Wednesday, June 3, 2009

AFAR Magazine - A Travel Magazine That Possibly Understands Travel?

As you know I am not a big fan of travel magazines...and especially the polls and surveys they promote. Well, today in the mail I received a mailer for a new magazine coming out in August: AFAR.

What got me was its highlighted introduction:

"If your idea of travel is staying in big-name chain hotels, touching every attraction in the guidebook, eating what you can eat at home, and being in bed by 9 p.m., we're afraid AFAR might not be for you."

Intrigued, I found the website for this upstart magazine and watched a video from the founders, Greg Sullivan and Joe Diaz: Birth of an Idea.

The aspect that I liked the most was that it seems to be a mix between Rough Guide and luxury travel. The philosophy is not so much that you need to get "down and dirty", but rather you need to open yourself up so the local people will open themselves up to you...and you will, therefore, get to truly enjoy what that place is really like.

So, if you take a cruise or a trip solely for the ship or hotel, that's fine, but for me it is finding a great itinerary that allows me to see the "other" places and spend time exploring them that makes the trip memorable. That little back alley cafe in St. Tropez, or the really local wine shop in Sintra, Turkey, or dinner with a monkey in the Peruvian Amazon, those are the things that make me love travel.

I am anxious to read the first issue and, hopefully, speak with the founders.