A FEW WEEKS AGO, my friend Ernie and I decided to go to Hong Kong. He had never been, and it’s one of my favorite cities. Then we thought, as long as we’re going all the way to Hong Kong, we should hit a couple of other destinations in Asia. But where?
At AFAR, we are in the business of inspiring and guiding people to have deeper, richer, and more authentic travel experiences all over the globe. On AFAR.com, we feature highlights of great things to do in more than 7,000 cities and 236 countries.
We had so many choices: Angkor Wat? Hue? Taipei? Shanghai? Penang? I believe that you can have a memorable experience wherever you go. If you have the right attitude, you’ll meet interesting people and get beneath the surface of a place. From there, good things are bound to happen. Spin the Globe, one of our recurring features in the magazine, is based on this belief. We literally spin a globe in our office and randomly select a destination where we send a writer with as little advance notice as possible.
Readers often tell me they’d love to go on a Spin the Globe trip for AFAR, and I tell them they don’t need to wait for an assignment from us. Anyone can spin the globe, and there are many ways to do it. Dani Vernon, AFAR’s photo assistant, waits for an unbelievable airline deal and goes wherever that takes her. Last year, Dani traveled to Turkey and Greece; this year, she is off to Iceland and Sweden.
With our departure time approaching, Ernie and I finally decided on Bali and Bangkok. I’m not sure I could say what the determining factors were. We thought after the rush of Hong Kong, it would be nice to relax in Balinese style. And then to finish off the trip by feasting on amazing cuisine in the bustle of Bangkok. The thing about bringing a Spin the Globe attitude to your travels is that there’s never a wrong answer, and there is always another trip to look forward to.