⏦ 007 — A conscious city micro-guide to Paris

Travel protocols & seeing Paris through the lens of well-being

Hello and good evening. Whenever I arrive in a new place irrespective of whether it’s by air, rail, or four-wheels, I often forget the infrastructure and systems we have in place today has not always existed. Probably the single most thing which symbolizes travel or tourism to it’s most compact form is the passport. And whilst we all understand what a passport is and does, it’s only a relatively modern travel protocol — a couple hundred or so years.

Tourism of the modern variety — travel for leisure — I assume it to have taken place by accident. By accident, I’m guessing it was a by-product of religious pilgrimages, those which necessitated interludes along a long-journey for rest, rejuvenation, and at times, medical recovery. I imagine the peoples of those in-between landscapes felt a duty to feed, shelter and entertain foreign passer-bys such that they would inform pilgrims, on the other end, making the reverse journey — to experience the same.

I assume many of you reading are well-versed travelers, and have your own reliable tools and local confidants to help you navigate a city’s nonsensical bus matrix or be served by the locals-only coffee baron. So, and instead, I’d like to offer a slightly different kind of guide to a city. One that is biased to well-being (rejuvenation) and slow tourism. And, a guide that is always incomplete because it’s a snapshot in time, and not a selfish attempt to dictate how a city should be experienced.

These micro-guides — as I’m coining for now — won’t cover a city from top to bottom, or go deep in a particular category. They’re conscious notes, hurried text, all which started in my iPhone’s note-taking app. They’re places or things I personally wanted to see or experience, and if I couldn’t, they’re suggestions by local friends, whom are readers of The Considered too. If you’re after something a little more expansive, the beautifully curated and designed city guides by Cereal or Monocle are publications I recommend. And, of course, you can write me if you want more details about anything I’ve laid out — or missed!

And with that, here’s the ‘Conscious City Micro-Guide’ for Paris.

Until next week,

—Arj

Please help me grow The Considered by sharing this micro-guide with local friends or those visiting Paris.

If you missed the last dispatch or are reading this for the first time, you can learn more about this newsletter, The Considered, here. Also, if ever you want you can unsubscribe below in a click.


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→ Paris Conscious City Micro-Guide

It’s not hard to imagine arriving into Charles de Gaulle and being succumbed by the scents of French pastries. Then as you make your way to Gare du Nord, whilst sitting on the RER, you’re bumped by an accordion playing street-performer looking for his next Euro. Before you know it, you find yourself dropping your luggage at the hotel and making a beeline to the closest boulangerie to pick up a baguette to go with your espresso. Then as the romantic French architecture draws you in at each turn, irrespective of which arrondissement you’re in, you realize you’ve been eating carbohydrates for three-days straight, and forgotten what a vegetable is.

O.k., that might be a hyper-exaggeration, but it’s tough being a tourist in a city like Paris which doesn’t have a juice bar or fitness studio at every second corner — but that’s a good concept, right? And even though I was just passing through for an extended weekend, I was dreading that I might have to eat gluten everyday. So, my mission, was to find out what locals do for well-being in this great city.

This is the Paris Conscious City Micro-Guide, best experienced over a weekend.

→ Wellness

Ladda

32 Rue de Paradis, 75010 Paris

Start your morning at Ladda, a wellness studio on the rooftop of a nondescript commercial building in the 10th arrondissement. Here you’ll find a self-care menu of: reflexology, yoga, and traditional Thai massage. I attended a 90-minute Saturday yoga session (25€) taught by the instructor, Pam.

The class was small (only five others), advanced (by my standards), and taught in French (mine is horrible)! But, I did just fine.

After your session you’re encouraged to spend time on their rooftop featuring a sweeping panorama of the southern and western expanse of the city — including Sacré-Cœur. Unfortunately it began to rain just as I emerged from my yoga class, so I spent some time inside admiring their book collection instead.

Blanche

21 Rue Blanche, 75009 Paris

If you’re seeking more vigorous exertion of your muscles (and joints) make your way to Moulin Rouge. Once you’ve spent five-seconds there, take a brisk five minute walk down Rue Blanche to the city’s newest gymnasium in, Blanche. Blanche is a full-stack wellness club offering boxing, yoga, spin-cycle, personal training, weights, and a pool in the basement where you can sign up for aquatic classes.

The wellness club is set inside of a former mansion designed by Charles Girault (1901), and has an adjoining restaurant in, B.B. Restaurant, and part of renowned French chef Jean Imbert’s portfolio. I didn’t train but spent time in the restaurant’s courtyard as I nursed an iced Americano whilst writing dispatch six.

