Balai Isabel

Visiting Santorini for its sunsets, traveling along the Silk Road, and about the best restaurants in Trastevere, Rome

This issue is all about dream destinations, and we start with one of the most beautiful islands in the world, famed for breathtaking sunsets. For this cover story, the #Travelife team flew to Greece and our cover model Dr. Cecilia Infantado, posed in a beautiful Josie Natori gown right on a ridge overlooking the caldera in Santorini.
Sunset from the village of Oia in Santorini

This was a working visit but it was certainly a most enjoyable journey, as most Travelife trips are. When we weren’t busy walking and photographing every corner of the quaint towns of Santorini, we were sitting around the swimming pool of our Greek villa, sampling the local liquor of Santorini and literally drinking in the views. 


But adventure is our middle name, so none of us are able to sit still for very long, even in the loveliest of settings. Columnist Dondi Joseph heads our team of the happy and restless, journeying to exotic destinations even I have never heard of and can barely pronounce. But each story he brings back from his travels to the middle of nowhere – or occasionally from the edge of the world – is told so compellingly that I end up adding more unexpected places to my wishlist.

A road trip to Silk Road, Kyrgyzstan
Photo by Dondi Joseph

This time, he took a road trip to the fabled Silk Road starting in Kyrgyzstan, where he says the scenery and the mountain climbs along the Silk Road left him breathless and the exotic food and homemade liquor kept him full. Some of the stays were definitely challenging, but the friendliness of the locals made up for these hardships.



On the other side of the same continent, columnist Michelle Barrera uncovered some of the most interesting and exciting new hotels, restaurants, and experiences in Singapore, an island that obviously never runs out of ideas for mixing travel and pleasure.

New hotspot in Singapore


Meanwhile, over in Europe, columnist Jerome Martin flew to Italy on a whim to take a spontaneous foodie trip around Rome – very uncharacteristic of him – but with a keen nose for finding the way to good cooking. 

He ended up having dinner on a park bench near the Colosseum on one day, and then joining about a dozen other hungry travelers on a guided tasting trip in the trendy neighborhood of Trastevere on another. 

The Colosseum, Rome

Our Travelife team also returned enthusiastically to Japan to write more about wonderful activities in Hokkaido and the Kansai region; and to Malaysia to cruise along the Melaka River and climb up the Batu Caves just outside Kuala Lumpur.

Skiing in Club Med Sahoro, Hokkaido

As for myself, I spent much of the summer driving all over Japan and Russia, clocking in a total of 5,000 kilometers. I’ve written a short piece about my unexpectedly satisfying stay at a small farm in Rostov, along Russia’s Golden Ring, and my expectedly wonderful experiences at Japan’s newest luxury resort in a very under-the-radar town called Alexandrov.

At a farm in Rostov, Russia

There truly are so many interesting places to see and discover. Wherever you are in this fascinating world, we wish you the happiest of holidays and amazing travels.


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