Sunrise Towers: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile [360-Degree Panorama]

Torres de Paine

Our alarm went off at the ungodly hour of 4:30AM. We were huddled together trying to stay warm against the freezing temperatures of the night in a rented tent that wasn't quite meant for people of Dan's height. The temptation to turn off the alarm and roll over instead of heading out into the frigid pitch of pre-dawn was difficult to resist. Under these … [Read more...]

Ladakh Trekking: A Beginner’s Guide

Ladakh

Every year we try to go on a big trek, one that takes us far far away and high into the mountains. For us, it's not only a way to exercise our bodies, but to clear and challenge our minds. It’s a way to disconnect from all that is part of our daily life — technology, social media, blogging — and reconnect with nature and ourselves.Last year’s trek of the Markha … [Read more...]

Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh: Hiking Through Canyons [360-Degree Panorama]

ladakh canyon

First day of our Markha Valley trek. We weren't quite certain what to expect for the remaining six days of trekking through the Himalayas, but we were sure the following day would be steep and uphill, to 4,950 meters/16,200 feet. So on our first day on the trail we were relieved to find relative flatness, to lose ourselves in the red rocks of the canyon around us and … [Read more...]

Crossing Gongmaru La Pass, Ladakh [360-Degree Panorama]

Ladakh pass

Tibetan Buddhist prayer flags greet us as we reach Ladakh's Gongmaru La pass. All the residual fatigue from climbing up to 16,800 feet/5,130 meters seems to evaporate once we've reached this place, our goal. It's been six days in the Markha Valley and we've been up and down -- and up again.We have to remind ourselves not to move around too quickly up here, not to … [Read more...]

Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand [360-Degree Panorama]

Tongariro crossing

Our trek to the Tongariro Crossing on New Zealand's North Island was the trek that almost wasn't. Winds were fierce, rains continued to pour down and visibility only seemed to get worse right up to the day before we were set to hike.As night fell, winds began to subside and the rain slowed, but it still didn't look good. We prepared ourselves for the … [Read more...]

New Zealand North Island: Don’t Sell It Short

"Get amongst it!" - Audrey grabs a bit of junglelicious New Zealand rainforest

This is a story about living in someone else's shadow. It's also the beginning of our answer to the question: New Zealand, North Island or South Island?Imagine a geeky younger boy who grows up in the shadow of his brother, the all-star. The big brother gets all the attention, all the fame. But it's the younger brother with whom you develop a special relationship, … [Read more...]

Next Up: New Zealand, When I Close My Eyes

This is a story about faraway places and our relationship to the somewheres we dream of visiting. It's also about the fact that we fly to New Zealand next Monday.Some places on our planet seem to lend themselves to the imagination, that is to the image of the mind, to putting eyes closed and attempting to place yourself somewhere you’ve never been. Think about … [Read more...]