The holiday season is upon us, and this year, we’re sending gifts to loved ones near and far that celebrate and support the destinations we love, from Nairobi to New York City. The Indagare Holiday Gift Guide: 2021 Edition features a curated selection of treasures, gadgets, books, nonprofit organizations and more, for every traveler in your life, from the design lover to the trailblazer (and we may be wrapping up a few things for ourselves, as well!). These are the items that make us recall our favorite trips around the world, and inspire us to dream of the adventures that await in the months and years ahead. We hope that these gifts inspire learning, joy and global exchange—plus, don’t miss picks from our team and some familiar insiders and tastemakers whom you may recognize from Global Conversations, Insider Journeys, Indagare Clubs and more!
Happy Gifting and Happy Holidays, from all of us at Indagare.
Indagare Founder and CEO Melissa Biggs Bradley shares the items at the top of her gift list:
For the snow-seekers in your life, give those with major wanderlust a reason to book their next vacation. Your friends, family—and yourself—deserve the ultimate bundled-up essentials and sleek travel musts, from ultra-warm coats to durable and stylish luggage. Give them a winter vacation gift they'll never forget to pack (for years to come!).
From Indagare Global Experience Manager Kathryn Nathanson: Piedmont White Alba Truffles“For this holiday season, we’ve created the ultimate gift for the foodie—or Italophile—in your life: Until December 20, Indagare members are invited to place their orders for fresh Alba White Truffles, delivered directly to your door! They will arrive straight from northwestern Italy’s Piedmont region—home of the white truffle. You’ll be cooking meals to remember with this rare and special ingredient soon.” Click here to place your order.From Indagare Associate Editor Elizabeth Harvey: Gift Cards to Your Favorite Local Restaurants “Local restaurants are still very much in need of our support—and that's why, this year, I'll be filling my family's stockings with gift cards to some of the new spots that have opened in New York City this year. There’s a host of exciting new venues to know: A handful of dazzling contemporary fine-dining restaurants are recharging the term “big night out” in the city—while natural wine bars, Venetian-inspired enclaves and fire- and spice-driven creations offer the perfect spot for a more relaxed but equally flavorful evening. Click here to see the full list of the places I'm excited about.”From Indagare Travel Operations Associate Grace Park: Spices from Burlap and Barrel
"Burlap and Barrel is an amazing company that carries incredible, high-quality spices sourced from small farmers around the world. My friends, the late Chef Floyd Cardoz and his wife Barkha, developed a line of masala spices right before his passing, and they are some of my favorites."
From WSJ. Magazine Contributing Editor and Insider Journey Host Gabe Ulla: A Taste of Italy
"This holiday season, as I eagerly look ahead to our Insider Journey to Modena with Massimo Bottura next year (there are just a few spots left!), I’m getting an early taste of Italy—and fulfilling most of my gift-giving needs—with two wonderful products. First up is Bottura’s limited-time-only take on a traditional Christmas panettone, which is produced at his posh Gucci Osteria in Beverly Hills. Both flavors, Candied Orange & Raisin and Orange & Gianduja, can be shipped across the United States via the restaurant’s website. They’ll arrive in a custom tin designed by Gucci. The second and more accessible gift is one that I give friends almost every year, because you just can’t go wrong with Frankies Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, the beloved Brooklyn chefs (and my dear friends), produce an organic oil on a century-old farm in Selinunte, Sicily, which is where the ancient Greeks planted the first olive trees in Italy’s history. I don’t think I use another ingredient more often. You can find the oil at Whole Foods or order it online."
Learn more about the 2022 Insider Journey with WSJ. Magazine that Gabe Ulla will be hosting: A Taste of Modena with Massimo Bottura.
“These beautiful aprons from xNStudio are designed in the U.S. and made in Uganda. xNStudio is a multi-disciplinary black-owned design company founded in 2011 in Brooklyn and Kampala. We work with artisans to fortify existing networks among and between independent creatives in Africa, including Uganda, Ghana, and Tanzania. Plus, 10 percent of apron sales will go towards 32! And if I may, I'd love to add the suggestion of a donation towards my organization (32° East). We're building a multi-purpose arts center for artists in Uganda to have the resources and freedom to transform how we see the world. Phase one will be completed in October 2022—come visit!”
