She was the first Saudi woman to climb Mount Everest and the youngest Arab to scale the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each continent
“Even though I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, I’m still discovering a vast amount of its hidden natural gems. As an adventure destination, it has so much—from the ocean to caves and mountains, such as those in the Tabuk and Abha regions, where the stunning topographic beauty has remained untouched. The Red Sea is also spectacular; I love its wildness and feeling free in the water. The ocean is my happy place. For a first-time visitor, I’d always recommend starting in my hometown of Jeddah. It has lovely landscapes but also amazing history, art and culture—check out the Athr and Hafez galleries for contemporary works.”
The interior designer curates Colombo concept store PR and has her own fashion label Maus
“From kiribath milk rice to pol roti, Sri Lankan breakfast can’t be missed, and everything comes with pol sambol. Go to Colombo’s Sugar Bistro for the best.”
TJOK GDE KERTHYASA
A natural medicine practitioner, he’s also the son of the Prince of Ubud
“Ubud has really become a holistic health and wellness hub. There are lots of studios including The Yoga Barn, Radiantly Alive and Intuitive Flow. One I really like is Usada; it has a restaurant serving Indo-Vedic plant-based food and a yoga spa, plus they do everything from qigong to Balinese healing, as well as cultural events and talks.”
This Phnom Penh-based street artist uses architectural motifs and Khmer legends in his large-scale murals
Where do you go for inspiration in the capital?
“Wat Phnom, Wat Botum and the modernist Olympic Stadium and National Museum. I also head out to Silk Island on the Mekong for the Buddhist pagodas and ruins.”
And to escape?
“Kampot with its mangroves and mountains. West of that is Bokor with its old royal residences and lakeside houses.”
Known for her joyful, uninhibited freestyle moves, she is the country’s first teacher and choreographer of Jamaican dancehall
“Cairo is a beautiful mess. They always say it’s the city that never sleeps because, pre-pandemic, literally everything was always open all the time, but also Cairenes can’t sit still—they’re always hustling. There are a few emerging neighbourhoods right now: New Cairo, where I live, and Zamalek on the Nile. For live music, check out Room Art Space in New Cairo or Zamalek’s El Sawy Culturewheel. But you can’t come to Egypt and not see the pyramids. I’m in awe of them. Afterwards, head to the Khan el-Khalili souk for authentic local food. The smell of koshari, a dish of rice, lentils and pasta topped with tomato sauce and fried onions, always makes me think of home no matter where I am.”
‘SISTAH PATT ’ GUNN
The preserver of Gullah Geechee culture and expert on the history of Georgia’s slave trade who runs Underground Tours Savannah
“Right whales come from West Africa to the Georgia waters every year to have their calves. They followed slave ships during the transatlantic slave era—we believe they followed us. We have a whale whisperer called Michaela Harrison who teaches us about them. They give me peace.”
The actor and environmentalist behind Löyly, one of the world’s most stylish saunas
“It might seem odd to recommend a library as a must-visit, but the design of Oodi in Helsinki is something to see. Think of it as a library 2.0, where you can borrow books for free, also create music and art. There are 3D printers, editing rooms and musical instruments—all under one wavy, architectural roof.”
In a playful new genre dubbed Raguwavy, the Tamil-Swiss singer-songwriter creates experimental beats blending electro-pop, R&B and soul
“The music scene in Zürich is small but growing: my friend runs jam sessions and open-mic nights at Plaza Club and it’s exciting to hear emerging electro or urban artists play, plus Swiss-German rap is on the up. It can be tricky for Swiss musicians because four languages are spoken here, but there’s so much talent. La Stanza serves the best coffee and has a great playlist, which is essential and rare. But in the evenings, we go to Longstreet Bar on Langstrasse in District 4 for gin and tonics and live sets by DJ OB One or DJ CNG, then head to Moods for a soca party. On Saturdays, I love Kanzlei Flea Market in Helvetiaplatz—I recently found a ‘Best of Stevie Wonder’ record there. For food, I’m a regular at Ooki, where I always order the kare raisu, a Japanese brown curry with chicken and rice; grab a seat at the counter and you can see into the kitchen.”
Tour guide and founding member of Social Justice Bermuda campaign group“
For me, the sound of the islands is the song of thumbnail-sized whistling frogs. It’s the soundtrack of every night of our lives and very unique.”
Your all-time favourite places in the country?
“The Pre-Columbian pottery museums found all over Nicaragua. You have to go to El Ceibo on Ometepe, an island formed by two volcanoes rising out of Lake Nicaragua. After a tour here, you get a shot of cojoyo, a sacred moonshine made from rice and corn.”
What excites you most about Nicaragua right now?
“Granada has a special place in my soul. Stay at The Casa Violeta—this beautiful house from El Camino Travel is filled with local art and the company provides plenty of travel tips. Grab a coffee or kombucha at The Garden Café. In the evening, wander to calle la Calzada, a street packed with live music, bars and restaurants.”
Where else should we check out?
“Shop at Mercado Viejo in Masaya, known as the Cradle of National Folklore, for the best selection of handmade hammocks, leather goods, paintings and clothing. Or visit the Cooperativa San Expedito in northern Jinotega. This collective is run by a group of talented women who are dedicated to the art of cerámica negra, Nicaraguan black pottery.”
