Boarding Pass – Kasia Dietz
Today’s Boarding Pass feels a bit like a trip around the world (32 countries in 13 months to be exact, not to mention any other side trips). But it is just this wandering spirit that, as luck would have it, bring Kasia Dietz to Paris (by route of a twist of fate and a handsome Italian). Now this former NYC art buyer is commanding her very own line of handbags and totes which she sees as “wearable art, ” and the latest line has an eye on Paris. While Kasia is off galavanting in NYC (see blog), the rest of us can enjoy a little vicarious travel through her eyes. Thanks, Kasia!
last trip taken:
Many recent trips to Monterosso, Italy, a place I first discovered solo and which has now become my second home.
next trip on deck:
Monterosso followed by the Greek Islands (all in the name of my upcoming wedding!)
one place you would go back to again and again:
Can I pick two? Both for very different reasons. India for it’s ‘other-worldliness’ and profound feeling of being alive. The Greek Islands of the Cyclades for their remote serenity.
place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
I have so many! A few that top my list are Queenstown, New Zealand for it’s extreme natural beauty (I recommend sky-diving above the majestic mountains – incredible) and Ubud, Bali to experience a more ‘spiritual’ side of life. In terms of natural wonders, I recommend a trip to Cappadocia, Turkey to view the incredible rock formations, and Halong Bay, Vietnam for it’s surreal limestone islands. I could go on…
preferred method of transportation:
My favorite method of travel is via train for the feeling of being connected to the land. I once spent 48 hours en route from Lhasa to Beijing and loved every minute of it. Some of the fastest and most efficient trains I’ve taken are in Japan and France (most often the latter these days). I don’t mind buses as well, depending on the conditions, which hugely vary. Too many stories to tell, but one journey that remains memorable is a 60 hour bus trip from Gijon, Spain to my home in Bykowce, Poland. And many bus adventures throughout Southeast Asia.
place you’ve never been but dying to go:
I have yet to visit Africa and would love to explore South Africa, Kenya and Ghana, among others. Myanmar is also on top of my list. (I almost made it there!) On a more local note, I’m also very eager to drive cross-country in the USA and get to know the varied landscape. (I’ve seen much more of the world than my own country.)
place you’d never go back:
I haven’t yet encountered a place which I would not return to. Even places that most people find ‘dangerous’ like Naples, Italy or Candelaria in Bogota, Colombia appeal to me for their authenticity.
most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
My year spent traveling around the world was by far the most exciting, empowering and challenging trip of my life. Thirty-two countries in thirteen months and many lessons learned along the way.
how do you prepare for a trip?
I ask trusted friends for any tips on what to see and do, contact locals if possible, reference Lonely Planet on where to stay, (try to) pack lightly and hit the road!
how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I take lots of photos and when I travel solo I always keep a journal. It’s a way to help me reflect and stay in the moment.
what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
I often find myself capturing street scenes and the faces of the locals. I can spend hours observing life in the streets, as to me this represents the true culture of the city or village.
on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
I can easily take 50-100 photos in a day, depending on how inspired I am. (I ended up with upwards of 10,000 on my year long travels, after much editing!)
what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
I usually travel with two cameras, my Canon 400D for more serious photography and a Sony Cybershot for fun. And always a small notebook to record the route and places discovered along the way.
what do you do after a trip?
I download my photos onto my hard drive, edit and share my favorites via blog or online photo albums. The most memorable photos I print and save.
how long after a trip does this happen?
Usually within 1 week after my trip I try to organize the photos. (While traveling extensively I tried to blog every few days – hard to keep up while on the road!)
favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
I collect local art from most of the places I visit. Even a ceramic piece or pillowcase made by a local artisan lends itself as art to me. I fill my space with these pieces, each one representing a unique travel memory. I also collect anything that inspires me in my life as a designer, such as local fabrics or scarves.
Are you surprised that your life of travel has led you to Paris?
Not at all. After 10 years in NYC, Paris was the city in which I most wanted to live, and not simply as a tourist. Little did I know it would be a handsome Italian who would lead me there! Can I say, destiny?
BOARDING PASS is a weekly column exploring the creative ways people travel.