nomadic pal num. 4 : sacha pytka



YOU: Sacha Pytka, 23 (of Soyons Ouf) HOME: Venice Beach, CA 
I'M CURRENTLY: On lockdown in LA until I finish my next samples and head to Europe. 
I DIG: Cooking, clothes, and adventures. 
DESTINATION: Moscow, Russia 
WHAT: My friend Aline and I thought it would be fun to do a girls weekend in Russia with our little sisters.  Arielle and I got our tickets and visas, but my friends didn’t get their act together so it was  a sisters weekend. 
WHY: Curiosity 
WHEN: February 2009 
TRIP TUNES: Whatever we were dancing to! 
TRIP THREADS: An amazing white fox fur coat given to me by my grandma. I could have been naked under that thing and still have been warm. 
CAN'T FORGET EVEN IF I TRIED: Arielle’s grand finale fall while ice skating in the Red Square. 
NEXT STOP: Back to Paris, then surfing in Mexico!


RELAXATION SPOT: The jacuzzi at our hotel- the Mariott Moscow Royal Aurora. It’s all you want after walking out in the cold all day. 
MEAL: I can't say it was my favorite meal, but certainly the most Russian meal we had was at the super-traditional Café Pushkin. Lots of pickles and cabbage and things of the sort, but the restaurant itself is stunning.  
DRINK: Beluga Vodka. I don’t like vodka very much, but when in Rome… This was the most highly recommended vodka from room service and I must say it was delectable.  I found it at a liquor store nearby here in California.  When I brought it up to the register, the Russian cashier asked me “How do you know about Beluga?”  He was quite impressed. 
ADVENTURE: Trying to cross the street.  The avenues there are basically 4 to 6 lane highways with no visible crosswalks. We rush across one trying to get to the Red Square, and a group of police officers approach us and start speaking to us in Russian.  Our stomachs drop. “We don’t speak Russian.” They look us up and down. “Give me your passports.”  There’s no way I’m giving these guys our passports. We smile, play dumb and walk away very fast saying we don’t have them on us.  We later find out there are underground tunnels.  We also befriended the gay man who sold me a pair of boots. He took us to Vika Gazinskaya’s fashion show at TSUM department store and we wound up partying at a Russian gay bar, that was pretty fun too.  Also, our flight home was cancelled and we had to stay in an airport hotel for the night. A chocolate and vodka fueled karaoke party ensued with the rest of the stranded passengers. 
SLEEP/LACK OF SLEEP: Simachev- This is the only club that I remember the name of, but we danced to everything from badass Russian rap to Backstreet Boys.

Cafe Pushkin
  Trying to cross the street

 inside the super luxurious mall GUM
Arielle modeling some great finds from a shop in an underground crosswalk tunnel. my fur hat and her pilot's jumpsuit.
Red Square and GUM


nomadic pal num. 3 : aliénor meyer



I AM: Aliénor, 23 (of Alienation) HOME: Rue Mouffetard, Quartier latin de Paris
I'M CURRENTLY: Launching a web tv and looking for a harp teacher.
I DIG: taking night trains + watching jellyfish + retro sci-fi + Tiaras + drawing on book pages
DESTINATION: Kingdom of Jordan. A road trip from the North – Amman + Petra + Wadi Araba + Wadi Mousa + Mount Nebo + Wadi Rum + Jerash - to the South  
WHAT: Culture & Adventure
WHY: because I’m fascinated with Middle East countries (especially Saudi Arabia and it’s a border country)
WHEN: december 2009
WEATHER: warm days, mild evenings
TRIP TUNES: Arabic music 
TRIP THREADS: cameras. I had a big and heavy bag to carry all way long my Canon SLR camera, three different objectives, an holga camera, a disposable camera and photographic films. We also shared with my sister all kind of scarves bought from Bedouin's women on the road and with whom we tied our hair.
CAN'T FORGET EVEN IF I TRIED: Ibrahim's (the driver) declaration of love to my sister Astrid in Wadi Araba while I pretented to be asleep « Me Love you »
NEXT STOP: I would love to see the Nothern Lights in Iceland

RELAXATION SPOT: Floating on the Dead sea with black argile on my skin and a view on Israeli mountains. 
MEAL: Bedouin's special rice and chicken eaten with fingers and a very good libanese (best middle east cuisine) restaurant in Amman, the capital.
Not any, it is a Muslim country ! Just a fresh orange juice at breakfast.
Galloping in the ruins of Petra with pure Arab blood horses. Riding camels in the Wadi-Rum desert which looks so much like Planet Mars with its red sand and monumental rocks.
We spent Xmas eve with a Bedouin family in Wadi Bousa valleys. They offered us a comfortable striped red carpet under their tent. Before going to sleep, the woman showed me her wonderful jewellery collection. Sweet dreams.

