Writing this note from a cliff-top villa on the sunny shores of southern Bali, I’m keenly aware of the island’s importance in my own life as a place to decompress, refocus, and gain a renewed sense of balance. I always find myself coming back whenever I need some time out from the deadlines and many engagements that come with being in lifestyle publishing.
I think we all have a dream island of some sort in our heads, whether they are brimming with skyscrapers, bright lights, and an air of opportunity, or beckon with a palm-fringed beach and an empty hammock just steps away from a turquoise ocean. Others are places to derive inspiration from nature’s raw beauty, as artists have been doing for decades in Norway’s remote Lofotens. Within these pages, filmmakers Johnny Langenheim and James Morgan give us a sense of the dramatic landscapes and the hardy people who call this Arctic archipelago home.
Admittedly, I’m not one to travel halfway around the world to seek out rare wildlife, but photographer Matt Dutile is onto something with his recent adventure to Madagascar. It turns out dancing lemurs are not just imaginary figures you see in an animated film.
Throwing the spotlight on emerging destinations has always been in our DNA, and our cover story this issue is on the Vietnamese isle of Phu Quoc, where Jonathan Hopfner finds a happy medium between tourism and other industries. More established hot spots are also upping the ante, as one of our former editors Gabrielle Lipton discovers in the Maldives. Reading her roundup of the country’s latest private-island resorts— and lingering over the dreamy photos by Lauryn Ishak—I can’t help but wonder when I will revisit those stunning coral atolls.