You can’t get around traveling if you’re the editor-in-chief of T+L, so here I am again on a flight home from somewhere—in this case, Paris, where I have spent a couple of days in nonstop appointments and hotel and restaurant rounds. That it’s less than two weeks after I returned from my vacation in East Africa and exactly one week before I fly to Spain for a friend’s daughter’s wedding underscores the hither, thither, and yon quality of my life. But whether the purpose is personal or business, my travels provide me with on- and off-the-job training that serves me well.
Among my recent learnings: it’s possible to build a comfortable and airy hotel in a former palais that belonged to one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephews, retaining scale and restoring paint and decorative details while introducing modern amenities (the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, opening this winter); a Philippe Starck–designed hotel can look, well, cozy, like the just-opened Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris; foie gras, bacon, and rare pigeon are probably not the ideal dinner combination for me; and the iPad may be my new best friend.
The morning I arrived, I took the device out for a walk around Paris, mapping the way to less familiar spots and looking up information from this magazine and other sources as I went. Yes, it’s heavier and more cumbersome than my PDA, but the larger size makes it a much more gratifying companion.
This brings me to our latest and most exciting news: that T+L’s bimonthly iPad app is making its debut November 1. The cover story is Best Places for Holiday Travel, as it is in this print edition, but you will also find video and audio extras, interactive maps, and layers of additional information, including for booking and buying, that will bring this digital version infinitely closer to a real-life travel experience. With the profusion of opportunities such as this in mind, we are also launching our Digital Traveler column in the magazine this month, offering advice on apps, tech, and gear.
It is impossible to visit East Africa without being deeply moved by the prodigious efforts under way to preserve the landscape, animal life, and indigenous tribal culture. My visit there illustrated the significance of the initiatives highlighted in this magazine’s annual Global Vision Awards, which recognizes the projects that successfully harness travel as an engine of change. The 22 far-ranging adventures in the Trips of a Lifetime special, created exclusively for T+L readers by some of our most esteemed outfitters, are examples of the transformative magic of travel and how it can open our eyes to the world.
In addition to richly atmospheric features on Martinique, in the French West Indies, New Orleans, Shanghai, and our annual roundup of cruising news, you will find Mark Orwoll’s “Air Travelers Rights Revolution,” a smart look at the ins and outs of airline travel today. No matter where you’re headed, easy passage can make traveling so much better.
Where to Find Me
Some standouts from my recent travels.
Noorjehan Collections Jeweler Gemini Desai designs necklaces and other treasures with ancient trade beads, both precious and fun, from around the world. 214/592 Limuru Rd.-Urafiki Lane; 254-713/090-080.
One Off Contemporary Art Gallery An array of works by East African artists, curated by Carol Lees, whose commitment to promoting local art is impressive. Limuru Rd.; 254-722/521-870.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Adopt your own and feed him, too, at this nursery for rescued elephants. sheldrickwildlifetrust.org.
Talisman Nairobi hangout for lunch or dinner, with an Asian-inflected menu and great seafood. Ngong Rd., Karen; 254-20/388-3213; lunch for two $55.
Ralph’s Had a delicious hamburger made with pasture-grazed beef from Ralph Lauren’s Colorado ranch at his new restaurant (and store) in a 17th-century hôtel particulier. 173 Blvd. St.-Germain; 33-1/44-77-76-00; lunch for two $130.
Jeweler Gemini Desai designs necklaces and other treasures with ancient trade beads, both precious and fun, from around the world.
One Off Contemporary Art Gallery
An array of works by East African artists, curated by Carol Lees, whose commitment to promoting local art is impressive.
Nairobi hangout for lunch or dinner, with an Asian-inflected menu and great seafood. The restaurant serves dishes such as roast duck with wild rice and bok choy. Coming soon: a 40-room Talisman hotel.
In addition to his mens- and womenswear collections, Black Label, RRL Jeans, Ralph Lauren Home collection, and a jewel-box-like boutique for watches, the new store also houses Lauren's first restaurant outside of the States (the other is in Chicago). He personally oversaw the menu, which he describes as "Americanesque," with its imported Maine lobster, Maryland crab, warm garlic potato chips, Southern fried organic chicken, and grass-fed steaks (or hamburgers) from his own ranch in Telluride, Colorado.