When food trucks turned the culinary tide in the 2000s, Portland’s weren’t the only moveable feasts on the West Coast garnering serious buzz—Tofino’s Tacofino did, too.

When dawn breaks upon Lake Como, the window seats are the first to go. Throngs of early risers filter through waterfront hotels for breakfast with a view, watching the melancholic fog burn off during the autumn or catching the first kaleidoscopic streaks of light across the water in the summer.

“Welcome to Churchill, land of the unexpected.” This is my guide’s greeting soon after I touch down at Churchill’s airport. I am set to venture into the wilds of northern Manitoba, where expectations of the unexpected translate into a feeling of sheer suspense.

No more than a discreet brass plaque and a buzzer at the wrought-iron gate indicates the entrance to Ballyfin, an Irish country house hotel, secreted away from the world by tall stone walls.

It was Kenyan paleoanthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey who pioneered the archeological exploration of their country’s lush Great Rift Valley. Their 2.5-million-year-old skeletal discoveries in Kenya and Tanzania were evidence that this expanse could well have been the cradle of mankind, and the very origin of us all.

The sound emanating from within C. Bechstein’s piano factory in the sleepy German town of Seifhennersdorf, Saxony, is a cacophony of keys being tested, the guttural sawing of wood, and, at one workbench, a radio softly playing American pop music.

“Some people call it hockey on horseback,” said John Wash, president of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, before reeling off a one-minute refresher on the rules of polo. “So don’t let it complicate you, now.”

Pat Sweeney is drawn to places where many fear to tread. Hanging over the edge of the Cliffs of Moher with his arms balanced and neck craned at 90 degrees, the farmer-turned-trailblazer from County Clare on Ireland’s far west coast calls to a crowd to overcome their vertigo.

When the Swiss skin-care company La Prairie writes up an ingredient list for its luxe product range, no expense is spared.

Steeped in British style as a result of 13 years spent living across the pond, Goodge Place co-owner Emily McLean honed her London-influenced design eye to open up a concept shop off South Granville in Vancouver last winter.