The Savvy Traveler

The Savvy Traveler :: Jackie

[trip style = urban + sightseeing]

I'm obsessed with croissants. I chalk this up to a longing in my heart {and stomach} for Paris. Paris is always a good idea, non? When I can't jet over to the City of Lights for a cafe au lait and croissant, I visit Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe, a recently-opened Vancouver bakery that turns pastries into poetry. Beaucoup and owner Jackie Ellis have a tight connection with France. After running her own design firm for several years, she closed up shop and set off for Paris to study pastry making at École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil, and taste her way through Europe---for research purposes, of course! Cue blockbuster movie-in-the-making...

Just a few months after the Beacoup's opening, Jackie visited Paris encore {check out her snaps on Instagram} to take more courses and fill her foodie list to the fulleth by grazing markets, cafes and patisseries, as well as donning her finest duds at the fanciest Michelin-starred restaurants in town. With this, we're pleased as pie to welcome our latest Savvy Traveler, Jackie!

1/ Pick your top trip styles
[trip style = urban + sightseeing] I love discovering the history and local lifestyle of a new city through its cuisine and markets.

2/ The destination that stole your heart and why
Paris. I spent months there studying pastries and during that time, the city helped me to discover who I was and taught me to be passionate about life.

3/ Your favorite food abroad
This is an impossible question to ask a foodie! Right now, I have to say it is the Millefeuille Praliné at Pierre Hermé in Paris. I dream of it! It is a classic French pastry with layered caramelized pastry and cream. I love that it’s simple, and when beautifully done, the perfect contrast of textures and flavors.

4/ I can't travel without...
- A beautiful Maxmara or Dries Van Noten dress
- Music on my iPhone {I'm an old-school music girl. Right now I'm digging The Stones, Stevie Wonder, Etta James, The Beatles, Neil Young, Queen, Steve Earle, early Elton and Nick Drake.}
- Lots of restaurant reservations
- A dining guide like the Michelin Guide, Zagat or Gambero Rosso
- Twitter and Instagram to capture cuisine

Trip Styler Tip: If there are restaurant reservations you MUST have, make them before you leave so you aren't disappointed.

5/ Last trip
An inspiration trip to Paris. I toured pastry shops and restaurants for the latest food trends, taking a course on breads with an *M.O.F. boulangiere as well as a petit gateaux class to research new products for Beaucoup. I am always looking to taste the most outstanding food as a way to compare and challenge myself to create at the same level. I find traveling centers and focuses my creativity and passion. For me, inspiration comes from exploring the nuances of daily life in a city.

*The art of baking bread is so respected in France, the government awards a designation to the very best practitioners called Meilleur Ouvrier de France, given at the end of a grueling, three-day examination some bakers train for years to score a good grade.

6/ Destination on your radar

More Savvy Travelers
Lori, A License To Move
Marc, Extraordinary Adventurer
Marissa, 30 By 30

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

[photo of Jackie from @BeaucoupBakery by @collectiveyou wearing @blush_bridal]

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 :: Marissa

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

Marissa is a loyal student of any task she takes on---be it fashion design, tai chi, triathlons or travel. After a recent e-introduction to this 29-year-old traveler, I was impressed by her energy, drive and the personal challenge she set to visit 30 countries by the time she's 30. A serious athlete her whole life, she doesn't let jetsetting slow down her pace, in fact, the local forms of working out she picks up along the way only add to her active lifestyle and fuel ideas for her business. Nine to five she's a fashion designer who studied in Italy and at the Parsons School of Design in NYC, and has since founded her own line of activewear. Now at the helm of BORELLI Design she creates apparel inspired by her life on the go. Meet April's Savvy Traveler, Marissa, and find her online on Twitter and Facebook!

1/ Your top 3 trip styles and why?
[trip style = active & adventure] I have trouble relaxing, even when I’m on vacation. The best places I’ve visited so far for fitness and adventure are New Zealand; Moab, Utah; Vietnam {hiking the rice patties in the hilltop village of Sapa is a killer workout} and Lake Tahoe, California.

[trip style = wine tasting] I never pass up a wine tasting trip. In Napa we stop by two to three wineries post spa at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn or Indian Springs Resort.

[trip style = beach] Out of the 29 countries I’ve visited, so far 23 have involved a day or week at the beach. Anguilla and Captiva Island {off of Florida} have the softest sand I’ve ever felt. My mind is clearer and more creative when I’m near the water. I run or walk along the beach daily in San Diego.

2/ How do you stay in shape while traveling?
I stretch while waiting to board my flight or do squats in the hallways. My favorite way to see a new place is to explore on a run or a hike. I see getting lost in a destination as a good thing, and often find local gems off the beaten path. I refuse to go to the gym while traveling. Instead I try out the local workouts, for example, in India I took a yoga class and attended Laughing Club {works all the muscles in your belly while teaching you why Indian people are so happy}.

3/ What is the ONE THING, you won't travel without?
A Borelli scarf. It's the most versatile accessory I own. On the plane I use it as a scarf or a blanket---airline blankets are useless and scratchy. If I'm at the beach, its built-in SPF 20 provides sun protection. Post hike or waterfall jump I throw it on as a skirt or dress and it dries in minutes! While I'm away, I wash it in my hotel room's shower or sink and lay it out to dry. The more you wash it the softer it becomes!

4/ Last trip, next trip & what destination{s} are on your radar?
Last trip: Cabo San Lucas. We stayed at the Villa La Estancia for a week. I took the SUP (stand up paddle board) out daily and we celebrated my 29th birthday dancing on a boat at sunset.

Next Trip: Belize. Four days in a resort, three days at a yoga retreat. I will be researching textiles for Spring/Summer 2013 and attempting to relax.

On my radar: Completing the 30 by 30 challenge in Iceland. I’m excited to hike a glacier and volcano in the same day.

5/ Either/or...
Beach or pool? Beach, no question. The perfect combination would be a hot tub in the sand after a swim or wakeboarding session.

Mojito or margarita? Mojito. We grow our own mint because we like as much and mint and lime as the tongue can handle, with just a pinch of sugar.

Big or boutique hotel? Boutique. The smaller the better. In Mykonos we were the only people at the hotel and were invited to dine with the owners! It felt like our own home.

Walk or cab? I rarely take cabs, even when I lived in NYC.

Checked bag or carry-on? A bright red Swiss Army carry-on I picked up in London. I spent five weeks in New Zealand, Australia and India with only a carry-on!

More Savvy Travelers
Jason, Living To Travel
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 marissa]