Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Michelin-Starred Dining in the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands may not be on most people's radar, but they should be for myriad reasons, including that they're noted for their pristine air, land and waters. And in this treasured, far-flung archipelago, I made a surprising discovery: a Michelin-starred restaurant in a wild landscape serving an 18-course menu with mostly foraged ingredients. This is the article I recently wrote for Forbes.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

A Monolith along the Camino dos Faros, Spain

This dramatically-crafted, granite monolith in the coastal town of Muxia honors the Galician volunteers that mobilized in 2002 to clean up a massive eco disaster. That was the year when the Prestige, an oil tanker, was seriously damaged at sea, splitting in two, spilling tens of thousands of tons of oil all along the Costa da Morte, and contaminating sea and sand. The monolith is appropriate named "A Ferida," which translates to "The Wound." On my hiking trip along this coast, following the Camino dos Faros, I was lucky to meet one of the men who organized the volunteers.

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Sunday, October 7, 2018

This Travel Writer Is Also A Screenwriter - Early Peek

Credit: @Jeanine Barone

Many who read my blog may not be aware that I’m also a comedy screenwriter. (I’ve written 17 shorts and 3 feature comedies.) This is an early peek of “Such A Deal,” a comedy short film that we shot a little over a month ago. According to Dionna McMillian @dionnafilm: “The final color will be magical, just like the adventure our heroine goes on... ”
I’m so thrilled to have worked with Dionna McMillian @dionnafilm and the entire awesome cast and crew.
Story by and co-written by me, @jcreaturetravel
Directed by and co-written by Dionna McMillian @dionnafilm
Starring @ebonyobsidian
Co-starring @damianemcee
Co-produced by @kenziemcheather
Stedicam operator @eddielebron

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Hiking A Wild and Bucolic Landscape in Spain

I recently signed up for a self-guided hike along the Camino dos Faros -- the Lighthouse Way in Galicia, Spain -- with On Foot Holidays. I never tired of the dramatic and pastoral landscapes, the sense of calm, the fresh seafood, and the convivial spirit of Galicia's populace. Sure, most people know this province for Santiago de Compostela, the terminus for many different routes of the Camino de Santiago. But, having done one of them that courses through the province of Asturias, I prefer the Lighthouse Way any day for its wild and bucolic beauty. Hiking along this picturesque Costa da Morte -- so named because of the numerous shipwrecks along the dramatically rocky shore -- reveals a constantly changing tapestry of scenic vistas. The end of this hike is Finisterre, which the Romans aptly named because they thought this westernmost cape in the province of Galicia was the "end of the earth." Staying at a hotel beside the lighthouse where the winds howled all night long, I was delighted to overnight in the "dos faros" (The Lighthouse) guest room where I kept the blinds up, allowing the darkness to be pierced by the cold glow. During the day, I walked 2 km into the colorful town whose port is bustling with fishing boats. Having traveled extensively through Spain, I can enthusiastically say that Galicia is my very favorite province and the Camino dos Faros may very well be the best hiking route I’ve ever had the pleasure of walking.

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Gear Review: Performance Mary Jane Shoe for Women

Unlike most women, I only travel with two pairs of shoes -- and one of 'em -- always the heaviest -- is on my feet. (That's another reason why I can travel for weeks on end without checking luggage.) These Mary Janes by Astral Designs -- a U.S.-based company -- are not your average casual, walk-around-town shoes. The sole is made of a material that easily grips wet surfaces, such as metal gratings or steps I might encounter when racing around urban areas. I brought one of these (the red pair) on my most recent trip to Galicia where, during the day I was hiking nine to 10 miles, and, late in the day, I was running around villages and towns, checking out shops, restaurants, lighthouses, museums and wine bars. They have a low profile so they pack small and come in several different stylish colors. Again, it's all about looking good while wearing items that perform well. (Never sacrifice performance for aesthetics.)

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Perfect-for-Hiking Chocolate Snack

When I'm hiking, biking or Nordic skiing long distances, I tote snacks that are not only healthy but also something I look forward to enjoying on the trail. My latest love is Joe Chocolates, which I carried on my recent hiking trip in Galicia, Spain where I hiked nine to 10 miles a day for more than a week. These chocolates are unusual in several ways. They're simply packaged, produced in the state of Washington with simple ingredients, such as cacao nibs, dark chocolate and organic coconut, depending on the flavors chosen. But, most importantly, these are coffee-infused chocolates, something that not only provides approximately 90 mg of caffeine per one ounce portion but produces a sophisticated flavor profile that I looked forward to as I traveled along the undulating terrain day after day.

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Gear Review: A Flattering Warm Shirt That Looks Good and Performs Well

One of the reasons I'm able to never check luggage -- including on my recent two week hiking trip in Northern Spain -- is because I pack clothes that serve more than one purpose. Stio, a company based in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is noted for manufacturing items that perform well and look good, whether you're on the trail or working or playing in town. This item (below) is the women's Thermop Fleece shirt, which is warm and comfortable, perfect for hiking when it's a bit chilly but also ideal when paired with leggings and even a skirt when running around an urban area. The fabric has a little bit of a stretchiness, so the shirt doesn't feel confining, and the silhouette is flattering. Fleece is a perfect material for aerobics in the Fall or Winter because it wicks away sweat while providing warmth. Underneath it, I wear a thin Merino wool long-sleeved shirt. And, though, the front looks like it's a bottom up, in fact these are snaps, which reduced the fuss factor when you need additional ventilation.

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Saturday, September 8, 2018

Three Luxe Properties In Sri Lanka That Are All About Giving Back

All three of these Sri Lanka-based properties (below) are owned by Resplendent Ceylon, a company that revolves around doing the right thing, whether it's protecting the environment or giving back to the local community.

This is one of the many placid and scenic spots to lounge at the luxe colonial-era bungalows at Ceylon Tea Trails.  When staying at either the upscale Summerville or Castlereagh bungalow, one never tires of this view: lake, mountains and fields covered in tea plantations. The days can be spent lounging pool side or mountain biking or trekking through the plantations, perhaps stopping at one of the other three colonial-era bungalows for high tea or maybe a game of crochet. 

When staying at the innovative Wild Coast Tented Lodge property, you have the opportunity to be enwrapped with nature -- it's adjacent to Yala National Park -- while also indulging in ultra contemporary architecture and design. These two organic, bamboo-clad structures house the restaurant, bar and den. 

At Cape Weligama, villas huddle in colorful gardens, and guests can take a refreshing dip in the infinity pool and gaze at the Indian Ocean in the distance.  Since I’m enchanted by gardens, I fell in love with this property. 

Check out more about each of these three properties in my recent article for Forbes.
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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Another New Park for New York City

Domino Park is one of the triad of new New York City parks that opened this summer along the East River. What makes it different from the other two I recently wrote about is that it has a very industrial feel. No surprise, considering it references the 19th century Domino Sugar Factory -- once the largest in the world -- whose edifice stands across the street from the park’s expanse in this Williamsburg, Brooklyn neighborhood. Salvaged sugar syrup collection tanks that stand almost 40-feet tall, crane tracks (as well as gantries now painted a signature turquoise) and almost two dozen steel columns are all part of the park’s design, as is plenty of elements designs for relaxation or physical activity, including a beach volleyball court, waterfront-facing wooden lounge chairs, a playground that also plays homage to the sugar factory (complete with silos). It’s easy to spend the whole day here, sunning, jogging along the esplanade, picnicking or lunching at the Danny Meyer taco kiosk. (The kids will enjoy the nearby water feature.)

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