AFAR March - April 2020

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AFAR is a different kind of travel magazine that guides and inspires those who travel the world seeking to connect with its people, experience their cultures, and understand their perspectives. Get AFAR digital magazine subscription today for intriguing travel stories told with beautiful photos and a fresh design.

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United States
Afar Media, LLC
NOK 49.74
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1 min.
what’s new online

Ever wonder why airplane seats don’t have cup holders? Should you check your bag or elbow your fellow passengers out of the way to stuff it in the overhead bin? And which reusable toiletry bottle is worth buying? In three new columns on, editors confront travel controversies, investigate the random questions you’ve pondered as you stand in the security line, and recommend the tools and accessories that make for a better trip. AFAR Answers We get to the bottom of the mysteries of travel. Like what’s the deal with that phone in the hotel bathroom? AFARguments Aisle vs. window. Hard vs. soft luggage. Check vs. carry on. Pick a side. There is no middle ground. AFAR Approved Editors obsess over the gear they love.…

2 min.
an act of kindness turned me into a traveler

ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO, I went with a friend on a spontaneous trip to Europe to go skiing over the winter holidays. We ended up in Zermatt on Christmas Eve. It was late at night when we arrived, and the town was hopping. We walked from hotel to hotel, carrying our bags and ski gear, only to be told “fully booked” six times. On the seventh try, the clerk, whose name was Ketti, could see by our expressions that we feared we might spend the night on a park bench in the snow. She took pity on us and let us stay with her family. Up to that point, my travels had largely been either sightseeing trips, where I took in the history and sights of a place as a tourist,…

2 min.
travel to open your mind

WHEN I WAS A KID, my mom drilled into me the importance of considering other peoples’ feelings by repeating the phrase: “Try to put yourself in her shoes.” Today I understand that she was introducing me to empathy, a concept that ties inextricably to travel: If travel doesn’t engender empathy, you’re doing it wrong. For me, empathy starts with respecting the culture and history of every community. On a recent business trip to Washington, D.C., I spent my last 90 minutes at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Wheeling my suitcase behind me, I took the elevator down to the bottom floor. From there I began a physical journey that traces a historical journey up from slavery through the modern African American experience. Everyone should visit…

2 min.

Joe Mungo Reed Writer Beyond the Basics p.53 Downhill thrill: “One of the most fun things I did in Thailand was go cycling with a group of crazy Malaysian guys down a mountain that overlooks Chiang Mai. One of them turned out to be a Malaysian downhill mountain biking champion! I was trying to keep up with them all day.” Home sweet home: “The place I stayed was a nice traditional house, and it had a lychee tree that must have been hundreds of years old. The best lychees came from that tree—that was a sign that it was a really classy old house.” Follow him: on Twitter @Joemungoreed Cydni Elledge Photographer The Wisdom of Detroit p.61 Unexpected flavors: “While shooting in my hometown of Detroit, I got to taste some great food. I even went back to Saffron…

6 min.
the thoughtful traveler’s guide to indigenous tourism

GET REAL DIRECT CONNECTION Book indigenous-owned and-operated tours and accommodations such as these and your travel dollars will benefit the people whose culture you experience. Sled with Sámi reindeer herders Respect for nature runs deep among the Sámi, the native people of far northern Europe. The tour company Nutti Sámi Siida, based in remote Swedish Lapland, was founded after two Sámi reindeer herders began offering corral tours as a way to help feed their animals during a particularly bad winter. It now offers stays in wooden cabins at Reindeer Lodge, plus activities such as reindeer sledding and aurora chasing in winter and watching newborn calves take their first wobbly steps in spring. —YULIA DENISYUK Visit Navajo landmarks in Oljato–Monument Valley Near the Arizona-Utah border, where red sandstone buttes stretch to the sky, stands the…

1 min.
candace campo

“When you walk in the forest with someone, it’s the deepest conversation you can have. [The Coast Salish] have so much scientific understanding of our forest, but it’s not recognized because it’s explained through storytelling. We want to bring joy and a very authentic educational experience to our guests, but we also have a mission: We believe we are the land and the land is us, and we hope our guests can see, through our cultural lens, that whatever we do to the land, we do to ourselves. When you have that deeper understanding and connection to the forest, you will be prone to protect and secure it for future generations. In addition to all the cultural sharing, having a quiet, peaceful walk in the forest is medicine for everybody.…