Tag Archives: Pathfinders

LP Pathfinders: top posts from January 2018

A person eating wanton mee with char siew in Penang, Malaysia © Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

This month’s blog round up includes a post on Penang’s street food scene with an innovative twist © Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

The beginning of a new year is a time for both reflection and preparation, and this month’s blog post submissions from our Pathfinders left us with a lot to think about. We’ve been wowed by offbeat wildlife encounters in Mexico, humbled by the sight of mighty eagle-assisted hunters in Kyrgyzstan and left pondering over current issues pervading the online travelsphere.

Though it was a tough task to narrow down our favourites, here’s our pick of travel blog posts from our Pathfinder community in January.

The Monarchs of Macheros, Mexico – Jessie Stringfield

It’s always refreshing to read a travel yarn that manages to completely capture the imagination, and Jessie’s piece on the monarch butterfly migration in Mexico sent us into a flutter. A lesser-known wondrous wildlife experience is brought to life through crisp, colourful images and engaging writing, with Jessie doing a great job of stressing the sustainability of the current infrastructure surrounding the phenomenon – an aspect of the experience that will hopefully endure as the spectacle grows in popularity.

Jessie is a blogger from the USA hoping to inspire everyone to get out and see the world. Sample more of her stories at slyharbison.com.

Atacama Desert: a no sleeping experience – Javi Lorbada

Javi’s photos are exceptional, and while the images in his visual journey across the Atacama Desert take centre stage, there’s also something enjoyable about his clipped, stringent prose-style that makes for great reading. Like any good inspirational post, his piece left us wanting to pack a tent and bed down for a night under the star-punctured Chilean skies; though our photos would likely pale in comparison.

Born in Madrid, Javi travels far and wide in search of the perfect shot. Keep tabs on his latest adventures at adventures.javilorbada.com.

The golden eagle hunters of Kyrgyzstan – Cynthia Bil

For most of us, one of the major joys of travel is witnessing customs so different from our own they instil you with a sense of awe. This sensation is embodied by Cynthia’s post on the eagle hunters of Kyrgyzstan: nomadic people who spend years training wild eagles to hunt for them as part of a practice dating back generations. A fascinating and informative read about humanity’s bond with the natural world is enhanced further by striking imagery of the hunters and their winged accomplices.

Cynthia and Niko are currently on an epic overland trip crossing six continents from Ireland to Alaska. Follow their journey at journalofnomads.com.

#realwomentravel – Annika Ziehen

Taking a delicate issue and exploring it with a sense of humour and poise, in this post Annika voices her thoughts over what she perceives as a lack of diversity among leading female Instagrammers in the travel industry. Annika is proactive in her approach, creating a campaign to showcase a selection of more eclectic female Insta-stars, with links to a number of wanderlust-inducing accounts included.

Annika is an self-confessed ‘truffle pig’ when it comes to rooting out destinations ideal for both adventure and luxury travel. Read more of her insights at midnightblueelephant.com.

Painting Penang: capturing the diverse food scene in watercolour – Dan and Lauren

The innovative format of Dan and Lauren’s article could spice up any topic, but its appeal is heightened when considering its subject matter. Penang’s George Town is a magnificent blend of whimsical street art and fantastic food stalls, which makes the pair’s decision to paint what they’ve eaten in the city a stroke of genius. By no means a gimmick, the post’s content is substantial, highlighting a selection of Penang’s celebrated eateries in addition to the excellent illustrations.

Dan and Lauren bring their travels to life through stories and scribbles. Keep track of their experiences at pocopilgrims.com.


Find out what else the Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Travel Bloggers: your stories forum on Thorn Tree.

LP Pathfinders: video of the month, November 2017

Dallol lake, Danakil depression, Ethiopia: lake Dallol and its sulphur springs is the hottest place on Earth, with average temperature around 95 Fahrenheit.

Dallol Lake found in Danakil depression, Ethiopia ©Einat Klein Photography / Shutterstock

Every month, we curate the best blog posts and Instagrams from our Lonely Planet Pathfinders.

This month we’re featuring a video by Hanna and Zach from Handzaround who have captured stunning footage of Africa’s diverse landscapes.

‘Africa’s Afar Triangle is famous for the Danakil Depression, Erta Ale Volcano, Salt Lake Assale and Dallol. The temperatures and altitudes in this part of the world are some of the planet’s most extreme. We trekked to the volcano and spent four days exploring the Danakil Depression. The temperatures were unbearable and the whole trip was a challenge, but the landscapes were out of this world.’

Afar Triangle – Handzaround

Hanna and Zach’s video perfectly captures the magic of east Africa’s diverse and stunning landscape. Featuring a mixture of sweeping drone shots, first-person footage and timelapse, we feel as though we’ve been along for the adventure. Hat tip to them both for some top-notch editing skills.

