Here at Outpost, 2017 was a stellar year—we redesigned outpostmagazine.com and our sister site, tanyourmind.com. We’re running terrific travel stories, deals, contests and columns every day, and published more inspirational travel content in 2017 than ever before.

It’s feeding a demand we see firsthand. Every day we get dozens of pitches from writers around the world sharing their adventures with us, and wanting to share them with our audience. There’s an appetite for these kinds of stories that like-minded travellers have, and we love seeing them gain traction with our audience.

So here are 10 of our top travel stories from 2017. Whether through hundreds of social shared or thousands of readers, each left a lasting impression on Outpost’s audience and editors.

batur mountain mafia

Mateo Askaripour had read he shouldn’t hike Mount Batur alone. He did it anyway. (Photo: Mateo Askaripour)

Me Against the Mafia: How I Hiked Mount Batur Alone

When Mateo Askaripour took an ill-advised solo hike up Mount Batur in Bali, he wound up squaring off against a literal “mountain mafia”—men who physically blocked his way and extorted him for money, violently threatening him when he refused to pay. And while it’s hard to recommend anyone else follow in his footsteps (though, to be clear, it isn’t actually illegal to climb Mount Batur alone; it’s just enforced by this bizarre mafia), it still made for the kind of authentic, rugged adventure that makes the biggest impact in our lives.

Wading Through the World’s Biggest Vinyl Market in Utrecht

Annika Paradise owns a small record shop in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband. To stock up on some unique finds, they decided to take a trip out to the Dutch city of Utrecht, which annually hosts the world’s largest vinyl fair and market. As a relative vinyl newbie enthusiast—and as a woman in a sea of men—she felt both out of place and exactly at home. Really, isn’t that how all the best travel stories go?

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I Lost My Camera on Mount Etna, and the Internet Helped Me Find It

One of our new columnists this year was Carla Bragagnini, a Peruvian-Canadian globetrotter who sold us on the concept of her learning about various cultures through their traditions in a hand-on way. We knew she was a talent when she made viral news even before her column started, losing her GoPro on Mount Etna and having to climb it again to retrace her steps and find it in an unpredictable way. Her story went viral on BoredPanda.com, getting shared tens of thousands of times and introducing her to new friends in Lithuania.

hitchhiking tips for russia

Siberians are friendlier toward hitchhikers than you might think. (Photo: Khaled Keir)

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Siberia: 14 Tips for Crossing Russia for Free

“Enjoy sleeping in trucks.” “Don’t be afraid of bears.” “Bring warm, warm, warm clothes.” These are just a few tips from Khaled Kheir, an Egyptian mechanical engineer who hitchhiked across Siberia to Lake Baikal and shared his 14 top tips with Outpost readers. Khaled’s fearlessly optimistic attitude is enviable and contagious, and could convince even the most cautious traveller that Russia is a great option for a rugged independent journey.

My Name is Simon, and I Am Un-Canadian

This year marked Canada’s 150th anniversary, and the country exploded with national pride. So why, Outpost senior editor Simon Vaughan wrote, have so few Canadians actually expressed this love through travel? “I have been to all seven continents and almost 70 countries, but only six Canadian provinces and territories,” he wrote, adding that most Canadians’ travel habits look the same. Does that make us all un-Canadian?

last chance tourism

In the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, potentially endangered by climate change. (Malcolm Boothroyd)

Climate Change Calls for a New Kind of Bucket List

Speaking of new columnists, Cam Fenton, our environmental columnist, garnered a huge audience with his call for a new kind of bucket list—rather than a list of places to see before we die, a list places to see before they die. These “endangered places,” as he calls them, should rank high on any traveller’s list of global priorities, whether it’s a snowcapped Arctic park or Venice sinking into the sea.

The Reluctant Traveller: An Eye-Opening Odyssey in Micronesia

Dr. Roberta Temes never wanted to visit Micronesia. In fact, she didn’t much care for leaving New York at all. But when her husband was asked to present at a conference in the little Polynesian country, she had no choice. The result? A journey of discovery and a raw multicultural experience that she’d never have gotten at home, offering her a fresh perspective on what life can be.

What the Killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia Means for Malta

When the renowned Maltese journalist was assassinated, it deeply struck our editor-at-large in Europe, Ryan Murdock. He’s lived in Malta for years and corresponded with Daphne several times after she picked up an Outpost column he’d written that was critical of the country. Daphne Caruana Galizia was a true muckracker, digging deep into the country’s corruption scandals and holding powers accountable. After her death, the whole world took notice, and Ryan penned a thoughtful and widely shared piece about where the country might go from here.

langtang tourism nepal

The villagers of Langtang, Nepal, are still waiting for tourists to return—even two years after the earthquake. (Photo: Matt Hayes)

A Valley Rebuilds: The Second Life of Langtang Village

Two years after the earthquake that devastated Nepal, tourists began returning. But they didn’t return everywhere. Little villages like Langtang were still badly damaged, both physically and in terms of their reputation. “We thought this season would be back to normal,” one local told writer Matt Hayes. “Everything is open—all the lodges are running, all the trails have been cleared.” But the people? They hadn’t heard yet, and the local economy was suffering.

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Learning to Ask: A Patagonian Healing Adventure

When Yoojin Na broke up with her boyfriend, she took a trip to Colombia to get some distance between them. Then she somehow ran into him on a rooftop bar in Cartagena, prompting an even greater whirlwind journey across South America to get back in touch with herself. Her story of personal recovery through travel resonated with Outpost’s readers. “In such ways, travelling forced me into daily trust falls with strangers,” she writes before offering snapshots of friends she met along the way: a medical student in Lima, a local guide in Cusco, an Argentine tango dancer, a European couple in Brazil. It’s a surreal yet intimate story, and rings true from start to finish.

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