 Astrid + Ibrahim
 Bedouin night
 Bedouin jewels
Dead Sea
 Jerash ruins
 Little girls loved my H&M jewels
 Riding through the Petra mountains
 Sea level
 The castle of the Crusaders
 Wadi Araba
 Wadi Rum Desert


nomadic pal num. 2 : amanda webber

OK, so, last year I had the somewhat simple + fun idea of featuring friends who'd taken pretty rad trips, in a series entitled Nomadic Pals. I kind of dropped the ball after nomadic pal num. 1 (Aussie Stuey, who recorded his amazing journey to the Andaman Islands), but am happy to announce that Nomadic Pals is being re-introduced to this bloggity blog of mine, as of today. I'll have a brand new Nomadic Pal entry for you guys every week. Here is my BFF - as they call those dearest to us - Amanda Webber (of Hood Rat Stuff ) giving us a sneak peek at her trip down to the tropical haven of Costa Rica. 

Bon voyage!


I AM: Amanda, 23. HOME: Raised in Hobe Sound, FL
I'M CURRENTLY: Nearing completion of my bachelor's degree in Journalism with a minor in Philosophy
I DIG: Going to live shows, cooking, sailing, sharing a bottle of wine with friends
DESTINATION: Costa Rica (the Pacific side) Playa Hermosa, a rather Americanized area of the country. Many transplants live there and American surfers travel there to take advantage of the waves, so almost everywhere you go someone speaks English. The downside of that is the prices are almost equivalent to what you'd pay for things in America. Jaco, the neighboring town is a bit of a tourist trap, but it's where you'll end up if you're looking for any semblance of a nightlife (although it's not necessarily the safest place so don't venture there alone).
adventure and relaxation
July 2009
hot and humid
TRIP TUNES: Mostly relaxed reggae/island music
SUNSCREEN. You're only 10 degrees from the equator, so even in the shade you're likely to fry. Actual clothes were basically obsolete. The majority of the time was spent in swimsuits; we threw on lightweight tanks and shorts or dresses when going into town.
Taking a spill off my surfboard and thinking, I just may die in Costa Rica.
I'd like to make a trip from Kathmandu to the Taj Mahal.


RELAXATION SPOT: Underneath a canopy of palm fronds on the beach, with a mango smoothie in hand. 
MEAL: Sushi Tsunami in Jaco has about the freshest sushi you will find, almost anywhere. 
DRINK: Backyard, a restaurant and bar just a short walk along the beach from our hotel had a ladies night, and everyone in town was there.
A horseback riding tour through the mountains. Along the way you're likely to witness some breathtaking views and also see a lot of incredible wildlife, from macaws to monkeys. The tour concluded with a jaunt on the beach. If you like horses, it's an experience I fully recommend.
For the first part of our trip we stayed in a hotel called Fuego del Sol, a comfortable and clean hotel with a pool. The room also included a delicious typical Costa Rican-style breakfast of eggs and beans with toast. The rest of our trip was spent nearby at Las Arenas. Rooms there included kitchens and televisions. Most visitors here were staying for extended periods of time.

First stop after landing, picking up local fruits from a roadside vendor
 Double-overhead(+) waves that few souls dared to brave
 A panga boat on shore
 Imperial, the beer of Costa Rica and the beverage of choice for the duration of the trip. The beer bottles in Costa Rica are re-used, not recycled. I give kudos to Costa Rica for being so environmentally friendly, but stuck with cans after I discovered this.
We paid some locals a small fee for a horseback ride through the mountains onto the beach.
 The view overlooking the coast once we reached the top of the mountain on our horseback ride.
 An idyllic sunset spent watching surfers catch the last waves of the day, joined by friends we ran into from home.
 Rocks along the shore
 We hitch-hiked up a mountain, trekked through the jungle, climbed a waterfall barefoot and covered ourselves in clay from the stream then descended back down to wash ourselves clean.