Passion Points: Active/Adventure
At the end of 2011, we quizzed members and staff about their favorite discoveries this year. Indagare members Struan Robertson & Eileen Campbell get-away to New Zealand and Turkey. Read more Best-of-2011 Interviews.
Our favorite trip of this year is a real toss-up because our travels were so diverse! We had a fabulous trip to New Zealand that was fantastic for its sheer “getaway” value—away from crowds, pollution and noise. Few trips have been a better combination of luxury and adventure. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we also spent a week in our favorite city, Istanbul. It is definitely not a place to escape noise and crowds, but is one of the world’s most exciting and interesting places. We spent part of the trip exploring the city’s spectacular modern art scene at Istanbul Modern with the fabulous, Indagare-recommended art consultant. She made the trip particularly memorable for us. While we have travelled to Istanbul in the past, the city has never felt more vibrant than it does at the moment. Its economy is thriving and the people are justifiably proud of the increasingly important role Turkey plays as a model for their Muslim neighbors. Reading the paper everyday is mind-bending. The country defies simple explanations but none of this gets in the way of people having fun: the people are very sociable and have a tremendous lust for life.
We stayed in many great places on our trips this year, but a special shout-out has to go to the remarkable Otahuna Lodge, Christchurch. We didn’t appreciate what a foodie place New Zealand could be until we got there. The warmth and charm of the hosts, Miles and Hall, the communal dining, chef Jimmy’s glorious home-grown or locally-sourced food (available as if you were in your own kitchen), the stunning grounds and beautiful rooms combine to make it a singular experience. I highly, highly recommended it! Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers are also exceptional in every way, particularly if you are a golfer.
Traveling is a great time to push your boundaries. Neither of us would have dreamed of bungee jumping but while in New Zealand we found ourselves over the 134 meter Nevis Gorge in Queenstown, jumping into what felt like the abyss. We learned that the anticipation is far worse than the actual event, which turned out to be great fun and something we will dine out on for a lifetime.
Our favorite traveling tip is to always ask our local guides about their favorite things to do in their hometown. We ended up looking at opportunities to refurbish aging apartment buildings on the Asian (and largely residential) side of Istanbul because our guide shared our interest in remodeling residential properties.
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