savvy traveller

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]

The Savvy Traveler :: Jason

[trip style = beach + sightseeing + weekend getaway]

Jason's got it down. Each year he travels to a trio of far-flung locales on a big trip and a bevy of beach destinations on smaller trips. Along with weekends away, this has him escaping Vancouver at least once a month, all while holding a major role at one of Canada's most respected and longstanding retailers. The only way to couple his long work hours with his love of travel is to plan ahead and then go for it---even when it seems inconvenient. Extended weekend in Chicago, why not? Three-week, multi-country itinerary? No problem. Spot this stylish jetsetter---with a penchant for layering grey tones---traveling alongside his globetrotting partner, Hjalmar.

1/ What are your top 3 trip styles & why?
We typically break down our yearly vacations into major trips, minor tips and weekend getaways:

[trip style = weekend getaway] Managing the hectic work schedules of two people who live to travel is tough. Weekend getaways are a must! Our two-day escapes range from trip style = wine tasting in Kelowna to trip style = skiing in Whistler. Extended weekends involve trip style = beach'ing it in Hawaii or checking out the trip style = urban restaurant scene in Chicago.

[trip style = sightseeing] Every year we plan a longer vacation {anywhere from 2-3 weeks} focusing on destinations we haven’t yet explored. We love to experience new cultures, architecture, cuisine, etc. During this type of holiday, we typically pack in as much as possible, jetting to 3-4 different cities/countries. A few years ago we did London, Egypt and Dubai and last year we did Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

[trip style = beach] Since our major trips aren’t always the most relaxing and weekend getaways are too short to unwind, we definitely look forward to a week to 10 days on the beach, and nothing more. It’s usually a week in Mexico. It's the kind of trip where I don't feel guilty for doing absolutely nothing!

2/ What items are always on your packing list?
- Kiehl's Facial Fuel {moisturizer and SPF in one}
- Anything in grey {this color goes with everything and it's seasonally neutral}
- Flip flops
- Summer scarf
- Christian Dior duffle bag {the perfect carry-all...and it's grey of course}
- iPhone {I don't leave home without it -- staying connected is a necessity for me}

3/ Carry-on or checked bag?
If it’s a week or less, carry-on! I avoid checking luggage whenever possible. It slows everything down from the check-in to the baggage claim! When I'm only doing carry-on, I can get through check-in, security and customs in less than 10 minutes, and for weekend getaways, this is a must! However, for those longer trips where I do check a bag, I still tend to pack light. It’s less about what I’m bringing, and more about what I’m bringing back!

4/ Last trip, next trip & what destination{s} are on your radar?
Last Trip: Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong

Next Trip: Yearly pilgrimage to Coachella in Palm Desert

On My Radar: Later this year we’re headed to London, Holland and Turkey. We’ve also planned a weekend trip to NYC. Our next two major trips in the coming years include Australia and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

5/ Do you have any travel rituals you follow each time you jetset?
Naps! We tend to always take a nap or rest between 4-6pm. This way we recover from a long day of sightseeing and are ready for a night on the town. Splurge! We seek out and splurge on the best restaurant in town, usually relying on the recommendations of locals or friends. Research! We always figure out the must-sees and the must-dos everywhere we go. The internet is good, but pair it with the advice of people you trust!

6/ What's the one destination you could return to year after year?
Puerto Vallarta. For the past couple years we've spent our New Year's Eve holiday in PV. There’s a large group of our friends who go every year. It’s a great way to relax after a long year and a crazy holiday season, and re-group for the coming year. It’s a quick, fairly cheap way to holiday in sun and sand.

More Savvy Travelers
Marisa, Vacation Time Escapist
Shaun, Packing Like A Rock Star
Christina, Taking Care Of Biz

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

[photo c/o jason]

The Savvy Traveler :: Shaun

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

Editor's Note: We're excited to feature Shaun, a rockin' packing evangelist---with a book to boot---for this month's installment of The Savvy Traveler. Don't miss next Monday's follow-up piece with a sneak-peek at his packing method and must-haves...before his book comes out!

