Category Archives: spirituality

“Black Rock City, NV” Unpacks the Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man

The annual Black Rock City gathering of artists and hell-raisers known to us as Burning Man brings forth some of the most wild architectural structures we’ve seen on planet earth. In fact, many of the temporary dwellings summon an otherworldly quality… But that’s the whole point of the week-long festival.

Who else, other than the organizers of Burning Man, would think to hold an event in the middle of the unforgiving Nevada desert. It would turn out that this seclusion, and subjection to the heat, sand, and desolation of the desert elements, makes the festival and its art all the more intense.

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15,568 Feet. 120 Kilometers. A Long Trek Into the Mountains of Northern Colombia Written by Steven John

Author’s note: Without the permission and the assistance of the Kogi, a tribe that has maintained its culture and way of life for centuries even as the world around their isolated mountain range has changed dramatically over the past few centuries, the trek herein discussed would have been impossible. However, as the Kogi wish to remain largely untouched by, and uninvolved with the outside world, to respect their privacy, I will largely omit their mention from this piece and will give no specifics on the locations of their villages, their sacred sites, nor even on the starting point of this multiple day hike. Instead, I will focus on the actual trek and its varied challenges and moments of celebration. My heartfelt thanks go to the Kogi, to the unnamed guides and handlers who helped this journey become a reality, and to Columbia Sportswear, who financed the trek and provided much of the gear upon which I and the other members of the team relied.

The first day was going well, overall, despite the heat and humidity that are to be expected when one is hiking through a rain forest located a few dozen miles from the Caribbean coast of South America. There was one consistent cause for frustration, though: the steep, rutted, dirt trail spent as much time going down as it did up, and as any mountaineer knows, every step you take down now means a step up farther along the path.

Continue reading 15,568 Feet. 120 Kilometers. A Long Trek Into the Mountains of Northern Colombia Written by Steven John

Lenny Kravitz’s Design Firm Unveils 75 Kenmare, A Curated Collection of 38 Stunning Homes

You probably know Lenny Kravitz as the father of the beautiful Zoë Kravitz, or as the rebel rocker behind songs like “American Women,” but did you know that he’s also behind a design firm called Kravitz Design?

Growing up in New York with creatives who have impeccable taste exposed Kravitz to some of the most eye-catching homes around, so now he’s taking the knowledge and expertise he garnered and applying that to interior design. Kravitz Design is responsible for luxury suites in hotels in Las Vegas and Miami, as well as a rock-and-roll-inspired collection for CB2.

Continue reading Lenny Kravitz’s Design Firm Unveils 75 Kenmare, A Curated Collection of 38 Stunning Homes

Surf Shacks is a Look into the Eclectic Homes of Iconic Surfers

Surfing is a freaking way of life. If you’ve ever met a hardcore surfer, odds are you wanted to swap lives with him, or at the very least become his BFF. That’s because these guys and gals live and breathe the lifestyle— from the way they style (or don’t style) their hair, to the beach “shacks” they call home.

And there’s an important lesson we can take from watching them live: All we really need to survive is a passion and a cozy shack to call home.

Surf-Shack Cover

That’s the reason we love Surf Shacks ($60), a new book put together by the surf-centric blog Indoek and publisher Gestalten that chronicles some of the most visually pleasing homes of legendary surfers.

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Mount Everest: The Incredible Cost of Climbing the World’s Highest Mountain

Since 1953, when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest, explorers and adventures from around the globe have set their sights on the world’s tallest mountain.

At 29,035 feet, Mount Everest has claimed the lives of almost 300 people since 1923 when George Mallory and Andrew Irvine perished on the mountain. The climbing seasons were suspended in 2014 after an avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall killed 16 Sherpas and again in 2015 after an earthquake triggered an avalanche killing 19 people at Everest Base Camp.

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Karmaflights: Paragliding the Himalayas to raise money for earthquake-recovering Nepal

A paragliding organisation based in Nepal’s tourist town of Pokhara is using the money it raises from flying tourists around the Himalayas to help fund the country’s ongoing earthquake reconstruction efforts.

Many villages in Nepal are still rebuilding from a devastating magnitude-7.8 earthquake that struck the mountainous nation almost two years ago, killing nearly 9,000 people.

Karmaflights operates paragliding tours near the Annapurna mountains, and donates its profits to local humanitarian projects, including earthquake relief.

One of the mountain views in the Pokhara region.

“In Nepal, need is everywhere,” says the organisation’s national director, Prem Bahadur Kunwar.

“Wherever you go, there is a need, because the villages are scattered here and there, the resources are very minimal, and government cannot fund all the [reconstruction] projects.”

Continue reading Karmaflights: Paragliding the Himalayas to raise money for earthquake-recovering Nepal

Ask an expert: Jo Bradshaw on how to pack for the Himalayas

Imagine: after two days hard trekking, finally you see it. Jagged, snow-shrouded, and utterly awe-inspiring – Everest rises ahead. So far on this epic Himalayas expedition, you’ve climbed to 3400m. You’re hot, dusty and have eleven more days hiking ahead – traversing mountain trails, skirting glaciers and bunking down in teahouses. You’ll grow used to wet-wipe washes, a symbiotic relationship with odd pieces of gear, and friendships forged in unforgiving environments. Your objective is Everest Base Camp. Snow-fringed and framed by fluttering prayer flags, it sits at a testing 5346m at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall.

Expedition leader Jo Bradshaw takes new adventurers on this journey to Base Camp every year these days through worldwide tour company 360 Expeditions (360-expeditions.com) (she summited Everest itself in 2016). As part of our new ‘Ask an expert series,’ we got in touch with Bradshaw to ask about Everest, the unique challenges of trekking through the Himalayas, and some essential gear and tech tips.

Trekkers passing signpost on way to Mount Everest Base Camp © hadynyah / Getty Images

Jo, you’ve led 10 trips to Everest Base Camp – what do people get from them?

JB: They’re about so much more than just a trek. They’re challenging. But difficult is good because it makes you stronger. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, going 12 days without a proper shower, being with a group of strangers, surrounded by incredible culture in the most famous mountain region in the world. These treks broaden people’s horizons because they take us away from the comforts of home and put us in the land of simplicity.

Continue reading Ask an expert: Jo Bradshaw on how to pack for the Himalayas

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