As I mentioned in my introduction, I’m now packing for a month-long trip that will take me to a few countries in East Asia and North America.
It’s certainly for pleasure, but I also want to connect with as many people as possible while travelling: creatives, digital artists, entrepreneurs, startups, etc. And in particular in the first half of the trip, in Asia, because I never had much visibility of the creative scene there and I’m very intrigued by what I can find.
I know that in South Korea, my first stop, things are moving quite fast and technologies like AI and Blockchain are now front and centre and I really look forward to seeing what they are achieving there and how Design is shaping these offerings. I’m very curious to understand how the Korean collective feeling of Haan changes the way Creatives think. To immerse myself in a different culture and try to understand it at a profound level is really one of the highlights I look for when travelling.
And because of my passion for food, I’m also quite excited to experience the great Korean cuisine from the source.
I will then move to Taiwan, hoping to be lucky enough to avoid the pouring rain (September seems to be the rainiest month of the year there). I know the country is famous for some big tech companies, like Acer, HTC or Asus, but I don’t really know anything about their Design scene and that is a blank I’d like to fill. Again, food-wise I know it will be quite an experience, thanks to the famous night markets and some of the most exquisite teas.
If the weather allows, I hope I’ll be able to satisfy my photography needs as well by visiting the national parks.
update 13 Sep: I had to cancel the flights to Taipei because typhoon Mangkhut was supposed to reach the island exactly during my weekend there. Mangkhut then moved South, ravaging the Philippines.
Next stop: Japan. This is actually the country I believe I know better in all Asia, at least from all they exported to the countries I lived in: art, design, tattoos, cuisine, anime, manga, toys, technology, films… There is so much I love about Japan that this had to be the most obvious choice for a stop. This said, I don’t think I have ever met in person any Japanese designer or artist, even when attending all the conferences I attend every year. And that again is something I’d like to fix during this trip. And now that I think about it, I might be in Tokyo by the time Fujifilm launches the new X-T3 camera… Maybe I need a little bit of extra space in my suitcase…
United States, West
I will leave Asia then and cross the Pacific. making a short stopover in Hawaii (Maui). You might now picture me at the sandy beach, sipping a cocktail, but the truth is that I’m more fascinated by the green spaces of the rainforest and the volcanoes than by the water and I hope I can make the most out of a short stay there and bring home some great pictures.
Hawaii will only be the first step in the United States. Next is San Francisco. After the little break in the middle of the ocean, I’ll be back trying to connect with all the Creatives I can, and I already have a few friends I hope I can see again, there and in the next stops. I’m not going to have time to wander around all the different places in Cali, where some the greatest ideas are born and thrive, but I hope I’ll be able to meet a lot of fellow creatives.
I’m also quite curious to understand why some of my ‘Mediterranean’ friends told me that San Francisco would be the best place for us to live if we were to relocate in the US. I think it’s something to do with the weather and the people, but I’ll see for myself.
update 15 Sep: it looks like I’m going to skip SF after all. My travelling happens during Salesforce week and prices for accommodation, hotel and Airbnb alike, START at $1000/night. I know the city is expensive, but this? No bloody way.
Another long-haul flight will then take me to Toronto. I wanted to visit Toronto (it’s pronounced Tronnoh!) for a while. One of my 2 favourite tattoo artists operates in Toronto (the other one in Stockholm), as well as a couple of my favourite Instagramers. And quite a few of the most trendy YouTubers of these past 2 years are actually based here, which makes me think that the scene is vibrant and this is a place to be right now. One of the friends I expect to meet in San Francisco is from here, so hopefully I’ll be fully in the know by the time I get here.
The Niagara Falls are not too far, so maybe there’s also going to be a chance to visit them.
United States, East
Last but not least, I’ll be back to New York. Last time I visited it was in the middle of the worst Winter storm the city had experienced in years, with temperatures far below 0°C (down to -32°C somewhere not too far) but it still offered me some spectacular scenes like an all-white Central Park or a frozen Hudson river, and now I expect to see it in a whole different light. Again a few friends to meet here, as well as some ex-colleagues, that I hope can introduce me to the amazing Creative scene the flourishes here. I won’t have much time left to spend in New York, as I have a sort of deadline to get back to London before I pack again and travel to Israel for a conference, but I’m sure it will be utterly fulfilling.
There you go, now you know where I will be in the next weeks.
As I said at the beginning, I wish to connect with as many creatives, digital artists and entrepreneurs I possibly can. So if you live there, or know someone who lives there. and would like to meet and discuss, I’ll be more than happy to hear your stories and learn about your culture and what drives you.
Get in touch!