Posts in Food + Wine & Travel
One Boomer’s Journey: First Time Out

My own travel journey started in May 1968 on a highway ramp in England, with my backpack hoisted and my thumb pointed optimistically toward the English Channel ferry. A queasy stomach belied my confident air: What on earth was a 19-year-old college girl doing in the chilly English countryside, thumbing a ride from truckers? I’d arrived with a proper suitcase and romantic visions of Europe gleaned largely from Three Coins in a Fountain. But, once in London, where the Sixties counterculture was a wild jump ahead of America’s, I traded my valise for a rucksack and melted into the throng of European students.

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More Benches, Special Goggles: Taking Steps to Assist Older Travelers

Samantha Flores was having a tough time getting through the airport. The signs were hard to see, the announcements were hard to hear and the people rushing by made her feel unsteady on her stiffened knees. Finally, with relief, she made her way to a bench to sit down, catch her breath and take off her “age simulation suit.”

Ms. Flores is the director for experiential design for the architecture firm Corgan, and the nearly 30-pound suit was meant to help her, a 32-year-old, experience the physical challenges of navigating the world as an older person. Goggles and headphones “impaired” her sight and hearing. Gloves reduced feeling and simulated hand tremors. Weighted shoes, along with neck, elbow and knee movement restrictors, approximated mobility limitations.

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7 tips for traveling solo as a senior

Retirement offers the perfect opportunity to travel; you have the time to set out and indulge in your curiosity about the world and its people. But for many, not having a partner to travel with is enough to keep them at home. Setting off on a trip on your own can seem intimidating. Happily, the opportunities for solo travel have never been better. Hotels, travel companies, and cruise lines have kept pace with increasing demand and added options to ensure that a trip for one is just as fulfilling and affordable as a reservation for two.

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The Next Culinary Wave is Surfacing in Brazil

In the chef world, I’m just a hanger-on, but when my friend Georges Schnyder, head of Slow Food Brazil, offered to show me the surreal path high-end Brazilian restaurateurs are taking these days, I jumped at the chance. What I found triggered both awe and panic; there were ants on my plate. At two Michelin Star D.O.M., dessert was Saúva Ants enthroned on an artisan pottery tray laced in vibrant herbs. My first move was to take a photo, in part because the presentation was so dramatic, but in truth to avoid Chef Alex Atala’s gaze which clearly said: “We spent weeks in the forest gathering these, and hours in the kitchen transforming them into a gastronomic Picasso. Now, please eat.” Of course, I’m not the sort of heathen that shovels Twinkies, but I must admit my Epicurean self-image --- as the woman that will try anything including ‘half chicken eggs’ in Laos (you don’t even want to know) --- was severely compromised at the prospect of consuming this insect tableau. Quelling an impulse to run screaming from the room, I bungee jumped out of my comfort zone and downed the first little creature, which after the disquieting tickle of those tiny legs was pleasantly crunchy and bursting with citrus and ginger.

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Making Tracks: Storytelling on Safari Mar 30 Making Tracks: Storytelling on Safari

“Let’s get started by taking off your boots,” my dapper safari guide and owner of Newland Tarlton Safari, Don Young, said after liberally serving several rounds of gin and tonics.

My feet were hot and sticky. Amidst herds of impala and zebra and families of warthogs and mongoose, accompanied by a Massai warrior and a Kikuyu game warden, we’d walked across a vast plain of freshly-sprouted grass dotted with purple wildflowers. An abundance of colts, fawns, and piglets gave me the feeling I’d returned to the Cradle of Life, and the hike surrounded by horizons untouched by civilization gave me a new sense of freedom and unity with Nature.

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CLIMBING IN MY SEVENTIES

Earlier this year, when a chance to see Peru’s Machu Picchu presented itself, I asked, Why not? I had never been to South America. I had always wanted to see the Inca ruins in the Sacred Valley.

