Lori Barbely For the past several years, ISLANDS photo editor Lori Barbely has been the key person who brings in the spectacular island images that readers love. Usually she assigns top travel photo- graphers to capture stories, but sometimes she gets behind the camera herself. That's what she did on her trip to Maui for "Intimate Escapes" (January/February 2009 issue p. 36), which ended up being a culinary escape too. "My husband, Kevin, and I pretty much ate our way through west and south Maui," Lori says. "In some of their food, there's such a blend of cultures: Korean, Filipino, Portuguese, Hawaiian, Chinese and Japanese. Apply those styles to the freshest fish, add a beautiful sunset, and it's like nowhere else." But her favorite part of this Maui trip was how the island felt like home to them. "We want to move there someday." See her latest photo tip.
Bernadette Bernon It's easy to understand why "Secret Islands" (September/October 2008 issue p. 46) contributor Bernadette Bernon visited the tiny Providencia Island off Colombia four times as part of a six-year sailing expedition across the Caribbean with her husband, Douglas, if you've heard about a particular lunch she had there. "One day we met a guy, Roland, who said he had a restaurant on the beach," she says. "The next day, on the most picture-perfect beach, we found a beaming Roland, but no restaurant. He had fresh fish just for us and was barbecuing it on a homemade grill with homemade sauces. It was one of the best meals I've ever had." Her sailing adventures also included a rescue of real-life castaways, which Bernadette wrote about in "Lost by Accident, Found by Fate" (April/May 2008 issue p. 32).
Brian Berusch After his first visit to Hawaii, writer Brian Berusch knew he was destined to live in the Pacific islands. Following stints in New York, Switzerland and Italy, to name a few, he made it happen. Four years after acquiring a Hawaii ZIP code, Berusch is even more smitten with the islands. In his work on "Farm-Fresh Fine Dining" (December 2008 issue p. 33), Berusch discovered two new favorite places: the Hamakua coast and the Ka'u district, both on the Big Island. "The diversity of all the islands consistently presents unexpected treasures and colorful personalities to me," he says. "Take the rolling hillsides of Ka'u -- ideal for growing coffee. Yet just an hour away, Hawaii's best tomatoes and mushroom varietals are coming out of the lush Hamakua coast. Toss in the fact that I can hike to a hidden cove and discover ancient petroglyphs the same day I sample world-class dining, and I consider Hawaii the best of all worlds."
João Canziani To photographer João Canziani, traveling to Fernando de Noronha for "Pure Brazil" (September/ October 2008 issue p. 58) seemed like stepping into a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean. "The rock formations and beaches are so beautiful and unique that it almost looks like a movie set," he says of his second visit to this island. João, a native of Lima, Peru, even got to watch a turtle hatching, a personal highlight. João and ISLANDS would like to thank the National Marine Park of Fernando de Noronha and environmental group ICMBio for permission to take photos for this feature story.
Brown W. Cannon III In his award-winning career, California-based Brown has photographed islands from Mexico's San Benito to Madagascar (pictured left). His camera always opens doors, including on the Greek isle of Pátmos. There for the photo essay "Lost in Time" (September/October 2009 issue p. 46), Brown had the Kanelis and Grillakis families welcome him with open arms and fresh calamari. Follow in his footsteps as he captures the warm welcome and fascinating people of this quiet, traditional destination that few U.S. travelers visit. "The farther you go from mainstream tourism," Brown says, "the more likely you are to feel like you're just hanging out in someone's home."
Jad Davenport Writer and photographer Jad Davenport always brings back a fascinating story for ISLANDS, whether inspirational accounts from the Caribbean ("The Resurrection of Montserrat," June 2008 issue p. 62) or images of South Georgia's penguins ("Best Islands to Photograph," June 2008 issue p. 92). Most recently, Jad had the chance to find the elusive and rare "spirit bear" on a trip to Canada's Princess Royal Island ("Secrets of the Forest," April/May 2009 issue p. 68). "When I was very young, my mother took me to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science," he says. "I stood in front of the diorama of those bears, which science didn't even know about until the 20th century, and imagined what it would be like to be on an island so wild. This place in Canada defines wild." He was a guest judge in our annual Photo Contest and is working on a book, The Last Wild Islands.
