Sy How I Travel: Mark

Via Buzzfeed

My brother Mark was born with an incredible amount of energy propelling him to devour the world with large bites in extremely high doses. When my sister and I were going to summer schools in prep schools in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and horseback riding camps in Aix en Provence, my brother spent his summers on safaris in Africa and building yurts for the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation in Mongolia.

When he did a semester abroad in France at university, he backpacked across Europe with friends staying in hostels (sometimes too afraid to sleep, clutching on to his backpack wide awake throughout the night). That was something my sister and I never even considered doing. We were more of the stay-at-a-hotel-and-not-worry-about-having-someone-rob-us-at-night kind of people even if it costs a lot more.

Mark is now tied to his restaurant Vien that he owns in NYC.  For anyone that owns a restaurant, you know how much the job consumes you and how it can kill your social life.  Don’t even bring up holidays and vacations.  Although there are certainly enough adventures in the restaurant business to keep you on your toes (and almost insane) every day, all year round.

As a result, he doesn’t travel as much as he’d like to but when he does, luck happens to be on his side.  Here’s how Mark travels, or at least how he did when he flew to Vancouver for the holidays and again back to New York last weekend.  Yet again another experience feather to add to his cap, here’s to someone who definitely knows how to live the high life.

Via Pinterest

Here are his tips for traveling comfortably:

1. Use your points to purchase a premium economy seat.  Pray to the gods and hope the stars align.  Be pleasantly surprised to discover that the gods are on your side and you have been upgraded to first class.

2. Always bring PJs or tracksuit pants to change into.  Or wear the PYE pajamas that they give you. Make sure to ask for an extra set or two in size small for your two sisters who have never flown first class.

3. Drink alcohol because it will allow you to sleep.  One alcoholic drink in the air is equivalent to two.  Drink accordingly.

4. Travel light and avoid having to check in anything if possible.  Why wait for your baggage at the airport if you don’t have to?

5. Want to sleep on the plane?  Ask the stewardess to set up your bed complete with bedding, a mattress, pillows, and a comforter while you change into more comfortable clothes in the bathroom.  It will be ready for you when you come out.

6.  Not hungry when dinner is being served on the plane?  Not to worry, just let them know when you want to eat and enjoy the 4-course meal that will be served to you.

7. Need help to lift your carry-on into the overhead cabin?  Oh not to worry, there is no overhead cabin.  You have storage all around you.

8. Say yes to the champagne.  Or say no and have a tea instead because you don’t feel like having champagne at the moment.  That bottle of Krug Champagne will be free flowing throughout the flight anyway.

9. Having trouble working the controls?  Don’t waste your energy pushing all the buttons.  Call the stewardess over and she’ll be happy to help you adjust any control you need.

10. Ask for two of the Aesop travel kits so that you can give one to each of your sisters who use Aesop products and won’t be riding first class in the near foreseeable future.

MarkVia Image Valley

This past Christmas was special because we all got to spend the holidays together.  In the past years, Mark hasn’t been able to join us because of the umbilical cord that is attached to his restaurant.  He hasn’t been able to travel much since the opening of Vien and this story of him flying first class isn’t, unfortunately, how he generally travels.  However, did you know that people reflect on their vacations based largely on how it ends? Fortunately for Mark, his ended on a very high note.

Try going on a microadventure.

Read about how to rent a European villa and not go broke.

Want to go on a big adventure this year?  Check out Lonely Planet’s tips for 2016.

Read about how my sister, Karla, travels. She’s got the holiday work balance all figured out.

Wishing you many adventures and new experiences to come in 2016!

– SS

P.S. Glamping is on my 2016 adventures list! What’s on yours?





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