Flying Well :: Cathay Pacific's Revolutionary A350

cathay pacific A350 Vancouver to Hong Kong

[trip style = luxury + steal + urban]

Landing in Canada for its first scheduled flight last month, Cathay Pacific's newest jetliner, the state-of-the-art Airbus A350, brings flying to new heights. Last week I boarded the ace airliner in Vancouver enroute to Hong Kong to get acclimated with the latest in wellness and luxury at 40,000 feet.

After jet-setting in this revolutionary aircraft—which felt more like a chauffeured Rolls Royce than a 280-seat aircraft—I felt refreshed, which is not something I can say after most aviation experiences.  

Wellness
Wellness and flying aren't topics that typically go together. Time spent in a capsule above the clouds often results in dry skin, red-rimmed eyes, and swelled hands and feet—unless you fly aboard the industry's leader in inflight innovation.

On Cathay Pacific's specially designed A350-900, which adds three flights per week to the carrier's Vancouver to Hong Kong route, my skin didn't crinkle like scrunched tissue paper due to greater air humidification. My wedding ring, which is always hard to remove after flying, slid off with ease thanks to smarter cabin pressurization that reduces inflammation and fatigue. And my eyes were bright instead of bloodshot thanks to panoramic windows and a lighting system capable of emitting more than 16 million hues to pamper my peepers and reduce jet lag.

The A350 Experience
As someone who has logged thousands of miles around the world on almost every conceivable aircraft currently used in commercial aviation, I prefer this type of jet by an {air}mile!

A series of subtle and staggering differences enhance the overall Cathay Pacific A350 experience, starting with the engines. I wasn't kidding when I mentioned the inflight ambiance is akin to rolling in a Rolls. A set of Rolls Royce Trent XWB engines power the airplane, reduce rattle and contribute to this couture capsule's 25 percent greater fuel efficiency over its peers.

And then there's the jetliner's sky-high handling. From the moment you roll down the runway, the wheels seem to float, and that's before the plane even lifts off. At cloud-level the cabin is so quiet you could meditate. Landing is surprisingly effortless, like a figure skater who gently glides from airborne to arrival.

I scored a window seat at the edge of the wing, a position I was tickled pink about knowing the wing surface is the largest single piece of carbon fibre structure ever produced for civil aviation, with flaps capable of morphing their shape midair to improve fuel efficiency.

From my perch in pod 21k, I wined, dined and signed-off so I could sleep in the sky. Wrapped in a blanket made from recycled materials, I didn't even try to take advantage of the onboard WiFi to work or connect with the outside world. I was happy in my cocoon basking in the experience of feeling better inflight, and about flying in a Rolls chauffeured by Jeeves—I mean, Captain Graham.

Walking to my flight from the Cathay Pacific lounge in Vancouver

Walking to my flight from the Cathay Pacific lounge in Vancouver

My business class pod with a lie-flat bed that stretches to 75"

My business class pod with a lie-flat bed that stretches to 75"

My personal TV: big and high-def touch-screens are found in all cabin classes

My personal TV: big and high-def touch-screens are found in all cabin classes

From where I lounge aboard the A350

From where I lounge aboard the A350

Counting sheep with ease due to the A350 being one of the quietest aircrafts in its class 

Counting sheep with ease due to the A350 being one of the quietest aircrafts in its class 

One of my breakfast courses, complete with an illy cappuccino

One of my breakfast courses, complete with an illy cappuccino

Dinner part one: Smoked salmon and crabmeat with bread and greens

Dinner part one: Smoked salmon and crabmeat with bread and greens

Dinner part two: Rigatoni pasta topped with olives and parmesan

Dinner part two: Rigatoni pasta topped with olives and parmesan

Dessert: International cheese selection with grapes and quince jam paired with Port

Dessert: International cheese selection with grapes and quince jam paired with Port

Cathay Pacific A350 Details
- The Cathay Pacific Airbus A350-900 carries a total of 280 passengers: 38 Business, 28 Premium Economy, 214 Economy Class.
- Cathay Pacific currently has 13 of this aircraft type in operation, with dozens more on order.
- The A350 adds three flights weekly {Tues, Thurs, Sat} to Cathay Pacific's Vancouver to Hong Kong daily, nonstop offerings. 
- All cabin classes: The aircraft's extra-wide body offers more space and greater comfort, panoramic windows, LED mood lighting and hand lotion in every lavatory!
- Business Class: In addition to the fully flat bed and greater stowage space, travelers can personalize their pod with “Do Not Disturb” and “Wake-up Call” functions.
- Premium Economy Class: Ergonomically designed seats with integrated leg rests have dedicated tablet holders, power outlets and USB ports. 
Economy Class: In addition to Cathay's proprietary six-way headrest, each seat comes equipped with tablet holders and power plug-ins.