All of the equipment in the weights hall and spin-cycle studio is by Technogym.

(Thanks to the Blanche team for allowing me to tour the venue)

→ Food

Café Citron

60 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris

Simon Porte Jacquemus of the brand Jacquemus, opened a restaurant earlier this year housed within the new, Bjarke Ingels-designed, Galeries Lafayette Champs-Elysées. The restaurant, as you’d expect, is perfectly on-brand with his fashion namesake: Summer, fruity, and very, Mediterranean.

I stopped for lunch at the restaurant and enjoyed a tuna sandwich and salad, fresh citronnade juice, and a generous topping of Italian olive oil. Prices were reasonable too.

Galeries Lafayette Champs Elysées, Food Court

60 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris

Staying in the same building, Galeries Lafayette Champs Elysées has a food court in their basement (-1), which is worth visiting. The food court is “market” style, where various vendors, some known for their already successful establishments in the city, have abbreviated their healthy and seasonal menus for Galeries Lafayette. I stopped by the Maisie Café counter where they serve a bevy of healthy to-go options and juices, similar to their full-scale version near the Tuileries. I picked up a green juice to rehydrate me on my walk back to the hotel. Food court prices vary from reasonable to very-expensive.

→ Coffee

Partisan

36 Rue de Turbigo, 75003 Paris

If you’re looking to break up your café sittings and wander from the traditional French bistro, then artisanal coffee shop and torréfaction, Partisan, is where you need to go. Situated in the Le Marais (3rd arr.), the coffee shop has an industrial, minimalist, and calm soul. Coffee is served either traditional (Italian) or “new-wave” (current roast). However, beware, they have a slightly-loony one-hour laptop policy. Other restaurants and cafés have rules like this, but they don’t make you feel awkward when trying to enforce it. Basically, be prepared to be informed about the rule as you take your seat, first sip, and show any sign of reaching into your tote bag for your laptop. Thankfully, their coffee is good.

Ob-La-Di Café

54 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris

If you’re a runner — casual or professional — you’ve likely heard of the brand Satisfy Running, which happens to be based in Paris. Their founder Brice Partouche (who founded April 77 too) also has a café in the Le Marais, Ob-La-Di, which you should visit. If you scroll Satisfy’s Instagram you’ll find the café often features as a meeting point for various runners and running clubs. The café is quintessentially Parisian small though, so be prepared to have your coffee to-go, but not before you snack into one of their healthy treats whilst waiting. I recommend the granola if you can secure a seat.

Café Kitsuné Palais-Royal

51 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris

Kitsuné the French-Japanese fashion house has been serving coffee for years all around the world. Their penchant for just serving coffee (and the odd sweet) is something I respect. Too often these hybrid café-types try to serve full-scale menus which is hard to do reliably well if it’s not your main business, and that loses the appeal for me. O.k., maybe I spoke too soon, because Kitsuné is also opening a restaurant (next week) near their Palais-Royal café and if the menu looks as good as the initial interior concept, it should be just as satiably appetizing.

If you’re near the Louvre and need to find a hiding place to escape the tourist coaches and keychain salesmen, I advise you to pick up a cup of coffee from Kitsuné’s original espresso slinger at Palais-Royal, before finding patch of grass in the garden. Then people-watch or meditate, both can be rewarding. A quick tip, if you find the queue extending out of the entrance — like I did — pick up your coffee at Kitsuné’s newest location and just outside of Palais-Royal at 2 Place André Malraux.

→ Experience

Musée Rodin

77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris

Nearly ninety-million humans visited France last year — the most of any country. So, if you’re not visiting Paris for the first time, I highly recommend avoiding the overtourism taking place at popular attractions like the Louvre, and instead visit some of the lesser known museums, galleries and landmarks. Since my schedule was tight, I chose to visit Musée Rodin which displays the works of Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), and all donated to the French state.

I visited on a Saturday and the number of museum attendees was very manageable, and they were well-mannered too.

The museum features his works chronologically with Rodin’s paintings first, followed by his famous sculpture work, before leading you out onto the expansive gardens where you can sit, contemplate, and just take a moment from the world.

