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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 fundraising 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

Spring 2021

Shifting Currents

A Note From the Editors

Whether gentle or fierce, the forces around us rarely remain stagnant. Those changes carry the power to carve out our futures. In the spring 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we turn our sights to shifting currents — in all their forms — and the stories they inspire. Coursing headfirst into the unfamiliar for our…

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Seen in this merging of satellite imagery taken in 1999 and 2000, the Sundarbans appears like an intricate tapestry. Here where the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers meet at the edge of the Bay of Bengal stands one of the world's largest remaining tract of mangrove forest — a natural wall protecting the coasts of India and Bangladesh and providing a rich habitat for endangered Bengal tigers, hundreds of bird species, and an array of sharks and rays. Recent research shows that a quarter of its trees exhibit signs of declining health. Photo: B.A.E. Inc./Alamy.
Photo: B.A.E. Inc./Alamy.
Seen in this merging of satellite imagery taken in 1999 and 2000, the Sundarbans appears like an intricate tapestry. Here where the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna Rivers meet at the edge of the Bay of Bengal stands one of the world's largest remaining tract of mangrove forest — a natural wall protecting the coasts of India and Bangladesh and providing a rich habitat for endangered Bengal tigers, hundreds of bird species, and an array of sharks and rays. Recent research shows that a quarter of its trees exhibit signs of declining health. Photo: B.A.E. Inc./Alamy.
Photo: B.A.E. Inc./Alamy.
Spring 2021

Shifting Currents

A Note from the Editors

Whether gentle or fierce, the forces around us rarely remain stagnant. Those changes carry the power to carve out our futures.

In the spring 2021 issue of Hidden Compass, we turn our sights to shifting currents — in all their forms — and the stories they inspire.

Coursing headfirst into the unfamiliar for our Human and Nature feature, Morgan Tilton investigates the extremes of a changing climate, from the scientific breakthroughs that help us measure its impact to the incalculable effects on our identity. In exploring A River of Unknowns, Tilton ventures not just from the snow-coated mountains of Vancouver Island to the infamous waves of its coast — but into the tumultuous atmosphere above us all.

Colin Daileda also leads us into the clouds, though they are the murky clouds of silt in the waterways of the Bengal delta. In this ecosystem undergoing rapid transformation, researchers seek the Ganges shark, an enigma that has spent over a century Lost in the Shallows. This Time Travel feature tracks the evolution of land and water as well as a dichotomy of exploration styles.

Sometimes shifting currents arise in the very structures of our societies. Former military officer and historical painter Robert Permeti — the subject of Lottie GrossPortrait feature — experienced Albania’s swing from a brutal communist regime into a new era. Amidst an upheaval of power, pride, and art, Permeti lost masterpieces, gained freedom, and followed his homeland off the edge of convention and into The Abyss.

The precarious nature of prominence and power also makes an appearance in Moriah Costa’s Quest feature, Blue in Toulouse, in which Costa digs for a largely forgotten Renaissance-era story in southern France. Her research, experiences, and illustrations give color to the boom-and-bust narrative of woad and the boundless influence of its shifting shades.

And for Gemina Garland-Lewis, currents of change appear across the decades and around the world — from the American influence on Japanese whaling after WWII to the modern demand for whale meat in Norway. For this vegetarian who grew up dreaming of becoming a marine biologist, it’s the progression of her own outlook that leaps to the front of this stunning photo feature and Chasing Demons story. Happiness, grief, reverence, and overcoming cultural biases all take center stage as Garland-Lewis considers Whaling and the Paradox of Mercy.

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

01

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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