Related
First Look :: Cathay Pacific's GORGEOUS New Lounge at YVR
Cathay Pacific Vancouver to Hong Kong
Hong Kong :: Instagram Diary

[Photos by @tripstyler, except lead, taken as a guest of Cathay Pacific, one of my favorite airlines] 

Hong Kong :: Instagram Diary

Hong Kong Diaries

[trip style = luxury + food]

Hanging on the edge of Asia, Hong Kong is both a world hub and a destination that transcends "top 10" or "world's best" lists. At the cusp of culinary, cultural and cool-factor, the trendsetting city is in a class of its own.

I *just* returned from the city of skyscrapers last night, and before I highlight trip styling throughout the neon-lit streets, as well as my flight aboard Cathay Pacific's A350-900—a latest-gen aircraft adding three flights per week to Cathay's Vancouver to Hong Kong nonstop route—I could't wait to share some initial details:

Bird's eye view of Hong Kong. #LifeWellTravelled #A350

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Hiking in the jungle-tropical hues of Hong Kong. #LifeWellTravelled

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Stacked city. #LifeWellTravelled

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Rooftop bar bliss on the edge of Hong Kong. #LifeWellTravelled

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Design inspiration, c/o the Tea Room in The Pier Business Class Lounge in Hong Kong. #LifeWellTravelled

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[photos by @tripstyler, taken while traveling as a guest of Cathay Pacific—one of my favorite airlines]

The 10-Minute, No-Equipment Hotel Workout

9-plank-knee-tuck copy.jpg

[trip style = any]

Ever since I started Trip Styler in 2009, I've dabbled in quick hotel room workouts to keep up my cardio and strength while I'm traveling. Whether I'm jetsetting solo, with Mr. Trip Styler, or with the TS fam, my time is tight, which is why I'm pumped up about my friend Catherine's 10-minute, no-equipment, high-intensity workout. Designed to give the body a boost, this mini sweat-session is ideal for your bedroom or your hotel room.

Why am I featuring this workout? If you're going to take anyone's advice on travel fitness, it should be Catherine's. With a degree in neuroscience, an enviable career as a travel and food writer, and 15 years as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness speaker, and park ranger, this renaissance woman lives wellness both at home and when she's away. To find out more about her approach to the science of health, happiness and productivity, check out The Life Delicious.

Tips
*Do the following 11 exercises for 30 seconds each.
*Take a 15-second rest in between each exercise.
*Warm up for two minutes by marching on the spot while alternating between forward- and backward-circling arms.
*Remember: For each exercise keep your abs engaged {aka: suck in your belly button}; spine elongated; chest lifted; shoulders back; and traps, neck and jaw relaxed.

10-Minute Hotel Workout

1. Jumping jacks *Land as softly as possible, absorbing the shock to protect your joints.

1. Jumping jacks

*Land as softly as possible, absorbing the shock to protect your joints.

2. Push-ups *Whether you're pushing up from your knees or toes, focus on distributing the weight evenly through your palms and fingers.

2. Push-ups

*Whether you're pushing up from your knees or toes, focus on distributing the weight evenly through your palms and fingers.

3. Lateral hops *Pay attention to your foot and ankle position throughout this exercise. Land with a strong ankle and engaged foot; weight evenly distributed between the heel, base of the big toe and outside edge of your foot. Powerfully swing your arms in the direction of movement to help propel you from side to side.

3. Lateral hops

*Pay attention to your foot and ankle position throughout this exercise. Land with a strong ankle and engaged foot; weight evenly distributed between the heel, base of the big toe and outside edge of your foot. Powerfully swing your arms in the direction of movement to help propel you from side to side.

4. Tricep dips *Do this exercise on the floor, or make it more challenging by placing your hands on a secure ledge or chair to increase the range of motion. Don't let your shoulders creep up toward your ears.

4. Tricep dips

*Do this exercise on the floor, or make it more challenging by placing your hands on a secure ledge or chair to increase the range of motion. Don't let your shoulders creep up toward your ears.

5. Squat jumps *Get nice and low {like you're compressing a spring}, and use both arms and legs to shoot yourself straight up as high as you can go. Pay close attention to your alignment on the descent, landing softly with equal pressure around the periphery of each foot.

5. Squat jumps

*Get nice and low {like you're compressing a spring}, and use both arms and legs to shoot yourself straight up as high as you can go. Pay close attention to your alignment on the descent, landing softly with equal pressure around the periphery of each foot.

6. Dynamic lunges *Begin in a lunge position with both knees at 90 degrees. Spring straight up into the air, switching legs at your highest point, and landing softly with both feet at the same time.

6. Dynamic lunges

*Begin in a lunge position with both knees at 90 degrees. Spring straight up into the air, switching legs at your highest point, and landing softly with both feet at the same time.

