Many of us at Evaneos have clocked up some serious miles and discoveries on our travels. Yet the moments that stay with us are often those we never saw coming, or when our trips were turned on their head. Here, we're sharing just a few of our favorite memories with you. We hope you'll feel like you're traveling with us from home.
Sleeping under the stars in the Damaraland desert
Shared by Delphine, editorial manager at Evaneos, always on the go or perfecting her climbing skills.
Having lived in Namibia for twenty years, our local agent Ingrid seemed to know the Damaraland desert right down to its smallest grains of sand. Her anecdotes were filled with tales of wild animals, adventures, and her unconditional love of the great outdoors.
After a hot day crossing the desert's rocky landscapes, following tracks left on the surface of the sand, we arrived at our campsite at the same time as the cool of the early evening. There were no barriers, and no fences, only a few tents in the hollow of the rocky cliffs. We were ordered not to keep food with us to avoid overnight visitors, and darkness fell to the cracklings of the fire.
Suddenly we heard a hoarse call throughout the valley: a desert lion, in the distance, perhaps denouncing our presence. After a few minutes, the rumble gave way to the stillness of the night.
We slept under thin, floaty mosquito nets, letting the starry coat of the night envelop us. It's a moment that will forever remain in my memory.
The joy of being stranded on Nosy Iranja
Shared by Julien, photo director and insatiable photographer with a passion for Japanese gastronomy.
Nosy Iranja, two islands linked together at low tide by a thin strip of sand, lies around two hours by boat from Nosy Be. You can come for the day to laze on beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see—but to really feel the magic, as our local agent advised, you need to spend at least a night here.
By early afternoon, the day-trippers had deserted the island, and we had the turquoise water, white sand, and swaying palm trees all to ourselves.
We were lucky enough to swim alongside sea turtles and families of dolphins before gathering around a table, feet in the sand, to dine on the catch of the day prepared by local fishermen. At the end of the night, we fell asleep in our hut lulled by the sound of the waves of the Indian Ocean. It was without a doubt one of the highlights of our trip to Madagascar.
A sacred hike in Ireland
Shared by Chloé, editorial manager, hiker, and electronic music addict.
There we were, my husband, our two teenagers and I, at the foot of Mount Brandon, ready for the 10-mile hike to its peak some 3000 feet above the Dingle Peninsula. The route came highly recommended by Florian, the local agent who organized our trip, and we were promised splendid views from the top.
We set off following the pilgrimage route, which pays homage to Saint Brendan, who is said to have seen the North American coast from the top of the mountain. As we follow the steep path, we see groups gather at 12 white crosses to rest and listen to the songs of the pilgrims.
At the 10th cross, the sky clouds over and the wind picks up. By the time we reach the summit, we're in the eye of a storm. The temperature drops to 43°F and we can't see two yards ahead. It's too cold to linger for the view, so we walk along the ridge with caution, cliff faces plummeting towards the sea beside us.
Just as we lose all hope of seeing the incredible views, the clouds part. The ocean appears, sparkling under the sun right up to the horizon. It's magic. And so unexpected that we remain hypnotized by the beauty of the landscape. It's not only a fitting reward for the climb but an experience we'll remember for many years to come.
Talking to elephants in Thailand
Shared by Emilie, marketing director, data lover, and traveling mom.
Last November, we took our first big family trip with our 4 and 6-year-old daughters. We chose Thailand, knowing it was the perfect destination to explore safely with young children.
On the advice of our local agent, on our 5th day we headed for Chiang Rai to visit an elephant reserve. Thanks to their knowledge, we were able to ensure it was a sanctuary that treats the animals with respect, given that sadly many elephants are still exploited. Visiting in the quieter rainy season, we were even able to be alone with the animals throughout the day.
Our daughters learned to approach the elephants first in the reserve's large park. After seeing them bathe, and learning how to prepare their favorite dishes, by the end of the day we had plucked up the courage to feed them tamarind pancakes, sticky rice, and bananas by hand. It was one of the most beautiful moments of our trip, and not just for the little ones.
An adventure on horseback in the mountains of Central Asia
Shared by Lucas, web developer and lover of useless knowledge.
Central Asia conjures so many images: the epic landscapes, the steppes, the yurts, the horses, the fermented milk... It's also a land, much to my bewilderment and that of my friends before we traveled to Kyrgyzstan, of many syllables!
On the advice of Assel, our local agent, we planned to cross the Chon-Kemin pass over two days accompanied by two guides and a cook. We quickly left the marked paths found ourselves lost in the mountains. We didn’t see another human for two days, only breathtaking landscapes and flower-scattered meadows.
The trek wasn’t easy, traversing rivers and ending in wild nights, but it only reminded us of the power of nature. It’s hard to describe the incredible feeling of crossing the pass and reaching the next valley, where through a miracle of logistics, two cars sat alone at the end of a dirt road waiting for us to continue our journey.
Sunrise at Pico do Arieiro in Madeira
Shared by Marine, UX Designer and illustrator of her best hiking experiences.
We left our guest house, hosted by Carlos our local agent, at the crack of dawn to be dropped off at the top of Pico do Arieiro and wait for sunrise. Only the breakfast he prepared helped us contain our impatience.
The sun's first rays took just seconds to illuminate the early-morning clouds. The mountains, first bathed in pastel shades, were quickly saturated in bronze and gold.
Energized, we set off to tackle one of the most beautiful hikes on the island, and one of the most beautiful hikes in my life, to the summit of Pico Ruivo. The climb itself, and the majesty of the landscape, will stay with me forever.
"It's 7pm, and I'm still waiting"
Shared by Clément, brand director who likes to see the earth from above.
It's 7pm and the sun set more than three hours ago. It's unsettling, but then we are in Swedish Lapland, in the middle of December, when there are only a few hours of sunshine a day. It's thanks to this veil of darkness that I wait patiently, at the window of my wooden cabin.
I am in Kiruna, nearly 500 miles from Stockholm, alone on the edge of a frozen lake. Its surface is covered in 30 inches of ice, almost all of which I'm assured I can walk on. So... I decide to stay at the window instead.
Anyway, there's no need for me to walk very far. I'm looking up expectantly at the sky, hoping that the clouds and nature play ball.
It's 7.10pm, when the temperature hits -13°F outside, that the lights begin to flicker and I forget my fear of the lake. The sky turns green in an instant, sparkling and undulating as if by magic. I tremble with cold but also at the magnitude of the spectacle. It's nature at its most serene and wild at the same time. As I watch the northern lights dance some thousand miles above me, I know I'll never forget this feeling.
By 11 pm, I come back inside to warm up. I've taken 200 photos, 180 out of focus, but I'm not worried. The electric emotion is the only memory I need.
A last word...
In difficult times like those we're going through today, we believe it's important to celebrate and share these moments of joy and adventure that travel offers us. We hope they have brightened your day and reminded you of your own memories. We'd love to hear them if you tag us on Instagram.