Bronwen Dickey "I have nothing against lattes and Wi-Fi hot spots when I'm home," says New Yorker Bronwen Dickey. "But when I travel, I want to give myself over to the world I'm in and try to adapt to it, rather than expecting it to adapt to me." With this attitude, she packed her bags and headed to Palau for "Into the Shallows" (April/May 2008 issue p. 72). Bronwen had never been to a Pacific island before Palau -- not even Hawaii -- and she wasn't about to let a little typhoon and second- degree sunburn ruin her time. "Living in a place like New York, sometimes you can get so caught up in just paying the rent, you forget what it's like to go out and play in caves, do cliff jumps or swim in lakes. I love that stuff. I never got over my tomboy phase." Next on her wish list? Papua New Guinea. "It strikes me as being one of the last places where you can feel so out of your element that you just surrender to the experience of the place."
Macduff Everton The prodigious career of photographer Macduff Everton began on an island, of course. While visiting Denmark's Bornholm island as a 17-year-old, he picked up a Kodak Pony camera that a frustrated tourist had abandoned on the street. Since then, Macduff has seen the world through a lens. Today, with a plethora of camera equipment, Macduff has traveled all over the globe, even cruising to Papua New Guinea with writer-wife Mary Heebner for "Papua New Guinea Up Close" (April/May 2008 issue p. 78). Images from his latest travels can be seen in the photo essay "Finding an Island's True Face" (December 2008 issue p. 56) and in the 2009 ISLANDS Calendar. "I'm usually intrigued, wherever I go," he says. "In other cultures, I try to find out what is the ordinary and what is the extraordinary. People are going to look at the same photograph differently, which I can't control. What I can control is that they'll look at the picture in the first place."
Ramin Ganeshram When food-writer-turned-chef Ramin Ganeshram considers traveling to a destination, there's only one condition. "Ninety-five percent of the time when I travel, it's because of the desire to explore a food trend, food tradition or food product," she says. "If the food isn't good, I'm not going." Familiar tastes have inspired her most delectable island journeys: Her favorite food destinations include the isle of Manhattan, her hometown; and the Caribbean island of Trinidad, her native land. As for Jamaica, where she traveled for "The Flavor of Jamaica" (March 2008 issue p. 78), Ganeshram's favorite dinner ingredient wasn't on the menu at all. "The best part of this trip was not just the food but the folks who shared the table with me. I feel I have great friends there now." Ganeshram is in the process of launching a website and putting the finishing touches on a novel, due out this year. She is also the author of Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago, (Hippocrene, $29.95).
Jeff Greenwald Veteran writer Jeff Greenwald has traveled, quite literally, all over the world in his 25-year career. He just returned from Machu Picchu and Morocco and recently took his mother to India for her 75th birthday. But he had no idea what to expect of Tasmania before traveling there for "Sympathy for the Devil" (June 2008 issue p. 50). "It feels like a world away," he says. "The night sky is very different in the Southern Hemisphere, and the stars are just gigantic. It's like being in a planetarium." Other reasons Jeff suggests to travel to Tasmania: friendly people, crazy wildlife and the oh-so-fabulous hot chocolate of the House of Anvers.
Aaron Gulley Travel writer Aaron Gulley has the enviable assignment of "Eating Up the Philippines" (November 2009 issue, p. 68), where he traveled to the island of Luzon to explore the Filipino culture and cuisine. "With more than 7,000 islands, it's easy to get bogged down planning an itinerary to the Philippines. My advice: Don't stress it. In three weeks, I visited three islands, and they were all amazing. Filipinos are the most kind, accommodating people anywhere, so you'll have an amazing time wherever you land. Be sure to eat a roast suckling pig. It's like turkey, only way better: moist and sweet, and the skin crunches like peanut brittle. I'd fly back over tomorrow to eat another of Glenda Barretto's lechon."
