savvy traveler

The Savvy Traveler :: [SEBELL]

[trip style = urban, food + wine, luxe]

[trip style = urban, food + wine, luxe]

This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

It’s hard to feel at home when you’re bouncing nomadically between Nashville, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver and B.C.’s Interior, but recording artist Sebell is content to call home wherever his suitcase lands. The multi-award winning musician, whose infectious Top 20 hit single Till the Sun Burns Out is playing on radio now, has an EP releasing with Universal Music in the fall. I sat down with him over coffee on a brief stopover in Vancouver to talk travel and bond over our shared affection for Instagram, Scandinavian design and the American South.

1/ Pick your top three trip styles
Trip style = urban, food + wine, luxe
My job tends to keep me in major cities, so for that reason urban is my main trip style. I’m a firm believer in “working vacations” and making even a weekend work trip memorable. That usually means trying out a new restaurant I’ve been following in my Instagram feed or checking out an espresso bar that my serious coffee connoisseur friends are raving about.

I’ve been fortunate enough to experience some pretty luxurious hotels in my travels and that’s something that never gets old. I feel a little like Kevin in Home Alone 2. One time I had a cold and without even a conversation about it, the concierge noticed and sent an assortment of fresh lemon slices and hot teas to my room with a handwritten get-well note. Another time guest services arranged for a hair stylist from a local salon to give me a trim after hours when I couldn’t get a booking in the city and had a televised event the next night. You don’t get that kind of service at a Motel 6.

2/ I can't travel without...
Must-have items
Eye mask {yeah, I’m one of those}, Killspencer Daypack, Aesop Deodorant Spray {a.k.a. the red eye refresher}, Colgate Wisps, D.L. Eyewear Sunglasses, Saturdays NYC trunks {you never know when you’ll find a great pool}, KIND Almond & Coconut Bars and magazines like Inventory, Monocle, GQ, Entrepreneur and Inc.

UBER, Evernote {it’s where I keep all my frequent flier numbers}, Instagram, VSCO Cam, Hotel Tonight, Mini Piano {it looks useless, but it's an essential if you’re a singer or keyboard player on the road} and Full Fitness {great for keeping up a workout routine}

3/ Memorable travel story?
I was in Nashville one summer a few years back, in town playing a couple shows and getting to know the city. A friend randomly invited me to drive down to Florence, Alabama for a special show with The Civil Wars. It ended up being at designer Billy Reid’s flagship store. The band was on the cusp of breaking and Billy had just won GQ’s “Men’s Designer of the Year” Award. We sat in his studio, surrounded by his mood boards and sketches, everyone was drinking wine out of mason jars, the place was flooded in candlelight and we sat cross-legged on the floor listening to Joy and John Paul perform one of the best acoustic shows I’ve ever witnessed. One of my favorite music – and travel – experiences ever.

4/ Favorite spots in...
Pinewood Social: For the fantastic vibe, coffee, brunch, lunch, dinner, drinks and bowling. Yes bowling. You could literally hang here all day. 
Patterson House: For a relaxing evening cocktail with friends
Imogene + Willie: For some handmade Nashville raw denim

Los Angeles
Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese: For the best sandwich on a fresh baguette you’ll ever eat
Mohawk General Store: For a great selection of men’s and women’s clothing, housewares and magazines
Baxter Finley Barber & Shop: For a fresh fade and beard trim {and to stock up on Baxter of California products}

Revolver: For fantastic coffee
Old Faithful Shop: For Paine’s Cedar Incense, Hot Cakes Cold-Smoked Chocolate Chips and everything else that is good in life
Ask for Luigi: For weekend brunch {believe the hype}

Pilot Coffee Roasters Tasting Bar: For the “Trust the Barista” special. A little hard to find, but worth it.
Electric Mud BBQ: For a fresh take on BBQ. You’ll feel like you’re eating at a roadside shack in Texasa hip roadside shack.
The Drake General Store: For great wares and fun things you can’t find everywhere else. While you’re at it, check out the Drake Hotel next door and the Drake Underground for great live shows.

5/ You recently did a cross-Canada tour promoting “Till the Sun Burns Out”. What are some of your favorite stops in Canada?
Vancouver, Montreal and the Alberta Rockies. Any chance I get to stay in Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper, I’m in. It’s the Canadian Promiseland as far as I’m concerned.

6/ Destinations on your radar?
Japan for the architecture and the fashion scene
Sweden for the culture, design, fashion and music scene
– Palm Springs because it's always a good idea

More Savvy Travelers
Leighann, Work & Play
Jesse, I'm With The Band
Shaun, Packing Like A Rock Star

{If you know anyone who should be featured in our Savvy Traveler series, drop us a line!}

[photo by @chuckdwillis c/o @sebellmusic]

The Savvy Traveler :: Carolyn

[trip style = urban]

Carolyn's wayfaring gives frequent fliers a run for their mileage. As a high-flying small biz coach and wife of a pro tennis player, she travels for a trio of reasons: first, to hang with her husband as his 'doubles partner'; second, to see clients and facilitate retreats; and third, for the thrill. A lover of traveling like a local and spontaneous iPad-driven dance parties, I'm itching to officially introduce this month's Savvy Traveler!

