Why I Wander: Style

When I first started Frequent Wanderer, someone asked me, "why do you love to travel so much?" I didn't really know how to answer the question succinctly. It's a combination of so many things: the adrenaline rush of sprinting through the airport to catch my flight; the thrill of exploring a totally new city; the ensuing awkwardness of asking strangers for directions. 

What it all comes down to is that I love to travel because it inspires me. It gives me a reason to write - something I'm admittedly terrible at doing. In college, I had to write a 20 page thesis for a final exam. I gave up at 19.5 pages because I simply couldn't muster the inspiration for even a few more sentences. 

Whether it's the people I've met, the food I've tried or the hop-on hop-off buses I've ridden, there's so much to be inspired by on the road. This week, I'm introducing a new series of posts entitled "Why I Wander" that highlight the collective experiences that have inspired me. Of course, everyone enjoys (or loathes) traveling for different reasons. I'd love to hear from you! Please reach out and tell us why you love to travel. You can also tweet and Instagram your thoughts with the hashtag #whyiwander. 

It's Fashion Week in NYC right now, so to kick things off, we're starting with a timely topic: style. 

So soon as a fashion is universal, it is out of date
— Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach

Often times when we travel, we're laser-focused on visiting the "attractions". One's daily itinerary must include at least 5 cathedrals, 3 museums and 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We quickly lose sight of the "mundane" and seemingly insignificant comings and goings happening right around us. However, it's these moments that are perhaps the most fascinating and give us the most honest insight into a foreign culture. 

I'm no paparazzi or street style photographer, but I do enjoy a bit of people watching. I love seeing how people are dressed - whether they are on their way to school, visiting a temple or shopping for produce in the market. In an increasingly homogenous global society, it's refreshing to see and important to embrace our differences.  

During my trip to Jaipur, I couldn't help but take notice of the rich colors and bold patterns women draped across their bodies. In Cusco, it's common to see Peruvian women wearing brightly colored skirts topped with a plain bowler hat. This wacky combination is a perfect blend of pre-colonial and Spanish influences. In Bhutan, men and women still wear traditional ghos and kiras to this day. However, the looks are now typically complimented by shiny, new Nike kicks and iPhones tucked under their robes. 

It's not at all surprising then that many of today's most famous designers are inspired by their travels. Over the next few weeks, it will be exciting to see these worldly inspirations are interpreted and brought to life on the runway.