Centre Pompidou and Atelier Brancusi

Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris

Another gallery of donated works is Atelier Brancusi which is part of the Centre Pompidou site adjacent to Châtelet (4th arr.). Even though crowds prohibited me from setting foot inside the monolithic Centre Pompidou building, I was pleasantly relieved to learn the studio of Constantin Brancusi was unremarkably tucked away externally and off-schedule. Brancusi, of Romanian birth, is another sculpturist who donated his works to the French state. The studio gallery is a 1:1 replica built by Renzo Piano, that features his living quarters and his artist studio. The sculptures, of course, are the originals itself which Brancusi masterfully constructed and arranged per his fascination with spatial relationships or “mobile groups”. It’s a small gallery, but the details and craftsmanship is, oh, so, heavenly.

Tadao Ando Meditation Centre

7 Place de Fontenoy, 75007 Paris

Not far from Musée Rodin and still on the left bank, is the UNESCO Headquarters, or the World Heritage Centre as it’s also known. I wasn’t particularly looking to visit the centre but since it was en route to Rodin, I thought it might be nice to specifically visit the Tadao Ando Meditation Centre at the site, if possible. It was built in 1995 to celebrate UNESCO’s 50th anniversary.

Unfortunately access was closed on the Saturday I visited, so I can’t tell you what mysterious or calm enlightenment was to be found inside. Thankfully my Sony α7 III was able capture the building’s facade and do some justice for Ando’s work from afar.

→ Commerce

There’s endless opportunities to buy things in Paris, and the city is especially well-catered for fashion, culinary, art, and more. Since shopping is indeed an act of consumption, and given the mixed feelings I’ve made known towards “excess” (see ⏦ 003), I thought I’d share a few worthwhile retailers (or services) that I’ve personally experienced or purchased from. Each offers an experience beyond just commerce, and you immediately notice that as you interact with the staff once stepping into their retail space.

Distance

13 Rue Cavenne, 69007 Paris

Around the corner from Merci and at the top of the Le Marais, is a relatively new sports retailer called Distance founded by Stephane Summer in Lyon two-years ago. The concept store which stocks apparel, shoes, and accessories specifically for running features purposeful brands like Salomon, Ciele, Hoka One One, Satisfy, Patagonia and District Vision. The Distance community also regularly host events and runs right from their shopfront so it’s also a place to meet other enthusiasts. As for whether you should visit Merci, just scroll up to the part where I mentioned overtourism.

Paris here we are ! And we made sure someone nice cool and an expert in running goods would be here to help you. The infamous @lionel_fracture is here starting from tomorrow to serve you ! He will pretend not to run fast don’t worry he is that kind...
June 6, 2019

Buly 1803

6 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris

You’ve probably heard of the skincare and apothecary brand Buly by now. Since this micro-guide is about conscious commerce, if there is a single product which you should purchase, which is also inherently French, it’s Buly’s Pommade Concrète hand cream (35€). If you visit their Le Marais store (opposite Ob-La-Di), there’s also an adjoining café and florist’s corner where you’ll find a bird chirping by the name of Jean-Françoise.

Biologique Recherche

2 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris

If you want something a little more substantial and luxurious for your face or body, head to Biologique Recherche at the Champs-Élysées for a skincare treatment like Cryo-Sticks or Second Peau. Their scientific formulation and generous concentrations is what sets them apart, along with the elevated retail experience. You’ll be able to purchase many products from their storefront too.

Centre Commercial*

2 Rue de Marseille, 75010 Paris

For a true conscious and sustainable shopping experience, visit one of Centre Commercial’s three Paris stores. Founded by sustainable footwear brand Veja’s founders, Centre Commercial is an ode to conscious brands whom serve a purpose and produce ethically. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to visit this time around, but you count on an update next time.

* recommended by a friend

→ Stay

Hôtel Doisy

55 Avenue des Ternes, 75017 Paris

Hôtel Habituel

168 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris

On this recent visit I stayed at two separate hotels, Hôtel Doisy (17th arr.) and Hôtel Habituel opposite Gare du Nord (10th arr.). If you remember my first dispatch (⏦ 001) concerning non-hotels, my goal when booking accomodation is to find an establishment which offers more than just a place to sleep — if possible.

I wouldn’t exactly categorize either Doisy (pictured below) or Habituel as non-hotels, by my definition, but each presented good amenities, a modern remodel within an old Parisian building, and an above-average healthy breakfast menu without the overload of bread and pastries. Habituel was the cheaper of the two (starting at 120€/night), but was subject to the glitch you would expect being opposite the largest train station in Paris — noise. Luckily being on the top floor (6) it was a non-issue and my mind was pleasantly offset by the myriad of South Indian diners, like the humble vegetarian-only Saravana Bhavan, at my doorstep.

