The Call of the Jungle

Jungles are some of the wildest and most remote places on the planet. Dense and often impenetrable, they are perfect hiding places. They have lured many an explorer or adventurer into their lethal green embrace, whether it be the with the possibility of discovering new species or the promise of finding abandoned ruins. The lucky ones make it out alive but others are never seen or heard from again. The big green hell contains a mind-boggling number of challenges and hazards. The terrain can be so difficult to traverse that progress is agonizingly slow and tropical downpours can completely alter the landscape, making navigation even tougher. Then there is the wildlife; big cats stalk their prey through the undergrowth while insects infect their victims with bacteria and disease. To be prepared to take on all that one has to be incredibly brave or somewhat stupid. Either way, there are many who have. … More The Call of the Jungle

Humanity’s Legacy

The individual journeys we make during our own time on Earth are relatively short when compared to the seemingly infinite path our species has been on over the millennia. Spread across the globe are outstanding monumental remains of various civilizations that attest to this. The perennial targets of past and present explorers, they emit a curious call to travellers from all over the world. Having withstood the ravages of time, they hint at the knowledge and skills of our ancestors, and serve as a powerful, mysterious, and thought-provoking testament to our collective human history. Representing some of the best examples of what we can produce, these special sites and ruins are gatekeepers of our legacy. Every time one of them disappears another link that connect us to the secrets of humanity’s past is broken. Although ancient, they seem to beckon with the promise of future adventure. … More Humanity’s Legacy

First Light, Last Light

Each morning is marked by the appearance of the sun over the horizon. As it steadily climbs out of the darkness of the preceding night, it radiates warmth—providing all living things with energy. It has signified birth and renewal to humankind since as far back as we know and without it there would be no life at all. When rising in its silent and stately manner it carries with it all the possibilities of a new day. As its light becomes brighter, we continue ahead on our personal journeys. We take on challenges, surmount obstacles, and try reach our goals to the best of our abilities until the fiery orb has completed its voyage through the sky. As it disappears once again, sinking into the abyss of blackness, it urges us to reflect on how we spent the time. Did we use it wisely? Did we do what we wanted to do? Did we move forward? Like each day, no sunrise or sunset is exactly the same as another. … More First Light, Last Light

Inspiring Scenery

Earth is a very special place. It is an undisputable fact that the planet we live on is unique. The scope of scenic delights it offers is so vast that no one of us can ever hope to experience them all in one lifetime. If we don’t have the desire to get up, get out, and get away from our usual daily routines we can expect to see very little of it at all. However, with strong will, sufficient opportunity, and the all-important variable of luck, we may be able to visit enough places to feel that we have a relatively firm grasp on just what it is that makes our home so magical. After all, it is the sensory overload provided by direct experience that unlocks the door of comprehension to Earth’s majesty faster than any other key. Regardless of an adventure’s goal or a journey’s intended destination, taking the time to consider the awe-inspiring scenery can provide us with moments of peaceful solitude, quiet contemplation, and uplifting wonderment. … More Inspiring Scenery

The Natural World

Despite our variety, we are just one of the species that inhabit this amazing planet. Meeting other living organisms—be they sentient or not—can lead to renewed appreciation for the vast amount of biological diversity we share Earth with. Different parts of the world have different climates, habitats, flora, and fauna. We might already be familiar with some of the animals and plant life we encounter along the road of adventure. Others will be more novel to us, and in certain cases seem exotic or even downright strange. Observing and interacting with the other species that make up the natural world teaches us important lessons about life in general and we are reminded of the wonder that exists outside of humanity. Unfortunately, as much of it is under threat it deserves more attention and protection. We must maintain a mutually sustainable balance in order to ensure the survival of everyone and everything here. … More The Natural World

Local Life

Along the path of adventure we are led away from what we have always regarded as normal. Seeing and experiencing something different can result in both positive and negative reactions but regardless of this, new encounters help us to develop and grow. One thing that makes any journey interesting is observing how the communities we come across live. Learning about local culture through traditions, customs, dress, food, drink, and typical lifestyle practices leads to more empathy, knowledge, and broader cultural horizons. As we move among the varied peoples of this planet, the richness in diversity of our species is presented in full colour and we become more aware of our interdependence and the need for tolerance and cooperation. We may even discover that the doors we open to these other worlds allow us access to ways of living that we actually prefer, and in time we might choose them for ourselves. … More Local Life

