Travel . . . perhaps one of my greatest true loves apart from my family and design. No matter the destination, travel is a truly eye-opening and incredibly humbling experience. It allows us to feel a deeper connection to humanity and pushes us to explore new senses and experiences, all the while providing a sense of wholeness and grounding as a being on this planet.
I have been lucky enough in this life to get so many incredible opportunities to travel and to see the world. From my journeys to the other side of the world, to the road trips in my own country, I have learned one major lesson: Never underestimate the impact that stepping out of your comfort zone and opening up your horizons will have on you.
Since I was a child, summer has always felt like a time to travel, to explore, and to take risks on crazy adventures. So as this warm, gorgeous season comes to an end, I want to share with you some of the amazing places, both international and domestic, that have left beautiful marks on my heart.
First, my favorite international locales:
I feel as though Mexico has gone through a renaissance in the last decade. It went from a secretive travel destination that only a select few “in-the-know” (and the usual college kids heading to Cancun) took advantage of, to a bona fide, top-tier hotspot.
Mexico is so much more than the spring break destination now, but it still has some incredibly low-key, underrated spots that are truly magical.
Places like Tulum are home to resorts and hotels that have incredibly limited space, so you feel as though you’re on a secluded beach at all times, even if the town is at full capacity. With incredible aesthetics that stay true to the materials and culture of Mexico, you’ll be inspired everywhere you go.
Of all of the continents that I’ve had the chance to visit, Asia is home to some of my favorite places. I’m not sure I could ever narrow it down and pick a single favorite, but Laos is surely at the top of the list.
The landscape is breathtaking. From the temples and palaces, to the waterfalls and forests, every inch of Laos is indicative of the people and their amazing culture. These people are kind, warm, welcoming, and rooted so deeply in their traditions. Every interaction I had, I felt as though I was being shown a special bit of their history, and I was honored to get every glimpse.
In general, my experience of South America has been one of wonderment and magic, and Peru is a huge part of that. The ancient culture, religion, beliefs and traditions bleed through their modern lifestyle, even to this day.
There is a sense, everywhere you go in Peru, that the history of the people and the incredibly advanced culture of their past has formed who they are as a society in the current world.
The vibrancy of the people matches the bold colors and striking visuals everywhere you go, from ancient Inca ruins like Machu Picchu, to small local markets featuring incredibly unique wares, Peru is striking in every sense.
And now, for my favorite places here at home in America:
BIG SUR, CA
I’d be remiss to ignore the beauty of my home state, California, and Big Sur really embodies the spirit and aesthetic of California. From the clifftop ocean views to the winding roads, there is a sense of peacefulness and calm that you get from the laidback people and landscape in this gorgeous coastal town.
There’s something about the way the mist rolls over the cliffs in the morning that can only be described as spiritual. It’s a place where, even if you’ve lost all inspiration, you will leave refreshed and revived, renewed with creativity.
GLEN ARBOR, MI
Over the last decade or so, I’ve been lucky enough to spend time every year in this incredible place thanks to my best friend and her wonderful family. Glen Arbor is, by every stretch of the imagination, the embodiment of old Americana.
From rustic signs toting fresh baked goods, to quaint lakeside houses, Glen Arbor seems like a place that has managed to keep it’s old-school charm, while still transitioning smoothly into the current times.
Times seem simpler here, and it’s such a wonderful place to shed the stresses of the modern world and go back to the basics – BBQs with loved ones, water sports on the lake, homemade food in classic cafes, and some of the most kind and welcoming people I’ve ever met.
Every time I arrive back home from a trip, I make every effort to incorporate something that I’ve learned into my life, whether that’s through daily practice or through my work.
So many of my designs are heavily inspired by my travels, the people I’ve met along the way, and the culture that I’ve been lucky enough to experience in each place. I hope my stories will encourage you all to hit the road, or head to the skies and get inspired by something new!
Follow Jeremiah at @jeremiahbrent