Today I have an exciting announcement and I’m going to introduce you to a great way to do your own travel planning (and dreaming).
First the announcement – I have been asked to become an ambassador for my favourite travel magazine AFAR and their online portal, AFAR.com. As an AFAR Ambassador, my name will be appearing in the masthead of AFAR magazine; a huge thrill and honour for me.
It all started when I was doing travel research for an up-coming trip. Andrew and I are headed to Asia in April and I was looking for some tips on where to eat and what to do in Hong Kong. After scanning through my back copies of AFAR magazine, I thought I’d take a peek at their website.
I’ve been reading AFAR magazine since it began, in 2009. Beyond featuring stunning photography and excellent travel writing, AFAR focuses on something we strongly believe in as well – experiential travel. Like AFAR, we believe travel exposes you to new people, cultures and ideas, if you open yourself up to authentic experiences.
We believe, to find the best places, whether you’re in Brussels or Bangalore, you need to ask a local. Reading AFAR and using AFAR.com is like having access to locals around the world, without ever leaving home.
Diving into AFAR.com, I did a quick search for Hong Kong and an hour later I was still reading through great, insider recommendations on what to do in the city. Not only did I have an extensive list of restaurants to try, but I had learned about a stunning temple few tourists visit and a park where locals take their pet birds for fresh air.
AFAR.com isn’t like typical travel websites, written by a staff of travel writers, (although AFAR’s writers are fantastic and supply loads of great content to the website as well). Instead AFAR.com features recommendations, known as ‘Highlights,’ from travelers and locals. So if you really want to know where the locals go for dim sum, in a particular neighbourhood, you can find out here.
So, being passionate about sharing Belgium with the world, I decided to dive in and share some of my own experiences. I began posting highlights about a few of my favourite places in Brussels, and before I knew it, I had the makings of my first Wanderlist.
A Wanderlist is a collection of Highlights around a particular theme. My theme, of course, was Undiscovered Belgium. Not long after, I realised half of my Highlights were about food (no shock there) so I also created a Belgium for Foodies Wanderlist. Well, I became a bit of a Highlight machine, adding posts from all over Belgium and beyond.
The lovely folks at AFAR took notice and asked if I would like to be a ‘local expert’ for Brussels. Promote my favourite place to an even wider audience? Of course!
A few days later, the news got even better. The AFAR staff had checked out CheeseWeb and liked what they saw. The wonderful AFAR Community Manager, Lauren, asked if I would be interested in becoming an AFAR Ambassador. Writing content for and promoting my favourite travel magazine was something I didn’t have to think twice about.
What does this mean for you, lovely readers? First, you have one more place to find tips and recommendations, on our favourite places in Belgium and beyond. Some of my Highlights will have been featured on CheeseWeb in the past, but many will be new experiences I haven’t had time to share here.
Oh, and you’ll have the opportunity to win your own digital subscription to AFAR magazine. Sound good? I thought so too! Stay tuned for contest details in a future post.
You don’t have to join AFAR.com to read the Highlights, but if you sign up, you can save your favourites to your very own Wanderlist. It’s a great way to plan your next trip, or day-dream about where to go in the future. You can even add your own Highlights and share them with us. If you have some great ones for Belgium, we’ll share them in our Wanderlist.