The Importance of Travel in Turbulent (and Not So Turbulent) Times

Meeting friendly locals in Iran | GeoEx Adventure Travel

I have been roaming the wide world for more than four decades, first as a student and then as a travel writer, and each trip has underscored the validity and power of a simple truth: At its heart, travel is about connection. When we venture into a foreign setting, we may initially feel displaced, uneasy, ignorant about what to say or how to act. But as moments stretch into hours and hours stretch into days, we experience just how similar we are to these people that had been foreign to us. We come to understand their daily rituals, foods, entertainments, beliefs. We learn to read the body language, recognize the cultural cues. We connect. And when we make these connections, we understand that, despite differences in economic background, religious belief, and cultural tradition, we all share the same needs and dreams. We understand that the world is fundamentally a friendly place, our shared blue-and-green home.

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Can Americans Travel to Iran? Update with Specialist Jessica Silber

Iran Travel Ban by GeoEx

As an adventure travel company orchestrating trips in places like Cuba, Tibet, and Iran, GeoEx must stay on top of not only hotel openings, museum closures, and up-and-coming guide talent, but also country-level policy changes, visa regulations, and diplomatic tensions. In recent years, we’ve navigated Cuba’s “opening” to Americans, South Africa’s strict rules for visiting children, and most recently, the closure of Iran to American tourists, a response to the United States’ proposed travel ban. We sat down with Jessica Silber, one of our Iran experts, to get the latest on the current situation for US travelers wishing to go to this Middle East nation. What’s going on with US/Iran visas? In January, the Iranian government responded to the United States’ travel...

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Trails of Discovery in Peru

Hiker on the Lares Trek | Peru with GeoEx

“Think of the Inca Empire as a body,” explained our guide Bruno. “Cusco is the heart, the Inca trails are the veins, and the Inca cities are the organs.” We had just climbed to the pinnacle of Ancasmarca, a far-flung Incan site perched around 13,500 feet above sea level with steep hillsides blanketed in crumbling circular storehouses. Surrounding us were beautiful, rocky mountains whose yellow and black slopes were dotted with humble farmsteads. We were the only visitors and I stood in awe—for the third time in two days. Overlooking the Ancasmarca ruins. Photo: Amanda McKee While Bruno described the importance of this site, strategically situated along one of the main Inca trail arteries near a pass that connected Cusco to...

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On Harnessing the Fairy Dust of Travel to Create Everyday Magic

A Maasai man blowing bubbles for children in Africa with GeoEx.

Last summer I traveled to northern Tanzania on an off-road jeep safari with a small group of friends. We bounced our way across the country, and watched as the scenery turned from high verdant cloud forest in Ngorongoro National Park to the brown parched Olduvai Gorge. The gorge is said to be one of the most important places on the planet for understanding early human evolution. You couldn’t help but notice its primal energy. The earth was inundated with shimmering quartz fragments and animal skulls.   We walked with a Maasai warrior across the flat dusty earth, passing baobab trees and a few giraffes, until we reached his village. The village’s warriors, covered in purple and red cloth, welcomed us with their famous jumping...

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A Ticket to Vienna

Girl reading in park in Vienna, Austria with GeoEx.

Editor’s note: Lonely Planet recently published an extraordinary collection of original tales, The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology, celebrating both the rigors and the life-changing riches of travel. The delightful story below, by acclaimed author Ann Patchett, is excerpted from that collection. Patchett received the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel Bel Canto. Her other novels  include The Patron Saint of Liars, The Magician's Assistant, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. When I was 29 and living in Montana with my boyfriend, I took a year-long fellowship at Radcliffe College and moved by myself to Massachusetts. At the time I had thought it was too great an opportunity to pass up, but by the middle of October I could see what the decision was going to cost me. When I called our apartment in Missoula late at night, no one answered the phone, and when I did manage to...

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Don George, Editor

Don George is Editor in Chief of Wanderlust: Literary Journeys for the Discerning Traveler. He has been Travel Editor for Salon.com and the San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle, as well as Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet Publications. Don is the author of "The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George" and of "Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing." He has also edited eleven anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, and An Innocent Abroad. E-mail him at [email protected].

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