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Hidden Compass is not a travel magazine telling you what to buy or where to take a selfie. It’s a place to find courage and curiosity. Our stories are rooted in travel. But venture deeper, and you’ll find more.

Inspired by the farm-to-table movement, we make journalism personal. We’re forging an alliance to turn storytellers and explorers into heroes and champion a new age of discovery. Not only will you meet the people behind our stories, you’ll be able to support each of them directly. Learn about our crowdfunding model here.

Our grassroots movement supports the spectacular. Every year, a quarter to a third of our stories are recognized as some of the world’s best travel features. And it’s no wonder: These are stories that seduce the mind and spirit. They unravel the world — then sew it back together.

Explore the Latest Issue

Winter 2021

Tracing Lines

A Note From the Editors

Every divergence we encounter taps into our curiosity as well as our instincts. Which course we choose often reveals as much about ourselves as it does our surroundings. In the winter 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories of tracing lines. Whether seen or unseen, these avenues of understanding often lead us…

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Abalone shell. Photo: Alex Krowiak.
Photo: Alex Krowiak.
Abalone shell. Photo: Alex Krowiak.
Photo: Alex Krowiak.
Winter 2021

Tracing Lines

A Note from the Editors

Every divergence we encounter taps into our curiosity as well as our instincts. Which course we choose often reveals as much about ourselves as it does our surroundings.

In the winter 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we bring you stories of tracing lines. Whether seen or unseen, these avenues of understanding often lead us back to our origins — yet hold the power to propel us forward.

Diane Selkirk follows Tracks to the Past on a Quest to reconcile the abundance of Canada’s northern landscape with the historic denial of Indigenous cultures. As she confronts a difficult legacy of repressed traditions and forced assimilation, she also grapples with her own family’s long-lost First Nations heritage — and looks toward a future rooted in remembering.

Russell Frank’s Portrait of artisanal mapmaking sends him wayfaring along the trails of the Pennsylvania wilderness in pursuit of veracity, on and off the page. Accompanied by the whimsical illustrations of Maggie Scotilla, Field-Truthing a Dream navigates the disparate worlds of Samuel de Champlain and modern cartography while plotting out the thrill of possibility.

In this issue’s photo feature, Alex Krowiak reveals a bastion of biodiversity known as “the Galápagos of North America.” Some tens of millions of years in the making, the Human & Nature story of these Deception Islands remains unfinished — and reminds us that environmental restoration is but one route to redemption.

In The Alchemy That Binds, Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee toasts the fermented resilience of Georgian wine-making traditions. Chasing Demons both political and personal, she unseals insights on humanity’s drive to imbibe through the ages — as well as her complicated relationship with her father’s drinking.

Spanning millennia and continents, Richard Pallardy’s Time Travel feature delves into the genomic taxonomy of an ancient wild dog that still prowls the mists of the New Guinea highlands. Though this creature eluded scientists for decades, recent discoveries add new clues to the interconnectedness of the animal kingdom. Put another way? No Dog is an Island

As always, we extend our deepest gratitude to our readers, who share our vision of powerful storytelling, and to our contributors, who bring us stories from the frontiers of exploration.

Until the next voyage,

Katie Knorovsky, Managing Editor

Sabine K. Bergmann and Sivani Babu, Hidden Compass Co-Founders

Read Past Stories

Meet Your Heroes

This Issue’s Featured Journalists and Storytellers
Buckaroo Portrait, Photo by: Kim F. Stone

Find your story.

Choose a Theme to Explore
Journey alongside characters in pursuit of elusive truths. Travel through extreme landscapes, to the far reaches of the planet, and into the unknown.
Get to know extraordinary characters from around the world — individuals, cultures, places, creatures, and even objects.
Investigate the relationship between humankind and the planet. Come face-to-face with Nature as an unpredictable danger, a wise teacher, and a precarious organism.
Delve into the dark and difficult aspects of a place, even when the darkness exists only in the narrator. Investigative pieces, historical exposés, and tales of narrators immersed in danger.
Inhabit the past, present, and future of a place. Unearth layers of ancient legends and traditions; probe the transient nature of the current moment; and venture out into prediction, peril, and possibility.

Photo: Dr. Gilad Fiskus

Photo: Sivani Babu

Photo: Kim F. Stone

Photo: Sivani Babu

Photo: Sugato Mukherjee

Photo: Geraint Rowland

Find your story.

Choose a Theme to Explore

Photo: Sivani Babu

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Quest

Journey alongside characters in pursuit of elusive truths. Travel through extreme landscapes, to the far reaches of the planet, and into the unknown.

Photo: Sivani Babu

Buckaroo Portrait, Photo by: Kim F. Stone

Get to know extraordinary characters from around the world — individuals, cultures, places, creatures, and even objects.

Photo: Kim F. Stone

Investigate the relationship between humankind and the planet. Come face-to-face with Nature as an unpredictable danger, a wise teacher, and a precarious organism.

Photo: Sivani Babu

Delve into the dark and difficult aspects of a place, even when the darkness exists only in the narrator. Investigative pieces, historical exposés, and tales of narrators immersed in danger.

Photo: Sugato Mukherjee

Inhabit the past, present, and future of a place. Unearth layers of ancient legends and traditions; probe the transient nature of the current moment; and venture out into prediction, peril, and possibility.

Photo: Geraint Rowland

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