From Indagare Contributing Editor Arabella Bowen: Septime, La Cave, Clamato, D'une Île, published by Phaidon
“For my francophile friends, I'm ordering the new Phaidon cookbook (published in November), from the trailblazing team at Septime, the contemporary French sister restaurant to Clamato and Cave wine bar in Paris's happening 11th arrondissement. Septime remains a very tough table to get, even 10 years after opening. Septime, La Cave, Clamato, D'une Île celebrates its impact on Paris gastronomy with recipes and stories.”
From Indagare Marketing Associate Jenna Levandowski: Wine + Peace
"My absolute favorite thing to receive and give during the holidays is wine. I love loading up on bottles with a big order from Wine + Peace. They feature a curated selection of small, independent and low-intervention winemakers from around the U.S. You can shop by value (community-focused, environmentally-focused, women-owned, etc.), by varietal or by farming method. It makes it really easy to feel confident that you’re not only buying wine people will love, but that you’re also supporting sustainable wineries in the process."
From Indagare Director of Content Strategy Jen Barr: Treats from Giving Broadly
"Spice up the holidays for foodies on your list with products like Asian comfort food, curry sauces, spices, honey and more from women-owned food brands sourced from all over the world from Giving Broadly, a website started by longtime former Food & Wine editor in chief Dana Cowin."
From Integrated Content Coordinator Abby Sandman: Chocolate and Coffee Must-Haves
"For chocolate gift boxes, I love Belgian Leonidas Chocolate and Dutch De Riujter Chocolate Sprinkles (my family is Dutch, so we’re very picky chocolate-eaters). Any time a family member comes back from Europe or wants to send us a thank you gift, they send one of these and we devour them. And for travelers on the go, the Joeveo Temperfect Mugs pull the excess heat out of your coffee, so that it’s a comfortable drinking temperature in minutes—and then it contains that heat in the mug, so that it stays that temperature for hours. They're perfect for the caffeine-lovers in your life!"
Plus: Gift the Indagare Cooking Club – Tasting Your Way Through Puglia with Chef Ryan Hardy
Streamed from the test kitchen of New York City’s Legacy Records, this live cooking program (3 virtual sessions, February 9 - April 13, 2022) with chef Ryan Hardy will explore the tastes and dishes of Italy’s southern region of Puglia. You’ll begin with pasta, learning how to make fresh, traditional pasta Pugliese. You will also be guided through a proper olive oil tasting and make homemade focaccia to pair with it, and your finale will be the preparation of a seafood dish, an essential part of Pugliese cooking. Click here to purchase a Club Gift Card!
The tradition of the Christmas tree began in Germany, possibly as early as the 16th century. Needless to say, the handicraft of carving wooden Christmas decorations is also an old German tradition, and the Erzgebirge in Saxony is the region most closely associated with this artisanship. Spinning tea light pyramids, nutcracker figurines and Schwibbogen from this area adorn German homes during the holiday season. And if you're curious as to what these strange sounding decorations look like, you'll find them in the online catalogue of Käthe Wohlfahrt, which also ships to the U.S.”
I love gifting ethically-made, heirloom jewelry by Melissa Joy Manning, whose designs make a positive impact on our world. Their '12 Days of Giving,' happening now through December 11, donates 12 percent of purchases to non-profits like International Rescue Committee, Clean Water Fund, World Central Kitchen and more.”
"At once a destination hotel, art museum (with a collection of over 14,000 works across genres) and high-style haven, The Fife Arms in the Scottish Highlands is a wishlist-worthy hotel—especially for history buffs, design fiends and romantics. For anyone hoping to bring home a bit of Scotland for the holidays (and to tide you over until the new season of Outlander is released in March), the Fife Arms Christmas Collection is the perfect source for a unique gift for your loved ones (or yourself). One of my personal favorites from the curation is the set of tartan Christmas crackers, which will elevate your table—and they contain decorative items made by McLean of Braemar out of sustainable red deer antlers, gathered from the surrounding area (please note the crackers do not ship to the U.S..)."
