reserve with 11 standalone suites and some of the best game drives in the country.



Home to quintessential “safari” scenery—the setting for films like Out of Africa and The Lion King—plus the most developed tourism infrastructure in East Africa, Kenya is also a convenient option for a wildlife-focused getaway, thanks to twice-weekly non-stop flights between JFK and Nairobi.

Entry requirements: Visitors must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, performed within 72 hours prior to boarding their flight. Indagare Tip: End your journey with a sunny stopover at Mnemba Island, part of the Zanzibar archipelago. Here, 12 beachside bandas overlook a protected marine conservation area where you can see green sea turtles, dolphins and whale sharks.

Rwanda After imposing Sub-Saharan Africa’s first lockdown, Rwanda has been hailed as one of the world’s success stories in adapting to the pandemic. Stringent protocols for social distancing have protected both its citizens and endangered primates (who are also susceptible), and the country has gradually opened back up to visitors. December through February is dry season, making for optimal gorilla-spotting. What’s new: To ensure everyone’s safety, trekking party sizes have shrunk to just six individuals per gorilla family (down from eight), creating an even more intimate experience.

After the short rains in early December, the grasslands will become lush and green before drying out once again in February. With little rainfall to worry about, this is one of the best times of the year for game viewing, especially lions and migratory birds.

Entry requirements: All visitors must have negative results from a PCR test taken within 120 hours of arrival. Visitors must then take a second Covid-19 test upon arrival and quarantine until results come back negative.

Entry requirements: Arrivals must have negative results from a PCR test conducted within 96 hours before entry and have a temperature below 99.5°F.

Indagare Tip: Don’t miss the Kigali Genocide Memorial, an inspiring testament to reconciliation after unimaginable brutality and division.

Indagare Tip: Discover Kenya’s contemporary culture with a few days in Nairobi, where fashion designer Anna Trzebinski has just transformed Nairobi’s 148 Hotel into Eden, an eight-room boutique inn that feels more like a home than a hotel. [See page 41 for “Kenya Reborn.”]

Learn about Indagare’s upcoming Insider Journeys to Kenya, Rwanda and more by emailing our team at insiderjourneys@ For a preview of our 2021 trips, see page 27.




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American West & Northeast Across the country, expect face-covering mandates, more outdoor dining options and a toned-down après-ski scene. Plus: as operators look to regulate—and predict—the total number of people on the slopes per day, advanced online reservations will be the norm. Some resorts, including any ski area in New York, will operate at half capacity. In most cases, priority for reservation slots will go to season pass holders and members of multi-resort passes. Epic, the pass for 34 ski areas including Beaver Creek, Park City, Stowe, Vail and Whistler, is giving its members a full month in advance to reserve days during peak season. Resorts affiliated with the Ikon Pass are following a similar course. Aspen/Snowmass, Big Sky, Jackson Hole and Taos will require advanced reservations (including for Ikon members), while Deer Valley, Killington, Mammoth and Stratton will allow Ikon passholders without advanced reservations. In the Adirondacks, independently-operated Whiteface Mountain does not predict the need for early reservations for lift tickets either.


Entry Requirements: California, Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming do not have entry requirements. New Mexico and New York mandate visitors from more than 30 states to quarantine upon arrival. To stay at a hotel in New Hampshire, out-of-state travelers (excluding the five other New England states) must have self-isolated for 14 days before visiting. Anyone traveling to Vermont by commercial plane must quarantine for seven to 14 days before staying at a hotel. Those arriving in their own car or private plane must certify that they either come from a county with low rates of Covid cases or have a negative PCR test result after a seven-day quarantine in their home state. Indagare Tip: If you plan on spending more than three days on the slopes, consider an Ikon or Epic pass for mountain access and securing refunds should resorts close unexpectedly.



Looking to travel again, but wanting to ensure your trip is as safe as possible? Private options may be the answer when you choose to fly, stay or sail next. Peter Schlesinger reports.

AS THE INDAGARE COMMUNITY gets back out in the world, there’s soaring demand for extra breathing room, everywhere. Here’s what to know now, whether you’re heading on a charter flight, private yacht or to a villa.

IN THE AIR: CHARTER FLIGHTS While commercial airlines have faced staggering losses, private aviation has seen something of a boom, including a significant uptick from first-time private fliers over the summer and into the fall. The obvious, most significant reason, of course, is travelers’ desires to avoid planes full of strangers and potential lines and touch points at airports, due to Covid-19. But chartering a flight has other upsides as well: “Convenience and control are the greatest benefits,” explains Indagare Trip Designer Lizzie Eberhart. She notes that charter passengers get around commercial carriers’ routes and ever-alternating schedules. They can also fly directly into most airports, including smaller airstrips closer to their final destinations like Aspen or Jackson Hole. And just as legacy airlines have sought to assuage fears by touting new safety

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and sanitation measures, charter companies have boosted their own protocols, enacting many of the same policies, and then some. Our partners have implemented regular Ozone treatments, removed non-essential onboard materials like decorative towels and relocated dishwashing to high-temperature facilities on the ground (as opposed to on the plane).

ON THE GROUND: VILLAS Vacation rentals have long been a favorite trip idea for Indagare members in search of a comfortable base, either for exploring a destination or simply for relaxing in privacy, and from Turks & Caicos to Tahoe and Cape Cod, it’s possible to find a beautiful villa. What’s important is finding the right one, though—one that actually feels like a home away from home. For some travelers, a house close to town or affiliated with a nearby resort or hotel provides the perfect combination of exclusivity and access (to restaurants, coffee shops, fitness classes, etc.). Others prefer staying someplace further removed, opting for a home with fewer amenities or a lavish villa with every convenience under the sun.

Yet while the options are endless, availability is often not. For many of our top destinations, the best accommodations can fill up months or even a year in advance. This year, with exclusivity at an unprecedented premium and fewer destinations open to international arrivals, early planning is crucial. One reason: Many travelers are opting for longer stays, now that remote work and Zoom classes are ubiquitous, meaning there’s less turnover. For these extended trips— workcations or staycations—having strong WiFi, reliable phone service and separate areas for being productive are key factors when choosing the right rental. And though it’s easy to initially rule out traveling to areas with quarantines in place, such as the UK, Ireland, Barbados and parts of Hawaii, some travelers have decided that forced downtime in a dream Cotswold cottage or Caribbean beach house—complete with a pre-stocked kitchen—is actually just the getaway they’re looking for.

AT SEA: YACHT RENTALS Yachts are ideal for groups of friends or family looking to visit multiple spots—covering a lot of ground and having a fabulous time along the way. This year, “flexibility is key,” says


Clockwise from top: A vacation rental in Turks & Caicos; sailing a private charter; a sixbedroom lodge in Montana

Craig Cohen, of Burgess, a top charter company. That means potentially repositioning the embarkation or final ports, if entry requirements shift last minute—a move also made easier if you’re flying privately, rather than having to cancel and rebook a commercial flight. Itineraries themselves have shifted, as well. In the Caribbean, where previous sailings might have gone from Saint Maarten to Antigua, with stops in St. Barth’s and Anguilla, most trips now focus on one administrative

area—like St. Vincent & Grenadines— or even a single island, to avoid the need for multiple Covid tests during the journey. Knowing there will be less island-hopping and more yacht-time, crews have gotten more creative with what guests can do onboard. Expect anything from new waterslides and eFoil boards to services like scavenger hunts for the kids, massages for the grownups and watersports “Olympics” between guests and crew.

Charter companies have added additional safety measures to their yachts, too, including changing air filtration systems regularly and using UV sanitization along with extra cleaning regiments. There are daily temperature checks for everyone on board, though mask usage is left up to guests’ discretion (since crews are required to have negative test results or quarantine before departure.)



On her most recent trip to Kenya during Covid, Indagare founder and CEO Melissa Biggs Bradley navigates the latest logistics and protocols.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS & AIR TRAVEL TIPS Some countries, like Kenya, have blanket entry requirements: no one can enter without a negative PCR Covid-19 test that was taken within 96 hours of arrival. You must also fill out a contact-tracing form issued by the Kenyan Ministry of Health before departure. Others, like Britain, have standard Covid-19 Locator Forms that you are required to fill out online so you can be contact-traced or monitored for self-isolation, if you come from one of the countries for which this is required. The U.S. is on that list, and even though I was only transiting through Heathrow, I had to fill in the 12-page form online.

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Covid-19 Tests: While doctors offer various Covid-19 tests, the only one accepted in Kenya, Rwanda and most other countries is a PCR test because they are the most accurate. However, it is harder to get PCR results quickly, so you need to be strategic, especially if you’re traveling to far-flung destinations that require a test to be taken within 96 hours. Think through your testing strategy when booking flights and be sure to have an appointment lined up. Paper trail: While my PCR results were sent via email, I made sure to print out the results on a form that included my name and the results. I noticed that the email result that I was sent from NYU Langone Health (which is the fastest place that I have found for a PCR turnaround) didn’t show my name. I had to log in to my NYU Langone MyChart account online and print my results directly from there in order for my name to appear with results. On arrival in Kenya, they wanted to see the QR code for my Kenya Health Certification form but asked for the Covid-19 test results in paper form. And as an additional layer of security, I also printed the lab certificate to show further verification and proof that my results came from a legitimate lab. I wasn’t asked for this, but I felt better having it printed and on hand. If you need results and forms to depart a foreign country, plan for a way to procure paper copies.


RECENTLY, I TOOK MY FIRST international trip in the time of Covid-19, and though I have averaged traveling three to four months a year for the past 25 years, it felt like a new and nerve-wracking experience heading to the airport again. I was going to Kenya. The country re-opened its borders to Americans in August, and after some debate and research, I felt confident that I could make the trip and keep myself and others safe. (With a population of over 50 million, Kenya had only had 748 recorded Covid-19–related deaths.) Since knowledge is power, I collected some of my learnings, in case they may be helpful to others who are inspired to get back out into the world.


Getting back on a plane depends on your own personal comfort level. From top: Melissa at JFK Airport en route to Kenya; the team at Angama Mara lodge in Kenya.