Kendall Hamilton After ISLANDS considered thousands of places for "Best Islands to Live On" (July/August 2009 issue p. 34), this Colorado-based editor helped further hone our data and investigated the best of the best. The rest is up to you. "Before you move," Kendall says, "do some soul-searching. Do you want to be far away from everything or just feel like you are? Want a social life, or want to be left alone? Need all the comforts of home or just a hammock? There's an island out there for everyone. None of the expats I interviewed had any regrets." And thanks to this assignment, neither does Kendall: "I now have a lot of very exotic couches to crash on." But he can't decide on the best island for himself. "I wanted to move to the island of whomever I was talking to."
Jen Judge On her trip to the British Virgin Islands for "Virgin Territory" (September/October 2008 issue p. 68) and her video essay, New Mexico-based photographer Jen Judge experienced sweet serenity, welcoming people ... and screaming muscles. "I'm typically game to try just about anything, but a kayaker I am not," she says. "At Mango Bay , we got our first chance to paddle. The trip out was incredible, all graceful movements and easy paddling. But when we turned around and faced the wind, we realized that the BVI aren't the sailing capital of the world for nothing. I paddled as hard as I could, but felt like I was taking one stroke forward and 10 strokes back." Returning to shore, she did slip comfortably into "island time."
Bob Krist Former newspaper photographer Bob Krist is somewhat of a Big Island expert, undertaking numerous travels there. But the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands has never failed to impress him with its natural beauty and "really cool folks," as he puts it -- especially this time around, when he met up with Hawaiian historian Danny Akaka and chef extraordinaire Olelo pa'a Faith Ogawa for "The Aloha Code" (July/August 2008 issue p. 76) and video essay. "Traipsing around in a field of petroglyphs after dark with Danny chanting to keep the gods appeased started off as kind of a funny experience, but the longer he chanted and the darker it got, we started to feel the spirituality of the place," Bob says. "I am so pleased to call folks like Danny and Faith my friends now." Bob's latest book on digital travel photographer is scheduled for release in fall 2008.
R. Ian Lloyd Photographer R. Ian Lloyd is certainly no stranger to Australia, having spent much of his life there (combined with 23 years in Singapore). But until he was sent on assignment for "The Smallest Getaway" (June 2008 issue p. 72), he had never been to Wilson Island, just off Australia's east coast. "Wilson was a surprise because it was so small, intimate and private," he says. "One night I had the whole place to myself and felt like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, with the agreeable difference that I had two gourmet chefs and a fantastic wine list to choose from." With only 12 guests at a time on Wilson, Ian quickly learned that this was an island owned by the wildlife. "The birds are very noisy at night, so the earplugs they provide there really came in handy," he says. "I went during turtle mating season. One night three giant green turtles struggled up the beach to lay their eggs. The next day the steps to the library tent were fenced in to protect the eggs laid there. Humans are definitely the guests on Wilson."
Matthew Miller ISLANDS features editor Matthew Miller traveled through four Hawaiian islands in 18 days for "Hawaii Revealed" (March 2009 issue p. 36), a dream trip with a packed itinerary. In fact, the endless island possibilities sometimes overwhelmed, leading to a feeling he calls "the Hawaii effect." "One awesome sight or activity gets folded into the next," he says. Such a layered moment came while learning to stand-up paddle on Maui. "Blowing past Pa'ia, where I was supposed to stop," Matthew says, "I looked back and saw a perfect rainbow over the town. Despite my struggling to control the board in growing exhaustion, the vision just popped. Wow. I was gasping -- and grinning." Overall, he felt grateful. "Being there inspires admiration for the world." Watch his video of this Hawaii Dream Trip.
Linny Morris When ISLANDS needs spectacular photos of the Hawaiian Islands, we often turn to one of its native daughters, photographer Linny Morris. Having grown up on Oahu's Kailua Bay, Linny has a veteran eye for the islands, yet she keeps her images fresh. "My mind is a giant Etch A Sketch," she says. "Each time I set forth, I give it a massive shake to erase preconceived notions of what I've seen before." For "Hawaii Revealed" (March 2009 issue p. 36), Linny found new angles atop the (very cold) Mauna Kea summit on the Big Island; along the Hanakapi'ai hike on Kauai; inside the Bishop Museum on Oahu; and almost everywhere else she looked. "I strive to show some- thing authentic that others may not have access to," she says. Her favorite photos? "Anything with an element of mystery." Also check out here work in "Road Trip Hawaii" (March 2008 issue p. 56) and in her book The Hawaiian House Now (Abrams, $40).