1/ Pick your top trip style
[trip style = urban] Wandering in the shadows of skyscrapers is my travel norm because my husband and I are constantly working remotely from major urban centers dotting the world map.

2/ Favorite hotel{s}
For me, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts win a grand slam for luxe lodging around the world. The Four Seasons in Costa Rica's Papagayo Peninsula is my muse offering hiking, beach, whales, snorkeling {all in one day!}. On the opposite side of the court, to experience a place in its prime, I prefer staying in rental apartments so I can live like a local---shopping at markets, eating at the neighborhood bistros and savoring a new hood!

3/ I can't travel without...
- My husband, he's the SAVVIEST traveler I know and the go-to guy for other tennis professionals on the tours---he knows more than most travel agents.
- Unlocked cell phone, so I can swap local sim cards in and out depending on my coordinates du jour.
- iPad; I use it to catch up on the news at home, create photo albums of our trips, and access my music to create spontaneous dance parties wherever we go.
- Sunglasses, they create insta-shade, hide tired eyes and act as a virtual Do Not Disturb sign if I need to nod off inflight.
- A pashmina is a MUST. I use it as a blanket, pillow and head cover to block out the light when annoying people leave the blinds open on overnight flights!

4/ Carry-on or checked bag
Carry-on for my business travel and checked bag when roaming with my husband. I act as his gear “mule” and often bring an empty bag just to carry his extra stuff like clothes, shoes and racquets.

5/ Aisle or window
Aisle. Always. I need the freedom to get up and move around without asking permission.

6/ Favorite quote
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” -Anatole France

More Savvy Travelers
Jesse, I'm With The Band
Jackie, Paris Is Always A Good Idea
Lori, A License To Move

{If you know anyone who should be featured in our once-monthly The Savvy Traveler series, drop us a line!}

[photo via Carolyn]

The Savvy Traveler :: Lori

[trip style = active & adventure + budget conscious + staycation]

Lori is an uber-accomplished travel writer. She comes by it naturally. Fascinated by travel at an early age, when she was seven years old she told her parents she'd live in a hotel, now she does---part time. A modern-day renaissance woman with a kind soul, Lori is good at everything she sets her mind to: Polynesian, tap, jazz, ballet and modern dance {I wouldn't be surprised if I saw her on So You Think You Can Dance Canada}, and acting to name a few other disciplines she's successfully conquered. Most recently, Lori's added published author to her resume. When she's not writing about indigenous culture, outdoor adventures, sustainable travel and dance in New Zealand, Japan or far-flung parts of Canada, find her biking around Vancouver. Follow Lori's life of adventure on Twitter @LoriHenry and via her website {updated regularly}.

1/ Pick your top three trip styles.
[trip style = active & adventure] Often the best way to see a place is by getting outdoors and into spaces that aren’t part of people’s regular paths. That usually means hiking, cycling, jumping, wading or being airborne to get there. Ideally, self-propelled.

[trip style = budget conscious] Travel shouldn’t only be for those who have lots of money. I would rather travel more with less money, than travel less with more money.

[trip style = staycation] Travelling can be pretty damaging to the environment, so staying close to home is increasingly more appealing to me. It helps that I live in British Columbia, one of the most stunning places in the world.

2/ Overpacker or underpacker?
Underpacker. I hate being weighed down, so I would rather have less than more. I do lots of hand washing in sinks and bathtubs!

3/ The destination that stole your heart?
Cape Breton in the summer! Nova Scotia in general is one of my favourite places to travel to, but Cape Breton actually stole my heart. There is a warm current that runs through the island that is woven together through step dancing feet, linked hands in an Allemande Left, and fiddle tunes that have seeped into my soul.

4/ How often do you travel?
Up until last year, I was travelling once or twice a month. It was insane. Now I am better at balancing shorter trips with longer trips, and getting more than one story each time. Travelling is exhausting!

Last Trip: Kyoto, Japan. This is the oldest city I have ever been to {it was the capital city of Japan in 794} and it was fascinating. I don’t tend to get much culture shock anymore, but I was wide-eyed here in my first jaunt to the country. Everything was a contradiction, yin and yang, old and new, and everything had a cute factor of 10.

Next Trip: It looks like I’ll be heading to the desert this month, for a wellness trip to Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona. There will be massages, kayaking and hot desert air.

On Your Radar: Polynesia {where I am focusing my next books} and Southeast Asia, where I haven’t done much travelling to at all.

5/ You recently wrote a book: Dancing Through History: In Search of the Stories that Define Canada. Tell us about it!
Dancing Through History is a travel/culture/dance book about Canada. I spent four years travelling around the country, on and off, to find cultures that had kept up their traditional dances. The book explores how people and societies use dance as a way to tell their history, family stories, reveal their beliefs and practice their customs, all the while having a good time!

