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YLA July 2024 Edition

By Ntokozo Maseko

Our July issue is inspired by a TED Talk titled How Radical Travel Will Fix Every Problem in Your Life delivered by Andrew Lee Miller in a small public library in Croatia late last year. Andrew was born in the mostly farming state of Ohio in the United States, in a village of only 3 000 people. In his talk, he shares his life story that saw him leave Ohio for the first time ever in a very depressed state following his grandfather’s death by freak accident. Andrew said that at 19, he took an opportunity offered to him by his Spanish teacher to go and teach a family English in Mexico. He’d never left home and had never seen people who sounded or looked different to him, and revealed that what was meant to be a three-month stay became a lifetime passion for travel.

Not only was the scary move to Mexico transformative for him, it was also healing, helping him with his depression, which he believes is the foundation of his concept called radical travel. Andrew defines radical travel as that of “shocking your system with spontaneous voyages to the unknown”. A typical radical travel game he likes to play sees him picking a colour at random before leaving home, following the first person he sees wearing that colour at the airport, and going to the same destination as that person. Instead of seeking inspiration for where to go next from social media’s bite-sized snapshots of the real experience, his version of radical travel invites us to return to discovery that takes us off“the beaten path and instead utilises fate and the goodness of the human race to overcome fear of failure, depressive states and to realise that life is worth living”.

This version of travel is less about what tests human endurance and more about travel that brings back a spirit of curiosity and wonder in travel. A person who embodies the idea of radical travel most radically is our cover icon, Ugandan-American Jessica Nabongo, the first Black woman to document her travels to every country on the planet. Jessica has rewritten the archetype of the explorer or wanderer and talks to us about her nomadic adventures around the globe.

Dion Chang has his own flavour of travel inspired by the post COVID-19 revenge-travel craze that saw people abandon all caution as pay back for all the travelling they couldn’t do due to the pandemic. He shares the interesting ways he likes to plan his travels following the eight-day rule, and other fascinating ways to make regular travel more radical. Very much in line with Andrew’s belief that travel heals, wellness and medical tourism has also seen a spike in interest from all corners of the world, and we unpack what’s available for you to try, from safaris with soul to a five-star medical destination. This month we also have a special section dedicated to the Best of British luxury, updating you on new places to stay, eat, drink, experience, and shop (we feature Daisy Knatchbull, the fi rst women’s tailor to have a shopfront on Savile Row on page 48) during the Euro summer.

Ntokozo Maseko
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