WELCOME STRANGER

Before there were guidebooks, 18th- and 19th-century authors wrote “stranger’s guides” personal, eccentric and intimate portrayals of place. Stranger’s Guide is a modern version of that idea—a publication that reveals the intricacies of places across the globe, through both local and foreign eyes.

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WELCOME STRANGER

Global

The Curry Chronicles

In the West, Indian food has become a bland bastardization of the complex original.

Skimming across a menu at one of Los Angeles’s critically acclaimed ethnic Indian restaurants, I didn’t bother going past the first few entries. This was possibly my thirtieth visit to an Indian restaurant in the city over the years and—as expected—it was as generic as an Indian menu could be. I had envisioned the layout before I even opened it: the “beverage” section with the omnipresent chai tea and lassi, the food part right after—samosa with various fillings, an assortment of chaats and other street foods headlining the velvet covered menu. Next, a “tandoor” section with an assortment of meats,...

South Africa

An Oyster’s Journey

Not too long ago, I was on a media junket run by the Hong Kong government....

Ethiopia

Lalibela: Under Repair

Locals decry renovation delays in Ethiopia's "new Jerusalem"

If there is one city in Ethiopia that any visitor will endeavor to see—with budget backpackers...

Mexico City

Inside the Big Pipe

Border surveillance isn't just on the US-Mexico border.

We used to think of the US-Mexico border as a line separating two countries—a place, a...

Caribbean

Hispaniola

The tense border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti

High in the steep, green mountains of central Hispaniola, near the long and porous border that...

Did You Know?

United States

Photo credit: Operation Surf / Van Curaza

Surf Therapy

Former professional big wave surfer Van Curaza started Operation Surf in 2008 with one very unique goal: to offer “surf therapy” to soldiers injured in battle. Not only does physical exercise, like surfing, feed the brain by getting oxygen flowing and building new nerve cells, scientists hypothesize that the chemical cocktail created when we surf includes dopamine and adrenaline, which could explain the rush surfers get. Curaza and his crew wanted to use what they believed was the restorative power of the ocean and surfing to help heal “injured bodies, minds, and souls.” He says he could see a transformation occur when former soldiers who had lost limbs in the theaters of war caught their first wave. Eleven years on from when he started his organization, Curaza is convinced more than ever that surfing can help their rehabilitation and offer an alternative form of nature-based therapy that could also help veterans with PTSD.

Encounters that take you there.

Before there were guidebooks, 18th- and 19th-century authors wrote “stranger’s guides” to cities and countries, pamphlets and books that combined helpful tips with particular and offbeat advice and context: the best boarding houses alongside bits of history, preferred brothels as well as ways to avoid pickpockets. These guides were far removed from a modern, sanitized Fodor’s—rather they were personal, eccentric and intimate portrayals of place.

Stranger’s Guide is a modern version of that idea—a publication that reveals the intricacies of places across the globe, through both local and foreign eyes.