It has been a mixed bag of emotions as we usher in the New Year. We had a fire in a beautiful building that happened to be a unique hotel recently opened to public, incidents of terrorism in key cities and a dreadful event in Cologne. All this at a time when people all over the world get together to rejoice, reflect and celebrate the end of a year and beginning of a new. Is this a premonition of things to expect over the next 366 days? We certainly hope not. It’s not all doom and gloom. 2016 is set to be an exciting year, despite the incidents that occurred. The pursuit of experiences & memories, the wonder lust is strong and 2016 will see more people travelling. Doors that were once closed are now open. Cuba and Myanmar are two beautiful examples. The lifting of sanctions on Cuba opens up this beautiful, once forbidden island, to the word. Its streets, music, beaches and the people are now all a hop away. From the buzzing rooftops of Havana down to the Garden of the Queen’s thriving underwater web of life, it is indeed a place where as celebrated author Graham Greene claimed “anything is possible in Havana”. Adorned with fine Spanish Colonial architecture the old parts have magnificent churches and reconstructed Spanishstyle mansions that still stand tall in the stunning plazas of Catedral, Armas and Vieja. With Myanmar’s junta agreeing to a peaceful transaction and democratic elections, the future is bright for Myanmar. Whether you call it Burma or Myanmar, it is, as Kipling wrote in 1898, ‘unlike any land you know about’. For many Burmese, Yangon remains the soul of the nation, a vibrant city bursting with colour and culture, more significant than the new purpose-built capital further north, for up on Singuttara Hill stands the country’s spiritual icon, the magnificent Shwedagon pagoda. Inspiration can be had in any place. It seems to be more powerful when on a beach, idling with a chilled mini-umbrella-topped drink, gazing through dark brown shades into the dazzling blue waters of the ocean while listening to the gentle soundtrack of waves breaking on a sandy beach. Equally powerful is reading through our Inspire Me section! Happy Readying!
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