On Holiday With: Paul Kominek, The Travel Alamanac
This Monday morning we’re in sunny Germany, and we’re taking our final holiday break with Paul Kominek of The Travel Almanac. The pocket-sized magazine fashions itself as the first ‘post-tourism’ travel publication, and its content focuses on the increasingly mobile lifestyle of the creative community.
Where are you today?
In an ancient forest near Liebenwalde, a small town an hour north of Berlin.
What was the first magazine you remember enjoying?
That must have been The Face magazine in the early nineties, my brother was buying it quite frequently and I was very drawn to the look and feel of it.
Tell us about your first holiday.
It was a trip to Yugoslavia. I almost drowned in the sea, got stung in the throat by a bee and after we got robbed at a gas-station, the camping cooker exploded. I was 5 years old.
Are you a beach holiday or city break person?
I don’t really do holidays, traveling is mostly project-related, so cities are more often on the agenda then beaches. However, my most memorable beach trip so far was in 2008, when I first visited the then still less frequented beaches of Tulum in Mexico. The city experience that made the biggest impression on me was a completely overwhelming Jakarta in 2007.
What is your magazine’s approach to travel?
We try to have a rather philosophical and open discussion about the ways in which movement and location permeate all aspects of contemporary life. In combination with the personal and insightful conversations with our guests and contributors, we hope that The Travel Almanac can provide an inspiring glimpse into general developments in society and pop-culture.
Which holiday/trip from your magazine would you most like to experience?
There have been numerous inspirational trips that our guests and contributors shared with us in past issues. I still hope to visit the house of artist Carsten Höller in Ghana one day and Juergen Teller´s favourite little Greek Island is high on my wish list as well.
How has travelling changed over the last ten years, and how does The Travel Almanac reflect these changes?
‘Post-Tourism’ in our eyes refers to a whole complex of travel-related developments in recent years, where tourism has evolved beyond pure consumption of sceneries into a more immersive way of traveling. One example of a ‘Post-Tourism’ concept that has become fairly common in recent years is that of travelers temporarily inhabiting locations for a few months at a time, eschewing sightseeing in favor of gradually absorbing a culture over time. We try to comply with this concept by avoiding practical travel advice in favor of a more metaphysical type of guidance.
What do you look for in your cover stars?
We are generally interested in people who rethink the concept of traveling and perceive their environments in a unique way. We like to speak with individuals whose work displays a sensitivity to their surroundings and hope that the choice of our covers stars exemplifies the wide range of ways in which this topic can be discussed.
Where will you be taking a break this year?
I am looking forward to return to a dramatic little mountain village at the edge of the Provence called Mons.