Shaun is a Canadian rock star {aka bassist for Tegan and Sara} who is as passionate about packing as he is about music. And who better to trust about maximizing suitcase space than someone who is constantly packing and re-packing? Jetting from city to city for the past 10 years with only a carry-on suitcase to call home, Shaun picked up a few packing tricks of the trade and decided to write a book about it {more details below} with tons of how-to pictures, packing tidbits and interviews with other musicians {think Vampire Weekend, Death Cab for Cutie, Cold War Kids, etc.}. Here's why Shaun is our first Savvy Traveler of 2012!

1/ What are your top three trip styles and why?
If I had to narrow it down to only three favorite trip styles, it would be Active & Adventure, Urban and Budget Conscious. Here's why...

[trip style = active & adventure] Simply put, I have difficulty standing still. It could be the fact that I grew up on the rugged West Coast. I love exploring, and exploring to me is a physical and mental state. I like the idea of really taking in a new environment by being active, so whether this is in the form of a ski trip or a jaunt down the Oregon coast for a quick surf, I have to keep moving!

[trip style = urban] After exploring and spending time in nature, I like to switch it up with the busyness of a bustling city. When I grew up I wanted to be an architect. That passion is still there in the form of design, but despite it losing out to a stronger passion in music, I still love tall buildings and beautifully designed museums. I could walk for hours in a large city with no idea or concern of where I'm heading. For a variety of reasons stemming from architecture to overall feel, my favorite city walkabouts would be: Copenhagen, Denmark; Melbourne, Australia; and of course you can never go wrong with New York, NY.

[trip style = budget conscious] I appreciate the challenge of a budget-conscious trip. As the majority of my traveling has come through my profession as a musician, I'm used to constantly being made aware of the cost of travel. After all, for the bands that I'm in or even just performing with, the only reason we're traveling from city to city or country to country is in hopes of making enough money to do it again the next year while still trying to make a living. We have to save money here so we can invest there, and touring for us is no different. How can we set up a gig in Tokyo to not only write off our trip, but also come back with a little money in our pockets, PLUS a lifetime of new stories and experiences?!  PS - I'm still trying to figure out this one :)

2/ You've written a book about packing; what compelled you to write it?
Originally I starting writing the book, How to Pack Like A Rock Star, as a fun project to do while on the road. I started by jotting down a few little packing tricks here and there while perfecting my own packing method. Then I started printing off copies for my band mates as a fun Christmas present, but then my mind started to wander! What if I added a ton of fun photos? What if I asked a few other bands to add their input? What if I challenged anyone who cares about traveling to think about packing in a new way? And then it really started changing and evolving into a much bigger, more rewarding project!

In short, the final product ended up far better than I ever could have imagined. It really is the best "nerdy-cool, how-to book" on packing your suitcase---probably because it's the only one, but still! And besides it isn't just about packing; it's "an insider's look at the how to pack for tour or vacation, complete with helpful hints, comments and advice from some of the world's top touring artists." So in other words, even if you don't care to learn a new way to pack, it's chock-full of fun stories {including some disastrous ones!} about being on the road.

3/ Carry-on or checked bag?
Carry-on. I wouldn't have written this book if it weren't for being forced to use a carry-on for many years of my young touring life! It's about being efficient and the carry-on forces you to be just that!

4/ Last trip, next trip and what destinations are on your radar and why?
Aside from a few trips across Canada with my own band Rococode in the last couple of months, my last real trip was New Zealand and Australia. It was my first time in New Zealand, and now I just need to get back there before it's too late to sign up for "Middle Earth, Lord of the Rings Tours"!

I'm heading off on tour again through Canada, but I'm sure I'll also be adding a trip style = weekend getaway {or two} down to Cannon Beach, OR---one of my favorite places to just get away and relax. And when I say relax, I obviously mean surf, play tennis, etc.

Japan is still the ultimate destination on my radar right now. From what I've heard, it's like no other country and you feel lost the moment you get off the plane. I've heard this about the United Emirates too.

5/ Where and when can we buy the book?
The easiest way to get a copy of my book right now is to say hi and e-mail me at Shortly you'll be able to order it from my website, as well as buy it in a variety of stores, from airport gift shops to regular book stores!

More Savvy Travelers
Christina, Taking Care of Biz
Charles, The Global Travel Influencer
Rachel, The Suitcase Siren

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

[photo via Shaun]