Thank you to all the Pathfinders for their submissions this month — the standard was high! We particularly enjoyed a trip through Iceland with The World Pursuit while We Tour the World took us on a leg of their journey through Lesotho.

Keep your eyes on our Thorn Tree forum where we’ll post the next submission call-out. Find out what else our Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Pathfinders video playlist and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

LP Pathfinders: top posts from December 2017

Skyline of Xinyi District in downtown Taipei, Taiwan © NH / Shutterstock

Could you cycle around Taiwan in 60 days? © NH / Shutterstock

Befitting the festive season, our Pathfinders gifted us a wealth of exciting and insightful blog posts to keep our wanderlust topped up throughout December. We’ve marvelled over mystical mud statues in Kolkata and salivated at the sight of Posta Negra in Colombia, with a quick sojourn to Syria for good measure.

Though it was tough to pick our favourites, here’s a selection of our top travel tales submitted by our globetrotting Pathfinders in December.

The mud statues of Kolkata – Crystal Egan

Well structured with strong accompanying imagery, Crystal’s profile on the mud statue workshops of Kolkata is an engaging read thanks to her decision to delve into a subject that may appear somewhat unsophisticated, but ultimately is steeped in fascinating traditions; for example, though many travellers may have seen the Durga mud statues, few would know that each one must contain soil from a ‘forbidden land’. The post serves as a timely reminder of how the country’s spiritual mysticism continues to permeate daily life in modern India.

Crystal’s travel blog focuses on ecotourism, cultural immersion and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Keep up with her travels at castawaywithcrystal.com

Around Taiwan in 60 days – Graham Bland

Sustainable and inexpensive, exploring destinations on two wheels is an increasingly popular mode of transport with travellers, but few of us would consider circumnavigating an entire country by bike. In this lighthearted but highly informative post, Graham gives a detailed breakdown on his epic 1600km ride around Taiwan. As well as including practical elements like maps and safety tips, Graham intertwines a number of personal anecdotes from his adventure that give readers a taste of the Beautiful Isle, tempting them to saddle up themselves.

Graham’s blog focuses largely on his wanderings on bicycle, including two-wheeled tours of India and Vietnam. Follow his adventures at awaywandering.blogspot.co.uk

Buddhism at the hanging rock – Aleksandra Tofil

Travellers don’t simply seek out offbeat sights to snap ostentatious Instagram photos; finding a sight less frequented by tourists can help kindle authentic experiences. Aleksandra’s article is a great example of this, as she recounts her experience of receiving a personal tour around Rakkhiththakanda cave temple in Sri Lanka by a local monk while being given a – somewhat mind-boggling – sermon on the principles of Buddhism. The result is an enjoyable offbeat travel yarn with a philosophical edge.

Ola and Andrzej are a blogging couple based in Singapore, providing travel tips for their adopted hometown and further afield. Check out more of their stories at singa-pura.com

The 20 dishes you can’t leave Colombia without trying – Reena Shukla

Shining a spotlight on one of South America’s overshadowed foodie destinations, Reena spices up the listicle format with personal insights and a strong knowledge to give a detailed overview of Colombia’s regional dishes and beverages. A post that’ll leave readers both surprised and salivating at the country’s culinary diversity, the article is also beautifully illustrated – an essential element of any engaging food blog.

Reena is a London-based blogger writing about her two favourite subjects: travel and food. Read more of her foodie forays at lifestyleenthusiast.co.uk

As tourist in Tartous & Arwad Island, Syria – Christian Lindgren

The FCO currently advises against all travel to this war-torn country, but inevitably a few tourists will still visit. In this post intrepid traveller Chris journeys to Arwad Island on the Mediterranean coast of Syria, far from the country’s primary conflict zones. The post’s appeal lies in its blending of the area’s grand history with general observations on the humble daily routine of the local people. The post showcases a side of Syria that is serene and hospitable, a perspective often overlooked in regular news broadcasts.

Christian is a Norwegian blogger who finds himself drawn to destinations few other travellers tend to visit. Follow his intrepid journeys at unusualtraveler.com



Find out what else the Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Travel Bloggers: your stories forum on Thorn Tree.

LP Pathfinders: top Instagrams from December 2017


Our snap-happy Pathfinders definitely went out with a bang in 2017, sharing beautiful frames of snow-dusted mountain tops, glistening lake shores and world-famous monuments to name just a few. Here’s the best of the bunch from December.

Brittany, France

‘A very iconic landmark and amazing photo spot. The zigzag path creates perfect leading lines. A storm was coming in, so the sea got very rough and wild, and the sky darker and darker.’ – Raphael, @raphael.fyi

Why we like it: Just as Raphael points out, the sweeping lines and angles of Phare du Petit Minou‘s walkway here draw the eye to the main event – the lighthouse itself, which is positioned perfectly in the centre of the frame. Backed by the gloomy horizon and choppy seas, this is one seriously atmospheric image. You can really feel that there’s a storm a-brewin’.  