Through his terracotta pots and mixed-media canvases, the artist explores Nicaraguan culture
TAHIARII YORAM PARIENTE
The self-described cultural life coach started his own adventure-tourism outfit, Polynesian Escape
“Everywhere here is beautiful, but there is something mystical about the Marquesas Islands. The landscape is rugged—not the turquoise lagoons and white sand you might picture. The archipelago has always had this sort of undefinable allure; writers went there, Gauguin went there. It’s a moving, inspiring place.”
Where can you see a good flamenco show?
“In any tablao in Granada. In Madrid, where I live now, head to Corral de la Morería or Tablao las Carboneras. Lots of top-level artists perform there and the shows are wonderful.”
Where else would you recommend?
“In Granada the tapas portions are very generous; snacks such as fried fish or miniburgers are served with each drink, so you can order two or three beers and have a whole meal. Albaicín, the oldest neighbourhood in Granada, is the best place to dive into the world of tapas. For a full dinner, go to Mirador de Morayma, set in a garden opposite the Alhambra. And be sure to visit the Arabic baths on Carrera del Darro.”
Representing modern flamenco by breaking gender stereotypes in his acclaimed show ¡Viva!
A jazz-singing florist who combines both passions at her Milanese café Potafiori
“Bergamo in the evening is magical. I love listening to live music and there is always something on at the Teatro Donizetti. Try a glass of Valcalepio, a local grape variety, and an ice cream at La Marianna.”
Michelin-starred chef who has also appeared in TV’s Top Chef 2020
“My favourite area to eat in Paris has to be Canal Saint-Martin, in the 10th arrondissement. There is a small Asian-fusion canteen called Siseng, where I’m a regular, and right next door to it is Le Comptoir Général, which is a fun place to go for drinks. They also sometimes serve bokit, a Guadeloupean fried sandwich, and accras de morue, salt-cod fritters, which are a great late-night snack.”
ROMY ST CLAIR AND IONA MATHIESON
At their London shop Sage Flowers, the duo creates unconventional arrangements while turning up the conversation on diversity in the industry
“Peckham, where we’re based, has a great sense of community. We swap flowers for coffees with our neighbours at Nola café. Our perfect day would start with a late breakfast at Falafel and Shawarma, followed by a nail appointment at Yo Keshh, heading to Forza Wine’s rooftop for cocktails at sunset and finishing at Tola for more drinks and lots of fun. The music there is a real mix: dancehall, R&B, baile funk, Afrobeat, drill. The garage anthem ‘It’s A London Thing’ by Scott Garcia sums up the capital; the sound, the club scene – everything! For fresh air, catch the train to Eltham to wander around the palace and gardens. Beckenham Place Park in Lewisham and Eltham’s Oxleas Woods are also lovely open spaces to reconnect with nature.”
A model of Whadjuk Noongar descent, the activist for indigenous representation in fashion is helping shape an inclusive space
What’s the Australian fashion scene like right now?
“Everyone is playing with the idea of Australian fashion and starting to look inwards to the smaller, niche cultures that exist here. Within the First Nations community, we say indigenous fashion is more than 60,000 years old—we’ve been doing it since our cultures began—but the way it looks now is obviously very different and access to it has really opened up. I especially love Maara Collective by Julie Shaw, a resort and swimwear brand that won a National Indigenous Fashion Award in 2020. And as for faces, BillieJean Hamlet is a supermodel in the making.”
Where is your favourite place in the country?
“Perth. That is where my family and my country of Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar are, and where I refuel my spirit. Perth has the best shores in Australia—the whole west coast is stunning—but I particularly like Scarborough and Trigg beaches; they’re both quite metropolitan, so you can grab a coffee and a bite before hitting the water. Yagan Square has interesting outdoor sculptures and holds markets and festivals. And there’s the huge Digital Tower that displays the work of local artists. From here, it’s an easy walk to the Art Gallery of Western Australia and the newly opened WA Museum Boola Bardip.”
The naturalist and wildlife-photography pro grew up amid the forests of Karnataka and has great interest in India’s big cats
What are your favourite destinations for spotting Indian wildlife?
“As a child, I was infatuated by Kipling’s Jungle Book. I’m drawn to places with dense woodland, lofty trees and an overpowering canopy—the thick undergrowth keeps you on the edge, forever anticipating. At Bandipur and Nagarhole national parks in Karnataka, you can go on safaris with the possibility of seeing bears, elephants, tigers, melanistic leopards, gaur, dholes and more. It is the real jungle book.”
Where else would you send a budding photographer?
“India has some of the most diverse wildlife. Central India has beautiful tiger habitats that are immersed in history. If these paths seem well-trodden, then you can find rhinoceros and red pandas in the east. In the southern deciduous forests, there’s an element of surprise amid the tall vegetation. Elusive snow leopards roam in the mountains of northern India among rivers of ice.”
A 12th-generation textile specialist who heads his family’s kimono company Hosoo
“Near Daitokuji temple, Itsutsu restaurant gives a real sense of Kyoto’s craftsmanship through the interiors and tableware, and delicious soba.”
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