One thing I have always loved to do since a teen was travel overseas. Having grown up with both American and European cultures, it is no wonder that after college I lived a year in South America. Other cultures, including languages, music, and foods of the region have always fascinated me. Back in the ol’ days I used a VHS video camera and small Canon 35 mm Powershot-type film camera to document my adventures. I just wished I had a camera with interchangeable lenses back in the day.
Today I travel for work and pleasure to Europe twice a year to meet with photographers, bands, publicists, and clients as well as take photos along the way. So not to be encumbered, I like to bring my Nikon D750 with a nice mid-range lens (24-120 mm, f/4.0) which gives me the option to take wide angle and still do some photo pit photography while traveling. If anybody has traveled to Europe one knows dragging luggage on cobblestone streets with no ramps or elevators can be grueling so it is best to travel as light as possible. Train stations often don’t have lifts and one has to drag the luggage from the train platform quickly and efficiently as others are trying to board. Traveling light means less luggage to worry about since there are thieves hanging around the train stations.
Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.
Traveling around Italy was a breeze since most of the signs were bilingual (Italian and English) and the the trains were very punctual. I just had to be on the look-out for pick-pockets and scammers that can smell a tourist a mile away. It is usually a good idea to carry a bag close to the body with the anti-theft zippers and lobster clasps. Why make it easy? I usually have my arm and hand over my bag and look at everybody who gets close or brushes up against me.
Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all… good design must primarily serve people.
Italy is a wealth of culture in Rome and Florence with a ton of museums and exhibits. In Florence I went a little crazy at the Leather School. What a discovery! The school produced quality hand-made leather purses, briefcases, belts, jackets, wallets–you name it. I couldn’t resist buying a black leather purse (it still looks great years later) and had it embossed with my initials , which made it even more special. In Italy, there are so many flea market or open market areas with leather goods, silk ties, and scarves. Scarves in Italy are worn as everyday adornment and are not considered to be “dressed up”.
Also, I would like to mention Ireland because the highlight for me was seeing the Rock of Cashel. At the bottom of the hill there was a wonderful shop that sold handmade Irish knitted sweaters and tweed jackets. The craftmanship was gorgeous and a great buy, considering the items were handmade.