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The Edge | 23rd November 2009

Travel: Nomadic Instincts

A travel planner who has a penchant for esoteric places. Retrace the footsteps of travel writer Wilfred Thesiger, have a private dinner amid the sandstone splendour of Angkor Wat or mingle with the reindeer people (the tsaatans) of Mongolia. At Urbane Nomad, you can expect precisely such travel itineraries and more. But rather than being another set-up that professes to offer “unique” destinations and experiences, Urbane Nomad is truly a travel agency with a difference. Its name is already indicative of this fact. Singaporean founder, Hajar Ali, says she chose the word “urbane” because it came closest to summing up the philosophy of Urbane Nomads in a single word. He adds: “The word ‘nomads’ alludes to our state of mind and the reason we travel — from Pico Iyer’s pejorative ‘full-time citizens of nowhere’ in his book the Global Soul, to Bruce Chatwin’s Nomadic Alternative, where he had expanded on Pascal’s theory about ‘how all man’s unhappiness stemmed from a single cause, his inability to remain quietly in a room’.”

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