This Week in Travel: Venice & Running in 196 Countries

#1 Venice is on its knees

Image from Unsplash

High tides or acqua alta do occur in Venice but climate change and a combination of heavy rain and the full moon has caused historic floods in “The Floating City” this year – up to 85% of the city is under water!

The Mayor of the city, Luigi Brugnaro is calling for a state of emergency as lives are at risk – two deaths have resulted where one was fatally electrocuted while trying to start a water pump in his home. In addition, the untold damages to monuments (the crypt of St. Mark’s Basilica is completely flooded), works of art (he Ca’ Pesaro gallery is currently closedafter a short circuit caused a fire), houses, shops, businesses, activities could run damages of hundreds of millions of euros. These floods will leave a “permanent mark” on the city.

We’ve had bad tourists in Venice but this one is the most unwelcome one thus far.

#2 Live like a Maharaja

Image from Airbnb

Airbnb has done it again. You can now rent the Gudliva Suite at the City Palace of Jaipur for the humble price of $8,000 a night. Built in 1727, the palace is the actual home of Jaipur’s Royal Family and has hosted famous dignitaries over the last three centuries from Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, Jackie Kennedy and many more. The royally-appointed interiors include “large and airy reception halls, crystal chandeliers, gilded wall decorations, intricate carvings, an indoor pool and an internationally recognised museum,

The suite is available for booking from 23 November onwards making His Highness Maharaja Sawai Padmanabh Singh the first King to host on Airbnb.

“I am thrilled that my family and I are partnering with Airbnb to bring the splendor of Rajasthan to life for travelers from around the world,” His Highness shared with Airbnb. “My own travels with Airbnb have made me feel very welcome in new cities and cultures, and I am happy that the experience of quintessential Indian hospitality will be shared with others.”

Proceeds from each booking will go to the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting women in rural areas and artisans in Rajasthan.

#3 Running with purpose

Nick Butter is a champion. The thirty year old marathoner recently crossed his latest finish line in Greece to become the first person in the world to run a marathon in all 196 UN-recognised countries. And he accomplished his mission in just under two years! Over that period of time, Butter also raised more than $83,000 to benefit prostate cancer research and support.

Inspired by Kevin Webber, a fellow marathoner who had been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer when they met at a marathon in the Sahara desert, Butter set out to see the world and raise money to fight against prostate cancer while doing so. Webber joined Butter for the run in Greece and the two crossed the finish line together, completing the 675-day mission.

“I was bitten by a dog, I was mugged, I was robbed at knifepoint, I was put in a cell.” But he also had awe-inspiring experiences: “I ran with a thousand people in El Salvador, I ran around erupting volcanoes.” While Butter said that he will take a few days off to recoup, he also expressed a desire to get back out and keep running. He will depart on a speaking tour in 2020.

Chloe Pharamond

This nomad's natural habitat is napping under a shady tree on the beach with a book clutched in hand. She likes fresh coconuts with a healthy splash of rum, organic conversations that meander into the night and getting lost in new places.

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