Tag: Travel (page 1 of 2)

Iceland

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I just returned from an incredible week-long vacation to Reykjavík, Iceland so I thought I would throw together a quick travel journal to share some of my experiences. I hope this little sampler platter of Iceland inspires you to book a trip. It was truly incredible – breathtaking, awe-inspiring, rejuvenating… i could go on. But I’ll pause.

I’m all about short and sweet lists these days so here are my favorite memories from our unforgettable trip.

Sights: tough to narrow this down, but here are my top three

#3 Blue Lagoon
We spent a full day at this popular attraction and honestly I would have gone back again if we had the time. Soaking in silica-saturated sea water, rejuvenating algae and silica face masks, indulgent dinner and drinks at the onsite restaurant – this day was heavenly. We followed the sage advice of friends who had been to Iceland before us and did the Blue Lagoon on our first day. It was the perfect way to recover from flying and relax into the week.

#2 Golden Circle
To be fair, I was torn on including this one. I loved the sights, but being stuck on a bus with the most stereotypical tourists for a full day was pretty rough. The saving grace was a day jam packed with sights outside of Reykjavík – including exploring the rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, watching the “original” Geyser erupt every few minutes, learning about greenhouse farming, and taking in the Gullfoss waterfall.

#1 Sólheimajökull Blue Ice Glacier Hike
This was by far my favorite day. I didn’t really know what to expect from a glacier hike, but we had an amazing guide who taught us so much. We learned about Iceland’s fire and ice – volcanoes and glaciers that are so much the heart and soul of the country. We did a full day hike across the Sólheimajökull glacier with full on crampons and ice picks. Our guide even gave us the chance to repel down and climb back up a shear wall of ice. Stopping at the Skógafoss waterfall on the drive home was the cherry on top.

Eats: let’s be honest, I’m already planning dinner as we’re sitting down for lunch

Fish Market – high end spot for mind-blowing dinner
Public House Gastropub – delicious high concept tapas with an asian twist
Perlan – incredible views of Reykjavík and the surrounding vistas in slowly rotating (360 degrees every 2 hours) glass dome high above the city
Lava (Blue Lagoon) – decadent and delicious
Nora Magasin – great place for a quick beer and bite (lamb bigger to die for)

Nightlife: if you’re looking to fall in love in a hopeless place, Reykjavík’s nightlife scene consists of cozy bars where folks drinks and dance till dawn

Kiki Queer Bar (I know… eye roll… But! – amazing music, mixed crowd, dance till 4am when the sun is bright in the sky
Dillon – chill whiskey bar
Kaffibarinn – small bar but fun music

I have so much more advice – so if you’re planning a trip, just shoot me a note and I’ll give you some pointers!
IG: @champagnejason

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Why Travel?

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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.

xoxo
~j

The Essentials:
[backdrop ~ Tokyo Imperial Palace East Garden]
sweater – similar (Scotch & Soda)
jeans – similar (Asos Denim)
bangle – Alex and Ani
watch – Komono
shades – Ray-Ban

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10-4 Good Buddy

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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.

The Essentials:
watch – Daniel Wellington
chinos – Uniqlo
shoes – similar (K-Swiss)
ring – Miansai
sweater – similar (Asos)

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Shibuya Arrival

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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!

The Essentials:
bangles – Alex and Ani
sweater – similar (Asos)
slip-ons – similar (Sperry)

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Summer Daydreams

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One of the best parts of summer is the seemingly endless daylight. It’s 8 o’clock at night and the sun is still shining down. If you know me, you know that one of my favorite mantras is – you have just as many hours in the day as Beyonce. But during the summer I feel like I have even more time than Beyonce. Not that I’m trying to out Beyonce Beyonce. I’m not crazy. Just slightly giddy and delusional from all this daylight.

In any event, given all this extra daylight, I have decided to jot down some of the daydreams dancing across my mind during all these looooong days.

Oh and PS – I started a cool partnership with Alex and Ani so check ’em out for some fun summer accessories replete with good vibes built right in (thanks for my snazzy new bracelet in these pics, A&A!).

1. I really want to travel more. I already travel fairly frequently but I’m more and more convinced that experiences are so much more valuable than stuff. On my short list are…
Japan
Australia
Argentina

2. Investing can be so frustrating. I put some money into a Betterment account a few months back and thanks to global economic tensions (thanks a lot, Greece), my money is disappearing faster than Justin Bieber’s swim trunks

3. I’m really looking forward to an upcoming wine tasting trip with some friends. We’re doing Paso Robles up north. My inner fat kid is extra excited to stop at Bell Street Farm on the way up. YUM.

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The Essentials:
bracelet – Alex and Ani
button-down – Ralph Lauren
shoes – Vans
shorts – Uniqlo
shades – Classic Specs

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