Cimeron Morrissey Bali was the last stop on freelance writer Cimeron Morrissey's two-and-a-half-month, around-the- world adventure. "Bali felt like a sumptuous, decadent -- but healthy -- dessert after a fabulous meal," says the native Californian. For "Eat, Pray, Love -- and Buy New Teeth" (November 2008 issue p. 36), she found the medicine man made famous in the best-selling book Eat, Pray, Love and accidentally attracted some inquisitive jungle creatures in a rather Dr. Doolittle fashion. "I love animals, and they can sense it. In Monkey Forest, several monkeys climbed on me. While a female sat on my shoulder and groomed my hair, a male monkey took a peek down my top -- perhaps to see if I was hiding bananas. The female monkey smacked his head and he jumped off with a whine. Even the monkeys welcomed us into the Bali family!" See her latest photo album.
Megan Padilla ISLANDS former senior editor Megan Padilla has done her share of island travel, on and off the job. But her trip to Borneo for the ISLANDS Blue List (December 2008 issue p. 36) stands out. "Borneo has provided the most memories," she says. She'll never forget taking the inaugural 20-foot leap on a tibau swing at the Pesta Kaul thanksgiving ceremony and waking up at 5 a.m. to make the morning seaside offering with a village elder. But her fondest memory is how she and her husband were won over by Borneo's jungle. "At first the jungle terrified us," she admits. "But by the end of our trek with the local crew, we became enamored of the jungle. Now we wish we could have a re-do of that trek. Maybe someday we will."
Raymond Patrick It might have been U2 and Van Morrison who first drew photographer Raymond Patrick to Ireland (the musicians are among his favorites), but the island's everyday people really made him fall in love. "The Irish like to live an authentic life and seem to really enjoy their lives," he says of his trip for "Land o' Plenty" (January/February 2009 issue p. 56). "I was left with a strong impression that they've been through a lot of hard times but have come out of it with their sense of humor intact. I met really great people who were laughing the whole time." One such person was Giana Ferguson from Gubbeen Farmhouse Products, who saved the Albuquerque- born Patrick after he drove in circles in Ireland's unmarked greenery. "I was ready to give up and go back to my hotel, but I finally called her," Patrick says. She came and got me, made me dinner, poured a glass of wine and introduced me to her family. She had an infectious, positive energy that I thought was great. Everyone in Ireland was like that."
Tony Perrottet Writer Tony Perrottet was, frankly, quite worried that the 5 acres of Wilson Island just wouldn't cut it for his feature "The Smallest Getaway" (June 2008 issue p. 72). After all, his biggest personality flaw, he admits, is the "need for perpetual motion." "I went out swimming to a buoy that marked the prime snorkeling spot but somehow missed it and kept paddling way offshore," he says. "People back on the beach were looking at me worried, wondering if I was trying to swim back to the coast." But once he settled in, Tony ended up enjoying his trip to the coral cay in Australia's Great Barrier Reef so much that he extended his stay. Back in Manhattan, Tony says it took him about five minutes to return to his normal mania: "I do sometimes calm myself by imagining the hammock in my Wilson tent." Tony's fourth book, Napoleon's Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped, is a historical anecdote combining humor, celebrity, sex and death. Watch Tony's video of the quest for Napoleon's privates.
Jennica Peterson ISLANDS contributing editor Jennica Peterson was born an explorer at heart. "I've always taken the long way home," she says, even as "home" constantly changed. Having moved 15 times and traveled to more than 30 countries, Jennica was the perfect expert to compile our list of the "Ten Greatest Islands to Call Home" (July/August 2008 issue p. 42). The hardest part for her was picking which island she would choose to live on. "One day I'd tell my husband we should move to Culebra; the next day I'd say Vanua Levu; the day after that it would be Singapore. I was serious every time, too," she says. And after countless hours of intense research, our expert (now semisituated in Oakland, CA) has some good news. "It's easier than you think to make the island move happen. You don't have to be inherently rich or already retired. You just have to be determined and have an adventurous spirit."
