Editor’s Note

Tread Softly.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

“We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do” ~ Barbara Ward 

Barbara Ward uttered those touching words in 1972. In 2019, it feels like we are finally starting to take notice. In travel, luxury and excess no longer sit hand in hand. What is considered plush today––access to fresh produce, dining in nature, swimming in pristine water––was standard not so long go. Gone is embellished beach glamour. Now, a pared-down look (you know who you are, Aman junkies) is most coveted. Opulence, seemingly, is on its way out.

Travellers are showing they want to be good guests. Conscious travellers are attracted to an eco-centric ‘feel-good’ factor, and tend to choose stays based on green initiatives. From organic gardens, to water bottled on-site, and farm-to-table spreads boasting fair trade goodies, thoughtful details are today’s beguiling attractions.

Yet, self-declared eco warriors can make identifying credible green resorts tricky, and those who shout the loudest aren’t necessarily most authentic. Look for escapes with sustainability programmes ingrained from inception, staff who are hired locally, recycled materials and energy and water-saving initiatives implemented in the early stages of design.

Ideally though, wellness starts at home. And if that’s a humming metropolis, even more reason to take steps to banish stress. Nothing replaces the health benefits of spending time in nature but if you can’t escape the city, meditation, creative arts and movement are other ways to bring out our vibrant, expansive selves in an urban setting.

This issue, find out how green architecture has flourished in spa design (p.50), the way foraging fosters trust (p.76) and secret spots to reconnect outdoors (p.82). Join us for pampering in Danang (p.88), Mayan heritage in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula (p.94) and Asia’s first forest immersion retreat in the depths of the Borneo rainforest (p.68).

May our steps be slight. 

My Reading Room
Stephanie Shiu