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.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: To Omer Arbel, beauty is like a “behind-the-scenes force”, and it is the investigation of this force, and the search for it, that forms the foundation for all of his work.

Ingenious design is translated into simple forms at Japanese label Muji, known for its flexible product range that aims to be universally relevant (and delves into homeware, stationery, clothing, and more).

Just over a year ago, the Australian state of Queensland completed an 18-month-long, $24.5-million project to spruce up the coastal town of Airlie Beach. The landscaping spit-and-polish was a complement to Airlie’s existing central lagoon which overlooks the Coral Sea.