Maybe the greatest book on trekking towards enlightenment is Mr Peter Matthiessen’s classic The Snow Leopard, in which the writer takes on a perilous search for the most elusive land animal in the Himalayas while reflecting on his own practice of Zen Buddhism. His descriptions of the herculean physical feats are by turns sobering and intoxicating, but always a call to action. One World Trekking offers a trip in Mr Matthiessen’s footsteps.
Your own luxury tent in the Masai Mara? Sure. A gourmet experience on a game reserve overlooking Kilimanjaro? Definitely. Paolo Parazzi and Sam Stogdale, founders of the bespoke safari service Africa Born, are native Kenyans with incredible access to the best terrain (it helps that they are both pilots with their own Out Of Africa-style prop plane) with the kind of ecological and cultural consciousness you’re looking for in a travel partner today.
The Ashram, a rigorous wellness and fitness getaway organised by Ms Catharina Hedberg and Ms Anne-Marie Bennström, began more than 40 years ago and hosts dozen of dedicated pilgrims at its regular retreats in California, Mallorca and Iceland during the summer months and, in autumn, on the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The Ashram preaches transformation through a regime of healthy eating and detox and delivers enchantment with hikes that offer some of the most striking views in the world.
In December 2020, Prior are arranging a two-week excursion to Chile, which will culminate with a viewing of the coming solar eclipse from a luxury tented camp in the Atacama Desert. Along the way, the group will arrange for you to ride with Chilean gauchos, experience a traditional asado barbecue and trip out on the lunar-like landscapes of the glacial and arid country while enjoying a civilised sundowner.
Mornings at Mongke Tengri’s luxury camp 200 miles west of Ulaanbaatar, on the Mongolian steppe begin with organic Himalayan coffee, brought to you in your ger, one of 40 camel-leather huts in the camp, by an attendant who will also see to the embers of your fire. If you can then pull yourself out from under your cashmere blankets, you may go riding with local herders or while away the day in the wood-fire-heated tub before a dinner of roasted meat and French wines.