Wingtips

Jimmy Choo was once a humble cobbler, too.

A truly outstanding cobbler is an artist in their own right. I've used the same cobbler in New York for years now and when I began to travel regularly he asked me to photograph a cobblerlocated anywhere in the worldto add to his 'international cobblers wall of fame'. I searched endlessly to no avail until my trip to India, where I saw this man in Bombay on the street in his 'shop'.

This Bombay local did not speak English, but there were several English-speaking men around to kindly translate my question, 'May I take your photograph?' He looked up at me, carefully and slowly combed his eyebrows with his index finger, and grinned.

She Got A 98 In Geometry

Pretty groovy, huh?

Contemporary artist Esther Mahlangu is part of the Ndebele community, who live in Gauteng, South Africa. Inspired by the geometric patterns seen in clothing and jewelry totemic to her tribe, the South Ndebele people, Esther's art is actually quite famousher work has been exhibited in galleries all over the world. Mahlangu painted the exteriors, interiors and home accessories found in her large art compound in bold, symmetrical designs, an aesthetic that is unmistakably Esther.

Esther sells her art at the compound and features a selection of Ndebele jewelry and tribal headbands, all of which match her signature pattern. Have you seen Esther's art car for BMW?

Headline Quote: Clueless

Electric Gypsy

The first time I laid eyes on Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance I was a teenager in a tiny, overstocked bookstore in San Francisco.

'Pink! Motorcycles! Zen!' was my naive inner dialogue at the timeI mean, it's a pretty good looking cover. However, as an overprotected 15-year-old, my mother would not allow me to buy it (le sigh). So, I read it in college.

Zen was rejected 121 times before it was published. You may have already guessed that the book has nothing to do with motorcycle maintenance. Rather, author Robert M. Pirsig expounds his views on philosophy and the world at large by telling a story about a father and son who travel together on a motorcycle trip across the USA. 

Brilliant, intense and overwhelmingly quotable, every other sentence offers life-changing perspectives on societal topics, specifically regarding the advent of technology. While some of my own beliefs are vastly different, I can't deny the power of Pirsig's profound one-liners. Zen is an American classic.

Headline Quote: L.A. Guns

Travel 101: A Beginner's List

Upon hearing that Round The World Trip tickets have special discounts for anyone under the age of 26, I was determined to circumnavigate the globe before my 26th birthday. 

When I was 25, my best friend and I decided to do it. We had planned to be away for almost a month, so I went to Flight 001 in the West Village to pick up a few travel necessities. At the time I really had no idea what I needed, but to this day I am still surprised by the pin-point accuracy of my guesswork. After that RTW trip I became a travel writer, and I can tell you that all of the items belowwhether they are obvious suggestions or notare my must-haves.

I. I'm telling you to buy what appears to be an ordinary dopp kit, but wait! There's a reason why this case is perfect for travel. It's linen, lightweight, has no piping and is designed to fold in any direction you want. It also has a handle that can hang on a hook or knob.

II. A travel document case seems like an obvious suggestion, but you'd be surprised by how many people don't use them! Putting your passport, tickets and travel docs all in one place makes the airport experience faster and easier.

III. Every time I pack for a trip, I feel like a chemist. I pour my products into the small bottles and put them in their plastic case, which I slide into my dopp kit. Never fill your bottles up all the way; in case you accidentally leave them in a hotel, you won't end up losing a lot of product. 

IV. Suggesting to travel with an eye mask seems trite, but most people don't bring them along. If you're on a flight where you need to sleep and they don't turn out the lights (ahem - El Al), having an eye mask makes all the difference. I love this one because it has pillowy padding that falls just beneath your eyes.

V. Comfy socks. I always bring the same pair. Trust me, once you get in the habit of putting on socks in lieu of going through security barefoot, you'll always keep them in your carry-on.

VI. SKROSS makes the best travel adapters out there. The top piece can charge a USB and each button on the side slides down to push out a plug for a different continent.

VII. JET LAG Rx, a pre-flight homeopathic remedy to prevent jet lag symptoms. I swear it helps!

VIII. You may think a sewing kit is unnecessary, but I've had instances where I needed to use it. This particular kit is adorable and practically microscopic, so I just throw it in my luggage.

IX. The Baggu bag is nylon, which means it's lightweight and waterproof. It folds into a square and fits into a tiny, flat case the size of your palm. You can use it for wet items, dirty sneakers or anything you want to keep away from the rest of your stuff. I never go on a trip without it.

The Light Writer

Photographer Jesse Martineau took this shot in Canada on a night when both the northern lights and the Milky Way were visible.

The first time I had a really clear view of the Milky Way was in South Africa. It was a thick and powerful twinkling blanket of light and the stars felt so close, like you could reach out and touch them. I've never seen the northern lights, but I think about them all the time.

I love the green glow of aurora borealis swirling around the stars, the mysterious electric blue current and the incurved wooden house...it's you and the wilderness, alone together, and something magical is happening.

Jesse explained how he managed to get the light squiggle in this shot:

"So this photo looks really complicated, but it actually isn't! It's called "Light Writing". We take a photo, but leave the shutter open. In this case it was open for 30 seconds. During that time, any form of light will be picked up by the camera, but the person holding the light won't because they are too dark!" 

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