I tamped down the doubting thoughts that said, don’t be silly, you’re 72, you’ve had two back surgeries and a hip replacement. You’ll never be able to deal with the altitude. What about your balance on those narrow trails?

If I had listened to those voices, I would have stayed home. Instead, along with my partner I researched altitude sickness on the internet (chlorophyll helps!). Then we packed our bags and set off.

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Bibi Jordan's Journey to Africa. "Naishapai" is "Happiness"

The exuberant welcoming song and dance had accompanied my arrival.

“We’re so grateful to Malibu Strong and you for helping us” they said, referring to the fund-raising campaign I’d launched with the support of my Phoenix Sisterhood of Malibu women. For me, immersing myself in a Swahili-language learning challenge, turning it into a Pledge campaign for this Maasai community, and then accepting an invitation to visit Kenya had been key to overcoming the trauma of the Woolsey fire that destroyed my home and livelihood.

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Grilled Caesar Salad

“Caesar salad is not a traditional Italian recipe and grilled Caesar salad is certainly a recent phenomenon. I discovered it at La Scala Ristorante in Baltimore where I was taken by the Pastore family, the local distributor, Sun of Italy, for all that is good and Italian. Nino Germano the presiding chef owner at La Scala says he invented this recipe purely by accident. During a busy evening in the kitchen, a cut head of young Romaine lettuce fell on the grill while being passed. Nino, a frugal padrone, set it aside and when the evening was over and it was time to have his dinner, he decided to dress that grilled Romaine as he would a regular Caesars salad. And so this recipe was born.” - Lidia Bastianich

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The best travel clothes for men

There are those for whom travel is a means to an end. And then there are those for whom travel is an end in and of itself. But regardless of which philosophical camp you fall into, it seems that we can all agree on one point. When traveling, you should be comfortable. Regardless of whether your idea of fun is jetting off by plane to some far-off island or taking a road trip in order to eat your way through every fast food joint on the interstate, you'll want to be 100% comfortable as you do it. No more business casual, collared shirts, or belted pants. No matter how you're traveling, you'll want to have the right wardrobe for it.

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My 5 Dream Destinations for 2019

Dreaming up your next trip is almost as fun as traveling itself.

It is where you cast your desires forward, follow a thread of curiosity, and sometimes project outwardly an inward version of yourself that may otherwise go ignored — how you want to feel, whose footsteps you want to walk in, a view to experience, something you want to taste/hear/smell, a place that calls to you, a moment of beauty, a jump into an unknown space (maybe even without WiFi!).

For me, being displaced is where I most successfully live in the now. I like being surrounded by the totally unfamiliar, and I like it when all the conversations I overhear are in a language I don’t understand. It’s not noise; it’s energy.

Travel is love. In the words of Pico Iyer “It whirls you around, turns you upside down and stands everything you took for granted on its head.”

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India: Accidental Trip Leads to Side Hustle

We all have our travel heroes — the people who seem to be able to navigate the world with ease, thrive in any culture they visit, and find the most beautiful, interesting, and special things/experiences along the way. Heidi Kelso is this for us: an intrepid traveler, top-of-her-game entertainment producer and founder of Lido, a lifestyle brand that combines the love of travel, fashion and art.

We talked to her about how an accidental trip to India sparked a covet-worthy side career (and lifestyle). Plus, she gives her tried-and-true travel strategies and the best addresses in Jaipur, India.

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Fortune or Fate: the Prophecy Manifests

Aloft in the plane leaving Peru, I hatched a plan for the new venture Shaman Wilma told me I must do after reading my coca leaves. My goal was to share my travel photography and writing via social media and HipSilver. I would build a following as NOMAD CHIC, an online persona inspired from my travel, coffee-table books: SAFARI CHIC and SWAHILI CHIC. My goal would be to guide friends and followers on transformational trips, not only virtual ones but also real-world trips to my favorite places consisting of the bucket-list destinations for many of the Silver Generation.

