A person eating wanton mee with char siew in Penang, Malaysia © Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

This month’s blog round up includes a post on Penang’s street food scene with an innovative twist © Carlina Teteris / Getty Images

The beginning of a new year is a time for both reflection and preparation, and this month’s blog post submissions from our Pathfinders left us with a lot to think about. We’ve been wowed by offbeat wildlife encounters in Mexico, humbled by the sight of mighty eagle-assisted hunters in Kyrgyzstan and left pondering over current issues pervading the online travelsphere.

Though it was a tough task to narrow down our favourites, here’s our pick of travel blog posts from our Pathfinder community in January.

The Monarchs of Macheros, Mexico – Jessie Stringfield

It’s always refreshing to read a travel yarn that manages to completely capture the imagination, and Jessie’s piece on the monarch butterfly migration in Mexico sent us into a flutter. A lesser-known wondrous wildlife experience is brought to life through crisp, colourful images and engaging writing, with Jessie doing a great job of stressing the sustainability of the current infrastructure surrounding the phenomenon – an aspect of the experience that will hopefully endure as the spectacle grows in popularity.

Jessie is a blogger from the USA hoping to inspire everyone to get out and see the world. Sample more of her stories at slyharbison.com.

Atacama Desert: a no sleeping experience – Javi Lorbada

Javi’s photos are exceptional, and while the images in his visual journey across the Atacama Desert take centre stage, there’s also something enjoyable about his clipped, stringent prose-style that makes for great reading. Like any good inspirational post, his piece left us wanting to pack a tent and bed down for a night under the star-punctured Chilean skies; though our photos would likely pale in comparison.

Born in Madrid, Javi travels far and wide in search of the perfect shot. Keep tabs on his latest adventures at adventures.javilorbada.com.

The golden eagle hunters of Kyrgyzstan – Cynthia Bil

For most of us, one of the major joys of travel is witnessing customs so different from our own they instil you with a sense of awe. This sensation is embodied by Cynthia’s post on the eagle hunters of Kyrgyzstan: nomadic people who spend years training wild eagles to hunt for them as part of a practice dating back generations. A fascinating and informative read about humanity’s bond with the natural world is enhanced further by striking imagery of the hunters and their winged accomplices.

Cynthia and Niko are currently on an epic overland trip crossing six continents from Ireland to Alaska. Follow their journey at journalofnomads.com.

#realwomentravel – Annika Ziehen

Taking a delicate issue and exploring it with a sense of humour and poise, in this post Annika voices her thoughts over what she perceives as a lack of diversity among leading female Instagrammers in the travel industry. Annika is proactive in her approach, creating a campaign to showcase a selection of more eclectic female Insta-stars, with links to a number of wanderlust-inducing accounts included.

Annika is an self-confessed ‘truffle pig’ when it comes to rooting out destinations ideal for both adventure and luxury travel. Read more of her insights at midnightblueelephant.com.

Painting Penang: capturing the diverse food scene in watercolour – Dan and Lauren

The innovative format of Dan and Lauren’s article could spice up any topic, but its appeal is heightened when considering its subject matter. Penang’s George Town is a magnificent blend of whimsical street art and fantastic food stalls, which makes the pair’s decision to paint what they’ve eaten in the city a stroke of genius. By no means a gimmick, the post’s content is substantial, highlighting a selection of Penang’s celebrated eateries in addition to the excellent illustrations.

Dan and Lauren bring their travels to life through stories and scribbles. Keep track of their experiences at pocopilgrims.com.

RUNNERS-UP

Find out what else the Lonely Planet Pathfinders are up to (or sign up yourself!) by checking out the Travel Bloggers: your stories forum on Thorn Tree.

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