It’s been a pretty mammoth 12 months on The Journal this year.
Our editors in Melbourne, Toronto and London have published over 540 articles, including stories from Intrepid travellers, our wonderful leaders, and our roving staff members across the globe. This little travel blog has had over 5 million visits since January 1 2018, and has inspired 4.9 million adventures (OK, we may have embellished that last figure slightly).
We wanted to share a few of our favourite articles; the stories that have made us chuckle into our morning coffee, cry silently behind our computers, and send emails to Payroll to check how much annual leave we’ve got (and whether that last-minute adventure to India/Jordan/Hawaii is achievable!). As you imagine, this was a tough list to narrow down…
1. Our favourite story about an Intrepid leader
If you’ve been lucky enough to travel on a trip through Egypt with Hany Mostafa, you’ll understand why this one’s our fave. Hany has been leading adventures with Intrepid since 2005, and has a pretty incredible story about an experience he had during the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
2. Our favourite story from an Intrepid staff member (tie)
We have a small team of writers in our global offices, but some of our favourite stories this year came from non-writers around the business. We couldn’t choose just one, so this one’s a tie! Rowan Waters looks after our Africa trips, and wrote an inspiring story about climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. Skip over the ocean to India, where one of our most-loved leaders, Chetan Jha, wrote a guide to his hometown of Jodhpur.
3. Story most likely to make you cry
Gotta admit – we get a bit more emotional than strictly necessary when we read about how travel changes the way people see the world. But Lani Innes, who booked a trip to India after getting the all-clear from cancer, has written a celebration of life that is simply infectious. And a total tearjerker.
4. Most inspiring story from an Intrepid traveller
We’re lucky to have a pretty inspiring, well-travelled and global bunch of blog contributors (find out more about how you can contribute here). But few stories have touched more people than Carla Powell’s. The Canadian legend truly has a way with words, and her beautiful ode to solo travel is no exception.
5. Story guaranteed to make you chuckle (tie)
Looking for something a lil more lighthearted? Boy, do we have two great options for you (we can write better than we can make decisions – promise!). The first, by Lucy Evans, is as humorous as it is drool-worthy – all about a spontaneous trip she took to Jordan. The second is a hilarious and thought-provoking read by Carl Hiehn, who calls himself “gayer than Legally Blonde: The Musical… on ice”. He goes on to explain why he feels so comfortable on group tours and we ADORE it.
6. Story most likely to make you quit your job and climb a mountain
Fancy hiking to North Africa’s highest peak? You will do after reading the next story, by Intrepid traveller (and staffer!) Lauren Ellis. She trekked through the Atlas Mountains – with some fellow brave souls – to raise funds for Education For All, an amazing organisation supported by The Intrepid Foundation that educates girls in rural Morocco. Read about the hike and you’ll feel oh-so motivated to do some good.
7. Most useful series
“Hmm, I wonder where I should travel in [insert month here]?” is a question a LOT of Journal readers have asked over the past 12 months. And we’ve delivered, with a (hopefully) useful series of articles based on where you should travel in which month.
8. Best advice (tie)
Two other questions our travellers ask frequently are “Ooh, this itinerary looks great but I wonder what it’s like to say in a hogan/felucca/ryokan?” and “Oh my gosh, this trip has a night on an overnight train – what should I expect?”. Well, we’ve answered both with an in-depth guide to some of our more unique accommodation, and a run-down of what to expect on overnight train journeys around the world.
9. Most creative article from an Intrepid traveller
Our editors receive quite a few stories from travellers who have returned from Intrepid adventures, but this illustrated travel diary from a Nashville artist really took the cake! Sarah Baumann doodled her way through Morocco, and shared her gorgeous drawings with us.
10. Best story from a young Intrepid traveller (tie)
Last but not least it’s… another tie! Seriously though, both of these blogs are so heartwarming they might just convince you to have kids. Or, well, to travel with them. First up is Rosa and Jack Pawlyn, who were interviewed about their family holiday in Morocco. So precious! And second is Cameron Davis who has visited – wait for it – 45 countries by age 13. He has wisdom beyond his years, and a divine perspective on the joys of travel.
Ready for more stories that’ll make you laugh/cry/snort/book a trip? Check out The Journal.
Feature image by Patrick O’Neill.