I travel with a mobile hot spot and an international plan anyway, but since so many interactions are now contactless, technological fluency is a new requirement.”

Carry-on rules: I was able to bring the same amount of hand luggage on my British Airways flights (business class) to London and Nairobi as I did pre-Covid-19. However, other airlines now restrict passengers to only one personal item under 4 kilos (8.8 pounds) in the cabin, so be sure to confirm carry-on allowance rules.

GENERAL TRAVEL NOTES Cancellations and the need for a flexible mindset: Flight and hotel cancellations are more likely in this moment, either because of reduced capacity (it may be cheaper to cancel, even last-minute), or because of Covid-19 scares (one positive result and a hotel may have to close). You simply cannot travel with the kind of certainty that we were used to. However, if you are willing to accept the unpredictable, you may find, as I did, that you have a business class cabin almost to yourself and last-minute space at hotels that usually require advance bookings. I booked Giraffe Manor, which is notoriously difficult to get into, the day before and found only two couples staying there.

Airport facilities: At New York’s JFK Airport, all airport lounges, shops and restaurants were closed. In London and Nairobi, the lounges were open, but instead of serving yourself, you had to wait for an attendant or place an order using a QR code from your seat. Restaurants at Heathrow require a QR locator or filled-in contact-tracing form. Seats are spaced for distance.

Activities may be restricted: In Kenya, while the majority of activities in Nairobi were available, the David Sheldrick elephant orphanage was closed and village visits at lodges were suspended. Many hotels had reduced spa and restaurant services. In destinations all over the world, regulations are changing often, so it is important to understand what you may or may not be able to visit.

Technology requirements: I travel with a mobile hot spot and an international plan anyway, but since many interactions are contactless, technological fluency is a new requirement. I thought of my 83-year-old mother who has an iPhone, but who would be lost in filling out the new QR forms (necessary even to place an order in the lounge).

Extra insurance: With almost no hotel stays fully refundable at the last minute, it is essential to purchase “Cancel For Any Reason” policies for travel. I have also long subscribed to Medjet medical evacuation coverage, which now provides Covid-19 evacuation within the U.S. (though not internationally), as well as Global Guardian emergency protection

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services, which tracks my phone and can provide security and evacuation. I also enrolled in the State Department’s Enrollment Program (STEPs), so the local embassy knew my whereabouts and could send alerts. Medicines in my bag. I have long carried a small first aid kit when traveling, as well as my preferred vitamins and medicines, but I made sure to carry extra antihistamines, digestion medicines, cold and flu remedies and antibiotics to minimize any unexpected hospital visits.

LAND & SKY: COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES Plane reality. Prior to my trip, I interviewed Dr. Scott Weisenberg, who heads up NYU Langone Health’s travel medicine department. He reminded me that the filters on airplanes make cabin safer than most indoor spaces (the idea of being confined inside was one of my biggest concerns, even knowing everyone on board had been tested). Boarding started strictly with the back rows (no priority preference) and in small groups. On all of my flights, the cabins were less than one-third full, so spacing at a safe distance was easy. On plane protocol: Though the plane is sanitized before embarking, I wiped down the main touch points on my seat as an extra safety precaution. British Airways also gave out hand sanitizer and wipes before takeoff. Mask learnings: I packed a lot, from KN95s (for flights or when I thought


Meet & Greet: While sometimes unnecessary, airport assistance provided an additional layer of comfort during Covid-19 times. In Kenya, immediately after deplaning, my meetand-greet representative escorted me to the front of the line where I had to show the QR health form. I was then moved to another agent to whom I handed my negative Covid-19 results, and, lastly, to a station where my temperature was taken.

airport, it was primarily TSA members who wore them. Sanitizer Savoir Faire. The TSA has expanded their fluid allowance from 3 to 12 ounces, as long as it is outside your bag, so I stocked up on hand sanitizer. However, the security team at Heathrow didn’t allow the same exception, making me choose between sanitizer, makeup and moisturizers. Since the pharmacy at Heathrow is right after security and I could restock, it was an expense, not an emergency, but switching to “wipe” products to reduce your liquid count is wise. I recommend wipes for sunscreen, insect repellent, make-up removal and antibacterial cleansing.


Masked and ready for a plane transfer to Nairobi. Above: Melissa’s bags, with extra medicines, sunscreens and electronics.

I might not be able to avoid being indoors) to disposable surgical ones to wear on the street or in the car with my traveling companions. I also took cloth ones for when I could keep a safe distance. (I was glad I took so many, because before one flight, it was announced that masks are only good for four hours.) On the plane, you may remove a mask to eat or drink, so there are moments of respite. I didn’t find it as claustrophobic as I had expected. While I was glad to be prepared, surgical masks were plentiful to buy in the airports. In Kenya, masks were required in public hotel areas and the staff wore theirs. Once you were in your room or seated at a table for a meal, no one wore them. Face shields. I traveled with a face shield, which did provide an added layer of safety-comfort, but considering the emptiness of the plane, I ultimately opted not to wear it. At the

Immunity-building rituals. Whenever I fly, I take aspirin to lower the chances of a blood clot and hydration supplements to restore electrolytes. I also take vitamin C and oregano oil droplets to build immunity. Finally, I use Zicam nasal swabs for a zinc infusion—and because I’ve heard that coating your nose keeps out viruses. (On our Global Conversations Podcast, Dr. Weisenberg didn’t endorse my practices, but he didn’t see harm in them either.) Throughout the trip, I continued to take vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D daily. Hotel Procedures. Upon arrival at the majority of hotels and lodges in Kenya, I was given a lengthy Covid19 protocol speech, reviewing social distancing measures, mask-wearing in common areas and handwashing. My temperature was also taken when I got to the properties. Maskwearing in common areas was either encouraged or required, but compliance among fellow guests varied (the staff wore masks at all times). Luckily the properties were at such reduced capacity that it was easy to avoid ever seeing another guest, and during meals, the tables were at least six feet apart.


8 REASONS WE’RE DREAMING OF PARIS NOW Indagare founder Melissa Biggs Bradley on why she misses Paris more than ever and hopes that American travelers can return to the City of Light soon. WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS. It wasn’t just a phrase that evoked memories; it was a vow full of promise. We could always escape to the beauty of Paris, the certainty of the pleasures of Paris. And yet—no. Today, we, as Americans, cannot go to Paris. We are left to dream, to fantasize, which may be why so many of us are watching Emily in Paris (all the while thinking it is quite silly). It is irresistible, simply because the true star is Paris, not Emily. Here are some reasons that we are desperate to get back to the City of Light as soon as possible.

GRAND REOPENING: LA SAMARITAINE Paris’s historic La Samaritaine, closed for renovations since 2015, will soon be unveiled in all of its Art Deco (and LVMH) glory. The restored department store, across from the Pont Neuf, will contain a new Cheval Blanc hotel, as well as group more than 600 brands under its gorgeous glass roof. 19 Rue de la Monnaie, 1st arrondissement

In collaboration with chef Julien Sebbag, the new rooftop restaurant sits on top of the famous Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. Named after an island in the French Antilles, it offers incredible views of Paris, including the Opéra Garnier, as well as some of the seafood in town. 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 1st arrondissement 21  I N D A G A R E . C O M



MAD ABOUT SHOES: CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN On view at the Palais de la Porte Dorée until January 3 is the whimsically named L’Exhibition[iste] show, which celebrates shoe couturier Christian Louboutin, who was born in Paris and whose stilettos changed the face (or rather, the blood-red soles) of women’s footwear forever. 293 Avenue Daumesnil, 12th arrondissement

Clockwise from top: Louboutin shoes at L’Exhibition[iste]; Inside Marin Montagut; home accessories at Marin Montagut. Opposite, clockwise from top left: Scenes from Tortuga.


STYLE FILE: MARIN MONTAGUT AND MARION GRAUX A former tapestry workshop in the 6th serves as the perfect backdrop for Renaissance man-cum-designer Marin Montagut, who styled the shop based on “a voyage in another Paris, a Paris of yesteryear.” Based on the collaboration Montagut has done with Alix D. Reynis, Diptyque and Inès de la Fressange, it will be an exciting stop on any Left Bank shopping spree (48 Rue Madame). The mineral- and pastel-colored creations of ceramicist Marion Graux, meanwhile, used to be only accessible for Paris’s top restaurants and private clients. Now a (by-appointment) workshop invites connoisseurs to touch, browse and collect them (46 Rue de Dunkerque).



A spread of picture-perfect dishes from Tortuga. Opposite: Marin Montagut at his wonderful new Left Bank boutique of curiosities

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Armchair Travel: Paris

Cook: Open a bottle of your favorite vintage and try your hand at a classic steak frites with chef Ashton Keefe (see Privatizing the Indagare Global Classroom, page 76) and top the meal with an apple tarte tatin, both of which are not difficult but always impress at dinner. Drink: The Ritz Paris Sidecar, made with Champagne, Cointreau and freshly pressed lemon juice or Pretty in Pink, from neighboring Hôtel de Crillon, with vodka, port, crème de pêche, peach purée and Champagne (recipes can be found at Watch: Midnight in Paris, La Vie en Rose, Amélie, Gigi, Ratatouille

APARTMENTS TO GET: HOTEL PARTICULIER VILLEROY Set in a neoclassical stunner, one street off Avenue Montaigne, this gorgeous newcomer has just 11 rooms, suites and apartments. The latter will be the new address for privacy, space and the latest in Covid-safety protocols, all in the heart of the Golden Triangle. 33 Rue Jean Goujon, 8th arrondissement

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Listen: Indagare’s Spotify Playlist features Francoise Hardy, Joe Dassin, Carla Bruni, Jacques Brel, Benjamin Biolay and Serge Gainsbourg. You can also stream Radio Nova, an eclectic French radio station. ~elizabeth harvey

ART EXPERIENCE: ATELIER DES LUMIÈRES Purists may find the Atelier des Lumières’s Monet, Renoir, Chagall…Journey Around the Mediterranean (through January 3) a bit glitzy, but the digital spectacular is truly breathtaking, as some of France’s greatest paintings come to life in video and set to music. It’s immersive and creative, placing these masterworks in a (pun intended) totally different light. Note there are no ticket sales at the venue; online reservations are a must. 38 Rue Saint-Maur, 11th arrondissement


Inside Atelier des Lumières (here and inset). Clockwise from left; the 11-suite Hôtel Particulier Villeroy; a signature Pretty in Pink at Hôtel de Crillon.