Edward Readicker-Henderson Freelance writer Edward Readicker-Henderson's thriving career began on an island with ISLANDS. "True story: I was living in Japan, reading ISLANDS, when I decided that this was what I was going to do for a living," he says. Since that decision 20 years ago, Edward has written about destinations all over the world, from the Canary Islands to Yap, Scotland to New Zealand. In each locale, the smallest details stood out, and that was true of his latest trip for "Elements of Home" (January/February 2009 issue p. 68), when he puddle-jumped to five Tahitian islands. "The coral atolls are an amazing, dotted-line landscape," he says. "It's incredible the way the water breaks in every- where." Even in such a magical place, he noticed the little things. "I saw a turtle swim- ming in a lagoon in Bora-Bora. It's good to know the wild is still there."
Christine Richard In her previous travels through Malaysia, Christine Richard noticed a pattern. "Whenever I liked the food, it turned out the chef was from Penang," says the former editor of ISLANDS. "I wanted to see the island that bred these chefs." So she did, traveling there for the first time for "Penang on Five Senses a Day" (November 2008 issue p. 66) and falling in love with, well, most of the food. "The durian stands in the countryside were pretty cool, and the nyonya cuisine was especially intriguing, but I never fully explored what the heck convolvulus is." (Read her story to find out why.) For all of Christine's trips, the New Orleans native now living in San Francisco looks to explore art, beauty, culture and, of course, food. That's why she travels: "To see what's out there. To learn. To really live."
Jace Rivers After spending years as a graphic designer, Jace Rivers decided to pursue his ultimate passion which is in photography, and that's when it took off. Fast-forward a few years, and Jace has visited 35 countries and taken thousands of photographs -- including one in Palawan that won him the Grand Prize dream trip to Fiji in the ISLANDS 20th Annual Photo Contest (June 2009 issue, p. 34). "I'm doing what I was meant to do," he says. "I'm happiest when I'm out there in the world exploring different cultures." ISLANDS was lucky to reach Jace about his prize; he was in Bangkok on his way to dive into the jungles of Borneo for a few weeks, camera gear in tow, of course. "Southeast Asia keeps pulling me back," he says. "There are still wild places left on the planet. That's where I want to be."
Kim Steutermann Rogers Longtime Kauai resident Kim Steutermann Rogers liked stand-up paddle surfing better than traditional surfing from the beginning. "At least with paddling, I didn't get pummeled by waves." Getting to learn from the best, Titus Kinimaka, for "Surfing Safari" (April/May 2008 issue pg. 62) was the icing on the cake. "Titus is a legend of big-wave surfing, an ambassador of the sport and the island. I was honored he would take time to give me -- a rank beginner -- a few of his tips. Meeting Titus not only made me a better stand-up paddler but a better person." Kim counts her blessings on Kauai -- from the mountains to the sea, the beaches to the forests -- and she loves the close-knit feeling this small island provides. "Once you meet someone, they turn out to be your neighbor," she says. "Take Titus. He lives about a mile from me on the other side of the valley."
Ty Sawyer As both the editor of Sport Diver magazine and ISLANDS editor-at-large, Ty Sawyer travels from the Seychelles to Vanuatu to Dominica with an air tank. But his favorite under water moments can happen when he leaves the tank on the dive boat and simply grabs a snorkel. He shares highlights in "Best Islands for Snorkeling" (March 2009 issue p. 88). Memorable encounters include swimming mere feet from a great white shark off Santa Catalina; seeing sea turtles mating off Madagascar; and finding humpback whale calves in Rurutu in the Islands of Tahiti. "None of that happens when you're diving because you create bubbles and you run out of air," Ty says. "Much of my life is spent underwater, and nothing beats the intimacy of snorkeling."