Lake Garda, Italy

‘Visiting Lake Garda in it’s off-season was definitely the right thing to do. The weather is still warm, the Alps are snow-capped and there are hardly any crowds. That means plenty of peace to enjoy the beauty of this part of northern Italy. Whilst I was daydreaming on the shores of Lake Garda, this young swan approached me. That, combined with the Alps in the background and the saturated blue tone of the lake, caused this shot to become one of my favourite souvenirs from the trip.’ – Paulina, @paulina_on_the_road

Why we like it: Although Lake Garda’s unique beauty is more than well documented, its swan population simply doesn’t get the same amount of air time. The inquisitive fella in the foreground provides a great focal point for the rest of Paulina’s image, which also features some pretty impressive cloud formations, as well as the lake’s ever-picturesque shores.

Granada, Spain

‘We found inexpensive flights from Edinburgh down to Alicante, Spain, and drove down its southern coast, eventually landing in Granada. Whilst in Granada, we visited the Alhambra, an ancient palace complex in sitting in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains high above the new city. It has been on our travel list for a long time! Ancient irrigation systems feed the beautiful gardens and picturesque pools that ancient rulers would have enjoyed. From atop the battlements and beautiful palaces, you can also see down across the city and beyond.’ – George, @_georgesglobe.com_

Why we like it: The Alhambra is one of Spain’s greatest marvels, but rarely is it captured from the inside, looking out. George’s image showcases the rolling hills of the city, expertly framed by the intricate stonework of the Generalife, an Al-Andalus summer palace and an impressive example of Moorish architecture.

Larkya, Nepal

‘I am an advocate of ‘slow travelling’ (although unfortunately I do not always have the time for it), and I find that hiking is one of the best kinds. Last month I completed the Manaslu Circuit Trek, an amazing 15-day journey on foot through breathtaking Himalayan scenery. I took this photo whilst crossing the Larkya Pass at 5106m altitude, the view of the mountains framed by thousands of prayer flags flying in the wind was amazing.’ – @world_citizen_64

Why we like it: You can’t imagine a much more Nepalese scene than this panoramic frame, featuring the otherworldly mountainscapes of the Himalayas glinting in the sunlight, and framed by colourful prayer flags. What makes this shot special is its perspective, showcasing the hike’s dramatic vistas from a very personal viewpoint.

Lake Tahoe, USA

‘I took this shot in the early afternoon, before the crowds arrived. Lake Tahoe has some of the most pristine water we’ve ever seen and is the largest Alpine lake in North America. It’s also the second deepest at 1645ft — only Crater Lake in Oregon is deeper. The rest of this afternoon was spent on the sandy shores of the lake, swimming in the chilly water and jumping off big boulders that dotted the shoreline.’ – Ty, @tygovaars

Why we like it: An unusual take on Lake Tahoe’s natural charms, we love the composition of Ty’s drone image, with its perfect stripes of colour, and how the sprinklings of boulders in the shallows reflect the colourful umbrellas dotted along the water’s edge. This shot could easily be showcasing the turquoise sea and perfect sand of a Mediterranean beach paradise, rather than Tahoe’s icy depths.

For your chance to be featured in our next round up, sign up to Lonely Planet Pathfinders – our programme for travel-loving bloggers and social content creators. In the meantime, you can get more Instagram inspiration by following @lonelyplanet.

LP Pathfinders: video of the month, December 2017

Mt Kilimanjaro and Acacia from Amboseli in Kenya.

Mt Kilimanjaro from Amboseli in Kenya © 1001slide / Getty Images

Every month, we curate the best blog posts and Instagrams from our Lonely Planet Pathfinders.

This month we’re featuring a video from Oksana and Max of Drink Tea & Travel who have encapsulated their challenging climb of Mount Kilimanjaro into a short but exciting four-minute video.

Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro was by far the biggest mental and physical challenge we have ever undertaken on our travels. This video allows you to get a glimpse into our journey to the Roof of Africa and inspire you to put this incredible experience on your own travel bucket list!’

Climbing Kilimanjaro — Drink Tea & Travel

Featuring awe-inspiring footage of the varied landscapes they encountered and portrait shots of the friendly faces they met along the way, Oksana and Max’s video has got us plotting our next mountain hike as we type. We also liked the clever use of time-lapse footage and the focus on smaller details which helps give the video a sense of time.

A big thanks to all the Pathfinders for their video submissions this month. We really enjoyed the great vlog submissions from Westfalia Digital Nomads who have been winding their way through France and onto Spain. We’re looking forward to seeing all the exciting adventures you’ve captured on film this month!

Keep your eyes peeled on our Thorn Tree forum where we’ll post the next submission call-out. Find out what else our Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Pathfinders video playlist and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel.