Shop Talk

2018 + Legit New Beginnings

Trip Styler New Beginnings 2018

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It's weird when you're a travel writer who is supposed to be sojourning, and yet, you're not. When I see other people's escapades skiing in the Alps or sunning in Sayulita, it makes me what to get on a plane ASAP. Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

In my last post, I mentioned how the end of 2017 was a touch turbulent, and so far, the New Year has served up a different kind of crazy in the lives of moi + my crew. Amid writing projects for Expedia penning a travel-meets-beauty collab with Estée Lauder; Air Transat, musing over Italy's beach clubs and traveling with little ones for their 2018 glossy; and Luxury Retreats Magazine interviewing Big Island and Maui locals, major life "stuff" was taking my attention away from my next trip. 

Early in January our beloved and well-traveled dog, Mr. Nacho King fluttered up to dog heaven. This was really tough on each member of the TS crew given he was our long-time fur-child and the kids' brother. Then, in mid-January we sold our too-small-for-a-family-of-four condo in Whistler that we once used as a retreat from our city life before we started buying Pampers in bulk. At the end of January we moved into a new home in Vancouver. Finally, after six months of waiting, we got in to see a paediatric breathing specialist to better understand and monitor the kids' respiratory challenges {more about this, here}, which I'm feeling really positive about.

And so, 2018 is quickly becoming a year of legit new beginnings. At this moment, it feels like I'm looking out of an airplane window at a new light on the horizon, and with it: new experiences, space for change, and another season of travel.

Next up: A girls spa weekend and a beach break in Punta Mita, Mexico.  

Ahhh and Olé.

PS - What's Next for TS
In 2018 my goal for TS is to get back to regular dispatches here and on TS Instagram. My intention is simply regularity because with two toddlers I've become a big fan of small but achievable objectives. Also, for the past few years I've focused so much on long-form, fact-perfect and well-penned posts, that if something wasn't 110% polished I wouldn't post at all, which made writing overwhelming and delivery infrequent. But, if travel has taught me one thing, it's that one must embrace the new and maintain an elastic-like flexibility to thrive even when things are constantly in flux.

Why Trip Styler Has Been (Mostly) Grounded This Fall

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In everyday life, if someone says "you're grounded" it's typically meant as a compliment inferring that you know who you are, or you have a keen sense of what's important. Yet, in the world of travel, being grounded implies there's a challenge given that wayfaring requires you to wander {versus stay put}. 

Right now, I feel like I'm hovering between these two extremes. Let me explain. 

I heart traveling and really miss the thrill and escape of galavanting around the globe as often as I used to, but sometimes life at home can keep you grounded like an airplane that needs service. And that's not a bad thing. So, aside from a quick getaway to Palm Springs for a girlfriend's milestone birthday, the Trip Styler crew has stayed put for the past few months. Like, seriously put. 

There are a number of reasons our feet have stayed on solid ground this fall. The most major: We learned both Little Stylers have reactive airways, which is medical-speak for they have developed breathing challenges. Thanks to our excellent access to hospital and doctor care in Canada, we're learning how to understand and manage their respiratory issues.

As we learn more about the ailment, which we *hope and pray* is temporary, the idea and reality of foreign family travel has become tricky at the moment because if they need treatment, they need it fast. If only Canada had a balmy, palm tree-dotted escape... 

Despite the kids being on two types of puffers, at present, every day on the homefront is an "adventure" in that we're always monitoring their breathing. The good news is both littles are doing REALLY well and responding favorably to their meds, which has decreased our trips to Children's Hospital. However, there are still scary moments when we go into hospital watch-mode as their breathing gets laboured. Who knew that I'd borrow a page from my packing preparedness posts to craft a hospital packing list {now pasted on our bedroom closet door for sudden visits...}.

In addition to staying temporarily grounded to treat and better understand the kids' breathing, we're moving. Soon. We think. This is another reason we haven't booked any trips since late-summer; we've been on stand-by as we prepare to move from our city perch to a bigger space.  While there have been a number of delays with the build, we hope to *actually* pack our bags and boxes in a few weeks. Fingers crossed we'll be warming our toes in front of our new fireplace at Christmastime.     

All of this reminds me that life is like an airplane ride. Sometimes there's a turbulence. Sometimes you have to hurry up and wait. Sometimes your itinerary gets re-routed. And sometimes your plane needs maintenance. Then, eventually, things get sorted, and when you look down from your window at 35,000ft, you do so with a whole new perspective. That's our hope for the New Year. 

xoxo, 
The Trip Stylers  

birds eye view

[Photos by @tripstyler]

When I'm Not Trip Styling :: Home

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Because Trip Styler is all about travel lifestyle, I don't talk about my life at home very often. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever gone into much my detail about the place where my suitcases take up too much space...

My HQ is a high-rise in Vancouver. Our "lock and leave" lifestyle puts us in a condo in the greenest development in North America located smack-dab in the city {so we can be close to cool shops and restaurants, as well as maintain the walking lifestyle urban life encourages}. 

As the little stylers get bigger, I'm not sure where we'll live; however, moi and Mr. Trip Styler are committed to an abode in or near the city that's not too far from YVR Airport. P-r-i-o-r-i-t-i-e-s. 