The chapters cover Inuit drum dancing in Nunavut, touch on folk dancing in Newfoundland, and step dancing and square dancing in Cape Breton, what it’s like to dance in the Cirque du Soleil, pow wow and hoop dancing, Métis jigging in Saskatchewan, Ukrainian dancing in the prairies, and First Nations dancing in Vancouver and Haida Gwaii. It’s all about dance, yet goes far beyond dance itself. You can read more here.

More Savvy Travelers
Marc, Extraordinary Adventurer
Marissa, 30 By 30
Jason, Living To Travel

{If you know anyone who should be featured in our once-monthly The Savvy Traveler series, drop us a line!}

[photo c/o lori]

The Savvy Traveler :: Marc

[trip style = active & adventure + beach + wine tasting]

Panama hat, check. Linen suit, check. Hairy and extraordinary travel tales, check. Marc, aka Marc Passion, calls himself an ordinary guy seeking extraordinary travel experiences, but I think you have to be more than ordinary to get into some of the off-beat and outta sight situations he's captured. With a filming partner, Marc---always wearing the Panama hat and linen suit---records his travel adventures on video and uploads them to his website, Marc Passion Travel. I met the Aussie adventurer in Vancouver last year and was wowed by his work-play balancing act and h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s travel stories from parts of the world other travelers wouldn't dare go. With this, meet May's Savvy Traveler!

1/ Your top three trip styles and why?
This is a hard one because my lifestyle allows me to pick any trip style at any time. I work in a gold mine in Tanzania and my roster is six weeks on, four weeks off, so I can pick short bursts here and there, or focus on longer and genuine experiences. As I get older, I prefer the luxurious approach.

[trip style = active & adventure] Lately I've been into adventure/sporting trips, snowboarding in Beaver Creek, Colorado. I'm also going to hit-up the indoor ski facility, Ski Dubai, for a day on my way back to Tanzania.

[trip style = beach] A beach holiday is always good. I'm actually writing this on my brand new iPad, overlooking the sun-drenched coastline with a nice cold Asahi beer from the pool bar at the Marriott Surfers Paradise Resort and Spa on the Gold Coast.

[trip style = wine tasting] Last week I visited the Hunter Valley wine region. It produces 2% of Australia's wine. It's luxury to the max at Spicers Vineyard Estate, a beautiful accommodation that's tucked into the vineyard's rolling hills.

2/ What's the stickiest situation you've been in while filming a travel video?
I've been in a few funny situations in the past whilst filming. But then again, I'd say funny simply because I couldn't believe what was happening in front of my eyes. I was with a friend in Vancouver during the Stanley Cup finals when the Canucks lost! Some people rioted in the streets, and on our way home we got caught in the tear gas.... not enjoyable.... but certainly a situation to look back on and laugh. Another was in Vietnam trying snake blood: my reactions in this video say it all. The stickiest situation was in Cambodia with the army. We found a place to buy some large guns to shoot in the middle of the bush, an hour from Phnom Penh. It was only after the day finished, we realized how easily we could have been robbed or kidnapped.

3/ The destination that has/will make you a return visitor?
Vietnam! Absolutely. I spent a month there traveling from top to bottom, and stayed away from most tourists. The people, scenery, food and culture are simply amazing and I'm planning another trip soon---hopefully before tourists have completely taken over.

4/ Last trip, next trip and what destination{s} are on your radar?
I'm currently home for the first time in seven months, but I'm not going to count this as a trip. My last trip was to Denver and Boulder for just over three weeks. I visited Strawberry Springs in Steamboat for a thermo pool session, Colorado Springs for an mouth-watering breakfast burrito and hiked up the Flatirons in Boulder. Colorado is definitely the place to be for fresh air and a cold beer from microbreweries aplenty. It has a ton to offer and I plan to keep on exploring the destination in June when I return to North America, and likely add on a trip to the sand dunes in southern Colorado as well as venture into Yellowstone in Wyoming or Moab, Utah.

5/ You're from Oz, what are your top three suggestions for travelers seeking a local experience in Australia?
I was born and bred in Sydney, so anything to do with the water makes me feel right at home, and that does NOT mean hitting up Bondi Beach! Instead, try: Maroubra Beach, quieter and just as nice, or head up the coast to Lennox Head for locals surfing spots. Hanging out on Sydney Harbour is another favorite pastime. I've been lucky enough to have a cousin who operates Morpheus Cruises, and I can't remember how many times I've floated past the Opera House or the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Lastly, let's talk beer and meat! A true Aussie experience wouldn't be complete without a massive steak on the barbecue and an ice-cold beer in hand. I've only been back a week and I've already cooked up three barbecue dinners with more to come... Cheers!

More Savvy Travelers
Marissa, 30 By 30
Jason, Living To Travel
Marissa, Vacation Time Escapist

{If you know anyone who should be featured in our once-monthly The Savvy Traveler series, drop us a line!}

[photo c/o marc]