Legs are required for jumping, dancing
Strolling along down a … What’s that word again?
AKA – use those legs and get out there :)
I wanted to expand on a thought I mentioned in an earlier post. And let me preface this with a total acknowledgment that nobody is made of money and we all have responsibilities at home / work that keep us tethered to a reality not replete with playboy jet-setting. BUT – hear me out…
We all need to escape from the stifling monotany of our comfort zone from time to time.
It’s your daily routine. For most of us that includes a commute to work, putting in time at the office, the same ol’ same ol’ lunch options, grabbing a cupcake for Sally’s birthday, meeting after meeting. We all know this routine.
I should also add that I love my job. I love the people I spend time with all day Monday through Friday.
But I do my job SO much better when I can take a breath and go somewhere that drastically alters my thought process.
Traveling breaks down the safe confines of the 9-5 routine and challenges you to think differently. It exposes you to variety and stimuli that you will simply never get at home.
When I get back from this trip I’ll literally have lit up different parts of my brain and engaged in problem solving never possible within my comfort zone.
That’s pretty incredible – and why you should tell your boss that your next vacation is so necessary to your optimal job performance. ;) I just winky-faced but I’m serious!
[backdrop ~ Senso-Ji Temple]
jacket – Uniqlo
turtleneck – Uniqlo
Why travel? What’s the point? It’s expensive and scary and you feel inept fumbling around an unfamiliar city.
Well, if that’s how you feel then you’re definitely missing the point. And here’s where I’ll flip those doubts and fears into exactly why you should travel – in just two easy steps!
Spend money on experiences not things.
This one might be my favorite – and perhaps advice that I feel most hypocritical about relaying given I’m the author of a men’s fashion blog. Sure I like nice things and probably spend more money than most rational men on new shoes, jackets and sunglasses. Online shopping addiction is real. But what I aspire to is a life less tied to stockpiling whozits and whatsits galore (you want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty). Investing in travel opens you up to so many rich life experiences, colorful memories and diverse ways of thinking that a closet full of stuff just can’t deliver. And I never said picking up a few souvenirs to wear home was a bad thing ;)
Think differently about getting from point A to point B.
You escape from the stifling monotany of your comfort zone. It’s your daily routine. For most of us that includes familiar environments, people and activities like work, family and friends. These aren’t bad things. We all need somewhere and someplace to belong. But what might seem “scary” about traveling to a foreign country where you don’t know the language or customs is exactly why you should travel. Figuring these unknowns out challenges you to think creatively, problem solve and ultimately clear out some of the cobwebs in your tired old brain.
[backdrop ~ Tokyo Imperial Palace East Garden]
sweater – similar (Scotch & Soda)
jeans – similar (Asos Denim)
bangle – Alex and Ani
watch – Komono
shades – Ray-Ban
I’m a sucker for a good open air market. What better way to get elbow to elbow with a throng of locals and tourists alike.
The Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo is home to the world’s largest wholesale fish and seafood market and houses a daily auction for tuna to be shipped all over the world. It’s a free sight to see (the market, not the auction – which you need to arrive at 4am to try to get in to see… no thanks!) and definitely worth the trip.
We spent the morning strolling through the crowded walkways and browsing all the seafood, produce, kitchenware, and restaurants. Obviously our stomachs started growling so we sat down in one of a hundred identical little sushi restaurants (more like a market stall dressed up like a restaurant). What followed was the freshest sushi you could probably ever eat. YUM.
I love you, Tokyo!
Okay I’m gonna get a little sappy and reflective for a second. Feel free to go “aaawwwww” at the end of my ramblings here. That’s allowed.
Perhaps one of the most important things I’ve learned from traveling, no matter the destination or duration, is what a difference a good travel buddy can make.
I’m so grateful for my friend Sarah, who has luckily become one of my favorite travel companions.
We just agreed yesterday that we’re such a good match because she’s incredible at finding destinations. She scours Yelp reviews and scrolls “must see” lists to identify sights, restaurants, landmarks, and bars. Then I jump in to navigate and find a flight plan to get us there.
I guess that’s basically what you want in any partnership in life – whether a friendship or a marriage; someone who compliments your skill set and ultimately wants to arrive at the same destination. And it doesn’t hurt if they can make you laugh along the way. :)
PS – These are a few snaps Sarah and I took during an afternoon walk through the Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo – such a beautiful, peaceful and historic sanctuary within the city’s hustle and bustle.
watch – Daniel Wellington
chinos – Uniqlo
shoes – similar (K-Swiss)
ring – Miansai
sweater – similar (Asos)
Our bloodshot eyes strain to make out English subtitles on Japanese signs directing commuters where to catch trains heading in every direction.
Our massive suitcases stand around us like 300 pound linemen trying to look over our shoulders at the map. Linemen that we have to wheel from train to train.
Our arrival in Japan feels surreal.
Is it 10pm in Tokyo or 3am in LA? I don’t really know.
It’s dark and tired businessmen are buzzing all around us to get home after a long day.
And what do we experience almost immediately after stopping to check our map?
The kindness of strangers.
Someone stops and asks us if they can help us find our way. And on the next train platform, another someone. And then another. With broken English and bright smiles, they point us to our next train.
People are kind and helpful in Tokyo.
What a wonderful way to start a vacation. Almost as wonderful as finding our way home and collapsing into bed.
PS – We snapped these pics on our first day in Shibuya (after the previous night’s adventures in train hopping from the airport to our Airbnb). I’m wearing my St. Christopher bangle from Alex and Ani; he’s the patron saint of travelers and a very appropriate good luck charm.
Can’t wait to share more with you soon!
bangles – Alex and Ani
sweater – similar (Asos)
slip-ons – similar (Sperry)