Pathways

Every journey and every adventure begins with a single step along some kind of path. We may not know where they will take us or what trials and rewards they will present us with, but we can be certain that starting out along one of them will open up a myriad of possibilities. Some of them are solitary and straight, heading off into the distance on their determined lonely course. Some are winding and carry the traveller around corners to hidden things, while others lead to unexpected destinations via serendipitous intersections. There are pathways that take us back in time through ancient ruins or forests, and ones that transport us into the future towards unknown horizons. In life we occasionally find ourselves traversing one without knowing how we got there, but at other times we need to actively seek them out to grow. They are the arteries of existence that allow us to transform inertia into activity. … More Pathways

The Japan Alps

In a few weeks athletes from all over the world will compete across more than thirty events at the Tokyo Olympics. Recently we have taken it upon ourselves to introduce readers to some little-known adventures that can be found outside of Japan’s capital, and in the final article of this series we head to the majestic mountains of the Japan Alps. When one thinks of Japanese mountains, only one image is likely to come to mind—that of Mount Fuji, which is the country’s tallest and most famous. It dominates the surrounding landscape and when seen from afar, it is easy to understand how it has gained its iconic status. However, some people who have scaled its slopes will tell you that it isn’t a very pretty mountain up close, nor is it a particularly enjoyable hike. The truth is that Japan’s most beautiful, dramatic, and rewarding mountain adventures are waiting elsewhere, amongst its other 3,000-metre peaks. … More The Japan Alps

Calderas, Shrines & Mythology

As the Olympics draw ever closer, we continue our quest to introduce readers to some less frequented parts of Japan and to a few adventurous experiences that can’t be found in the world’s largest city. Tokyo has its merits but the Japanese provinces possess a different kind of richness that can be more endearing. Far away from the seething masses of the big cities, and seemingly even further removed in terms of pace of life, Kyushu’s countryside exudes a certain organised purity. Public transport is reliable and even the smallest of villages has a post office but the air smells more wholesome, the water is cleaner, and the food tastier. The colour green dominates, forcing grey concrete to take a distant second place to nature in more ways than one. There is an idyllic existence to be found in these parts, but it comes hand in hand with a sense of impermanence. … More Calderas, Shrines & Mythology

Mountain Temples & Snow Monsters

In approximately three months Tokyo is set to host the Olympic Games. The run-up to the huge global event, which was originally supposed to take place in 2020, has been fraught with difficulties. Despite ongoing uncertainty and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, at the time of writing it seems that the games will be held—albeit without foreign spectators. This has left many people feeling disappointed. Some international tourists who purchased tickets likely planned to combine their sport viewing with travel outside the concrete megalopolis of Japan’s capital to experience more of the country. That is now impossible. Japan offers some unique travel experiences and stunning environments. As veterans of exploring lesser-known areas of the country we wanted to share a few off-the-beaten-path adventures that may provide readers with a small amount of consolation. … More Mountain Temples & Snow Monsters

Sources of Inspiration – Natural & Built Heritage

Heritage can be described as anything that has been left to us, whether intentionally or not, by our predecessors or by the past. It can be quite local and might only seem relevant to particular groups, cultures, or communities. However, as it all represents some aspect of humanity or the planet we share, we are all the receivers of this legacy. We may even think of it as a global inheritance that encompasses a broad range of items and concepts—archaeological remains, works of art, landscapes, habitats, traditions, customs, value systems, and much more. Differentiations are often made between types of heritage, like the ‘tangible’ and ‘intangible’ varieties. Other examples include ‘natural’ vs ‘cultural’ and ‘movable’ vs ‘immovable’ heritage. Regardless of its classification, the protection and conservation of all of it is of the utmost importance. … More Sources of Inspiration – Natural & Built Heritage

Sources of Inspiration – Adventure Stories

The need for escapism has been a constant throughout all ages of recorded human history. Adventure stories cater to this by serving as vehicles that allow us to make enjoyable mental forays into the mysterious and exciting unknown. Some of the oldest myths and folk tales we are aware of have been passed down over centuries, or in some cases millennia. One can imagine the children of Ancient Egypt listening to elders recount the myth of Osiris, or gazing at the stars while attempting to trace the sun god Ra making his perilous nightly journey through the realm of the dead. Who hasn’t heard of Homer’s epic Greek adventure poem The Odyssey, such a significant piece of storytelling that it can still be found in book stores throughout the world today. There are many more surviving examples from antiquity that have endured in one form or another. … More Sources of Inspiration – Adventure Stories