From Indagare Senior Director of Membership Elise Bronzo: Market Treasures from Around the World
“My daydreams are constantly streaming scenes from my favorite markets in the world, especially in India: friendly exchanges with local merchants, bartering by hand gesture to overcome language barriers, aching ankles after a day along cobblestoned alleyways, total saturation. This season, I’m supporting these places from afar by gifting my loved ones with items from some of my favorite artisans and global brands who have online stores—including cashmere shawls from the Jaipur-based Andraab; home decor from Luang Prabang’s Ock Pop Tok; impeccable accessories from the globally-sourced, Charleston-based Ibu Movement; these adorable, furry llamas from an artisan family in Peru’s Andes mountains (a must for anyone stressing out this season); and the beautiful embroidery pieces from the Los Angeles/Lebanon studio Kissweh. Also, I am planning to gift my friends and family (who don't already have it) a copy of our founder Melissa Biggs Bradley's new—and debut!—book, Safari Style: Exceptional African Camps and Lodges, featuring 21 properties, from Rwanda to South Africa. The book is as beautiful as it is meaningful (proceeds support our favorite conservation organizations through the Indagare Impact Initiatives) and after being on the book tour with Melissa for the last few months I can attest that the book looks gorgeous in any and every room. The writing is excellent, the photographs by Guido Taroni, inspiring, and it’s the perfect gift for that person on your list who already has everything."
From Indagare Director of Content Strategy Jen Barr: Madeline Weinrib's The Heirloom Project at the Met
"Designer, artist and partner behind the chic boutique hotel Riad el Fenn in Marrakech Madeline Weinrib is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Islamic Wing at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art with a collection of items created in collaboration with artisans from India, Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt and Lebanon. All products are inspired by works in the Met and support the Met's conservation and presentation of centuries of art—and they're gorgeous and transporting."
From Indagare Marketing Associate Jenna Levandowski: Environmentally-Friendly Masks
Plus: Gift the Indagare Art and History Clubs
Whether the art lovers on your list are interested in the rise of Renaissance masters under the Medici in Florence, the architecture of pre- and post-war Berlin or the painters of the Avant Garde movement, these intimate virtual clubs—led by expert hosts Elaine Ruffolo (The Medici, Power and Patronage), Jamie Sewell (History’s Darkest Days: Berlin and the Third Reich) and Page Knox (The Rise of the Avant Garde: The Painters of Modern Life)—are sure to delight. Learn more here and purchase a gift card here.
Give the Gift of Indagare! Gift a year of membership—or a credit towards one of our Insider Journeys or virtual travel Clubs—to the traveler(s) in your life. Click here to purchase a digital gift card.
I’ve always been a fan of compelling wildlife photography and world-renowned National Geographic filmmaker and photographer Beverly Joubert’s stunning prints make excellent gifts. Beverly’s Vital Impact prints come with the added bonus that 60 percent of the proceeds go to Great Plains Foundation’s Project Ranger, Big Life Foundation, Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots and SeaLegacy—especially relevant causes that benefit wildlife, people and our oceans. This is the perfect gift for anyone with a love for wildlife and making a difference to our planet. Full pricing along with images of all available powerful prints can be accessed here.”
Plus: Join our October 2022 Insider Journey to travel to Kenya with James to see the last of the big tusker elephants. Fewer than 20 of these elephants are believed to be left in the world—and you’ll be able to venture into off-limits reserves to find (and help protect) them, while staying at some of our favorite luxury lodges.
From Indagare Global Experience Manager Kathryn Nathanson: Safari Styles from Designer Anna Trzebinski
“Last year, I spent several weeks working remotely from Nairobi, Kenya, where designer Anna Trzebinski has opened a wonderful boutique hotel, alongside her atelier and workshop. We've hosted several virtual souks for the Indagare community since then, and Anna now has an easy online store for ordering holiday gifts that help support her local community. Anna has curated an extraordinary collection of her signature pieces and one-of-a-kind-creations—but if you're picking my fave, I love, love her safari coats and would do anything for one (see here). Plus: Click here for more stocking stuffers!”