Joan Scala "I am never happier than when I'm photographing a moment in time that will disappear in seconds," says Joan Scala, grand-prize winner of the ISLANDS 19th Annual Photo Contest (June 2008 issue p. 40). Her contest entry did just that, capturing from a hovering helicopter the essence of Bora-Bora at the perfect second. The photo brought her a two-page showcase in this issue and a five-night stay at Oahu's Outrigger Reef on the Beach. There's another reason why this partner in a Pennsylvania executive search firm earned the grand prize: "I have been accused of having my camera surgically attached to my body -- it is always with me when we travel."
Ted Alan Stedman Faced with the raw, expansive land of Alaska's Admiralty Island, longtime freelance writer and aspiring photographer Ted Alan Stedman had to downshift from his fast-paced Denver mentality. "The silence there makes your environmental sensibilities kick in, to the point where you say, 'Hey, this place is special and worth protecting,'" he says. For "Alone in the Wild" (April/May 2008 issue pg. 58), Stedman gained the respect of local Alaskans when he ventured out into bear country to camp and kayak. "About 99 percent of visitors to these parts arrive on cruise ships for the day and do the typical tourist thing. In my case, I got to know the land and to experience it on its own terms. When locals heard what I was doing, they considered me one of their own -- a more hardy breed." Read his latest travel blog.
Shelly Strazis Photographer Shelly Strazis couldn't believe the sheer size of the starfish in Panama's Bocas del Toro. "Starfish Beach was typical looking -- calm waters, sandy beach, nice view -- until I started walking in the shallow water," says the Floridian-turned-Californian. "Then I saw huge starfish scattered all around me." Her starfish images serve as bookends for "Natural Bonds" (June 2009 issue p. 54), on the quiet archipelago that Caribbean travelers tend to overlook. Shelly excels at capturing island life and untouched beauty; the islands of Bocas del Toro were full of inspiration. "I loved the mix of Ngobe Bugle Indians, Afro-Caribbean and Latin cultures," she says. "It was a new discovery on each island, which added to the uniqueness of the shoot." She also adds one more reason to go: "The fresh lobster was fantastic."
Chris Tauber ISLANDS editor Chris Tauber recently compiled our readers' favorites and travel reviews for the annual "Best of the Caribbean" special guide (November 2009 issue p. 36). "When we asked readers to share why they love the Caribbean, answers came in the form of poems, memories of honeymoons and an acronym for 'CARIBBEAN' ('E' was for 'euphoric'). We compiled the best reader responses for this issue. What I love is that there's just too much to experience. One trip, I'm on a private island with my wife in the Exumas; then I'm staying with my son at a treehouse in Jamaica and rafting down the Rio Grande. I can't wait for what's next." To find out more on his stay at Jamaica's Kanopi House, see his trip report and photos.
Jon Whittle Staff photographer Jon Whittle thought he had a typical "take some beach photos" assignment to Grenada for "What We Love About the Caribbean" (November 2008 issue p. 44). But in the jungle, camera protected in a garbage bag, he trudged behind his Rasta guide as they navigated through the thick of the Grand Etang Forest Reserve. Reaching the sixth of the Seven Sisters Waterfalls, 35 feet above the pool, Jon knew this was the real story. "I took a breath and pushed away from the stone with all my might," he says. "The world became a green, vertical blur as I dropped into the rainforest basin, trying to balance my fall by swinging my arms. Then just before the surface, I tucked into a neat pencil shape and crashed into the water. A beach is a beach, but getting to jump off a waterfall just doesn't happen every day."
Joe Yogerst Well-traveled throughout Indonesia and southeast Asia (having visited Penang, Langkawi, Bali, Java and Lombok, to name a few), Joe Yogerst knew what to eat while writing "What is Sumatra Hiding?" (July/August issue 2008 p. 64). "I love Indonesian cuisine and spent the entire time digging into my favorite dishes, like nasi goreng and beef rendang," he says. But the long- time ISLANDS contributor and San Diego native had never been to Sumatra -- even though he lived on Singapore for five years with Sumatra visible in the distance. So on his first trip, Joe often spent 10 to 12 hours per day on the road, trying to cover the entire island. "Almost all of those other islands I've traveled to have one distinct culture. But Sumatra, given its vast size, is home to at least half a dozen ancient cultures that could easily be countries on their own." Read his latest travel blog.