Month in Travel: June 2018
Month in Travel: June 2018 | Kosan Travel Blog
The Legend of Bourdain
It’s difficult to start talking about the latest happenings in June without first mentioning the sad demise of the legend that was Anthony Bourdain.
As the news of Anthony’s death spread through social media, shock and disbelief led to a worldwide appreciation of how pragmatic an influenindividualcer he was. People from all walks of life, including President Barak Obama, either shared their past experiences with the award-winning chef and presenter or spoke about how he had meant so much to so many through his TV programs and write-ups.
Anthony’s charm was in his passion towards all facets of life. His “raw” attitude and devil may care persona was looked upon by many in awe. For those even remotely related to the food and travel industry, he was a kindred soul.
Anthony Bourdain captivated people across the world with his life stories, his wisdom, his words, but most of all, his personality that had an infectiously positive vibe to it.
Anthony, you will be missed!
If there is one other thing that happened in June which was equally responsible for bringing people from across the world together, it was football (or soccer, depending on where in the world you are).
The Football World Cup
The opening ceremony of the most significant football event in the world, being held in Russia, was a subtle yet lavish affair. To the point, relatively short, and full of trademark football-ism, at times it seemed like a mini Robbie Williams concert which included his characteristic antics such as giving the middle finger on television.
From a travel point of view, we think that one of the best times you can visit any country is when they are hosting a major sporting event. The vibe that resonates around the stadiums along with opportunities to mingle with people from different corners of the world is an immersive experience not quickly forgotten.
Of course, you can still wander around and do all the tourist attractions which in Russia includes visiting the Kremlin in Moscow, eating Lavash bread and taking a dip in the Black Sea in Sochi, or a boat cruise in St. Petersberg. Here’s a pretty detailed list we came across that highlights all that Russia has to offer its visitors.
Now, while everyone has their favourite team, we love it when the underdogs give a good fight and make the favoured nations sweat a little. You’ve got to admit the excitement surrounding the game is infectious, and we can’t wait to see which teams make it to the final rounds in July.
Speaking of underdogs, we came across a different kind of uprising in London, one that is sure to liven up your spirit.
Return of the Gin
Since the beginning of this decade, there has been a tremendous rise in the gin culture of London. This refound attraction with the spirit has resulted in craft and “boutique” Gins being manufactured in limited quantities by smaller distilleries.
With the ever-growing popularity of Wine, Beer, and Whiskey, liquors such as Gin and even Vodka often take a back seat. Add to that the Gin Act of 1751 in the country which forbade small establishments from concocting their own “brands”, as a result of which the drink lost its charm over the years.
It wasn’t till the act was challenged in court and eventually changed in 2009, that Gin once again began to capture the fascination of producers, servers, and drinkers.
When it comes to appreciating Gin, there’s no place like London, and if you get a chance, head over to the Distillery at Portobello Road for an authentic Gintastic! experience. And in case you get a little over your head after all the merriment and tasting, they even have a few rooms on the property to let out. How cool is that now!
A Mid-Air Wedding
Considering how particular and daunting airplane security can get, we must confess that this little tidbit came as a big, yet pleasant surprise.
When it comes to weirdly wonderful weddings, Las Vegas is always in the picture as was the case here when a couple got married during a Southwest Airlines flight from Vegas to Baltimore.
Dressed in a beautiful white gown, we couldn’t help but wonder if the smiling bride had walked through the airport in her wedding dress or somehow miraculously changed in the plane toilet. If it is the latter, I think that deserves a story of its own.
Oh! In case you are wondering, the captain officiated the wedding, but fear not as he did so via the intercom.
All we’ll say is that the couple took “walking the aisle” to a whole new level.
A Meal to Remember
Even though the Michelin guide is known the world over as a benchmark for exceptional food and restaurants, one of the most anticipated events in any restaurant’s calendar is the declaration of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The award ceremony isn’t just a one-night affair; instead, it incorporates chefs coming to Bilbao, Spain days before the main event to interact with each other, mingle with the community, and discuss various features of this ever-changing industry.
A real culinary extravagance that includes talks by leading chefs, and the chance to appreciate fantastic food and drink, the “winner” of the coveted Best Restaurant of 2018 prize was Italy’s Osteria Francescana.
We recommend keeping the World’s 100 Best Restaurants (Yes! They mention the top 100) list always handy, especially if you are a food lover, for these restaurants make for exceptional dining experiences that should be enjoyed when an opportunity presents itself.
When it comes to food and travel, there has been a sudden rise in the popularity of culinary trips along with the lure of international street food.
As a result, one of the questions we often come across is “how to avoid getting sick from food while travelling?” Although many factors are at play, we couldn’t but help share, once again, Anthony Bourdain’s insight on eating while travelling where he breaks down the problem into one simple solution, “eat what locals eat”.
It’s Raining Gems
Continuing with once in a lifetime events, social media was ablaze with photos and news of green gems called olivine emitting from the volcanic eruption of Kilauea in Hawaii.
Olivine is commonly available in the ground, especially near volcanic land; however, it is not often witnessed so quickly in its greenish avatar.
The devastation caused by Kilauea is undoubtedly disheartening, but we can’t help be mesmerised by the beauty of nature and how amidst all the chaos it still manages to produce something so beautiful.
Unfortunately, if you were planning to head on out for some gem hunting, according to the latest updates, the current eruption is low in olivine, and the ones in the photos are rare occurrences.
“It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes”
Summer is peak season for Europe, and that means airline tickets are at their highest, hotel rooms are full, the school’s off, vacation more is on, and there are crowds everywhere… well almost everywhere.
If you want to be away from the casual tourists, have a little more freedom (Ahem!), a chance to experience the unconventional, well, that comes for a small price – your clothes.
There’s certainly nothing more liberating than visiting a nude beach. European countries, in general, have an easy-going attitude towards nudity and life on the sand. A lot of times you can even go topless in family-friendly places, but nude beaches often include specific rules and regulations. If ever in the mood to experiment with a different kind of autonomy, then check out these 11 Best Nude Beaches in Europe.
We wonder if Nelly possibly had the Mediterranean Summer in mind when he went about singing that song?
The Hullabaloo Over Influencer Marketing
Now for an interesting debate that pops up time and again on the internet and relates to “influencer marketing”.
Off late, the promotions market has become flooded with both genuine and self-proclaimed influencers. Not only has this resulted in a sudden surge of requests by social media stars, which is “driving luxury hotels crazy” (among other businesses), it is now hard for brands and companies to distinguish between the real and the fake.
Social media is now a primary source of information, and the practices adopted by influencers have their pros and cons. How can we reach a balance in all this confusion and if laws (some are already in place) will be passed that regulate such advertisings, only time will tell.
Here’s something to think about till then; What or who are influencers to you? Do they make a difference or are they just people posting on Instagram and Facebook in exchange for free stays and products? Is it just like any other viable business, or is there more to it than meets the eye?
We now bid you goodbye with a little thought, inspired by Anthony and the power of football to bring nations together;
Remember, life will place hurdles along your way, so always be ready to dribble around them. Face your fears head-on. Flip, kick, shoot your ideas and concepts around, take chances, show off a little, but don’t be afraid to pass the ball when you feel surrounded. Most importantly, make sure that when the moment is right, you don’t hold back from scoring that winning goal which will take you to “Parts Unknown”.