Tag: travel

Found in the Desert

Man stands, hands in pocket, on a rocky beach with the ocean and wind shaped sand arches in the background.

One of our favorite Moroccan guides, Jalil Benlabili, reflects on his year when the world stood still during COVID-19. Jalil writes, “COVID just as everywhere, hit Morocco hard and I went from being completely booked to no work at all. My livelihood is my country and I decided to start exploring areas I did not… Read more »


Experience Popayán a City of Gastronomy and Easter Processions

The cityscape of Popayan with the city’s white domed cathedral in the middle

It’s a well-kept secret that the city of Popayán was the first city in the world to be registered as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. I have been there several times and was not aware of this fact. Indeed, it was not until I was doing research on Tucson that I learned that such… Read more »


Lessons Learned from Elizabeth Eckford, Carolyn McKinstry and Annie Pearl Avery

Three civil rights photos. One of Elizabeth Eckford, one of Annie Pearl Avery, and one of Carolyn McKinstry

Over the years we at Distant Horizons have had the pleasure of introducing travelers to community leaders all over the world. Through carefully created opportunities groups have met with local politicians, activists, storytellers, makers, artists and journalists to name a few. Creating these relationships is some of the most important work we do as a… Read more »


Distant Horizons Stands with the Black Community

A vintage photo next to a recent photo, both of thousands marching for equal rights for the black community

At Distant Horizons we have always stood for promoting understanding and compassion amongst all people and across all cultures. The events over the past month have forced us to confront not only police violence against African Americans, but also catastrophic inequalities in health, education, employment and endemic racial discrimination. The disregard for the dignity of… Read more »


Exploring San Agustin and El Monasterio Hotel

A lush green landscape with many trees, in the distance there are mountains, and off to the side is the Monasterio Hotel

Usually I would launch into a review of the El Monasterio Hotel right away, but this time I felt I really needed to talk about the site of San Agustin. I have never quite understood why so few people make it down to San Agustin. It is a short plane ride south of Bogota and… Read more »


Learn to Make Mouthwatering Colombian Arepas

Four grilled flat, round, unleavened pieces of dough called Arepas, each cut and stuffed with different ingredients

We are excited to share a very simple Colombian dish that can be enjoyed with almost anything, Arepas! The Arepa is one of the most popular foods in Colombia and they are served in almost every home. Sort of like the tortilla in Mexico. There are different versions of arepas throughout Colombia, every region having… Read more »


Review of the Film “Birds of Passage”

Birds of Passage film poster. Man holding automatic gun stands in a dusty field. A red sheet covering his face blows behind

This award winning Colombian film, Birds of Passage (2018); 126 minutes; Spanish with English subtitles follows an indigenous family torn apart by a marijuana boom. It combines the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez with the epic sweep of The Godfather and does an extraordinary job of telling a story about how the world changes… Read more »


The Simien Mountains, a truck stop in Ethiopia and the best bowl of pasta I have ever had

Simien Mountains in Northern Ethiopia. Green majestic mountains that fade into misty craggy cliffs in the distance

When I woke up, I really had to think hard about where I was. Years ago when the only hotels outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia were government hotels, they all had exactly the same design. So you could wake up in Lake Tana or Gondar or Lalibela and the room design and shape, the furnishings… Read more »


Ethiopian Entrepreneurs: Five Inspiring Women and Men to Watch

Startup Ethiopia. The biggest startup event in Ethiopia. Ever. Because we are going places. Ad for entrepreneurship 2019 event

Over the past decade, Ethiopia has achieved high economic growth, averaging 10.7% per year, establishing the country among the fastest growing economies both in Africa and in the developing world. Ethiopia, with a population of more than 109 million, is quickly becoming a hot spot for entrepreneurs with hundreds of Ethiopians who have been living… Read more »


Gondar Hills Resort Review

An earth toned, light and airy lobby of the Gondar Hills Hotel in Gondar, Ethiopia.

When a new hotel opens in Ethiopia its news. It has given me great joy to watch the country come into its own in recent years. The opening of the Hyatt in Addis is a real game-changer. It is an indication that this country is committed to providing a comfortable tourist infra-structure. And we should… Read more »


Tibs: A Traditional Ethiopian Dish with Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Unseen Chef Marcus Samuelsson stirs beef tenderloin, broccoli, and tomatoes in a cast iron pan for the Ethiopian dish Tibs

We are excited to share with you a traditional Ethiopian recipe for Tibs made with either beef or lamb. Leading us in this cooking class is James Beard winner Chef Marcus Samuelsson. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, Chef Samuelsson shares a traditional recipe that is best eaten with a group, especially as a… Read more »


Review of the Film “Lamb”

Movie Lamb by Yared Zeleke. Young boy in a cloak shorts boots with a rust colored lamb gazing over the green hills of Ethiopia

Scene from the movie Lamb, Ethiopia © Photo courtesy of www.indiewire.com   A young Ethiopian boy and his rust-colored lamb are the protagonists of Lamb, the beautifully crafted first feature from Yared Zeleke. This award winning Ethiopian film, Lamb (2015); 94 minutes; Amharic with English subtitles is a must see. It does an extraordinary job of… Read more »


Beyond Marrakech and Fez

Behind the roofs of earthen buildings, a vast green oasis of grass and trees blankets the land

