I’m writing this letter a week before Christmas, at a time of the year that always has me thinking about the previous 12 months. As far as reflections go, this one is especially colorful: It’s full of the challenges faced in launching a magazine; the pure pleasures of seeing Here Magazine grow as the Away team does; and, of course, the absolute wonderment that comes with traveling.
For this issue in particular, the world offered up places that I didn’t know I needed until I got off the plane. In Lisbon, the city’s youthful energy—thanks to a growing startup scene and a flood of young expats—countered centuries-old monuments and winding cobblestone streets. I learned that egg tarts are worth the stomach ache, and that new always feels better when it’s mixed with old. Perhaps that energy means that anyone can find their place in Lisbon, but I felt like I belonged merely hours after arriving. I’ll be making a trip again soon to explore the rest of Portugal.
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My next trip to Bali was cancelled due to the volcanic eruption of Mount Agung—a minor inconvenience compared to the tens of thousands of residents displaced from their homes, and one that set me on a path, instead, to Sri Lanka. With less than decade behind it since its civil war ended, the country feels like it belongs to in a simpler time, one with less infrastructure and more human connection. Of course, as all untouched tropical islands go, this one is probably not long for its undiscovered state. But if you’re not afraid to deviate from your tours and engage with any number of Sri Lanka’s natural wonders—surf, safari, or the forever-smiling locals—there will always be magic in Ceylon.
Which is what we are all searching for when we travel, after all. In these pages, Cherry Bombe creative director Claudia Wu writes about giving in to the power of travel, and giving up on her self-predicated work rules. Jen Rubio and Emma Glassman-Hughes consider the magic they’ve encountered on Canada’s coasts, and Lee Litumbe, founder of the blog Spirited Pursuit, shows us how beautiful it can be to pack a swimsuit and camera and just go.
It’s a feeling I’ll take with me into the holiday season and beyond, into 2018. Only the world knows where I’ll be heading next.