From Global Experience Production Associate Bridget McElroy: Hydration Gear for the Ultimate Adventurer
"My brother's friend (and the nephew of Indagare members) launched MXXY last year, to create the world's first dual-chamber hydration pack that seamlessly carries electrolytes and water on the trails, for ultimate performance and energy during your adventures off-road. It's equipped with a hydration dial that allows people to switch between water and an additional hydration supplement. I purchased one of their trial packs and love it. The official release is scheduled for 2022, but you can join the mailing list to be the first to order yours to gift—or keep!"
From Digital Content Manager Peter Schlesinger: Animal Adoptions—A World Away
"I love to give family members animal adoptions from organizations I support. Two I love are the Turgwe Hippo Trust, which is a very small-scale sanctuary for wild hippos in Zimbabwe, and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which works to rescue and rehabilitate orphan elephants in Kenya."
From Indagare Director of Content Strategy Jen Barr: The Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag
"For the adventurer on your list: I have given this bag to three people so far, and they have absolutely loved it. It's a duffel that doubles as a backpack and folds into its own inside-out pocket for easy storage and comes in fun colors. The smaller backpack is also great. The 55-Liter option, which is my favorite, is carry-on size."
"I'm gifting my friends and family the latest book by bestselling novelist Amor Towles, author of Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow (which singlehandedly inspired my trip to Russia with family in 2018). Already acclaimed as one of the best books of 2021 and referred to as a 'love letter to the American road trip,' The Lincoln Highway is an instant classic, showcasing Amor's brilliant mastery of poetry and captivating prose."
From Indagare Contributing Editor Arabella Bowen: Giving Back at Home
"National parks provided the ultimate outdoor escape for many of us during Covid. Donating to the National Park Foundation, the charitable arm of the National Park Service, helps protect over 400 national parks and preserve 85 million acres of treasured landscapes, ecosystems, and historical sites for generations to come."
From Indagare Trip Designer Caroline Hansen: The Ultimate Accessories for a Wellness Getaway
"I love to give this Blackberry Farm Bourbon & Lavender Scrub to girlfriends at the holidays. It's perfect for creating an elevated bath experience at home...and Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain happen to be two of Indagare's most-booked hotels and Indagare Index properties, too."
From Indagare Associate Editor Elizabeth Harvey: Shou Sugi Ban House at Home
"Spread some serenity in style with a gift of the signature ceramic dishware from the lovely Hamptons wellness retreat Shou Sugi Ban House. Designed by upstate New York ceramicist Stephanie Charlene, the collection is crafted from white stoneware, coated in a lightly speckled bone glaze."
From Insider Journey Partner and Senior Vice President of Barron’s Group at Dow Jones, Mae Cheng:
"For me, this is going to be a year for either 1) offering gifts that require my own creativity or 2) suggestions for charitable giving. On the creative side, here’s something that will provide hours of entertainment: Create a list of your favorite TV shows that you have been binging, especially those that take place in different countries, and send them to your friends in a holiday-decorated email. I watched so many great shows this year that stoked my desire to visit far-flung destinations. Here are just a few: the Swedish series The Restaurant; the Australian series Offspring; the Danish series Seaside Hotel; the French series Call My Agent; the French series Lupin; the Irish series Normal People; the Italian series My Brilliant Friend; the British series Call the Midwife; the British series The Durells in Corfu; the Israeli series Shtisel; and the British series The Great British Baking Show."
"If you are looking for a great organization to give to, may I humbly suggest my own: Omega Institute, the non-profit life-long learning center I co-founded 40 years ago. Omega is a hub for education, retreat, and being part of a community of people from around the world. Besides offering workshops in everything from meditation to cooking to basketball, Omega is committed to taking care of the caregivers—the people who devote their lives to lifting our communities and repairing our hurting world. Your contribution will help us continue this unique opportunity for individuals and organizations. You can watch a video about this program here."
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