Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

I love to read about hidden gems, out of the way places. That, to me, is part of the joy of travel, discovering the less travelled places. I have been one of the few gaijin seen in some very rural parts of Japan. I’ve wandered into places in Scotland where I think that few tourists have gone. But, all of this travel doesn’t hold a candle to the experiences of two of my favourite authors (and publishers), Susanne Kries and Nicky Gardner. They provide, in several formats (a free email newsletter and their gorgeous print magazine), such gems that each time I read it, I make new plans to see yet another place they’ve recommended. This month, Wandering Educators (WE) met with Susanne Kries (SK) and Nicky Gardner (NG), the two Berlin-based women who are editors of hidden europe magazine.

WE: How did you come to start hidden europe magazine?

SK: Well, the idea had been in gestation for a while. As academics, we had long been aware that there was a lot of glitz and gloss associated with the travel industry. And even travel writers had been seduced into writing about places in promotional terms. But real places don’t need promoting. We wanted to recover the simplicity that underpinned some of best travel writing of yesteryear.

WE: So what does that mean in practice? When a new reader comes to hidden europe, what will she or he find?

NG: Whether we write about dawn in a remote coastal village in the Faroes, a street market in a Russian industrial city or life in a small mountain community in Albania, we try to give a balanced account of what makes a place tick, backed up by reasoned views and perceptive insights...

read the full interview on www.wanderingeducators.com