Afar Magazine Debuts, and It’s a Keeper

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In my overflowing office email box, I got a press release for a new travel magazine called Afar. One that’s printed, and mailed, old school style. I dashed off a wise-acre reply, saying hey, send me a copy, and I wished them luck in this devilishly tough ad climate for anything printed. But just as I was thinking, boy they’re nuts, this morning I got a copy of the premier issue. And it’s great! It helps that the founder Greg Sullivan is worth millions after starting several successful gaming and car rental companies.

So many travel magazines are cliches. They either try to be Travel and Leisure, or step down to being a celebrity magazine that happens to mention travel. Take most airline rags, you notice it’s always a movie star’s Atlanta, or a football hero’s Buenos Aires.

C0-founder Sullivan says in the opening note, ‘Life is about more than what we consume, instead, we now search for meaning wherever we can find it. We try to connect with people. We embrace what makes each culture distinct, even as we recognize that we have more in common with our world neighbors than we may have thought.”

Afar doesn’t hit me with celebrity worship crap, instead, they print a nicely laid out array of articles that are really unusual. One was a long piece about a guy who unplugged himself and now lives an itinerant life in Latin America. Another story was about learning to bake baguettes with a Parisien boulanger. The photos are given plenty of room, the writing isn’t gimmicky or cliched, and overall, it was a satisfying read.

I’m waiting to see what they do on the web, and whether we might be able to work with them since they feel to me a bit like a big old printed Stay tuned!