7. Superman *Start laying flat on your front. Push your pelvis into the ground as you slowly lift your upper and lower body up in unison.

7. Superman

*Start laying flat on your front. Push your pelvis into the ground as you slowly lift your upper and lower body up in unison.

8. Run with high knees *Powerfully drive your opposite hand and knee up into the air as you run on the spot.

8. Run with high knees

*Powerfully drive your opposite hand and knee up into the air as you run on the spot.

9. Plank with knee tucks *Engage every muscle from head to toe as though you were a rigid board. Alternate bringing your right knee to your right elbow and your left knee to your left elbow.

9. Plank with knee tucks

*Engage every muscle from head to toe as though you were a rigid board. Alternate bringing your right knee to your right elbow and your left knee to your left elbow.

10. Burpees *Begin with knees slightly bent and arms recoiled behind you. In one continued motion, jump straight up into the air landing in a deep squat, and immediately place your hands on the ground right in front of your feet shooting your legs straight back into a plank position. Do a push-up and at the top of the movement, jump your feet back behind your hands, and then pounce straight up into the air as high as you can.

10. Burpees

*Begin with knees slightly bent and arms recoiled behind you. In one continued motion, jump straight up into the air landing in a deep squat, and immediately place your hands on the ground right in front of your feet shooting your legs straight back into a plank position. Do a push-up and at the top of the movement, jump your feet back behind your hands, and then pounce straight up into the air as high as you can.

11. Russian twists *Sit on the ground, lean back slightly, suck your belly button in, contract your rectus abdominis, and lift your feet off the ground. Hold this engaged core position as you twist to look over your left shoulder and then over your right shoulder.

11. Russian twists

*Sit on the ground, lean back slightly, suck your belly button in, contract your rectus abdominis, and lift your feet off the ground. Hold this engaged core position as you twist to look over your left shoulder and then over your right shoulder.

[photos via @LifeDelish]

On Break-Ups + the Magic of Micro-Journaling

travel micro-journaling

[trip style = any]

For most of my teenage years and early-twenties, I had an on-again, off-again relationship with my diary. Blank pages would get marked up with everything from what I wore to the Sr. Formal {a floor-length teal-green dress, BTW}, who I had a crush on at summer camp, or the eye-popping sunset I experienced atop the Eiffel Tower when I traveled to Paris solo.  

Then, one day, enough was enough. Overwhelmed by the time investment of journaling every detail of my day, I broke up with my diary. For 15 years we ignored each other. But, I missed her blank pages, providing a place where I could look at my life from an airplane {aka "bird's eye view"} perspective.  

So, we got back together, but in a win-win kinda way. "Dear diary" version 2017 is less long-form and more short-story, less time-intensive and more efficient.

Enter the micro-journal, something I'm attempting to do at home AND on the road. Otherwise, life passes me by faster than a supersonic jet. Without its simple day-by-day bullet points I would forget make-me-smile details like watching baby turtles hatch on the beach in the Great Barrier Reef with Mr. Trip Styler, or seeing Blue Styler take his first steps on a Disney Cruise.

Memories fade, but something my 96-year-old grandpa has taught me is: The joys of yesterday or yesteryear retain their clarity with a few {micro-journal} prompts. Try it. Just three bullet points a day.   

PS - If this post were micro-journal-style, I wouldn't have burnt the quinoa I was cooking while writing this :)  

[photo by @tripstyler]

That Travel Meal :: 5-Ingredient Sour Cream Ice Cream

5-ingredient sour cream ice cream

[trip style = food + wine]

Making, eating AND writing about this sweet AND savory ice cream has been on my to-do list for almost three years. It's that simple, silky and satisfying. 

I originally came across sour cream ice cream in Araxi restaurant at Cornucopia {Whistler's celebration of food + drink} during a seven-course food and wine pairing meal. Everything about the harvest-fresh menu was memorable, yet strangely, the dish that made my taste buds dance was an accompaniment. 

The cool treat became a topic of conversation, and I learned from the veteran food and cookbook author sitting next to me how easy sour cream ice cream is to make—seriously, prep takes five minutes! 

I've spent the last two weeks researching and tweaking this Trip Styler recipe to mimic what I tasted three years ago. Here is the delicious result for the latest "bite" in our That Travel Meal series. Bon Appétit!

Sour Cream Ice Cream Recipe {serves 6}
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup sugar
- Juice from half a lemon OR 1/3 a grapefruit
- Pinch of Maldon Sea Salt 

Instructions
Whisk sour cream and half-and-half together. Add in sugar and lemon. Blend well. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and churn for 25-30 minutes. Serve and top with a pinch of sea salt or a fresh basil leaf. Store, sealed, in the freezer for up to three days.