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20 21


F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: “Life starts all over again when

may look different on the ground—but the Insider

it gets crisp in the fall.” We share this belief that the

experience remains the same: discovery and entrée, with

turn of the season brings the chance for renewal—and

our hosts providing unmatched expertise and access in

as we see borders reopening in some of our favorite

their home locales. Our journeys celebrate the beauty of

destinations with thorough Covid-safety procedures in

connecting with one another while exploring the world,

place, we feel a new sense of hope for travel in 2021.

of finding shared passions and making time to take them

Our Insider Journeys Team has been consulting with our

in together—as we rebuild the future of travel.

expert guides and partners in diverse locations to create

If you are considering going abroad at this time, we hope

a program of exciting small-group itineraries for next

you will join us for one of these exceptional adventures in

year that are safe and inspiring. This year, some elements

the new year ahead.

R E A D O N F O R T H E H I G H L I G H T S O F O U R 2 0 21 I N S I D E R J O U R N E YS P RO G R A M . TO B ROWS E A L L O F O U R C U R R E N T T R I P S , I N C LU D I N G O U R D ES I G N CO L L E C T I O N C R E AT E D I N PA R T N E RS H I P W I T H A RC H I T E C T U R A L D I G E S T, V I S I T I N DAGA R E .COM / I N S I D E R J O U R N E YS . 28


RACHEL GAFFNEY’S IRELAND: CORK, LIMERICK & DUBLIN From the stunning Georgian architecture of Dublin to the pastoral towns of the interior, Ireland is as varied as it is striking, offering history and literary heritage, gourmet cuisine and spectacular castle hotels and gardens. Curated and hosted by Rachel Gaffney, the founder of Irish lifestyle and travel brand Rachel Gaffney’s Real Ireland, this itinerary will reveal new sides to this charming country—whether it is a first or fifth visit—with exclusive tours and visits, as Rachel shares her colorful home city of Cork, Limerick and Dublin. WHEN



May 19 - 25, 2021 (7 days / 6 nights)

From $7,825 per traveler

Irish travel, lifestyle and home brand founder Rachel Gaffney invites you to see Ireland through her eyes, sharing her favorite spots and sites—as well as stories and local characters.

A TASTE OF BORDEAUX WITH WSJ. MAGAZINE One of the preeminent destinations in global food and wine culture, Bordeaux and its fabled Médoc region are home to some of the most respected vineyards—and coveted labels—in the world. For centuries, Bordeaux has been notoriously inaccessible to outsiders, but on this special journey with WSJ. Magazine contributing editor Howie Kahn, storied châteaux—including Château Lafite Rothschild and Château Latour— meals with internationally acclaimed winemakers and celebrated chefs. Along the way, savor the beauty and history of the region with guided exploration of charming towns like Saint-Émilion, biking and beach tours and dining at classic French establishments. WHEN



September 2021 (6 days / 5 nights; dates coming soon)

To be announced

WSJ. Magazine is an award-winning lifestyle publication dedicated to the power and passions of The Wall Street Journal’s readership. Howie Kahn is a best-selling author, award-winning food and wine journalist and podcast host heard globally.

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will open their doors by special invitation for unforgettable tastings, winery tours and


RWANDA RISING Although most travelers are drawn to the Land of a Thousand Hills to see the endangered mountain gorillas, it is the resilient spirit of the Rwandan people that leave them with a sense of awe and a vow to return. Don’t miss the chance to experience all of the country’s cultural and natural highlights from an insider’s perspective, with Indagare Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley, and to trek to see the gorillas at a time when the forests feel virtually tourist-free—what is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience.




April 1 - 9, 2021 (9 days / 8 nights)

To be announced

Melissa Biggs Bradley founded Indagare in 2007. She has been recognized as a pioneering entrepreneur in the luxury travel space, as well as one of the foremost experts on travel to Africa. She has scouted in Rwanda many times and is leading two Insider Journeys there this November.

SECRETS OF JORDAN Still considered somewhat of a traveler’s secret, Jordan is home to a number of the world’s most extraordinary ancient and natural sites, including the “Lost City” of Petra, the Roman ruins of Jerash, the vast desert of Wadi Rum and the healing Dead Sea. The country’s warm and welcoming locals and unique combination of outdoor adventure and history—plus the fact that it has enjoyed relative peace and stability compared to its


neighbors—make Jordan a destination like no other. Next fall, join Indagare Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley for an unforgettable desert adventure and discover the secrets of this astounding place.




September 14 - 19, 2021 (6 days / 5 nights)

From $5,300 per traveler

Melissa Biggs Bradley founded Indagare in 2007. She has been recognized as a pioneering entrepreneur in the luxury travel space, and she has scouted extensively in Jordan and the rest of the Middle East.




ELEPHANT SAFARI WITH COLIN BELL: BOTSWANA & NAMIBIA Botswana is home to some of the most spectacular wildlife-viewing in Africa—and few times are better to visit than early October. This dry season draws an exceptional number of animals to the remaining waterholes, and it creates some of the best chances to see elephants. On this once-in-a-lifetime journey, guests will join safari legend Colin Bell—co-founder of Wilderness Safaris and author of The Last Elephants—for thrilling drives in the bush and activities that support elephant-conservation programs. After six nights in Botswana, end the trip with two nights in the wild expanses of Namibia. WHEN



October 2 - 10, 2021 (9 days / 8 nights)

From $13,900 per traveler

South Africa-born Colin Bell has been a safari guide in Botswana since 1977. He is the co-founder of two major safari companies and is known for his groundbreaking conservation work, which has a special focus on elephants and rhinoceroses.

KENYA REBORN: EXPLORING THE NEW NAIROBI & BEYOND Once the most sought-after safari destination in Africa—attracting the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and Ernest Hemingway—Kenya has come to share the stage in recent years with other showstoppers like Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Now, thanks to local creatives like designer Anna Trzebinski, the country is humming with a new energy. Alongside your host—Indagare Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley, who just returned from scouting out this truly one-of-a-kind itinerary—you will be among the first to experience the insider’s “New Nairobi” while based at Anna Trzebinski’s exquisite new retreat, Eden; then, discover the wildlife of the cinematic Maasai Mara on safari.



January 18 - 28, 2021 (11 days / 10 nights)

From $13,900 per traveler

Melissa Biggs Bradley founded Indagare in 2007. She has been recognized as a pioneering entrepreneur in the luxury travel space, as well as one of the foremost experts on travel to Africa. She curated and scouted this exciting new itinerary in October. RIED STELLY (TOP)


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MARVELS OF MARRAKECH WITH THE ICAA From the windswept Desert d’Agafay to the sparkling city of Marrakech, Morocco is a seductive destination that truly has it all: glamour, romance, history, adventure and eternal allure. Created in partnership with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, this exclusive itinerary provides in-depth exploration of the public and private sides of the country’s most stylish city, Marrakech. Guests will visit extraordinary local landmarks—including the famous medina and its souks—tour sumptuous private riads and residences, and meet with celebrated tastemakers and creative leaders. WHEN



October 4 - 9, 2021 (6 days / 5 nights)

From $7,650 per traveler

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to advance the appreciation and practice of the principles of traditional architecture and its allied arts by engaging educators, professionals, students and enthusiasts.

PRIVATE GARDENS OF FRANCE WITH CHARLOTTE MOSS Curated and co-hosted by acclaimed interior designer Charlotte Moss, this exclusive trip to France will celebrate the history, design and beauty of some of the most exquisite gardens in and around Paris, as well as regions north and south. Accompanied by cohost and master rosarian Stephen Scanniello, along with local historians and horticulturalists, guests will explore storied grounds and châteaux, admire spectacular works of art and architecture, dine at top restaurants and local bistros and relax at two


beautiful hotels—all while soaking in the splendor of the French countryside.




May 12 - 17, 2021 (6 days / 5 nights)

From $10,250 per traveler

During her esteemed career as one of America’s leading designers, Charlotte Moss has received numerous honors, including the New York School of Interior Design’s Centennial Medal and being named to the Elle Décor Grand Master List of Top Designers. Pre-eminent rosarian, author, lecturer, and gardener Stephen Scanniello is presently the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden Curator for the New York Botanical Garden and rosarian for Elizabeth Park, the nation’s oldest public rose garden. He also currently serves as a judge for the Bagatelle Rose Trials in Paris.




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Insider Journeys open doors to unique cultural experiences and exclusive access.



INDAGARE IMPACT JOURNEYS offer the unforgettable experiences and high-touch service of our signature Insider Journeys, while emphasizing a focus on the footprint that travel leaves on the world. The destinations and activities for each itinerary are carefully considered in terms of sustainable travel’s goals of conservation, culture, community and responsibility to ensure that all travel will leave a lasting, positive impact on the destination and the natural environment found there. In addition to raising awareness around the importance of protecting these precious places, by showing travelers their treasures firsthand, our itineraries practice carbonoffsetting and contribute to local environmental initiatives. For further information, contact our team.

ANTARCTICA AWAITS Join Indagare Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley and travel to the ends of the earth to explore the White Continent. Discover the majesty of this icy frontier on an unforgettable adventure through sea and snow aboard the state-of-the-art Ultramarine yacht, all while in the company of biologists, glaciologists and environmentalists who know just how special— and vulnerable—Antarctica truly is. Plus, enjoy the chance to spend time exploring the rich cultural offerings of Buenos Aires, as you prepare for your polar expedition. WHEN



October 30 November 10, 2021 (12 days / 11 nights)

From $23,712 per traveler

Melissa Biggs Bradley founded Indagare in 2007. She has been recognized as a pioneering entrepreneur in the luxury travel space, as well as one of the foremost experts on travel to Africa. She has visited more than 100 countries over the course of her travels.

