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What We’re Reading


Magical Mysterious Scotland,” Aviators and a Camera
Avid travel blogger, photographer, and AFAR Ambassador Kirsten Alana is onto something when she writes about “Deep Scottish Love”—a sense of connection with a place that is at once a desolate wilderness, and a landscape teeming with life. Shrouded in mist, this land gives every visitor a sense that, in Alana’s words, “Scotland actually IS the home of magic, if any exists in our world.” —Bryan Kitch

Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” The New York Times 
This multimedia feature is an example of how the internet can tell a story in a wildly different, powerful way. Pulitzer Prize finalist John Branch writes an amazing account of an avalanche that traps a group of avid outdoor adventurers. With video, graphics, and photo slideshows, the characters and their interwoven stories come alive. I could keep talking about how amazing it is, but it’s better just to experience it. —Sarah Zapiler

One Mountain Film Premiere, David Reichert
Old friend and veteran outdoor cinematographer David Reichert has his first feature film premiere at the Center of the Arts in Jackson Hole on February 1. The film tells the story of Hunter Wood, a local big mountain skier who pushes his limits and learns what it takes to ski the Grand Teton. —Tara Guertin

Upwardly Mobile: Inside Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions,” The Caravan
How a 17-story building in Hong Kong functions as the hub of a phenomenon one sociologist calls “low-end globalization,” with the underground trade in cell phones on their way to Africa as the center of the hub.  —Derk Richardson

14 Wonderful Words with No English Equivalent,” The Week
Love this list of foreign words that have no English equivalent—discovered via Dave Pell’s NextDraft newsletter, as crucial a contributor to cubicle patter as any. Why don’t we have a word in English for “the day after tomorrow”? —Davina Baum

For Travel Savings in 2013, Go Retro,” The New York Times Frugal Traveler Blog
I’m always looking to cut costs when I travel, and the New York Times’ Frugal Traveler, Seth Kugel, came up with some smart “retro” ideas for saving money while traveling the globe this year. —Jen Murphy

The Bucket List: Top Travel Destinations in 2013,” Butterfly Diary
In case we haven’t given you enough wanderlust with our lists of where to go in 2013, AFAR Ambassador Charu Suri has reached out to her blogging community and has more destinations for you to dream about this year. —Lauren Nicholl 

Cabin Porn
Wait, don’t clutch your pearls at the tawdry name. Instead, feast your eyes on these outdoorsy teases, like this off-the-grid cabin in snowy Alberta, or this sod-roofed hut in Norway. Titillating inspiration for that quiet cabin retreat you’ve always dreamed of. —Jessica Silber

Atlas Obscura’s Ten Most Popular Places for 2012,” Atlas Obscura
If you’re looking for really offbeat destinations for your 2013 travel, check out what Atlas Obscura’s visitors enjoyed reading about the most in the past year. —Derk Richardson

David Carr, Reddit
New York Times reporter and columnist David Carr appears on Reddit for an AMA (“ask me anything”) and hits it out of the park—with smart observations about the New York Times and the state of media in general. Choice inspirational quote for journalists, about how much he read as a kid: “I read most of [my parents' books], stuffing my head with words. And at a certain point, the words started coming back out. If you want to write, you have to read.” —Davina Baum

Where Children Sleep, James Mollison
This photo essay is a beautiful glimpse into the lives of children all around the world. From New York to Laisamis, the photography of James Mollison brings into sharp contrast the lives lived around the world and brings into bold relief the innate similarities between us. I’m adding the book—which has an extended caption telling each child’s story—onto my list of must finds. —Sarah Zapiler

Photo: Kirsten Alana