Thanks to my assistant and farm volunteers, I took off running with the idea as soon as I landed. Within two weeks, I’d written two travel pieces for HipSilver. I kept the suitcase of ponchos in the truck of the car so I could photograph wherever I was. They would be my first ‘Travel Treasures’ to sell on the HipSilver platform.

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The Shaman’s Prophecy: A Shamanic Journey to the Sacred Valley of Peru

Little did I know when I set off on a transformative trip to the Sacred Valley of Peru that my nomad spirit and cosmopolitan lifestyle would face a Test by Fire.

It was just after September, a time associated with opening a new chapter or starting a new course. For a long time, I’d wanted to master an endangered language, and Quechua, the language of the Incas, enchanted me with it’s poetic onomatopoeia and ‘sound grammar’. I also wanted to finish the illustrations and record the Quechua translation of a children’s book I was writing and illustrating about the Inca constellations in the Milky Way. So, when I heard about a Quechua children’s dormitory where I could volunteer as an art teacher, I jumped at the chance.

I packed my things in a small carry-on: my camera, art supplies, laptop, Kindle, and two changes of clothes. Was I worried about lack of clothes? Not at all, I was also taking two enormous suitcases of donated items from Malibu friends: 50 pounds of clothing for the women and 50 pounds of art supplies for the children.

From Los Angeles, I flew via Bogota to Cusco, 11,300 feet high in the Peruvian Andes. To allow for a gradual altitude adjustment, I postponed exploring the Inca capital and descended 2,500 feet by taxi to Pisac in the Sacred Valley just an hour away.

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How to Live Like a South Seas Castaway (Without Renouncing WiFi)

18th century European sailors risked their lives for more than a year just to glimpse these storied South Sea islands. Once they witnessed the molten sunset, were brushed by the scented breeze, and were embraced by the graceful culture, some abandoned their lives in the West to stay. Twentieth century adventurers were equally enticed. In the 1920s, American James Norman Hall, co-author of Mutiny on the Bounty, led a passionate expat community that preferred nature’s abundance to modern technology, and, in the 1960s, when Marlon Brando established a home on Tetiaroa Island after filming this classic sea saga, his circle of Hollywood glitterati, including Elizabeth Taylor, Quincy Jones, and Robert De Niro, was beguiled as well.

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Portugal’s Douro Wine Lands: The Cognoscenti’s Secret

This dazzling swath of mountainside vineyards became the world’s first officially demarcated wine region in 1756; a province so traditional that family dynasties still control the wine estates from their centuries-old manses, and so well preserved the entire valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001. Harvesting machines are largely useless on these steep slopes, where most crops are handpicked and often crushed by foot. Yet beyond the wine connoisseurs who come for the new wave of cult table wines, tourists are few, since until just a few years ago those ravishing but hair-raising mountainside roads made Portugal’s Douro Valley nearly inaccessible.

The last decade has brought vast infrastructure improvements such as the sleek new Porto airport, along with roads and tunnels that rival those in the Swiss Alps. In 2016, opening the 5.6-kilometer Marão Tunnel cut travel time out of Porto from a daylong excursion to a pleasant 90-minute drive.

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Catskills

I met Sims Foster a decade ago through a confluence of friends and work when he was the rising star of a high-end, boutique hotel group. His professional mandate was opening restaurants with celebrity chefs, and I was both impressed with his intuitive knowledge of the field and thrilled by the passion he poured into his work. I was also secretly charmed that he hailed from the Catskills region so close to my grandparents’ hotel, Forman’s Manor, where I spent my childhood summers. “Note to self,” I said: “This is one to watch.” A few years later, I wasn’t surprised to hear that Sims was setting out on his own, teaming up with his wife to develop properties near his hometown. After staying and dining at one of his first hotels, I knew he was on the road to creating something very special by pulling threads of the past into the future. Clearly, Condé Nast Traveler agrees, placing his newest property, The DeBruce, on this year’s highly selective Hot List.

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