THE GALÁPAGOS REVEALED An Edenic wonderland seemingly forgotten by time, the Galápagos islands have fascinated nature lovers and adventurers ever since their pristine ecosystems inspired Charles Darwin to publish On the Origin of Species, in 1859. For this inaugural expedition, which has been created with an eye toward promoting conservation and traveling in a sustainable manner, Indagare is offering the chance to see these remote islands by private charter aboard the M/Y Grace, the most historic and luxurious boat in the archipelago. In the company of naturalists and expert guides, guests will experience an idyllic wildlife escape that can’t be found anywhere else on Earth. WHEN



June 14 - 22, 2021 (9 days / 8 nights)

From $11,314 per traveler

Melissa Biggs Bradley founded Indagare in 2007. She has been recognized as a pioneering entrepreneur in the luxury travel space, as well as one of the foremost experts on travel to Africa. She has visited more than 100 countries over the course of her travels.

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HIKING IN THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES Immerse yourself in the pristine landscapes of the Italian Dolomites— a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site —on this beloved Insider Journey, with daily guided hikes and time to relax at the lovely Rosa Alpina mountain lodge, which offers access to hundreds of miles of trails. With breathtaking views of emerald-green meadows, waterfalls and jagged mountain peaks, you will test your limits and explore untouched natural sites with expert local guides. Active mornings will be followed by delicious, well-deserved meals at the best restaurants in the area and free time to enjoy massages, spa treatments, yoga classes and more with your fellow travelers. WHEN



September 11 - 16 and 18 - 23, 2021 (6 days / 5 nights)

From $6,390 per traveler

On this Indagare Departures trip, you will be hosted for daily hikes and other tours by Indagare’s favorite expert local guides at Rosa Alpina.

TREASURES OF EGYPT glorious temples built by the pharaohs. Today, Egypt is home to one-third of all of the world’s antiquities and the only remaining monument of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—and now is the time to see it for yourself. This signature itinerary is conveniently packaged to offer immersion in bustling Cairo and once-in-a-lifetime history experiences at such monuments as the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx and King Tut’s Tomb, as you voyage down the Nile River—like the ancient pharaohs once did—on a luxury Oberoi cruiser decked out with modern amenities. WHEN



March 13 - 20, 2021 (8 days / 7 nights; fall dates coming soon)

From $8,400 per traveler

On this Indagare Departures trip, you will be hosted by Indagare’s favorite local partners, expert Egyptologists and other specialist guides who can provide unique perspectives and historical context.

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For thousands of years, travelers have journeyed from all over the world to witness the


Our signature itineraries offer set dates and expert local guides, combining the best of Indagare’s global intel and connections with flexibility and customization, to offer an effortless way to explore the world.

MAGIC OF BHUTAN September 8 - 16, 2021 | 9 days / 8 nights | From $12,100 per traveler Cross emerald-green valleys on daily hikes, explore a fascinating Buddhist culture, stay at indulgent Six Senses mountain lodges and meditate with monks, as you make your way to the legendary Tiger’s Nest. DISCOVER COLOMBIA Custom Dates | 7 days / 6 nights | To be announced Experience a dynamic culture—taking an authentic look at Colombia’s troubled past and the many colorful ways that it is moving into the future—with exploration in colonial Cartagena, creative Bogotá and Medellín and the remote coffee region. EXPEDITION TO MOUNT KILIMANJARO October 17 - 25, 2021 | 9 days / 8 nights | From $7,600 per traveler Conquer the world’s tallest free-standing mountain in seven days, with a team of experts that has your back and all camping/safety equipment included. This expertise heightens your probability of summiting—to witness the so-called “Roof of Africa.” JOSE IGNACIO YOGA RETREAT Custom Dates | 5 days / 4 nights | From $5,385 per traveler This tiny Uruguayan beach town exudes barefoot elegance and bohemian charm. Based at the Vik resorts, enjoy healing experiences like yoga, meditation and massage, as well as life’s simple pleasures: good food, good wine and time by the sea.


DISCOVER UZBEKISTAN November 1 - 7, 2021 | 7 days / 6 nights | From $5,325 per traveler Once the intersection for Asian, Persian and Mediterranean civilizations along the Silk Road, Uzbekistan has lately stepped back onto the world’s stage. With your expert local hosts, discover the country’s sacred Islamic sites and amazing textile, mosaic and ceramic workshops. BEST OF INDIA October 17 - 27, 2021 | 11 days / 10 nights | From $10,495 per traveler Delight your senses with this Bucket List-worthy itinerary, featuring ample time to explore Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur. With stays at the finest hotels, this itinerary makes an approachable trip out of a sometimes intimidating place.



For all questions and to request a detailed, day-by-day itinerary for any of the trips, contact our team at or call +1 646-780-8383. We look forward to traveling with you in 2021!

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To see all of our Insider Journeys and to join a trip today, visit our website at

“We loved challenging ourselves on the hikes, meeting so many interesting new friends and eating until we couldn’t move— then having to move our bodies down the hill! We laughed like crazy, opened our minds, pushed and fed body and soul and truly had the best trip .” I N DAGA R E M E M B E R A N D R E A L U S T I G

On the 2019 Insider Journey to the Italian Dolomites


A note on health and safety: The health and safety of our travelers is our number-one priority. We are committed to upholding the highest Covid-safety standards, while providing world-class hospitality and a seamless travel experience. We are closely monitoring global developments regarding Covid-19 and adjusting dates and itineraries as necessary. For more information and questions about specific protocols that have been put into place to make your trip as safe as possible—as well as trip insurance, deposits and cancellation policies—contact our team.


Kenya Reborn


On her first trip after lockdown, Indagare CEO Melissa Biggs Bradley travels to visit fashion designer Anna Trzebinski’s new hotel and embarks on a journey around the country that showcases just how much is at stake when the world stops traveling.

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Melissa atop Sundowner Rock at Sasaab Lodge in Samburu country



Melissa and Anna Trzebinski taking in the expansive landscape in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy en route to Samburu country. Clockwise from above left: Eden’s veranda; details of a coffee table made of dhow wood; the living room at Eden; a Kenyan mixologist mixing signature G&T’s on Eden’s sun deck.

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OU HAVE TO BE PRETTY BRAVE to open a hotel in the middle of Covid, but Anna Trzebinski has been honing her bravery muscles for years. The German-born fashion designer has lived in Kenya since infancy, and after her husband, the artist Tonio Trzebinski, was murdered in 2001, she channeled her pain into growing her eponymous fashion brand, which merges Maasai and Samburu traditional adornments with a sophisticated European sensibility. Ever since, stylish women from Aspen to Paris have been adding her feather-embellished pashminas and beaded suede coats to their collection of favorite fashion staples. Today, her couture workshop sits on the same four-acre plot on the outskirts of Nairobi as does the family home that she built with Tonio, which she is now transforming into the small luxury hotel Eden. “This project weaves together a lot of layers of my life,” explains Anna, who has filled the house with Tonio’s paintings as well as the sculptures of their 28-year-old son Stas and the ceramics of their 27-year-old daughter Lana. Collections of African artifacts and beloved books line the bookshelves, while monkeys and guinea fowl traverse the lawns outside. “I want this to be a place where people feel instantly immersed in the magic of Africa,” she says. Eden sits on lush grounds that border a giraffe sanctuary, home to leopards, warthogs and bush babies. The main building, Mount Kenya, contains three of the guest bedrooms, a living and dining room and a large verandah that is ideal for sipping morning coffee or evening sundowners. In the nearby studio building, Mount Kilimanjaro, are five more guest bedrooms and another living/dining area decorated in the same contemporary African-cool style as the main house. Everywhere, past, present and future collide. Tonio’s striking expressionistic paintings, which evoke Bacon and Basquiat, mix with bright green velvet couches and tables piled with Maasai artifacts and books on artists and Africa. Wood from a storm-ravaged dhow that Anna pulled from the Indian Ocean while she watched Tonio surf were used to build the stairways and furniture. Says Anna: “Unlike most people who just buy a house, Tonio and I, we built this home literally with our own hands in. It has so much personal history,”


The striking living room in Eden’s main house. Far right, from top: Handmade bags created by Anna Trzebinski; a coffee table in the studio annex living room covered in Anna’s book collection.

Some years after Tonio’s death, Anna married Loyaban Lemarti, a Samburu warrior with whom she had a daughter, Tacha, and opened a safari camp in Laikipia. They closed it when they divorced a few years ago, but a number of the Maasai and Samburu who worked with her there have come to Eden to bring the warm hospitality and traditions of the bush. In the evenings, they often gather around a campfire to sing ancestral ballads accompanied by the Samburu guitar—and often Tacha joins, once her homework is done. Anna has integrated her family and her friends into the project to provide an immersive kind of experience, not often found in hotels, but she also wants guests to get the full flavor of the best of Kenya. So in addition to scouring markets and artisan ateliers for treasures, she has persuaded top area chefs, bakers, baristas and mixologists to collaborate with her. An evening on the property’s sundeck may include a tasting of gin and tonics with floral flavorings or a traditional Kenyan barbecue with gourmet flourishes. Overall, you feel as if you are in the hands of people who are deeply passionate—not just in sharing

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new hotel is seen as a retreat, a place to spend multiple nights to reconnect while disconnecting. Set on leafy grounds, the property comprises two houses and eight rooms in total: three in the main house and five in the studio annex. The main house is equipped with a beautiful open-plan dining area, bar, living room with fireplace and veranda, as well as a divinity room. The studio annex has three standalone rooms with a bedroom and bathroom on the bottom level and living area on the top floor, and two bedrooms above another enchantingly designed open-plan living room with fireplace, bar and dining area. The communal spaces at Eden are

serene and calm but they are shared, facilitating encounters with fellow guests. Mount Kenya, the main house, has bedrooms named after its three main peaks: Batian is the most spacious, with a walk-in wardrobe and large private balcony. Eden also houses an Artist Residence Cottage, called Ololokwe—after the sacred mountain that stands alone north of Isiolo—which is available to rent on a weekly or monthly basis. The fact that you’re staying in the home of a fashion designer is evident in the deeply stylish, personal decor. A coffee table constructed of dhow wood features dozens of ostrich eggs under a glass top. Tables are topped with colorful glassware from


