Warm Thoughts On Warm Places

Greetings from Thailand!

Last week, we talked about the joys and pleasures of travelling to wintry spots in the winter. But given that I have chosen to build my home and spend most of my own winter in the very far south of Thailand on a literal tropical island, you may already have guessed that trading in scarves for sandals is also very much in my wheelhouse.

Travel is always a privilege, and that fact is seldom more in evidence than when we get to choose our weather. As the winds start blowing cold and the first sparkles of snow start to drop, we think, “You know what would be nice right about now? Palm trees and 30 degrees.”

And we’re right. It would be. And it is.

But of course, we can choose more than just our weather.

There are resorts – plenty of resorts – that offer warmth and extreme leisure. Those are easy, and easy is sometimes just what we want in the face of a February blizzard. But sometimes we’re looking for more than just a kinder climate.

I talked about our new Active Wellness programs last week; trips we are developing that combine health and physical activity in some of my favourite spots around the world. I want to be clear, these are not like yoga retreats, with hours of mat-sitting. As with all Wheel & Anchor trips, it’s about travel, and balance. If there’s a yoga mat involved, it’ll be for an hour between a local breakfast and an excursion through an ancient European city.

But the other warm-weather option that is far too often overlooked is the Southern Hemisphere. If you’re going to go south for the winter, why not go all the way south, and visit some of the world’s great cities and cultures whose summers happen to coincide with our winters?

Though it may not be the best time to buy real estate there, recent political developments have done nothing to dull the lustre of Buenos Aires, one of the world’s most extraordinarily fun-loving cities, probably second only to Rio, which is another fabulous winter option.

With its profoundly multicultural heritage, made up of equal parts Indigenous, African, and European, Brazilian art, music, dance, literature and cuisine are the sorts of things the cruise and resort industries try to emulate, but never can.

When you add the mountains, the beaches, the rooftop bars and terrace dining, and then realize there’s also Lima (the food!) and Santiago (the wine!), and up in Medellín (a trip is currently in the works, featuring more food!), you’ll wonder why you ever considered settling for simple warmth.

We do have an end-of-winter trip that will take you to both Buenos Aires and Santiago, including the nations’ respective wine regions, in March and April, with an optional excursion to the monumentally beautiful Iguazu Falls.

If you join us on that trip, or make it to any of these southern cultural centres this winter or next, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s more to the South than warm beaches (not – to quote Seinfeld – that there’s anything wrong with that!).

We’d love to hear your thoughts on warm vs. cold winter getaways. Let us know what your preferences are and what draws you one way or the other. Any amazing winter travel stories you’d like to share? I’m always in the market for those.

That said, please note – if you are going to write in (and I hope you do: I love reading your letters), please note that our office will be closed for the holiday season for a slightly longer period this year.

We will be finishing on December 22nd at 5pm and back refreshed and eager to start putting some more trips together for you on the morning of Monday, January 8th. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

I’ll sign off here – warmth and well-wishes from here in Thailand and lots more to come as we steam into the holidays.


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