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Friday afternoon I decided to take a last-minute trip up the coast. Every time I've driven it, I've  always had some place to be and up against time.

But not this trip.

Friday I spent time in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.

Saturday I spent time in Steinbeck country (of Mice and Men is one of my favourite books) and finally drove the G16 across to Carmel before heading up for a quick stop to see of my friends who I would literally drive 8hrs for only to spend 2 hours with.

Today I got up super early and got a super big coffee so I could drive down highway 1, through Big Sur and hopefully beat the crowds.

Henry Miller is the author of some of my other favourite books so as I drove though Big Sur I thought of him and Steinbeck and how they wrote about what they knew, what they loved, and what they questioned. I've had this idea in my head for a new project and community that I know will resonate and mean something but just unsure how to begin.

So I made sure today to stop when I wanted to. Linger when I needed. Drive wherever for however long.

And, after all the times driving through Big Sur, I finally stopped at a beach. I spent two hours here practically alone and just was.

People say it but there is something magic about Big Sur and today was the first time I felt it. I felt the shift, the inspiration, the hunger. And I felt wet sand between my toes. 
I'm ready.

Amen
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Fashion & Beauty Wanderlust

Comfy Travel Ahead

January 4, 2007
Alex in Copenhagen Denmark

Today I hop on board a plane and this is my “I’m travelling but need to be comfy and not worry about security” outfit. I’ve worn it on the last several flights and I’m hooked. Why? Besides from being pretty (important when you step off a plane and right into a high profile restaurant with friends), it’s extraordinarily comfortable and practical. That’s right, comfy and practical without being a sweatpants combo.

The dress is 100% cotton, doesn’t hug the body and no wedges from all that sitting. The knit sweater is warm and soft – perfect for those cold airplane rides (especially since you don’t want to be using those nasty airline blankets which they actually don’t clean that often). The boots are easy to take on and off with one zip but they’re warm and comfortable for long walks through airports, running to connecting flights or hailing down cabs on the street. And the bag? It’s huge, soft and organised on the inside for a day trip or just as a great carry on (and perfect as a pillow!).

When I travelled across Canada last summer, I wore a simple black cotton dress and had a simple sweater along in case it got cold. My girlfriend who always wears old pants and tank tops asked why I was so fancy for a trip. Yet I wasn’t the one who fidgeted with my pants, had to role them up for playing on the beach or felt awkward when we checked into a 4 star hotel. Dressing nice doesn’t have to equate being fancy or uncomfortable just as being comfortable doesn’t always mean jeans and a t-shirt.

I’m a pretty simple dresser and a simple traveller so this is how I get by. I don’t want to rush to a hotel, change then head out. I don’t want to pack an outfit for travel and one for the trip. I don’t want layers to worry over or 16 pairs of shoes. I need something that works and an outfit like this – it works.

I think this is pretty European; in both France and Denmark you see people dressed well but simply. For the French it’s chic for the Danes it’s hygge. It’s being practical (a hat to add if it’s raining or very cold or a lighter sweater if it’s summer) but also being a bit stylish so you can go from the library to a dinner party at 8.

The next time you travel (car, train or plane), make sure you’re going to be comfortable – just expand what comfortable can look like.

  • Reply
    Anna MariaNo Gravatar
    January 4, 2007 at 5:34 AM

    Have a safe and comfy trip!
    xo,AM

  • Reply
    alisonNo Gravatar
    January 4, 2007 at 5:16 PM

    lovely! where do you find the clothes?

    Alex Responds: All my clothes come from Anthropologie. I actually don’t like to shop so having one store that I know works with my style and body makes it very easy (and I know that clothes from 3 years ago will work with whatever I pick up now).

  • Reply
    CarlaNo Gravatar
    January 4, 2007 at 7:11 PM

    Many years ago I realized I prefer dresses or skirts for any trip, especially car trips — MUCH more comfortable than pants. These days, I rarely wear pants at all, having decided dresses just feel good and nearly always are appropriate. Kudos on your excellent travel choices!

  • Reply
    TomoeNo Gravatar
    January 4, 2007 at 9:14 PM

    Wonderful idea! And beautiful outfit! I completely agree with your travel philosophy. If everyone followed it, imagine how much faster those security lines would go! Geez.

    Love your site by the way!

  • Reply
    JenniferNo Gravatar
    January 9, 2007 at 5:14 AM

    Dear Alex,

    I have been following your lovely sites for awhile!

    you could put this for your travel website readers to see too!

    -Jennifer

  • Reply
    evyNo Gravatar
    January 9, 2007 at 3:46 PM

    perfect advice. have a lovely trip.

  • Reply
    JamesNo Gravatar
    January 11, 2007 at 4:14 PM

    OK, you told us where you got the clothes. But what about the BOOTS? I love those boots and am a self-professed boot addict. 🙂

    Can I also ask where you get comfy underpinnings that don’t show through the dresses and skirts, particularly unlined ones? I struggle with this.

    Alex Replies:

    Underpinnings: I love the slips from Anthropologie.com because they can either be used as a cami or as a pretty under skirt under other dresses. They also carry these Zooey boy shorts which are my favourites because they’re pretty, they fit so well and they don’t give VPL. I also really like “Hanky Panky” which I’ve bought at Neimans and Saks as well as La Perla (but they get very pricey very quickly!)

  • Reply
    yasmineNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2007 at 11:45 PM

    Alex, I left a comment on this entry a few days ago, but now it’s gone! =/

    I was just asking whether your boots were from Anthropologie as well. They look marvelously comfy, and I’ve been on the lookout for flat/low-heeled boots like these.

    Alex replies: I’m not sure what happened with the comments/emails so I hope this goes through! The boots are Born and I bought them from http://zappos.com (I got them in both brown and black because they are just that comfy!). I love, love, love them and wear them all the time. Most of my shoes are Born.

    I do have Nanette Lampore boots from Anthropologie (there’s some in black with a low heel on sale online) which I also adore and find very comfy but not “I can walk a mountain” comfy but “I can walk through town for an afternoon” comfy.

  • Reply
    JulyNo Gravatar
    January 18, 2007 at 12:00 AM

    I have been searching all fall and winter for the perfect saucy winter boots, comfortable but wearable with skirts. I could not find the particular Born boots you have here, but I did find My Perfect Pair online and I can’t wait to become a Born devotee. Thank you for the words and picture above — otherwise I never would have ended my winter boot search!

  • Reply
    JasminNo Gravatar
    February 12, 2007 at 5:05 PM

    This is a cool site, Alex!

    What do you suggest for when it’s colder, though, and leggings aren’t warm enough?

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