Author: ITKT Featured Writer

Exploring Airolo, Switzerland

Coming Home to Airolo, Switerland Airolo is Switzerland! When I think about Switzerland, I think of Airolo. Airolo is a Swiss village that holds a special place in my heart. It is part of my family history and where I was baptized. While I am Canadian – it’s where I grew up. Airolo will always be home. I spent childhood summers with both my grandparents, lived there, and enjoyed numerous vacations. Surrounded by the Alps, Airolo is at the crux of three valleys. From one side of the San Gottardo Pass, coming from the German side into the Italian...

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How to meet the Yakuza (if you dare)

There are hundreds of things to see and do in Japan – try some real sushi, climb Mount Fuji, explore the ancient temples of Kyoto or watch the monkeys bathe in the hot springs of Nagano. But if, like me, you’ve seen way too many gangster movies, you might also have a morbid curiosity about another side of the country – the Yakuza. The Yakuza The word yakuza comes from ya-ku-sa (8-9-3), the worst possible hand in a game of cards. It means that the yakuza are born losers and indeed many of them come from the outcasts of...

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Swimming with Spinner Dolphins

An Obsession with Dolphins I have always loved dolphins. Growing up on the Southern California coast it was good luck if I spotted them from the freeway on my way to school. The Bottlenose dolphins that called the waters of my childhood home their own were my favourite locals. Once I was lucky enough to have a pod pass by a friend and I as we were waiting for a set on our surf boards, but that was as close as I have ever come to them. Until today. A dolphin is an ethereal creature. A creature so intelligent,...

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Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni

Bolivia and the Salt Flats Something Different in Bolivia Gazing out at the ethereal landscape, I feel like I am on a different planet. What appears to be sand, or maybe even snow, continues endlessly on. The waves of heat create eerie shapes on the horizon, and the stillness around me makes me realize how vast and unique this place really is. While it may feel like I have transported myself to another world, I have not. We are simply standing in the middle of the world’s largest salt flats – the Salar de Uyuni, in the isolated south...

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Visiting Khao Sok National Park – Thailand

I think I’m in love with Khao Sok National Park … I uttered, as so many other travelers have stated before me. But in comparison to other travelers, I wasn’t staring at the ocean of Koh Tao, or even gazing up at the Buddhist temple of Wat Arun. Even though these places are absolutely stunning, they’re not my favorite area of Thailand. My favorite part of Thailand is a national park called Khao Sok. The national park is covered by the world’s oldest evergreen rainforest and is home to a unique range of fauna and flora. Because of Khao...

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An Inca Trail Revelation

Exploring the Inca Trail The Inca Trail Discovery As the sun set beneath the Andean peaks I was drawn to the remains of a tiny ruined hut on a hill overlooking our camp site. It had been a long day so far, the third of a four day Inca Trail trek, and perhaps the altitude and the exertion was getting to me but there was a definite attraction to this lonely ruin above a narrow mountain valley. Four walls of rough stones formed a roofless three-by-three meter room. Weeds and grass covered the floor and grew between the gaps...

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Fighting Spanish Bulls in Madrid

Last weekend in Madrid, I did the something I never thought I’d do: I attended a bullfight. Despite public outcry in recent years, bullfighting (or, Corrida del Toros, as Spaniards say), is still legal in all provinces of Spain except Catalonia, and quite popular. And so, there I was on a cloudy Saturday, at the last corrida of the Madrid season. I had not planned this outright. Watching a bullfight was never on my list of Spanish to-dos. But I had just finished reading Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway, an English-language manifesto on bullfighting. The book was...

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Garden of the Gods:
Sikkim’s Rhododendron Forest

Nestled in the south-east corner of the Himalayas, the ancient kingdom of Sikkim is the northern paradise of India. Known as Indrakil, the garden of the Hindu god of war, Indra, Sikkim exudes an other-worldly peace and serenity – it is no coincidence that the name ‘Sikkim’ may be literally translated as ‘happy homeland’. This tiny corridor of land, annexed to India in 1975, has exercised a powerful hold over travellers for centuries, who have been time and time again seduced by its dramatic mountainscapes and luscious fertile valleys. However, India’s northern jewel remains relatively unexploited by the country’s...

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Welcome to ITKT

I am Devin Galaudet the Editor in Chief of ITKT. I am asked all the time how I did it? Was it worth? Changing my life around to make travel a priority. The short answer is yes. It was really a lifestyle choice. It hasn’t always been easy but I have never regretted it. If you are like me, you might want to explore what I did to get started.

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