Didrik Johnck  /  MSNBC Great Escapes
By

“It is good to have an end to journey towards,
but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
—Ursula K. LeGuin

Welcome to “Great Escapes,” where the uncharted is mapped, the unknown described, and the great affair is movement itself. Each edition we depart for an expedition to the edges, descending lost valleys, climbing hidden hills, and sharing the discoveries along the way.

Our latest adventure is Digital Village: New Guinea, a search for a remote community in the highlands of western Papua New Guinea, where we will employ modern technology in an effort to see the world through their eyes.

Our first Great Escape took viewers to Colorado, where an "adventure decathlon" saw us rafting, range-riding, climbing, hot-air ballooning and even foot-racing throughout the Rocky Mountains. Next we visited Texas for a series of top ten travel destinations in the Lone Star State, including the Alamo and Austin, the beaches of South Padre Island and Corpus Christi, the rodeos of Fort Worth, and the landscapes of Big Bend. Our third exploration charted the course of the Missouri River, longest river in the Lower 48, where we were preceded 200 years earlier by Lewis and Clark.

When in 1871 James Gordon Bennett, owner of the New York Herald, sent Henry Morton Stanley to Africa to find the missing David Livingstone, a new type of serial travel journalism was born — the journey as journal. Stanley sent back his dispatches by courier and overland mail from the field, and when they reached New York and were published, there was terrific enthusiasm among readers, who got a then-rare glimpse into an unfolding adventure in a land far away and unfamiliar.

Great Escapes leverages this technology into the 21st century, dispatching teams of technologists and scribes into the field to distill the spirits of places little known, and to pour the concoction onto our digital pages. Today, with satellite technologies and the Internet, we can stretch the wire of the imagination, and break the tyranny of distance and delay. Instead of weeks between dispatches, we publish the musings and insights, images and audio, of our correspondents within hours. There is an honesty and rawness to this format not found in the well-tuned pages of travel print, and our hope is that we will serve travel and its inspirations in a way no other medium can achieve.

So, join us as we lace boots, box compass, and set sail on a journey less traveled, in search of the Great Escape.

(For information about advertising in future Great Escapes, please contact Phil Espedido)

MSNBC Interactive

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