Jenni Avins

Toronto’s Drake Hotel, Mr and Mrs Smith.com

Cheerful pop tunes pipe through the Drake Café in Toronto, where Mr Smith and I have come for breakfast while the hotel it’s attached to readies our room. Underneath a chandelier of recycled rainbow-coloured bicycle frames I navigate a pile of pamphlets while Mr Smith peruses the menu. ‘We’re in a brochure?’ asks a spiky-haired girl at the table next to us. She has multiple piercings...
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An Afternoon with Magic: Bahamian Conch Diving for Dossier Journal

As Dossier Style adds Food to our coverage, we introduce a ray of Bahamian sunshine. Although 2009 has an optimistic shine, the first month of the year often leaves me a bit cold. On New York winter mornings, I repeatedly dream of diving through soft saltwater, bathed in reflections of sunlight. Click here to link to the audio slideshow on...
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What $100 Buys in Queenstown, Budget Travel Magazine

What $100 Buys in… Queenstown When you’re done testing your extreme-sports limits in this New Zealand town—a little canyon swinging, anyone?—you can scavenge for some equally quirky local souvenirs. By Jenni Avins, December 2008/January 2009 issue   Launch the Slide Show $24 Necklace The shell of the local abalone, paua, is swirled with dark opalescent bands. This...
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On the Road: Madagascar, for Foam Magazine

I watched out the backseat window of an old Renault as we weaved between chalky magenta and aqua cement shantys, rickshaws resting on the side of the road, and people with African and Asian faces carrying baskets and bundles atop their heads. Nearly every taxi in Antananarivo is a painstakingly maintained old Renault or Citroën—distinctly retro European shapes repainted in Madagascar’s...
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Eu Amo Vintage, NYLON Magazine

Outside an old townhouse, on a cobblestoned hill in Santa Teresa, Brazil, overlooking Rio de Janeiro’s emerald mountains flies a giant flag emblazoned with the words EU...
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Brazil’s Fazenda da Lagoa, Mr and Mrs Smith.com

‘Welcome to Jurassic Park,’ says Mr Smith dryly as our Land Rover bumps through an arid forest of coconut palms in Bahia, Brazil. Indeed, it seems another place and time when we arrive at the road’s end to find a boat with a rainbow-striped awning awaiting us. We feel happily miles from nowhere and plop down on soda pop-coloured cushions for the short ride across the lake Fazenda da Lagoa...
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Matador Travel, SOMA Magazine

In 1997, at the age of 26, Alex Garland published a novel called The Beach, later made into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The book was a critique of a generation of disillusioned travelers in search of an authentic cultural experience. Anyone who had ever slept in a hostel, boarded EuroRail with a backpack, or danced under the full moon in Koh Phangan was likely to relate to the characters...
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Cheapest Places on Earth: Máncora, Peru, Budget Travel Magazine

In recent years, this fishing town–and next-wave surf spot–has turned into a popular rest stop for Inca Trail hikers. By Jenni Avins, September 2007 issue Bus ride: $37 The quickest way to reach Máncora, about 700 miles north of Lima, is to hop on one of Lan Peru’s twice daily flights from Lima to Piura ($225 round trip); from there, it’s about a two-hour cab ride to...
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