Kia looks out across the Drake Passage

On travelling solo as a small brown woman

“People think they can push me around – sometimes literally,” says Kia as she reflects on the trials of travelling solo

I am not one of those women who move through the world looking sleek, elegant, aloof and inscrutable. You know the ones. They’re usually wearing clothes that are ‘dry clean only’ and their wrists drip with expensive accessories. Men find them attractive but also a little frightening – as if they might turn you to stone if they deigned to look at you.

A complete travel photography gear guide

We’re often asked about the gear we take on our travels. In response, we have written a detailed and complete travel photography gear guide

I have been involved in film or photography throughout the course of my career: initially as a camera operator, video editor and AV engineer, later as a teacher in digital media, and now as a travel writer.

India couple smiling at the camera – happiest countries in the world 2024

Ranked: happiest countries in the world 2024

Finland is the happiest country in the world for the seventh consecutive year. We take a look at the latest World Happiness Report

Happiness is a nebulous thing; hard to grasp and harder to hold onto. Scientists, economists and philosophers have defined it through the ages as a combination of different things, among them health, wealth, companionship and security.

how to choose hiking boots

How to choose hiking boots: a beginner’s guide

Our guide on how to choose hiking boots will ensure you enjoy every step of the trail. Here’s how to pick the perfect pair

Footwear is a hiker’s most critical piece of gear. Inappropriate or poorly fitted boots or shoes can spoil a day on the trail and have you wincing with every step. But with a dizzying array of choices, from lightweight trail running shoes to double-layered plastic mountaineering boots and everything in between, knowing where to start can be bewildering.

cleanest air in the world iceland

Which country has the cleanest air in the world?

The countries with the cleanest air in the world have been ranked in a new report. We take a look at the results

The Pacific Island nation of French Polynesia has the world’s cleanest air, according to the latest World Air Quality Report from IQAir. The report ranks 134 countries and territories by the level of fine particulate matter present in the air.

How to pass the PADI Open Water Diver course

A step-by-step guide on how to pass the PADI Open Water Diver course

In theory, an expert diver should be writing this post. Logically, he or she could tell you what to expect, give you insider tips and prepare you for the challenge ahead. That said, I have one distinct advantage over the experts: I know exactly how hard it is for nervous first-timers.

15 best hiking apps to download in 2024

We share the best hiking apps to download this year, from navigation and route planning to first aid and stargazing

Occasionally, when Kia and I are driving somewhere remote – the Kalahari in Namibia, say, or the Australian Outback – she will marvel at the fact that travellers used to do this with only paper maps. Unlike me, Kia grew up in inner city London and had little opportunity to venture into the outdoors. As such, she never learnt how to use a compass and map or how to build a campfire, or any number of the skills a frequent hiker should have.

Borobudur in Indonesia, the most multilingual country

95 most inspirational travel quotes ever penned

Our favourite inspirational travel quotes have encouraged us to travel with abandon over the years. Perhaps they will do the same for you…

For us, there is no such thing as luxury travel; travel is, by default, a luxury. It is a privilege provided by the country of our birth, a privilege that many are not as fortunate to enjoy.

Sometimes, we have to pinch ourselves at just how ridiculous our lives have become: an ex-teacher and jobbing writer travelling the world for a living. It is absurd, it is astonishing, it is luxury.

japan has the most powerful passport

Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2024

In 2024, the world’s most powerful passports are France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Spain. Holders can enter 194 nations visa-free

It’s official. Globally, we are on the move again. In 2023, international travel got going again with arrivals reaching 87% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 975 million tourists travelled internationally during the first nine months of 2023, an increase of 38% on the same period of 2022.

Most beautiful mountains in the US: Grand Teton

21 most beautiful mountains in the US

The most beautiful mountains in the US are a contentious subject, for this is a land that brims with beauty. We scoured the states and whittled them down to a list of 21

Legendary climber​​ Reinhold Messner said that there are three rules of mountaineering: “It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.” 

12 Christmas gifts for travellers

Our tried-and-tested list of Christmas gifts for travellers, be they hikers, shutterbugs, adrenaline junkies or culture vultures

This year has been a bit of a transitional one at Atlas & Boots. We are now settled in our new home in East London and happier than we’ve ever been despite the change in our finances (hello, London prices). Things feel settled, but that’s not to say it hasn’t been busy.

smartphone showing the best travel apps

20 best travel apps to download in 2024

A curated list of the best travel apps, from the latest tools that keep us connected to old favourites we’ve used for years

As travel writers who have been to over a hundred countries, we are often asked about the best travel apps that we can’t do without.

Ama Dablam is a thing of beauty

30 most beautiful mountains in the world

The most beautiful mountains in the world have captivated climbers for centuries. Here, we examine their lethal appeal

“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you,” said John Muir, the renowned naturalist, author and environmental philosopher.

If our resident seven-summit hopeful is anything to go by, Muir makes a valid point. Those who spend time in the mountains seem to be driven by a deeper force.

A trekker using poles uphill on a mountain

Does using trekking poles really help?

A new study suggests that using trekking poles may not conserve energy, but does “save the legs”. We dig deeper into the science

On a recent trek through the Fann Mountains of Tajikistan, one of our group completed the nine-day foot journey without poles. At some point during the trek, every one of us asked him why he didn’t have them (I’m sure he grew tired of fielding the question) and took turns to recount their many benefits.

A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth

Countries that eat the most meat – ranked

The countries that eat the most meat are causing significant damage to the planet. It’s time to take responsibility and change the habits of a lifetime

There is very little left to debate on the subject. Simply put, the world must reduce the amount of meat it eats. In 2011, the world population reached seven billion and it’s now around 8.1 billion.

most peaceful countries in the world 2020

Ranked: safest countries in the world 2024

The safest countries in the world have been updated for 2024. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below

Iceland is once again the safest country in the world followed by Denmark, Ireland, New Zealand and Austria.

However, the world is not as safe as a year ago as the average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated for the ninth year in a row. Eighty-four countries recorded an improvement while 79 registered a decline according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI).

How much does it cost to climb the seven summits?

How much does it cost to climb the seven summits?

Our resident mountaineer and would-be seven summiteer crunches the numbers on how much it will cost to climb the seven summits

How much does it cost to climb the seven summits? About $200,000 USD give or take $10k.

Climbers could significantly reduce costs by foregoing luxuries, cutting corners and taking (even more) risks to get that figure below $100,000, but I do not recommend this and certainly won’t be taking such unnecessary risks.

Peter in his Zpacks tent

How to choose a tent: a buying guide

Our comprehensive guide on how to choose a tent will ensure dry and comfortable nights whatever the weather

If you ask me, time in a tent is time well spent. I’m usually most content when under canvas. With the distractions of modern life left behind, I find that camping has a detoxifying effect. At the end of a day on the trail, I pitch my tent, eat, drink, sleep. In the morning I strike my tent and then repeat. It’s a simple but good life.