Boarding Pass: Mr. Peacock

Robert Hold, aka Mr. Peacock is one of the talented designers I’ve gotten to know through the sneak peek column I run over at design*sponge (click here to see his fabulous home and inspiring decoupage ceiling). His love of travel was something I quickly picked up, so today’s BOARDING PASS is all about his style and sophistication on the road. Thanks, Robert!

Mr. Peacock posing at the top of and in front of the Duomo di Milano.


last trip taken:

A day road trip to Saratoga, California for some antiquing and an 80’s music festival with the Human League, ABC, Flock of Seagulls, and Belinda Carlisle. A fantastic day of fun and music!

next trip on deck:

Ohio, to scatter my grandmother’s ashes.

one place you would go back to again and again:

Anywhere in Italy!

An Islamic tiled wall at Shangri La, with passages from the Koran.

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:

If you’re in Honolulu—visit Shangri La, the home of the late Doris Duke. It was built in 1937 and houses an impressive collection of Islamic art.
preferred method of transportation:

Flying to a destination, and once you’re there (depending on the location), either walking or renting a car or bicycle.

place you’ve never been but dying to go:

India. I’m allergic to many foods, including legumes (and deathly allergic to peanuts), so I’ve been hesitant to travel to various countries, for that reason.

place you’d never go back:
Las Vegas. I surprisingly had many amazing meals in Vegas, but I find the city itself to be very depressing.

most memorable trip:

As I was preparing to depart the airport in Milan, after a perfect visit attending the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the entire country went on a Socialist strike. Everything stopped and shut down in mere minutes, and I was stranded with other travelers at the airport for 48 hours until this national strike was resolved.

how do you prepare for a trip?

Make sure my home and laundry is clean, including my sheets, so everything is nice and clean upon my arrival home. If I’m going on a long trip I will make a visit to my local barber and get a short haircut. I also research my destination online (looking at maps, reading reviews, learning customs, etc…) before a trip.

I love magazines! So this sign in Kaua’i made us both laugh.


how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?

I like to get a souvenir shot of myself, and travel companion, at a photo booth or photo sticker booth—if I see one. I also try to buy a book in the location I’m visiting that will remind me of my trip. I also save interesting bits of ephemera: napkins, drink coasters, street fliers, etc… that have interesting typography or graphics— for inspiration at a later date. I also purchase way too many postcards, some are mailed to family and friends, but most them are archived.

Mr. Peacock took this photo of his partner, Jason, at sunset on one Christmas visit to Kauaʻi.

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?

Portraits together with my partner, Jason (one of us holds the camera at arms length and clicks), and shots of things unique to the location (signage, architecture, nature, people) we’re visiting.

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?

I used to take too many photos when I traveled, which are stuffed in dozens of shoe boxes in my closet. Now, I hardly take any photos when traveling and just absorb the experience and the moment.
what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
As little as possible! I try to have a single carry-on bag, usually my Land’s End giant tote-bag with a zipper top, packed with minimal clothes and bathroom/grooming products. I always bring sunscreen, daily doses of vitamins, benydryl, aspirin, pepto-bismal chewable tablets, chewing gum and Ear Planes ear plugs (to avoid my ears popping during take-off and landing of the airplane).

what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?

I’m usually a bit dazed & confused after a trip. I walk in the house, drop my bag and check my bank statement online. Then I call family and friends. The next day, I’ll unpack my bag and put all of the “ephemera” in a folder and file it away. I also like to frame snapshots of Jason and myself, from select trips, and place them with our “gallery of family and friends” we have displayed on a shelf in our home.

what’s the most memorable meal you’ve had while traveling?

A 4 hour lunch with a friend at Peck in Milan. We just kept ordering amazing food, while leisurely drinking prosecco (2 bottles) and watching the stylish “Milanese ladies who lunch crowd.” Peck is an amazing food store in Milan, sort of like Dean & Deluca, but much better. They serve lunch in their small café. The meat counter is particularly breathtaking. Every kind of fresh meat and poultry, including whole rabbit and squab, is meticulously displayed behind gleaming display cases.

collages by Mr. Peacock

most embarrassing experience traveling?

I was just getting ready to board a flight at Heathrow Airport (they were starting to board) and I really had to go to the bathroom. I rushed into the closest restroom available. In my haste, I didn’t even notice the odd absence of urinals, until it was too late! I realized I was in a women’s restroom—with women in the other stalls. I had to wait for everyone else to leave the bathroom before I exited by myself.

any scary experiences traveling?

Returning to Virgin Gorda, strapped in my seat on the deck of a small boat, after visiting a smaller neighboring island—trying to beat an oncoming storm. It was like riding a roller coaster through a wind tunnel in the rain—both scary and very exhilarating at the same time. The sky and the ocean were breathtaking, although I was unable to access my camera. It’s one of those travel experiences you don’t forget, and I didn’t even get seasick.

what advice would you give to any traveler?

Don’t overindulge on alcohol when you’re traveling. It’s fun to have cocktails or a glass of wine at the end of each day, but a hangover is not fun the next mornin
g when you’re traveling!

what’s on your typical itinerary when you travel?

Seeing or doing anything that isn’t touristy, and lots of people watching while eating and drinking local food.
studio: Mr. Peacock
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