While at heart I am a backpacker, my adventure comes with a twist. The modern metropolitan cities of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur aren’t quite so suited to the budgeting traveler exploring backpacker routes. Instead they can provide a buzzing city break or for many a place of business; and if you look in the right places, you can still find heaps of character, culture and history infused within the streets, the food and the people that make these cities what they are. With three incredible and very different hotels as bases, I was free to wander and wonder within the city streets.
Not far from the busy weekend streets of Brick Lane, with its determined shoppers and queues for cereal, we found a wonderland. The location, which will remain secret at the request of Brit, was filled with wonders from years gone by. Magnificent tattered chairs, large wooden tables and a variety of antiques sat below a mist of incense. A musical duo performed in the background and an interesting chap repeatedly entered and exited to light his cigarette on the candles. The scene was set to delve into the mind of a curious illustrator with a knack for poetic one liners.
Arriving in Hanoi was a shock to say the least. Far from a negative however, it was instead just different, unfamiliar and far from what any Westerner is used to seeing on a day to day basis. Nothing could have prepared me for the wild roads, the constant noise, the humidity or the motorbikes piled high with large furniture items casually being transported across town. While for the first day this was daunting and crossing the road or even just walking down it terrifying (have a look at a Hyperlapse video I made), I quickly absorbed the city and tried to become one with its madness. Like anywhere in the world, if you can’t do this then your lack of connection and confidence with the environment will soon lead you to trouble.
As I sat aboard the Arlanda Express, making the final part of my journey to Stockholm, I was alone with my own thoughts. Since finishing university, time has flown by and as one often finds, I haven’t done half of the things with my free time that I wanted to do when I was so ridiculously busy researching dystopian fiction and typing away furiously to the tick tock of the deadline clock. I’ve spent much of that time not so patiently waiting to board a flight to somewhere in South East Asia and begin my journey around the region. In that moment of solitude, with Sweden passing rapidly outside the window, I knew I was making the right choice in accepting my call to adventure and going it alone in the big wide world. But this, my short stay in Stockholm, would be the true test. It would be my first time travelling solo and a part of me knew that my mind, though set on travelling, could potentially be swayed.
We’ll leave the tranquility to Adam and Derek this time around, as they Escaped the City DJB and I drove straight into the heart of as many as we could. With little time and a lot to do, there was an urgent need for speed. Luckily, the BMW had that covered.
On a dreary British day, or any other day for that matter, Northamptonshire may not appeal to most Londoners who are more used to the hustle and bustle of the city. However I discovered that there is more to Northamptonshire than first meets the eye and that it is arguably the home of British shoemaking. It is simple really, follow the sounds of clicking, buzzing and whirring and you will end up at the surprising birth place of a longstanding cultural British icon, the home of Dr. Martens.
It has been a while since Derek and I dropped a big fashion post on you, so what better time to treat you all than during London Fashion Week. For this one we have teamed up with a great brand that you may or may not be familiar with, Pocket Square Clothing. Dedicated to both timeless and contemporary design, PSC does not limit it self to just the accessory in its title with a range of bow ties and neck ties vast enough to please even the fussiest of customer. It is their attention to detail and great eye for design, be it minimalist or extravagant, that ultimately shines through in the quality of every individual piece that they make. Because of this, it was easy for Derek and I to put together pocket square focused looks. Read on and see exactly what we put together.