I don’t know how many countries I’ve visited. But I can readily list the places I want to go. As my coworkers here at AFAR can tell you, I bring a similar mindset to our business. I’m focused on the things we want to achieve, rather than where we’ve been. But every once in a while, even I need to take a look back—at least for a moment.

We opened the AFAR office in 2008. Many industries, including travel and media, were in dire straits. To launch a travel media business then was . . . audacious?

Five years ago this month, we published our first issue of AFAR magazine. We believed in our mission: to inspire, to guide, and to enable deeper, richer, and more authentic travel experiences. We thought this was a great thing to do with our lives. This kind of travel makes the world a better place. And we believed this was what many travelers were looking for.

Travelers want to get beneath the surface of the places they go. They want to connect with local people. They want to confront their fear and renew their hope. They want to celebrate what we all have in common and what makes us distinctive. We called it experiential travel, and we were determined to be its voice.

AFAR magazine is now the best travel magazine in the country. AFAR.com, our groundbreaking website for travel inspiration and planning, gets better every week. The AFAR mobile app gives experience seekers the information they need to travel deeper. AFAR Experiences brings together travelers and fascinating locals in destinations around the globe. We just launched the AFAR Collection, a group of hotels and resorts we’ve selected for their focus on experiential travel. And our Learning AFAR program has sent nearly 300 students on life-changing trips to Costa Rica, Peru, the Navajo nation, Mexico, Cambodia, and China.

All this wouldn’t have been possible without our employees, our advertising partners, and the open-minded travelers who have supported us. We thank you all so much. Helping you to travel deeper is a commitment we renew in everything we do.

Good Travels,

Greg Sullivan

Cofounder & CEO

This appeared in the August/September 2014 issue of AFAR Magazine