If you’re interested in hotels which are openly vocal about their sustainable efforts then two options I was recommended by others are, Hôtel Le Citizen (10th arr.) and Hidden Hotel (17th arr.). Each hotel has policies on waste disposal, energy conservation and plastic usage, yet don’t exactly present themselves as greenwashers and instead just like any other good hotel. Expect reviews of these in the future.


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The Considered is a dispatch of personal notes, useful information, and passed down tips on how to ‘live better’, through the lens of the mind, body, and the things which intersect them (figuratively). There may be occasional Amazon affiliate links in newsletters where I could earn a small commission if you make a related purchase.
The Considered is by ArjSelvam.

⏦ 006 — A meditation video I made & mindfulness in design

Word of mouth, A silent, unguided, meditation, film

Good evening considered readers near and far. With last week’s extremely lengthy dispatch — thanks to a great conversation I had with Adam Katz Sinding (you can read it here if you happened to not get through it on your mobile device, or accidently managed to send that email back into the ether) — I thought this week’s ought to be the inverse of that output. Shorter (less than 1,000 words), slower (links to what I’ve been reading and watching), and different (I made my first YouTube video).

⏦ This week’s, The Considered, dispatch is out, and in your inbox if you’re a subscriber. I’ll post the link to the silent, unguided, meditation video I made in Switzerland (in the newsletter) in the coming days. In the meantime, subscribe so you don’t miss out my ‘Conscious City Guide to Paris’ in next week’s dispatch. —AS
September 8, 2019

Until next week,

—Arj

If you missed the last dispatch or are reading this for the first time, you can learn more about this newsletter, The Considered, here. Also, if ever you want you can unsubscribe below in a click.

→ Word of mouth: readings and a video on mindfulness in architectural design

Overnight success takes a long time — by Paul Buchheit (Gmail founder)

“This notion of overnight success is very misleading, and rather harmful. If you're starting something new, expect a long journey. That's no excuse to move slow though. To the contrary, you must move very fast, otherwise you will never arrive, because it's a long journey! This is also why it's important to be frugal -- you don't want to starve to death half the way up the mountain.”

Aēsop upsizes skincare at new Sydney megastore — from AFR

A teaser of Aēsop’s global flagship and sensory wonderland in Sydney to be opened this Australian spring, a 250 square-meter space designed by renowned architecture and design practice Snøhetta. (Disclosure: I’m a former Aēsopian)

How to make the world a better place — by Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times

With the conversation about sustainability, global warming, and conscious living front-and-centre, I thought it might be nice to read up on the basics, the kind of things we might take for granted or not think twice about. In short:

  • Put your money in the hands of the best organizations

  • Look beyond your backyard

  • Give your time

  • Focus on women and girls

  • Help provide the basics

  • Make a lifelong impact by helping a child

→ Designing Mindfulness: Spatial Concepts in Traditional Japanese Architecture — by Japan Society of NYC

→ A silent, unguided, meditation, film

Until only a few weekends ago I had never even turned the dial of my camera (I use a Sony A7 III) to the video function. I think the reason for that is because I’ve always perceived the video medium to be technically challenging and huge in scope. But, perhaps it’s purely because videos compared to photography is so much more than just taking a good photo. It’s storytelling, it’s lighting, it’s audio, and it’s a far more extensive post-production commitment if you want to do it well. A software or app preset defined by a mathematical formula is simply not going to do the job for video — and definitely not in batches.

For all of those reasons, plus many more I’m not aware of, producing videos and more specifically films, is something I’ve admired by those who make them for a living — be it a humble YouTuber to Terrence Malick. As I’ve found out this week the effort and creativity required in filmmaking is exponentially greater than that of photography (apologies to any photographers out there).

On the note of storytelling and videos, more recently I’ve been thinking about what a visually aesthetic mindfulness video — or film — could look like. What I find within this branch of self-care is that most content servings focus on the stance of therapy or perpetuate an overly motivational theme through the curation of quotes or pseudoscientific thought-pieces. No surprise, neither approach speaks to me, and instead I just find them to be offensive distractions.

If I were to come up with a style-guide for what conscious content I would like to see more of, it would consist of well-produced videos which do not explicitly tell me what to do or how to feel — instead they would show me. I think it’s important for viewers, and thus mindfulness participants, to come up with their own interpretations about a technique or concept (after the basics) because we each have our own nuances and a one-size-fits-all approach might be disrespectful.

