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In my native tongue, Hindi, the word for yesterday, “kal”, is the same as the word for tomorrow. It’s simply the conjugation that makes it clear whether you are speaking of something in the past or in the future. This might sound confusing but when you remember that the notion of time in Hinduism is circular, not linear, it makes sense. (It also explains why most Indians are perpetually running late; time is a very fluid concept in my part of the world.) But this philosophy of time being cyclical is probably why I look to the past whenever I have to think of the future.
This July, I met the last two remaining northern white rhinos in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta wildlife reserve – a mother and daughter, Najin and Fatu. In a first-of-its-kind IVF experiment, their eggs have been frozen and stored in a lab in Italy, where they will be fused with the sperm of a now-deceased male northern white rhino. A female southern white rhino will play surrogate, in the hope of repopulating the species in Africa. It’s an ambitious plan, with scientists collaborating across the globe, and if it’s successful, could herald a new dawn for other highly endangered species. In the future, thanks to this incredible technology, we might be able to go back in time – to when African wildlife thrived, untouched by hunters and poachers, global warming and other man-made disasters.
When we talk about the future of travel, we so often default to thinking about space, or how technology – such as the imminent metaverse – will impact how we choose to experience the world. But to me, the most exciting stories are still happening all around us, in different corners of the globe. The conservation model in Africa is inspiring a new movement in the Argentinian wetlands; Indigenous tourism is starting up in Australia, allowing First Peoples the chance to own and manage their own land and how tourists visit it; and Saudi Arabia is slowly opening up areas of the country that were entirely off limits. Across the board, the aviation, cruise and hospitality industries are putting sustainability, inclusivity and diversity at the top of their priority lists. And most importantly, while people are rushing to get out there again to make up for two lost years, they’re being more thoughtful about their decisions, asking hard questions and realising the true value that travel has in their lives. Could we ask for a better moment to celebrate 25 years of Condé Nast Traveller; to celebrate the magic the future holds for those of us who so love exploring and discovering this beautiful world?
Thank you for reading, for subscribing, for following, for watching, for joining us at our events and for voting in our awards. It has been a true honour to guide this brand for more than a decade and to publish stories that showcase the very best experiences across the planet. Read about the 56 Bright Ideas in Travel that we are most excited about now. We will undoubtedly share many more adventures together. Somewhere between the past and the future is a present moment that we must make the most of.