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- Forget a marathon. The best thing to boost your middle-aged fitness? A backpacking trip.
- Use this trick to find the best guide, or fixer, no matter where you’re going.
- This is his bucket-list journey.
- Robinson learned to pack differently for long and short trips from his father—though the difference might surprise you.
- Take a moment, and you could find that long-haul flight might just inspire you.
- Keep these two items in your carry-on bag at all times.
By Mark Ellwood / Bloomberg News
DESIGNER Patrick Robinson has spent the past 30 years at the forefront of fashion, whether helming the Giorgio Armani Collezioni line or juicing Gap’s sales with a jolt of couture creativity. The lifelong traveler’s current project is Paskho, a start-up specializing in travel-friendly clothes for men and women. With each piece made from reclaimed and sustainable textiles, Robinson aims for them all to look as good at journey’s end as at the start, and to carry travelers from seat 1A to a C-suite-level meeting, without the need to change.
Patrick isn’t sure how many miles he logs each year, but estimates at least 200,000. He tries to fly JetBlue domestically, as he’s a fan of its Mint class.
“I’m just a fanatic about that. It’s outrageously amazing, because you literally have a door that you close and you’re in your own little bunker capsule pod. It’s almost like having a private jet.”
He often tries to use his JetBlue frequent flier miles for tickets on Emirates, which he loves for much the same reason. “Emirates first class is a whole room by itself.”
Forget a marathon. The best thing to boost your middle-aged fitness? A backpacking trip.
One of the things that I want to do is try to stay fit, but I work, all the time. It makes it hard, especially if I don’t have an outside goal or a vision for something I’m working toward, like running a marathon. So I go backpacking. Because just like you have to get in shape for the marathon, you have to do that for a backpacking trip. I usually hire a trainer to prepare me for it, to work on what I’ll need for a certain trip. As you get older, you see certain people’s trips become sort of soft, right? You’ve got to have these trips that are also hard, and that keeps you young and that keeps you out there.
Use this trick to find the best guide, or fixer, no matter where you’re going.
I go by myself, but I like to hire a guide. I start by doing research on where I want to go, and the pictures will come up. Then I look at the photographers’ names. They are a wealth of information about those best places to go and see, because they need this picture, right? That’s how they make money. So I contact them, and ask them for their guides. I usually piggyback off of them, and that’s an old hack for information.
This is his bucket-list journey.
If I’m going on a trip, I want it all about me. I want to go and find myself. One time, I hired a guide to take me into the Gobi Desert, and we were going to camp out for a few days. It’s life-changing. There is nothing there but desert, forever. You hear nothing. All by myself, I slept out. You wander into the desert and you finally end up at this camp with all these camels. They actually don’t want you to ride them; they’re actually really mean, so they try to scare the hell out of you. I had the nastiest camel. But it could literally walk up and down something vertical.
Robinson learned to pack differently for long and short trips from his father—though the difference might surprise you.
My father is sort of the extreme traveler. He was a doctor who invested his money well and retired at 45 so he could travel to every country in the world. I think he finished that, let’s say, five, six years ago. And then he did all the territories. He e-mailed me Sunday from Antarctica, and he was, like, “Oh yeah, it’s the second or third time I’ve been here. I just felt like coming back.” I learned about packing from him. On a short trip, say three to five days, I learned you might end up checking luggage, but on a longer trip, for two or three weeks, you never should. People actually do the opposite, which I think is really fascinating. On short trips you actually need to pack more, because usually a short trip has a reason and you actually bring more with you on the short trip. You don’t want to get slowed down by washing things, so you should bring everything you need. But on long trips, he takes very, very, very little because that’s when you have time to wash your clothes or do this and that. He just went to the opera in Salzburg (Austria), and he took a lot with him: the tuxedo, the right shoes. But on long trips, he just takes a backpack.
Take a moment, and you could find that long-haul flight might just inspire you.
I hate the airport but love a plane. I find I breathe better on airplanes and have creative thoughts. You know what we don’t do as people a lot? Just sit there and give yourself time to think. Planes are pretty quiet, and that’s a wonderful opportunity. I usually take something with me that sparks thought—a book, so I can then write in my journal. Planes are not a place to do e-mail, but somewhere to be creative.
Keep these two items in your carry-on bag at all times.
I put an extra shirt and a pair of socks in my smaller bag, and I leave them there. They never come out of that bag. I always say if I lose my big bag—if they take it away, if it falls out of the sky, if something happens—I can actually live with just the small bag. If you change your shirt on the plane, you can change the perspective of who you are. And socks mean you don’t have to worry if your feet get wet. People are like, ’Why don’t you put underwear?’ But you can survive without underwear. Even wearing (just) a pair of pants, you can keep going.