Friday, January 25, 2013

Talking travel with Travelife's contributing editors, and Africa on my mind

Tonight, just another Friday in my never-endingly eventful Travelife, I had some of some of my contributing editors over for dinner at home just to catch up and talk about travel -- past and future trips.

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One of them had just returned from an amazing safari in Tanzania, while another had just returned from Australia, so I was interested to hear about what they'd seen and done.

Then, one of these two is joining  me on the Travelife trip to Sri Lanka in early February, so we also discussed things to see and do in Sri Lanka.

He said to me: "I want to see the real Colombo life this time. I don't know if the others will want to do that, but I want to visit Colombo's market."


I smiled. I'd been to Colombo's famous market on my first visit; it's called Pettah Market, and that's where everyone buys everything from food and supplies to clothing, fabrics and electronics. You name it, they have it.

But this time, I'd already made a list of places to visit -- basically the best stores for fine local goods in Sri Lanka -- and Pettah Market wasn't on the list.

Photo taken today at the Thai Airways office in Salcedo Village.
We're flying with Thai Airways to Sri Lanka.

But I did say: "Maybe the driver can drop you off and pick you up while we're at the interior shops."

I certainly want to make sure that everyone coming along with me to Sri Lanka next month will be able to strike a couple of things off their bucket list.


Then we talked about what to do, to ensure that Travelife keeps on being the leading travel & lifestyle magazine.

This certainly generated an animated discussion and a lot of good ideas.


It was so nice to talk travel with these two guys because they're as passionate about traveling as I am, and they're both very good photographers.

So I showed them the photos coming up in the next issue, including a beautiful shot on Table Mountain in Cape Town that's appearing in our Table of Contents page; and I was as pleased as punch that they thought my photos were very good.

These guys are pretty hard to please, by the way, and they're not the types to praise for nothing. So when they both say it's good, it must really be good.


Of course this started us talking about Africa.

Tanzania is a very different experience from South Africa, so it was nice to exchange experiences. But we all agreed that Africa's just an amazing continent with so much to see.

The guy who went to Tanzania is planning to go to more exotic places next time -- as if Tanzania wasn't exotic enough. So I also shared my Africa bucket list.

It keeps changing as it's so hard to make up my mind about where to go next, but I have a feeling that it's going to be Botswana and either Tanzania or Namibia as a second.


Everyone I've talked to has said that the Botswana safari experience is completely different from the South Africa safari experience.

Botswana is just way more wild and rugged, and the scenery and settings are entirely different as well. And even the style of the safari lodges is unique. Botswana also has the five-star luxury lodges, but they're way more rustic and blended in with the environment, rather than picture-perfect Relais & Chatueax type places transported into the bush.

We talked the whole night about travel, agreeing that there are too many places and just so little time.

And before I knew it, another day had ended so quickly in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.


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