Letter from the Publisher
My father recently passed away. His death was very sudden, and it caused me to pause and contemplate how quickly life can change.
Dad didn’t have his affairs in order to say the least, and the amount of unnecessary stuff that he had accumulated was incredible. More startling was the fact that he did not have a plan for the end of his life. His best friend later told me that Dad thought that he was going to live forever and that there was time ahead to get matters in order.
Things were not good between us, and I have had a hard time sorting out which grief is the worst: the shock of what just happened, the ache of what had never been or the void of what will never be. My mom asked me to write Dad’s obituary, and this forced me to reflect on my own life and how I want to live and be remembered.
The outcome of this ordeal has inspired me to become more intentional about my choices. It has also prompted me to get my own business in order, to have a better plan for my family and for the next stage of life. I have decided to take more time off work and see more of the world. So I started making a list of all the places I want to visit. But then I realized that ideas like travel bucket lists and books like 1,000 Places to See Before You Die are flawed — it’s just unrealistic to see that many places. Instead, I settled on a few destinations and began to focus on when and how to go.
Welcome to the travel issue of Artful Living, one of our favorite annual themes. It is chock-full of ideas and inspiration on where to go, from South Africa to the Galápagos Islands to a James Beard Foundation cruise. Our goal is to inspire our readers with a fine collection of vacation possibilities.
Be sure to check out our two-part feature about power in the North. Anne Roderique-Jones has written about some of our most talented people. Although some of these influencers no longer live around here, their experiences here helped shape their highly successful careers. And don’t miss Rudy Maxa’s play-by-play of the region’s greatest falls from grace.
Speaking of imaginative stars, we thank Mandy Ebert, our creative director, for elevating our artistic expression and bringing an improved level of design and sophistication to our pages.
It’s a new year and a good time to get matters in order, pare down, settle relationships and become more purposeful. Consider planning a trip somewhere new or returning to your favorite destination. The best travels often involve spontaneous and serendipitous experiences that aren’t easily described or replicated.