Standing in front of the Tafilalt Oasis, it was hard to understand how anyone had called this an oasis. I tend to think of an oasis as a small patch of greenery given life by an equally small source of water. As far as my eyes could see there was green. And when I say… Read more »


Ramadan in Morocco during lockdown

Moroccan iftar table with traditional dishes

Normally, the centuries old traditions of Ramadan are sociable affairs as abstaining from food and water during daylight hours gives way to festive feasts and communal gatherings at dusk. With the coronavirus upending these faith-based traditions, we asked Ahlam Ben Saga, one of the journalists we meet with on some of our Morocco tours, to… Read more »


A Review of the Villa Mandarine Hotel, Rabat

Villa Mandarine - Rabat, Morocco

Compared to Morocco’s seductive Marrakech and Fez, Rabat is a colorful, sunny oasis of calm just waiting to be explored. Rabat is the country’s untapped, culture-rich capital. It is brimming with buried cities, majestic mosques, mouth-watering food and an emerging contemporary art scene. We guarantee we can keep you enthralled with a range of experiences… Read more »


The Perfect Chicken Tagine Recipe

We are excited to share with you a Chicken Tagine recipe from Michelin-star chef Mourad Lahlou. This is a modern twist on a traditional, indeed iconic Moroccan dish that you will enjoy on our Morocco tours. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Tagine dish, you can use a skillet with a cover or even… Read more »


A Review of the “Crossing Borders” Documentary

Crossing Borders Documentary - Morocco

Even when our passports remain safely tucked away, the enduring power of travel can still connect us. It can remind us that we share much more than our media, and sadly, sometimes our governments, lead us believe. In 2007, the German filmmaker Arnd Wächter brought four college-age Americans to Morocco to join four Moroccans of… Read more »


Why all the Food Making?

Baklava, Greek yogurt, and homemade orange, vanilla, rosemary marmalade. Plus a cameo from the tea. Photo - Savannah Fortis

We have been checking in with our partners around the world to see how their lives have been impacted by COVID-19. Read how one of our favorite tour managers, Savannah Fortis, has been filling her days at home and, at the same time, creating ambrosial scents for those around her.   “Why All The Food… Read more »


Sitting in Little Rock, I was Transported

Elizabeth Eckford - Little Rock Nine

I was 14, maybe 15, when the raw emotion of racial injustice hit me. I remember the moment vividly. I was sitting in an English class and our beyond-hip teacher was reading a poem. I remember it as titled Landlady and it was the telephone conversation, on a payphone, between an African tenant and his prospective… Read more »


Revitalizing Jackson, Mississippi’s Farish Street One Pig Ear Sandwich at a Time

Holding a pig ear sandwich with a bite taken out. Taken at Big Apple Inn on Farish Street in Jackson, Mississippi

For anyone who embarks on a trip along the Civil Rights Trail looking to better understand the civil rights movement, perhaps one of the most overlooked but telling places is Jackson, Mississippi’s Farish Street. Sitting just north of downtown Jackson, Farish Street was once a thriving African-American neighborhood known as “Little Harlem”.  By the early… Read more »


A Review of the Hu Hotel, Memphis, and much more….musings from Janet Moore

Deck of Hu Hotel with the Hernando de Soto bridge in the background

We love the boutique Hu Hotel which recently reopened, having re-branded the former Madison Hotel. You can’t beat the location and history of this former bank property. It was among downtown Memphis’ first “skyscrapers” and the first building on Banker’s Row to exceed the traditional four-story height for banks in the city.  It is an… Read more »


Mary Hoover’s Famous Rib Recipe

A smiling Mary Hoover in her chef jacket getting ready to share her secret behind her delicious ribs

One of our favorite stops on our Civil Rights trip is in the heart of the Mississippi Delta where we spend the day in Baptist Town and Greenwood with Sylvester and Mary Hoover. Sylvester is our local guide and expert in a town that became the ground-zero for the civil rights movement with the murder… Read more »


Songs to get you through Shelter At Home from Malaco Records

Photo of a wall inside of Malaco records recording studio. The wall displays various artists photos, silver or gold records, and movie posters.

Sheltering at home, while important, can be tough for everyone. Days and weeks seem to morph into a big long blur and we all seem to be looking for little things to help cure our blues. Luckily for us we have some great friends at Malaco Records down in Jackson, MS who are experts in… Read more »


Corporate Meets Culture: P.F Chang’s Latest Video Campaign Highlights South Korea with Authenticity

When one first thinks of P.F. Chang’s one does not usually think of an authentic asian-style dining experience. Next to Bubba Gump and Black Angus it certainly provides a good meal when Asian food is what is on the family’s wish list. But authentic? Not so much.  However, in P.F. Chang’s latest video campaign, they… Read more »


Our Favorite Apps and Gadgets for 2019

Where are you heading to in 2019? As our favorite travel writer, Pico Iyer, said “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can,… Read more »


A review on Istanbul’s new airport

A dusk picture of the outside of Istanbul's airport

Having recently transited through Istanbul’s airport on one of our group tours, I can say with confidence that once the minor teething issues with signage with the new airport are worked out. It will be a great airport IF you like walking. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this sparkling new building is the fact… Read more »