UPON ARRIVAL AT JOMO KENYATTA International Airport, and after a 45-minute drive to Nairobi’s Langata neighborhood, you arrive at the oasis that is Eden, only to be swiftly enveloped into designer Anna Trzebinski’s world. Samburu warriors greet you in traditional clothing, as you pull through the gate and up to the main house. The fire in the living room is blazing, the sounds of the forest ringing in your ears. The energy is palpable, as is the feeling of immediate connectedness to a culture. While Nairobi has traditionally been looked at as a quick overnight destination before moving to the bush, Eden might change your mind. Anna’s hope is that her


First Look: Eden by Anna Trzebinski



Learn more about our Insider Journey to Kenya, January 18-28, 2021 at journeys

Nairobi’s version of a Murano glassblowing studio. Butterfly murals line the hallways. Trays are painted with animals by the Hog Ranch Studio artists who worked with Anna’s friend, the late Peter Beard. Tonio Trzebinski’s paintings are displayed throughout, as are the works of their children (her daughter is a ceramicist; her son a sculptor). An additional perk of staying here is the proximity to Anna’s working atelier and shop, so guests will have the opportunity to shop for her high-design coats, shawls and bags, all with gorgeous African embroidery. There’s a sundeck, the perfect location to watch the sunset and enjoy a sundowner or a meal. At Eden, everything from the cocktail

menu and coffee selection to the delicious food is authentically Kenyan. Unless you take over the main house or studio annex rooms, it is important to enjoy communal living to get the most out of an Eden stay. Also, the hotel is best for those who are not bothered by animals roaming the property, from baboons and guinea fowls to peacocks and Anna’s dogs (her own home is next door to the hotel). It is possible a monkey jumping on the roof will act as your morning wake-up call. While based at Eden, guests can go on forest walks in the hotel’s own backyard with the Samburu, visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust; the Giraffe Center (home to

Giraffe Manor’s Rothschild’s giraffes); and the Karen Blixen Museum, which houses many of Blixen’s personal effects and props from the movie Out of Africa (the book has often been published under Blixen’s pen name, Isak Dinesen). For more adventurous travelers, there is also the opportunity to visit artisans, markets and shops that are farther afield in the city. A note on disconnecting: Anna is serious about it. At Eden, phone use is strongly discouraged in the common areas. There is no WiFi in the main house or studio annex. Guests who need WiFi have to make do in the hotel’s media room or bring their own mobile hotspot that will work throughout the property.—kathryn nathanson


Maasai warriors. Below: Details at Eden, including Tonio Trzebinski’s paintings and Nairobi glassware.

Kenya’s landscapes, with its forever views, fill anyone with humility, awe and wonder. For me, they also emphasize the brevity of time. Here, distance itself provided a vantage point that had eluded me. On a remote rock at sunset, I felt that urgency had been swallowed by eternity.”

the hotel—but their country with travelers. After a few days in Nairobi, we headed north, hiking along the ridge of the Great Rift Valley and the Laikipia plains, spotting elephants, giraffes and buffalo and relishing the return to Africa’s bush. Deep in Samburu country, we had sundowners around an impromptu fire. Kenya’s landscapes, with its forever views, fill anyone with humility, awe and wonder. For me, they also emphasize the brevity of time. This year has seemed to drag on forever, but in the cradle of mankind, where our ancestors first walked upright, time stretches. Of course, at home I could have shifted my perspective, seen the current crisis as one in a long series, but distance itself provided a vantage point that had eluded me. Here, on a remote rock at sunset, I felt that urgency had been swallowed by eternity. It’s what Anna calls “the magic of Africa,” and I know what she means. It helped her not only heal but to take her grief and trauma and turn it into creativity and now, hospitality. 47  I N D A G A R E . C O M

Discussing the pandemic and politics, as well as family and work, over dinner was one of the trip’s many gifts. One night, as a new Kenyan friend and I marveled over the similarities of our daughters and our mothering trials, it hit me that this delicious exchange was something that I had been starved for after months of live interactions having been limited to family and close friends. Places have always come alive for me because of people, and I realized how much I had missed feeling part of a global community, coming from different cultural perspectives and exploring overlapping and divergent views. I had chosen eastern Africa as my first trip post-lockdown in order to support the lodges and the individuals who pour all their passion into this country; to highlight how interconnected we are. But sitting among new friends in the incredible hotel that one woman forged from her life story, I realized that Kenya itself was rescuing me right back.

Scouting for Insider Journeys For the Insider Journey (January 2021), Indagare Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley and Global Experience Manager Kathryn Nathanson explored from the markets of Nairobi to the wilds of northern Laikipia. Here are some of the highlights.

SHOPPING IN NAIROBI Recycled handmade blown glass is turned into gorgeous glassware in Nairobi and sold in many shops around the city.

DINING AT EDEN, NAIROBI Prepared by Maasai chefs, the food at Eden is excellent.

SAFARI IN LAIKIPIA On our first morning in the bush, we raced to watch the sunrise over Mount Kenya, a perfect backdrop.

KENYAN SAFARI Described as “the cradle of humanity,” Kenya is the classic East African destination that enchants and transforms travelers with its complexity and wilderness.


FROM NAIROBI TO LAIKIPIA After a few days exploring Nairobi, we geared up to head to the bush (Indagare’s safari duffels were designed with a prop plane’s sizing and weight restrictions in mind).

ANGAMA MARA “Angama” means “suspended in mid-air” in Swahili and, as you stare out at the endless plains below, that is the exact feeling that will overcome you.

SEGERA, LAIKIPIA This elegant property has a stunning modern art collection and makes for a relaxing conclusion to a safari.


Wadi Rum, in Jordan

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Worldly Visions

Photographer (and Indagare member) Dominick Walker shares recollections of his recent travels to Morocco, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Seychelles and beyond. Plus, his favorite camera and packing tips, travel memories and more. Portfolio by Dominick Walker


Travel has given me a true understanding of humanity and the beauty in mystery and the things that we don’t know.”



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riginally from Houston, Dominick Walker moved back to the U.S. to L.A., from Doha, last summer, in the midst of the pandemic and the protests and just before the wildfires. Not exactly the homecoming he was expecting. He had spent the past four years living in the Middle East and traveling extensively in Lebanon, Jordan, Dubai, Morocco, Egypt, the Seychelles and Bali with his wife and daughter. Here, Dominick tells Indagare about returning home, his approach to travel and work—before and after Covid—and what happens when the lines blur and you find unexpected magic in everyday moments. While venturing to far-flung places may not be possible right now, we hope you will find his photographs as transporting as we do.

Clockwise from top left: Eternal Venice; Morocco’s blue city of Chefchaouen; a dancer at Uluwatu Temple in Bali; Dominick’s daughter trying out a Gnawa guitar in Chefchaouen; camels at Petra, in Jordan.

You recently moved back to L.A. from Doha—just in time for Covid, protests and...wildfires. What has that been like? To L.A. from Doha has truly been a whirlwind! The day we touched down there were protests and curfews amidst the fact that L.A. had just started opening back up after three months. And then things cooled down a bit—we thought—but not really. On top of the city having to close most social parts again because of the lack of progress with Covid, temperatures were soaring, which caused random blackouts and the fires. As a family we have been fortunate to be safe and healthy, which is a blessing, having come back from across the world. I am laughing at the thought of it. It’s really a surreal experience to jump back into. While we were on Covid-mandated lockdown in Qatar, life is just different in a country where there are three to five million people versus living in the second most populous city in the U.S.


How are you (and California) holding up? Despite all, we are excited to be on our next adventure here in L.A.—it’s coming back for my wife and I who lived in Northern California (the San Francisco Bay Area) for 10 years before our daughter Nima was born. We are loving being on the Pacific. We’ve been surfing on some early mornings and really just enjoying what we can about being here, despite the restraints. The good thing about California is there is just so much to explore outside in nature. How did living in the Middle East change your perspective on America? In many ways I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of how it has changed my perspective. As Americans, we tend to think we have the best way (or the only way) to think


about something—or to solve something. But when you realize the impact certain decisions have on the greater world as a whole, you think about the ways our personal actions affect people on this planet. Just that small change in perspective has had a profound impact on a more conscious and thoughtful way of being for my family and I. And in many ways we owe a great deal to our growth as cosmopolites and global citizens to the way we travel. We’re so thankful to Indagare and our learning through journeys and the guides and people we have been fortunate to meet, who have opened their countries and homes and lives to us so we could be more enriched. How did your passion for photography start? My father always took family pictures, and there was a running joke in the family on both sides. ‘Oh, you know, Carver’ [his dad’s name], ‘he’s taking a picture.’ So everybody would say, “Go bake a cake while he gets ready for this picture.” He took a long time to take great shots. And so I grew up always dealing with cameras. But I consider myself a poet, first and foremost. People say, ‘Well, yeah, but poets, you know, they write poetry.’ And my answer to that is, truthfully, that poets are just here to show us how we look, and I just happen to be a poet with a camera. So the things that are important to me—the things that I’m shooting—my philosophy is there’s a lot of poetry and beauty in everyday life. That’s how I approach my work. How many cameras do you bring with you and do you have any recommendations for amateurs? Normally, I have two cameras—no, that’s not true...three. Okay, so usually I have one with a zoom lens and I like to shoot a lot with my 35 millimeter. And sometimes either my 50 millimeter or a GoPro for capturing small videos. I’m really partial to the 50 millimeter lens, as well as a 35 millimeter lens—for the people. It is basically the same as a naked eye. There’s a mirrorless world that is opening now. The cameras are lighter, smaller footprint—people don’t see you coming as much. For people who want to invest in a starter camera, I would say a Sony is a great camera, if you’re going to go mirrorless. I am partial to Canons: The Mark 3, Mark 4 Series, 5D Series. But get a camera that is a little bigger than you, so that you can grow into it. Lenses are the real investment, because they bring your images to life. I have an iPhone 10 and a Huawei phone that I also use for capturing video and pictures, which is really amazing. Essentially, it has a Leica lens. But it’s not really about the camera. People look at a picture and say, “Wow, that’s a great picture. What kind of camera do you have?’ And I want to tell them I made the picture. The camera helped

