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J’adore: AFAR

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I’ve decided to broaden the scope of my regular J’adore series. All to often I have found myself wanting to do an expanded post on something I really like. Also there are more entreprenuerial women with small-businesses selling fantastic products that I want to spotlight and I think this is the way I am going to do it. I already have three fantastic women in mind and I can’t wait to start bringing them to your attention.

However for today I wanted to share something that has been near and dear to my heart for a while: AFAR magazine.

As a traveler I am in a constant and perpetual state of reminiscing about a previous trip, planning an impending trip or fantasizing about a future trip. Reading hundreds of travel blogs help fuel the fires, but my real guilty pleasure is travel magazines. I subscribe to a dozen of them. I love to curl up on my couch on a Sunday with a cup of coffee and dive into the physical, tangible pages of a travel magazine. And while I read them all, these days there is only one that I look forward to in my mailbox and that is AFAR.

Sunday Morning at the Misadventures house

Sunday Morning at the Misadventures house: coffee and travel magazines

AFAR launched in the autumn of 2009 and it was shortly afterward that I picked up my first issue. My husband and I are big movie fans so many weekends we head to our local cinema to see a film. Our normal routine is to head out for dimsum and then catch a matinee. Sometimes we may have an hour gap where we need to kill time and we always end up doing that inside the Barnes & Noble located right next door to our movie theater.

I love browsing the books, but rarely check out the magazine section, I get so many travel and food magazines that if I subscribed to another Mr. Misadventures might kill me. But for some reason that day I ended up in that section and zeroed in on AFAR. I was amused to see that there was a travel mag I didn’t know about and I snatched it up right away.

After the movie, I took it home and dived in, completely enthralled with the stories. This magazine was different. I know the term “experience” tends to be an overused word, but it is the best way to subscribe the essence of AFAR. It is about the travel experience, how it makes you feel and what emotions it evokes. It is also about being different, finding the extraordinary in the ordinary as well as introducing new places that may not catch the attention of the “majors.” There is something so down-to-earth and unpretenscious about the content and style, it’s like having a conversation with a friend who is as passionate about travel as you are.

Mr. Misadventures reads a lot of business and finance publications and although he is passionate about food and travel, he rarely reads those types of magazines. In fact AFAR is the only travel magazine he reads and he reads it from cover to cover. It is a serious fight in our house the day it arrives to see who gets it first. Funnily enough it usually arrives right before Mr. Misadventures is leaving on a business trip and I always make him swear on his life he will not forget our copy on the plane or hotel, that he has strict instructions not to tear any pages out and bring it home intact (don’t laugh, we had a huge argument about this one time!). Sometimes I can’t wait and I secretly buy my own copy!

One of my favorite monthly articles is “Spin the Globe” where someone in the AFAR office does literally that, spin a globe and send a journalist off to wherever the finger landed! There have been some very interesting spots. I think my favorite was Malta from the January/February 2011 issue (which you can now find online here).

But my absolute favorite is the “Wandering Chef” series because it combines two of my passions: food and travel. I am secretly green with envy at  AFAR Editor Jen Murphy who authors most of these articles, what an assignement!

As with most magazine publications these days, AFAR has an online magazine. I knew of its existence, but have only recently started spending a lot more time there. The reason is that it’s different (there is that word again). It is not just articles and posts, its their highlights and Wanderlists (which I totally dig) and the site is collaborative, in fact that is what it says in their header: “the collaborative travel guide.” I love that!

So I have started building Wanderlists with Highlights that I created,  I also add Highlights that other travelers or local experts (like the very familiar Lindsey of Lost in Cheeseland) write as well, and I have to tell you it is addicting!

So much so that they actually made me an ambassador (shhh, I don’t think they knew what they were getting themselved into!) Don’t worry, it doesn’t change anything about me!

Andi Fisher AFAR Ambassador

But guess what? Anyone can join their community and upload Highlights and create Wanderlists (hint, if you highlight something that you may have blogged about on your own blog, you can add a link to it…instant link juice!). You don’t have to be a world traveler, you can be passionate about your hometown and share local hints and tips on places to visit, eat and things to do and share that passion and experience with others.

Wow, that actually sort of turned into something like an open love letter to the magazine! That’s the thing about j’adore…I adore it and when I adore something I am passionate! What can I say?!

How about you? If there a magazine out there that you are passionate about? [I know that Jen has one, it actually inspired this post!]


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gigi n jimmy borden

Monday 25th of November 2013

this is really good to know, I am definitely going to check this out, I have plenty of stories to tell!

Murissa @TheWanderfullTraveler

Monday 28th of January 2013

I too love Afar and have begun creating highlights and wanderlists since I found their online community. I dream about being published in their magazine one day but for now I aspire to become an Amabassador too.

Currently my newest obsession is Lucky Peach magazine created and edited by chef and general awesome character David Chang and Peter Mehan. I have recently submitted my travel poetry to their magazine and am awaiting the word, another dream of mine.


Monday 28th of January 2013

@Murissa, I just checked out some of your highlights! And I bookmarked your post about going to France, want to monitor how your plans come together! I have not heard of Lucky Peach and need to check them out, I love food so that is a no brainer - thanks for the reco!


Thursday 29th of November 2012

After struggling to offload half a lifetime supply of old Traveler mags I have switched to the internet for most browsing. Still miss the paper sometimes though.


Thursday 29th of November 2012

@L, I think I might need to do that, I currently have a pile of 30 magazines calling to be read!


Wednesday 28th of November 2012

thanks for introducing AFAR here. really helpful


Wednesday 21st of November 2012

I just heart AFAR magazine!! I got my first issue from my cousin well over a year ago. We were hanging out and she said she had gotten it from a friend and thought I might be interested. If memory serves it was the first issue. Needless to say I subscribed before I was done with that first copy. I also love their "Spin the Globe" feature and it's inspired me to do just that someday. Also a big fan of their infographics.


Thursday 29th of November 2012

@WinterSundays, Spin the Globe is my second favorite after Wandering Chef - I love it so much!