Boarding Pass – Daniel Gross

The Baltimore-Paris-design connection isn’t one you find everyday, but it’s what helped Daniel Gross of aNEW Designs– the star of today’s Boarding Pass – and I bond. And as you’ll see below, travel is definitely in his blood too. The other awesome thing about Daniel is that besides working as a designer and teaching, he also is a part-time fire captain who works to combat the fires in California. Keep reading on to learn about the great ways he records his travels, and you can visit Daniel at his blog. {Thanks, Dan!}

last trip taken:
Grand Canyon, AZ

{Grand Canyon}

next trip on deck:
An extended weekend trip up the California coast ending in Monterey or San Francisco. I also have to plan a visit to Baltimore to see family soon, maybe in the Fall.

{Louvre – Paris}

one place you would go back to again and again:
To pick just one place is so hard, I am going to have to say Europe as a whole. England is grand, the Netherlands is fabulous, France takes my breath away, Germany was awesome, Italy so romantic, and Switzerland so timely. I can not wait to get back. My wife, Jacqui, is dying to get to Italy so that is on the short list. There is so much more of Europe that I have not seen yet, but if it is like what I have experienced, it is going to be wonderful.


place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Everyone has to spend time in Paris. It really is one of the most beautiful cities to visit. I love the history, the architecture and of course the art museums are the best. Paris has something for everyone.


preferred method of transportation:
I love trains and subways. Trains are relaxing; after all you are on vacation. Subways get you there fast, cheap and quickly. It is also a great way to mingle with the locals. Does anyone say flying anymore?


place you’ve never been but dying to go:
I would love to get to the Scandivian countries. The people I have know from this region are wonderful, the scenery is beautiful and it looks like it would be a great experience.

{Bath, England}

place you’d never go back:
That is difficult, I really like going most anywhere but if I have to pick on one place, lets pick on Bakersfield, CA.


most memorable trip:
My most memorable trip would have to be the year I lived in Pont á Mousson, France. I was an exchange student in high school and that year had such a profound influence on my life and designs.


how do you prepare for a trip?
I try to read up on everything I can, books, websites and blogs. I love maps, so I study them prior so I can get around like a local. I usually make a list of things I want to visit but I don’t do a formal schedule. I like to go with the flow and find it much more exciting a trip by just exploring.


how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
Photographs have to be the number one way for me. “I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph.” I also make notes in my trusty Moleskine of things of interest or that I what to study more when I get home.

{SF [above], Pasedena [below]}what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?

I love architecture and design so they have to be my favorite items to photograph. I always keep my eye open for that great shot, that wonderful sign, and beautiful details. The world is full of so many beautiful details and I am afraid too many people miss them. As a designer, I must be observant of those unique details.

{Stone Henge}

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
I take photographs into the thousands sometimes now with my digital SLR. It is so easy to get carried away, right? I admit I do go a bit overboard but photography is one of my great passions and we must feed our passions.

{Santa Monica}

what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?

My Nikon D-70 (hoping to upgrade soon), a wide angle and telephoto lens, my Moleskine, a good travel guide with map, usually my MacBook Pro (to download images), sunglasses to look cool, and a good attitude.{San Diego}

what do you do after a trip?
After my trip, I go through my photos, pick out my favorites and organize them. I try to put images that I can use for projects aside such as textures and elements. I have been loving to blog, so I try to spread that information of the wonders that I just observed quickly. I am working on a few photobooks that I want to print and hope to finish them up this summer. Over the last few years with my wife Jacqui, we have collected tacky snowglobes for our office, so adding them to the shelf is a post trip ritual.
how long after a trip does this happen?
As soon as possible


why to you love to travel?
For me travel is learning, exploring and reinvigorating for the soul. Travel has become one of my greatest passions from the local trip (we all need to see more of our local areas) to those distant locations. I find that designs get better after a trip of observation. Life is now don’t wait until you retire. Traveling is one of the greatest things we all wish we could do more.
does your other half enjoy traveling as much as you do?
My wife, Jacqui, is also a designer, which works out wonderful. We both have similar loves for art and design, so museums are always high on the visiting lists. She loves to travel as much as I do, so planning the next trip is always on our minds. If we hit the lotto, we would be off for months at a time traveling.
what are you up to when you’re not designing?
In addition to designing and teaching college design classes, I also work as a part-time fire captain. This experience has allowed me to travel throughout California for days and weeks at a time to help fight the many wildfires in the state. I always try to document these experiences with photographs. These trips have given me a chance to see many areas in California that I would never had gotten to see if I had not been sent to help.

website: aNEW Designs
blog: aNEW Designs blog
on twitter


  • Yes, Dan, you and your wife should definitely come check Scandinavia out! Sweden is beautiful and full of beautiful cities and nature. Also, Norway is stunning. Really, everyone needs to see the fjords in their lifetime.

  • Anne-
    Thank you for the lovely post. I am so honored to be a member of the Boarding Pass group. Look for me soon Vanessa, Sweden is calling. Keep doing the great stuff you do, Anne. Looking forward to each Boarding Pass. They are so interesting. Thanks again.

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