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This page, from top: Dominick and his family in Jordan’s Wadi Rum; the Seychelles. Opposite: Dominick in Egypt.

me, right? It’s about the eye. Composition is everything. If you see something that is beautiful to you, chances are it’ll be a great picture, regardless of what camera you’re using. Are there certain destinations or places that you particularly love to shoot or that are particularly challenging for you to capture? Morocco, for me, is just a very special place—not only because Africa is so diverse in terms of its climate, the people, the culture, the food, and so many things to see, but there is a magical sense in how it shows itself to you culturally and there is so much to explore. You have the mountains, you have the ocean—and the traditionality of it. I had shots where I’m seeing shepherds walking with their flocks through the medina. Right up there with Morocco, though, I have to put Vietnam. It was also a place that I wanted to go for a long time. When a place is mystical to us or unknown to us, there are things that seem really amazing even in the simplest of ways, and so it is like that. Rounding out the top three is the Seychelles. And my personal favorite place—where I developed a great deal as a photographer—is Mexico. It’s very welcoming in terms of people, and just in the way it allows you to shoot it. Places like Rome or Florence, or Venice are so picturesque, and you’ve seen so many pictures from there. But they are a little harder sometimes because you have to figure out where you are in the story and what you want to capture. What have you learned from photographing people all over the world from very different cultures and walks of life? I’ve learned that we’re very similar in our differences. Regardless of whether it’s a lady in an abaya in Qatar or a monk in Angkor Wat or a street artist in Florence, everyone is trying to figure out where they are in the story—the world, our story, what’s going on right now. Has being a photographer changed the way you look at life? All I ever wanted to do was practice this art. I wouldn’t trade anything for the journey—all the poetry, all of the advertising, all of that brought me to this place. Sometimes when I’m taking a picture, you have to wait, you know, for this red light to go and all these people to cross the street again and all these things to get that one look or what it was that you saw in the first place. There are some ways in which being a photographer has helped me with patience—waiting and watching. Do you have a favorite first travel memory? My favorite first travel memory was the first time I ever

Dominick’s Travel Tips What’s always in your carry-on? My camera! I’m also a skin moisture nut and my wife told me about Weleda skin food. I have had a small tube with me ever since. It’s some amazing stuff. Carita learned about it when Sharon Stone was talking about her beauty secrets for travel—and you can get it at Whole Foods. Favorite hotel to hide away in? Whenever I can get there, a cool little weekend or weekday getaway spot is the Omni Royal Orleans—right down in the heart of the French Quarter—but just far enough away. A stone’s throw to Café Du Monde and a nice l’il brisk gate to Snug Harbour for the perfect Sazerac. Not to mention tons of great food all around. Favorite travel ritual? When I’m two weeks out from my trip, I put my travel bags in my personal space at home. It makes me look at them every time I pass by and I start to anticipate and have visions about my trip. As the days go by, I drop things near the bags that I want to bring on my journey—a book, a new travel hat, a cool journal, etc. Nothing like getting mentally geared up for a trip Overpacker or minimalist? I am a minimalist with a fashion overpacker syndrome! Do you check or carry on? True story: I was always a carry-on guy, but when I met Melissa Biggs Bradley and learned about her actual method and reasoning, I’ve been on a carry-on crusade to every family member and friend.


crossed the pond many years ago and landed in Amsterdam at the Schiphol Airport. I was meeting a friend and as I walked outside I saw a sea of bicycles. Thousands and thousands of bikes as far as I could see. It was amazing—I was blown away by how they had people on bikes, cars, motos, trains and taxis—all going at once, but no one was there directing the traffic. It truly represented for me, a sort of artistic laissez faire. As a result, the Netherlands had a profound impact on my work and life. All the way through my twenties and beyond, Amsterdam became a yearly trip. In fact, I still was even there pre-Covid. How has Covid changed the way you think about travel? Covid has made me appreciate even more the journeys I’ve been able to take and the amazing miracle that travel is. The ability to lock off time, be in the moment and put yourself in a space that is new to you and learn and share and experience something—some place totally foreign to you—other than how you imagined it before, is a profound thing. Creating that feeling and packing a bag to do that over and over again is perhaps one of the greatest joys of my life. As a photographer, I am constantly trying to create that feeling for those who look at the pictures—hoping they will go for themselves. But to have shared these moments with my family or even other insider travelers, as when we were all in Beirut together—is an amazing experience.

Where are you headed next? Bhutan is very high on my list. For now, though, I’m going to focus a little while here in California. I will be looking for the nuance in everyday things. It’s an interesting moment for travel that’s coming around, right? So I’m interested to see how this unfolds, as people are becoming more conscious, I think that travel will be different. It’s going to be even greater, actually, when it does become safe for us all to make moves.

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What has the greatest gift of travel been for you? Travel has given me a true understanding of humanity and the beauty in mystery and the things that we don’t know. When you see people going about their lives in other places a world away, you realize that the person (and how they’re contributing)—it’s just based on who they are, and there’s so much beauty in that, in routine, in every moment.

Early morning in Hanoi,Vietnam.




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Mikkelsen Harbor

In Praise of Slow Travel

Indagare’s COO Eliza Harris examines an unexpected side effect of Covid—the new perspective that comes from slowing down—and what it means to be more fully present in the moment, while traveling. photos by eliza harris



OR THE PAST DECADE, like so many of us, I have lived much of my life at a sprint, rushing from one thing to the next. My art form has been in planning with precision. In the sphere of travel, this has meant carefully researching a trip, then scripting in advance each moment of each day, so as to build from one crescendo to the next. On safari, it might be the bush walk with the Hadzabe tribe, followed by the helicopter ride over the Great Migration, followed by sundowners on a mountain top. While this is certainly a grand and exciting way to travel, once I am in a destination, I often find that what is left to chance is only scraps-oftime confetti: the half-hour between the tour of the Spice Market and the sunset cruise on the Bosphorus. It’s never enough to really do anything. In the time of Covid and with the sudden freedom to stay places longer, thanks to remote work and school, we have now flipped this rapid-fire approach to travel on its head. One of the unexpected luxuries has been the ability to stay in places for longer, to revel in unscripted time. What relief comes in realizing that the frenzy of activity is no longer necessary! There is plenty of time to let things unfold. My family spent five weeks in the Adirondack mountains this summer. We went hiking in the morning. Every afternoon, we explored the river behind our house. I have been going there for 50 years, but this was the summer we found the best new swimming holes and got to know the river in a different way. Now we are talking as a family of different places we can go and stay for weeks at a time and really get to know them. Luxury now means space and time. As much as I have glamorized it in my mind, tight logistic control comes at a cost. The premise of scripting, after all, is the notion that you can know in advance what your most precious memories will be and, thus, plan for them. But you never really do. The things you end up cherishing the most are so often the result of serendipity or as amorphous as the way a place makes you feel. Going on safari in Zimbabwe last fall, we saw phenomenal game, but when I close my eyes, it is not the sights but the sounds that populate my imagination. I flash back to being at dinner by candlelight on the terrace at our tented camp in Hwange with

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Clockwise from far left: A lilac-breasted roller in Zimbabwe; autumn leaves; lounging on the summit of Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondack High Peaks; Adirondacks summit view.

I notice all sorts of things I never saw before. Now that I have started kayaking, I am suddenly highly attuned to wind speed and tide height and I am learning to stop thinking I can control or predict and instead give in to the river.�


This page, clockwise from right: A boat excursion at Singita Pamushana in Zimbabwe; hiking Mount Acadia on Mount Desert Island in Maine; spring forest leaves. Opposite: Lakeside in the Adirondacks.

animals shuffling in the dark at the adjacent water hole. I hear a light splash and hooves and soft grunts and guttural growls. Amid the two elephants squabbling over a prime drinking spot and an alpha male lion calling to his pride, we were part of the conversation of the wilderness. In Tanzania, I knew I would be awed by the cheetahs, but I didn’t know how much I would delight in the birds: that flash of impossibly bright blue of a lilac-breasted roller flitting across the tawny open plains like a perfection of thought. In the Himalayas, the magic was in what it felt like to be surrounded by majestic scenery all day, every day—how at first you want to capture everything and then you relax into it and know that everything will be beautiful, so you can trust and allow it to unfold. In Morocco, I went shopping at a store in Gueliz renowned for leather goods, but the precious thing was the conversation on the way there with my driver, who told me stories about growing up in a Berber village. In Japan, it was finally understanding what it feels like to live in a collectivist society, where people are exceedingly considerate and attuned to the needs of others; it feels like every stranger is looking out for you. For all of us, the challenge of Covid right now is to make

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the shift from coping to adapting. Sometimes, I find myself still holding my breath, waiting for things to snap back to the way they were, and I have to shake off the impulse. For years, perhaps a lifetime, I have clung to meticulous planning as a talisman, a hedge against wasted time. I have chased the next big wow, forgetting that the nuance is just as beguiling. Now, my discipline of adapting is in learning to slow down and be more present, to listen and pay attention. I notice all sorts of things I never saw before. Now that I have started kayaking, I am suddenly highly attuned to wind speed and tide height. I am learning to stop thinking I can control or predict and instead give in to the current. As the Hopi Elders say in their poem “We are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For:” There is a river flowing now very fast. ...The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water... All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. It’s time to celebrate slow travel. Maybe on the other side of this mess we can have both preparation and surrender.


The soaring Roman Capitol at Dougga, a two-hour drive from Tunis. Opposite: Traditional mint tea at El M’rabet , one of the oldest cafés in Tunis.

Tunisia Rising

In February, right before the world went on lockdown, Indagare’s Simone Girner explored this fascinating North African country, which should be on your radar for 2021.