Cue Trip Styler home edition, our compact casa:

 Living: Soft surfaces + rounded edges = good for little stylers and stress-free for big stylers 

Living: Soft surfaces + rounded edges = good for little stylers and stress-free for big stylers 

 Vancouver views

Vancouver views

 Oh, hey there 

Oh, hey there 

 Kitchen, complete with baby teething toys

Kitchen, complete with baby teething toys

 Console in our entranceway dressed with a vintage Hawaii plaque from Mr. Trip Styler's grandparents, and a retro vase from my grandma

Console in our entranceway dressed with a vintage Hawaii plaque from Mr. Trip Styler's grandparents, and a retro vase from my grandma

 Blue Styler's room

Blue Styler's room

 "Larry" the friendly shark, and a tall-ship kite we purchased in Bali, hanging above Blue Styler's bed

"Larry" the friendly shark, and a tall-ship kite we purchased in Bali, hanging above Blue Styler's bed

  Les  Trip Stylers, circa 2005 {Jamaica}

Les Trip Stylers, circa 2005 {Jamaica}

 Our bedroom, complete with a  Trip Styler Store Mexican throw  and artwork my gram painted in the '50s at art school in California

Our bedroom, complete with a Trip Styler Store Mexican throw and artwork my gram painted in the '50s at art school in California

 Pink Styler's pad

Pink Styler's pad

 Turkeys are pink, right? :)

Turkeys are pink, right? :)

[photos by @tripstyler]

Creating Home Comforts On The Road

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Over the past few months something strange has happened: On a few occasions, Blue Styler {now a toddler} has reminded us of his love for home, literally saying "go home" when we're out for awhile. This caught me off-guard for a number of reasons, namely because he's n-e-v-e-r longed for home while we're traveling. Not once. 

When we're on the road we try very hard to create the comforts of home and routine {while at the same time enjoying our destination and attempting to bring up flexible children}. I've never counted the number of different hotel rooms and cribs Blue Styler has slept in since he was 7 weeks old, but I've lost track—maybe 70? 

Routine
When he was a baby, creating the comforts of home while traveling was simple. He was so little that all he needed was milk, swaddle blankets and a crib. Now that he's a toddler, he's started to appreciate the comforts of home and routine. Whether we're in MexicoHawaii or Italy, we've learned to keep his eating, nap and bedtime schedule similar to what it is at home, and adjust to the time zone as soon as possible. Sure, it takes a few days to get his {and our} rhythms sorted, but generally he always falls back to his 7pm bedtime no matter where we are in the world. {We've done this method with Pink Styler, too, and she's adjusted well.}

Creature Comforts
In addition to routine, we also create "home" on the road by toting a few essential creature comforts for him: 
- Pillow {To save space we just bring the pillow case and stuff it with a hand towel}
- Sleep sack and sleeper
- Water bottle
- Stars- and moon-projecting nightlight
- One of his fave stuffed animals
- Two of his books du moment
- Soother {Yep, so "soo" me that he still has one}
- Small toys he's partial to, right now, his cars

How do you create comfort on the road? For me, it's my go-to toiletries and my iPhone {so I can communicate with people}, as well as my "routine" of regular exercise. After all, without these things, I long for home, too.

[Photos by @tripstyler]

The Illusion of Perfection

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There is a belief in our society that traveling equates to a perfect life. I'm not sure if this goes back to humanity's nomadic nature, our thirst for wonder, or our curiosity with what's new and different, yet it seems as though the general perception of a person who travels is:

Travel = Perfect Life {Wealth + luxury of time}

As someone who has placed many pins on the map both personally and professionally, the above perception is both true and false.

True
In high school I was part of a group of teens who spent a few Spring Breaks in a financially destitute community in Mexico helping to build a clinic. The area did not have sufficient medical facilities, so the all-volunteer clinic was a welcome addition to the town's infrastructure. Noticing the lack of anything on the walls in the clinic's waiting room, treatment rooms or hallways, I asked the director why there was no art or photoseven something basic. "We don't want to put up art or photos of far-flung lands because it would be unfair to dangle places these people will never see in front of them," he replied. So, the idea that "everyone" can travel is a middle class/+ phenomenonone that is never lost on me. I feel incredibly grateful to do what I do {and realize it can appear "perfect"}, and if you can afford to buy a plane ticket here or there, you should too.   

False
Both on the road and at home life happens, reminding me that the illusion of perfection associated with frequent flying is not as it seems {both for me and for Kim Kardashian}. While traveling I don't just quit the demands of life, such as paying bills, changing diapers or washing clothes, it all has to be done whether I'm in Morocco or Mexico. Then there's the time I was almost attacked abroad, but that's another story altogether.

Aside from typical sickness you can pick up from foods in foreign lands, I can recall more than a few situations where random health boutsthe kind that happen at home, toohave come into the equation. A recent one was in Italy last summer when the day we left, which was also a National holiday in Canada {meaning I couldn't easily get meds}, I woke up with a giant red bump on my eyelid. I got on the plane reluctantly because I was NOT about to give up three weeks in Italy for something that could be solved. The second I settled in Rome, I visited a pharmacy where I showed the pharmacist my eyelid and she found cream that healed my eye.  

Right Now
Right now I'm in Mexico loving Punta Mita's beach life, and eating tacos every meal of the day. However, one thing my photos don't showbecause there's no time to snap these momentsis Pink Styler developed a minor eye infection which I noticed as we were traveling here {thankfully breast milk seems to have solved it!}, and is cutting a tooth which is making her v-e-r-y frustrated. Blue Styler had a touch of montezuma's revenge associated with new foods and life abroad, as well as a chaffed groin from swim diapers and/or sand.

So, life happens on the road and at home. It's beautiful, it's meaningful, it's messy, and it's ongoing. And so, we keep going, because all we can do is *try* to live our best life in it's imperfect perfection. 

[photo by Grandma Styler]