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Underground London

In the rush of a modern city, who pauses to ponder what exists beneath?

What lies beneath has an ominous aspect to us ground dwellers. We appreciate being able to see a horizon; even better if it’s one with a bit of height thrown in. We are, after all, descended from apes who lived in the trees—hence, our Tower of Babelesque obsession with taller and taller buildings stretching toward the heavens. The living aren’t meant to linger underground—that’s the terrain of the dead, where the Greek hero and adventurer Odysseus cuts a trench a cubit long and a cubit broad into which he pours dark blood from the slit throats of sacrificial animals to...


How Tourism Changed Bali

The Indonesian island reconsiders development at any cost

There are few places in the world so deeply connected to and dependent on tourism as...


#ShutDown the Internet

A tax on internet use in some African countries is stifling dissent

If you google Zimbabwe this week, you’ll read about the social unrest that has sparked when...

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Photo credit: jbdodane


Osun Sacred Grove

Located on the edge of Osogbo, Nigeria, the Osun Sacred Grove became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Yet just nine years later it was added to World Monuments Watch’s list of historical sites in peril. This grove is believed to be one of the last of its kind, with increased urban development and pollution slowly destroying a centuries-long tradition of setting aside sections of land for the orisha and other spirits. Osun’s sacred grove holds various shrines, artwork and other places of worship dedicated to her, as well as a natural herbal pharmacy containing over 400 different species of plants. The nearby town of Osogbo is home to a 700-year-old festival honoring the goddess, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.

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 nonprofit publication designed to reveal the intricacies of places across the globe, through both local and foreign eyes.