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HAVE TO TELL YOU,” said our Tunisian guide Ab-de while standing in front of the soaring Temple of Jupiter at the Roman archaeological site of Dougga. “Even though I have visited these places many times, they still make me emotional.” Rendering people emotional—whether locals or visitors — is what Tunisia excels in. It may happen in the hushed arches of the Andalusian-tiled El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, where Muslim and Jewish communities have lived side by side for centuries. It may happen among the Saharan sand dunes that rise just outside southern Tozeur, their edges wind-blown and eternal. It may happen at such Roman sites as Dougga, Kerkouane or Carthage: ancient places whose history throbs beneath your feet. And most of the time you’re visiting this small but mighty country, you wonder what took you so long to come. Wedged like a triangle between Algeria and Libya, Tunisia is often treated like the little sister of more established powerhouses Morocco and Egypt when, in fact, this country (only slightly larger than the state of Georgia) packs a potent punch that is powerfully its own. With landscapes that range from southern desert expanses to verdant farmland up north, and experiences as varied as archaeological sites, gorgeous seaside villages and a buzzing contemporary scene in Tunis juxtaposed with one of the world’s oldest medinas, Tunisia is perfect for travelers interested in history, culture and getting off the beaten path. It is also an opportunity to experience an Arab nation that defies the stereotypes that an increasingly simplistic world may hold of it. Before our trip (I traveled with my colleague Lisa), we asked my hosts whether it would be culturally sensitive to bring a veil, especially when touring the “more conservative rural regions” as one of our guidebooks suggested. The answer came swiftly: “No, absolutely not necessary.” Walking through buzzing, modern Tunis, surrounded by school kids thronging street-food vendors, stylish women clacking down the pavement in towering heels and old men in traditional garb sitting at small tables smoking shishas, we laughed about it with our hosts, Mariem and Hazar, two women who epitomize the energy of post-Revolution Tunisia. “We joked about whether we should tell you to bring burqas,” said Mariem with a wink, “just so you could see the contrast when you’re here.”

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Clockwise from top left: Sidi Bou Saïd’s scenic harbor; Tunis’s stylish Dar Ben Gacem Kahia, a restored guesthouse that opened in 2019; a homewares shop in the Tunis medina.

A country of contrasts—and surprises—is indeed a perfect description of Tunisia, a place whose mélange of influences and cultures is immediately intoxicating. Most notably are remnants of the French, who colonized Tunisia from 1881 until independence in 1955, leaving behind Art Nouveau edifices and wide boulevards, their education system and language (Tunisian Arabic is a melodic mix of Arabic and French). But traces of all those who came before—Phoenicians, Romans, Arab Muslims, Normans, Ottomans—are also present throughout the country, in the architecture, food and local customs. For a traveler, this means an onslaught of impressions, many times in the course of a single day. In Tunis, for instance, you can spend the morning walking among the ruins of Carthage, one of the ancient world’s most fabled sites, then head into the Medina to take a lesson in calligraphy or bookbinding with a craftsman who learned his trade from generations before him, then continue on to shop the city’s cool new crop of design boutiques, and end at sunset in a seaside town that looks straight out of Greece. For lovers of history—especially Phoenician and

EDITOR’S NOTE: Just before press time, Tunisia, which had been open to American travelers, closed its border again due to an uptick in Covid-19 cases. Now, the country is allowing tourists to enter via a color-coded system based on risk assessment. The United States is currently on the government’s red list, barring entry to U.S. citizens. Indagare is monitoring the situation, and we hope that we can help plan trips to this special destination again soon.


of which non-Muslims are allowed to tour with a guide). Scenic seaside Kerkouane, surrounded by vineyards, is the site of a former Phoenician settlement, shockingly complete down to its bathtubs. But even though travelers come for these sites, Tunisia is hardly stuck in the antiquities department. Especially in Tunis (but also afield), you can’t help but be swept up by the forward momentum of a country that only relatively recently emerged from decades of dictatorship. This December will see the 10-year anniversary of the beginning of the so-called Jasmine Revolution that ousted former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, inspiring Arab Spring uprisings across the region. But even though dictators toppled elsewhere, none of the neighbors managed Tunisia’s tightrope act of transforming from autocracy to democracy (the country’s National Dialogue Quartet, responsible for the transition, received the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize). Today, Tunisia is the Arab world’s only fully democratic sovereign state.

Roman—the treasures cannot be overstated. You could spend an entire day in the Bardo Museum alone, marveling at mosaics whose artisanship and sheer size are overwhelming. Another must-see is the former Roman settlement of Dougga, a two-hour drive southwest of Tunis, with a number of showstoppers, including an imposing Capitol, a theater that once seated 3,500 spectators, baths, private residences and temples. The town of El Jem is home to a colossal Roman amphitheater and can be combined with a visit to Kairouan, the country’s most important Islamic center founded by Muslim Arabs in 670 AD and home to the Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba (parts

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Yet everyone I spoke with remained firm in the belief that the struggle is worth it for the country’s new-found freedom, and that while the ideal future state may be a ways off, they will never go back. A single line of graffiti on the side of a Tunis residence summed up this sentiment: “It takes time to live the dream.” However, there is an impressive local cast, especially artists, social entrepreneurs and creative thinkers already working on that dream right now. On a scenic side street in historic Tunis lies Dar Ben Gacem Kahia, a beautifully restored guesthouse that opened in 2019 and whose owner, Leila Ben Gacem, is one of the movers and shakers of the Medina. A petite powerhouse who exudes can-do energy, Leila is an accidental hotelier and social entrepreneur (in her former life, she traveled the world as a


An artisan working the pottery wheel on the island of Djerba. Above: the archaeological site of Dougga.

Of course, not everything about the transition has been painless. The parliamentary democracy is still in its infancy, with hundreds of parties jostling for a say; the currency has been largely devalued since 2011, resulting in economic hardship for many; and just as Tunisia was finding its post-Revolution stride, two terrorist attacks in 2015 practically shut down the tourism sector, one of the country’s main revenue sources. Unemployment remains high, especially now with the longtail effects of Covid-19, which is particularly frustrating in a place whose education system is excellent (it is not unusual for your driver to have a Master’s degree and most everyone you encounter speaks at least four languages).

Top Five Not to Miss Walking tour of Carthage Developed by the Phoenicians, destroyed and rebuilt by the Romans, Carthage is one of the classical world’s most mythical cities, and the excavation work at this stunning open-air museum is excellent. Mosaics at the Bardo Museum You could spend an entire day among the treausres of the Bardo, which gathered mosaics—some of them huge—from villas all over Tunisia and has one of the world’s largest Roman mosaics collections. To prevent mosaic overwhelm, a great guide is a must. Day trip to Dougga The Roman settlement at Dougga, a two-hour drive from Tunis, is spectacular, complete with a Roman theater and Capitol (a more delicate favorite is the Temple of Juno Caelestis). Sunset in Sidi Bou Saïd The light on this blue-and-white hilltop village, with expansive sea views, drew the likes of Paul Klee and August Macke, as well as (more recently) fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa, whose former home can be visited. Escape to the Desert If you have time, try to spend a few days at the new Anantara in Tozeur (see p. 71), the gateway of the Sahara.

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Carthage, with a view of the sea. Below from left: Simone at the Bardo Museum in Tunis; a shop near Tozeur.

biomedical engineer), but her passion for preserving the ways of the Medina, while also helping it shape a futureself, is utterly contagious. “In our part of the world, we have a tendency to underestimate the potential of our historic districts,” she said as we were sipping mint tea on the guesthouse’s chic rooftop, the sun stark against billowing white curtains, the sky behind them a braggard in blue. “Part of our work is also about changing minds and perceptions.” At either of her two guesthouses, Ben Gacem offers to connect her visitors with artisans who hold short lessons in jewelry-making, calligraphy or bookbinding. “When I first approached the craftsmen,” she laughs, “a few didn’t understand why a tourist would want to learn their craft. It took some convincing that what they are making is, in fact, of great interest to travelers looking to have an authentic experience.” Having authentic experiences is what Tunisia is all about, in part thanks to the fact that it’s not been as over-touristed as a Morocco or an Egypt. Not everything is polished and delivered on a silver platter. Rest stops on a road trip are basic; restaurants outside the capital are simple family affairs (often this is a plus when it comes to the homecooked dishes of couscous and vegetarian stew chakchouka); and in the more remote regions, it helps to speak some French.

But there are hints that Tunisia’s time is coming (travelers looking to go before the rest of the world does should book a trip now). Late 2019 saw the opening of a gorgeous new resort in Tozeur, a sleepy Berber town that happens to be the gateway to the Sahara. Sprawling across 100-plus acres, the Anantara Tozeur was thoughtfully conceived to blend into its setting, the spacious rooms and suites set in squat clusters like their own little desert communities. Built with mostly local materials, including lots of wood and stone, it is a property of shadows and light, the colors taking their cues from those of the surrounding expanses: light pink in the morning, blinding gold midday and saturated reds, blues and purples in the evening (sunrise or sunset here would have made J.M.W Turner’s head spin). As tempting as it would be to stay put at this beautiful place, which has three pools and a wonderful spa, there is a lot to be explored in the area. You can road-trip from the charming small town of Douz, crossing Chott-el-Djerid, an enormous salt lake that happens to be one of the world’s most silent places. You can shop in Tozeur’s own small but scenic medina, or visit such nearby mountain oases as Chebika and Tamerza. And then, of course, just an hour out of town, you will find yourself in the talcum-powdered sands of the Sahara, so perfectly captured by Michael Ondaatje in The English Patient: “The desert could not be claimed or owned—it was a piece of cloth carried by

Staying in Style: Four Seasons Tunis

The Four Seasons Tunisa, which opened in December 2017, is located in the seaside suburb of Gammarth, far removed from the medina’s hustle and bustle—and that is precisely the point. Its generous layout, a gorgeous, state-of-the art spa/ wellness area and sizeable terraces, with sea views from the rooms on the higher floors, all inspire relaxation. The rooms are some of the largest the city has to offer, and design touches include smooth stone floors, wooden lattice headboards, framed stucco, sculpted lamps and Berber-woven rugs. The young team exudes enthusiasm and hospitality (if not always speed), making the property a welcome place to return to after a long day of sightseeing in Tunis and environs. 70

Desert Newcomer: Anantara Tozeur

Housed in squat building clusters of sandhued limestone, the rooms are all the same spacious size (740 square feet) and come with large bathrooms and outdoor patios. The only difference is in the view—the ones to get look into the desert and towards Chott el Djerid, a massive salt pan that glistens in the distance like a mirage. A neutral color palette is colorfully accented by locally

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made rugs and throws. A sliding panel separates the bathroom from the bed- and sitting-rooms, in case you’re tempted to take a bath with a desert view. Rain-showers, Nespresso machines and the latest technology make the Anantara rooms some of the country’s most comfortable. The villas, meanwhile, sit on the edges of the property, making them feel extra private, and many come with their own plunge pools and large outdoor spaces where dinners can be arranged. The town of Tozeur offers few dining options, so most guests will have all meals at the resort. Luckily, the food served at the five restaurants is excellent and includes Tunisian classics, as well as a large repertoire of imternational fare (all can be adjusted for preferences and allergies). Don’t miss “Arabian Nights,” a private dinner in a cushion-strewn Berber tent and the multiple courses prepared over an open fire pit. Berber cooking classes can also be arranged.

There are some fun nearby activities, including dune bashing in the Sahara and seeing the set of Star Wars’ Mos Espa (the latter is not a must unless you are a diehard fan). Another nice day trip is a visit to the mountain oasis of Chebika, which can also be combined with the oasis of Nefta and a stop in Tozeur’s own 14th-century medina. But when planning your days, be sure to allow some downtime at the Anantara. There are three pools, including one for families; the spa is excellent, and the gym has views of the resort’s own palm grove. And what a pleasure it is to sit on one’s private terrace or patio at any time of the day (or night, thanks to a small firepit) and watch the colors of the desert change—the soft pinks of the early morning moving into glimmering heat midday and, finally, the crimson, purple and deep blues that linger after the sun has set in spectacular fashion. en/sahara-tozeur


Opened in 2019, the Anantara Tozeur Resort & Spa is a gamechanger. Situated in Tozeur, the gateway to the Sahara Desert, the resort enables visitors to create a circuit between this scenic region and Tunis. It helps that the resort, with 50 rooms and 43 villas, is stunning, both inside and out. The Anantara hotel group is based in Bangkok, but thanks to a host of indigenous materials, architecture designed to blend into the natural environment and a motivated, mostly local team, the resort manages to have an incredible sense of place.

winds, never held down by stones, and given a hundred shifting names long before Canterbury existed, long before battles and treaties quilted Europe and the East (…) It was a place of faith. Fire and sand.”

In the Sahara, near Tozeur. Below: At Chebika oasis.

Anthony Minghella shot the book’s film adaption in Tunisia, and fans will recognize the camel-shaped Ong Jamal mountain, as will devotees of Star Wars (in fact, the somewhat dilapidated set of Mos Espa, George Lucas’s imagined spaceport settlement on the planet of Tatooine, lies at the bottom of a great dune and can be visited). It’s a photographer’s dreamscape and also a place that inspires meditation, like holding communion in an eternal place. “Even the wind sounds softer here,” said Lisa, my traveling companion, after some time quietly sitting in sand the color of mustard. When we returned to the hotel, our driver El Hadj Saleh surprised us with two small water bottles that he had filled with the fine sand, so we could take a piece of his home to ours, he explained. Thoughtful and unexpected, this gesture mirrored many of the interactions we’d had during out time in Tunisia. Everyone—from our charismatic guide Ab-de to people we encountered at the hotels, in the Medina and on the road—welcomed us with unforgettable genuineness and warmth. On our last morning, I took a walk by myself among the empty streets of hilltop town Sidi Bou Saïd (a feeling akin to waking in Taormina or Capri and taking advantage of those precious hours before the day-trippers arrive). I came across a little café with a panoramic view of the bay below, the colors still soft except for the bright emerald-colored sea. An old waiter approached, saying he would be happy to take my photo in front of this stunning backdrop, and when I told him how much we had loved exploring Tunisia, how beautiful his country was, his face drew into a wide smile. He threw open his arms and exclaimed, “Mais Madame, c’est votre pays aussi!” But Madam, it is your country, too! It was an apt ending to a trip that harbored many moments full of grace. We left Tunisia utterly humbled by the generosity, tolerance and kindness of everyone who had opened their arms to us on this journey, reminding us that we are indeed all citizens of the same precious, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful world. Suffice it to say that saying good-bye as our plane took off was…well, emotional.



Bringing the World to You Last April, in response to the impact of Covid-19, we launched the Indagare Global Classroom and Global Conversations with Indagare founder Melissa Biggs Bradley. Our series of exclusive virtual programs has spanned more than 230 lectures, talks and tours, cooking classes, tastings and family-friendly experiences with our top guides, insiders and specialists around the world. Tapping into our extensive global network, we have been able to help support our partners and offer special access to high-quality, authentic travel experiences. Here are some of the highlights from the past seven months. For more on our latest programs go to:

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Global Classroom: Fast Facts Study Group: Top Classes

15,700+ rsvps

History • Inside the Ancient City of Luxor • Inside the Great Pyramids of Egypt

40+ countries joined via Zoom

Art History • The Life of Vermeer • Art and Architecture at Château La Coste Food & Wine • Cacio e Pepe with Hotel Eden • Irish Baking with Rachel Gaffney • Cooking with Ashton Keefe • Napa Wine Tasting with Doug White • Wine Tasting with Argentina’s Bodegas Weinert Conservation & Sustainability • History of Safari • Aboriginal Australia • The Last of the Big Tuskers

94% satisfaction rating

You’ve brought the marvels of the outside world to my Mom. I couldn’t be more grateful. She now wants to sign up for every art conversation available and for every future gift to be one of your sessions. Thank you for making travel possible while staying at home.”­­ marguerite thompson, indagare member

Summer Fun: Camp Indagare This past summer, we offered two week-long sessions for 215 kids, featuring daily virtual adventures in Ancient Egypt, at the Tower of London, Notre Dame and Harry Potter’s England. Our campers tested their wilderness and magic skills and enjoyed musical, baking, pizza-making and painting lessons.




Listen up: Our New Podcast

Since April, when Melissa Biggs Bradley launched her Global Conversations talk series, she has invited the Indagare community to listen in as she Zooms with writers, tastemakers, filmmakers, designers, activists, conservationists and many of the people she has most loved meeting through her travels. Many of these dynamic discussions from all over the world— from Cambodia to Kenya—are now available for download through the Indagare Global Conversations podcast. Charlotte Moss | Interior Designer | Episode 20 “Travel expands your world, informs you—it educates you on art, architecture, gardens…. There are so many layers that come into the process and you just absorb these things and they become a part of you."

Paul Theroux | Legendary Travel Writer | Episode 6 “Travel teaches you that the world is huge and it’s complicated….You go to Japan, you’re in the future. Go to Brazil or Malawi, you’re in the past...All travel is time travel…. Knowledge derives from direct experience. Digging a ditch, teaching a class, catching malaria, driving on a bad road, whatever it is….You learn everything from leaving home.” Meryanne Loum-Martin | Moroccan Hotelier | Episode 7 “I fell in love with Marrakech from the moment I landed on the tarmac. I knew it was the place for me. It’s wonderful to have a place where you recreate your own home....My new book Inside Marrakesh is an homage, a celebration of Marrakech by foreigners. It features about 30 houses and nine gardens, and the idea is to say, ‘thank you, Marrakech, for being such an inspiring and creative place, where we can all create the houses of our dreams’.”

Sophy Roberts |Travel Writer and Author of “The Lost Pianos of Siberia” | Episode 12 “The greatest gift of travel is the comfort of strangers. I have made the best friends on the road because of a shared passion for the next horizon.”



Fiona Caulfield | Author of “Love India” | Episode 4 “What is the greatest gift of travel? It is about the journey of life. Travel is the greatest teacher and that is the gift if you are ready to receive it. You learn so much about yourself and life.”

One of the most popular Global Classroom programs is a virtual tour of the gardens and palace of royal Versailles.

Eleven Madison Park’s Matthew Hunter leads private cocktail lessons for Indagare members.

Rachel Gaffney, a favorite Global Classroom host, will also lead our Ireland Insider Journey.

Did You Know? Private Indagare Global Classroom Options We also arrange small-group, private and corporate events, special celebrations, birthday parties and gatherings with family and friends. More than 100 different private classes can be requested—or given as a gift.


Here is a sampling of classes we’ve offered to Indagare Members and Corporate Clients: • Japanese Tea Ceremony • Irish Baking with Rachel Gaffney • A Tour of Royal Versailles • Beer Around the World at Top Hops • The Art of Roman Pasta Special Event Spotlight: Matthew Hunter, Head Bartender at Eleven Madison Park, led Indagare members in a private cocktail lesson in how to mix up four delicious, simple, balanced cocktails with spirits that will become staples on your back bar. This is one of our most popular choices for private celebrations and corporate events. Learn more about all of our private classroom options at 76



Join the Club! Indagare Clubs offer unique opportunities for small groups of like-minded members to pursue passions and explore destinations together virtually. With our brand-new series of year-long programs, you can enjoy our signature curated lectures, dynamic discussions, private interactive tours and behind-the-scenes access on the subjects you love: Art History, Cooking, Design and Fashion. A few spots are still available in monthly clubs.

Art Club:

Popular art historian Dr. Page Knox has created three comprehensive art history courses—Masterpieces of Western Art, Major Art Exhibitions of 2020 and Classics of the Italian Renaissance—exclusively for the Indagare community.

Cooking Club:

Travel with us each month to 10 top cooking school kitchens around the globe and learn how to prepare delicious dishes—from Puglia and Tuscany to Thailand, Kyoto, Copenhagen, Paris and beyond.

Design Club:

Meet world-renowned designers and tastemakers, including Michael Smith, India Hicks, Meryanne Loum-Martin and more in this series of discussions examining the latest trends, innovations and ideas in design and travel.

Fashion Club:

Parsons-New School lecturer and fashion historian Jessica Glasscock will look at how iconic female designers from Schiaparelli and Chanel to Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney have used fashion to create change. Plus, private shopping experiences in Rome, Paris and much more!

Reserve your spot: | 212-988-2611 |

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Congratulations and thank you to our partners for a successful Future of Travel of Summit!



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