I really enjoy what Max and Tom over at District Vision (New York City) are doing, intersecting their eyewear brand (made for runners and athletes) with the practice of mindfulness, through highly evocative imagery and non-pretentious audio recordings. Then there’s meditation practitioners like Manoj Dias of A—Space meditation studio in Melbourne (he’s also on the Insight Timer app) who bridges mindfulness with: culture, political opinions, and (importantly) religious context, to give you a taste of what mindfulness should look like in ordinary-everyday life. Mindfulness content need not be about motivational one-liners, cliché subcultures, or one’s tool for self-advancement — it just needs to get to the point and offer calm.

And a few weeks ago I took a holiday — from my holiday —  to create a moment of respite and explore this very idea surrounding conscious media content. I decided to head south, and take a train to Switzerland because I find they operate a little slower than the rest of Europe. Ironically I was in Switzerland the same time last year, but this time around the weather was a stark contrast — wet and cool — and hardly any sign of an impending indian summer. Instead the temperate conditions made for ideal reading time overlooking lush Swiss greenery, daily walks to the lakes, and exploring that video setting on my camera’s dial. Enjoy.

Disclosure: this is more of an experiment and a work-in-progress (sorry it’s basic) but I’m absolutely open to producing more of these videos on mindfulness, in time.


Subscribe to The Considered

⏦ If someone shared this with you consider subscribing above, and if you enjoyed reading this I’d appreciate it if you could tell someone else.
The Considered is a dispatch of personal notes, useful information, and passed down tips on how to ‘live better’, through the lens of the mind, body, and the things which intersect them (figuratively). There may be occasional Amazon affiliate links in newsletters where I could earn a small commission if you make a related purchase.
The Considered is by Arj Selvam.

⏦ 005 — Interview with Adam Katz Sinding on his cycling & running pursuits

Sunsets as a fix for self-care ruts & interview with Adam Katz Sinding

A little late here with this week’s dispatch (Sunday evening where I am) but I’m hoping you’re enjoying the end to your weekend. This week I made a short trip down south to relax a little and, importantly, get away from the hot weather that’s still lingering around. I’ve mostly spent time by the lakes, went shopping for a durable and reusable water bottle (the Swiss make high quality bottles, just like their water. I got this 0.6L one) and as usual enjoyed my iced Americanos.

⏦ Dispatch 005 is going out in about five minutes (I had to write that because this post is going in the newsletter). This week I share my thoughts on self-care ruts (not routines), and interview @AdamKatzSinding of @AKS about his running, cycling, and of course photography. Subscribe at www.considered.cc to get the dispatch shortly.
September 1, 2019

Also, one last small-ish tidbit before the formal part to this. Each week I ask readers how I can improve or add to these mini publications, and luckily, I receive a lot of good (sometimes constructive) feedback which I try to implement the following week. So, if we haven’t conversed before, I’d love to hear from you. Secondly, why not help me get in front of more people (hello new subscribers!) by sharing any of my dispatches? It helps me plan and work on deeper (and better) pieces — like this week’s interview. Just forward this email, tweet about it (my twitter is @arjselvam) or send them here.

Thanking you and until next week-end,

—Arj

If you missed the last dispatch or are reading this for the first time, you can learn more about this newsletter, The Considered, here. Also, if ever you want you can unsubscribe below in a click.

→ Sunsets as a fix for self-care ruts

Sometimes you just gotta break up a good habit. It might seem contradicting to feel exhausted or bored of a healthy ritual or practice that you’ve built up over years, even if it’s very intention brings: calm, clarity, or enlightenment (if spiritual lineage is your goal). My mindfulness practice over the past four-ish years, has been refined down to three tools: apps, podcasts and walking. This past week, however, I just didn’t feel like listening to anything through my earphones, nor was I looking for the guidance you come to find with many meditation servings.

Similar to physical exercise, meditation and practicing mindfulness brings about better results when part of an established routine. Forget to take your brain vitamins one day, and watch your mind race from thought to thought at any idle opportunity. I’m sure you know what it feels like when you do something good in a very regimented way (like eating salad for lunch daily or running the same route), it weirdly begins to lose that profound joy or appeal you may have felt when you started, you know, like that mental high.

To shake off my funk, this week I decided to do away with two of those tools which consistently serve me: apps (Headspace or Insight Timer) and podcasts (Tara Brach). But, instead of trialing a new tool or attend an in-person meditation session, just getting back to basics and spending time outside, amongst nature, was what I was after. Sure it’s not meditation per-se, but instead, I kind wanted my mind to bounce from tangent to tangent to see where it would take me.

In a way, this week has felt more like an unscrambling of any mental clarity and calm I’ve built up through mindfulness thus far, in order to rewire my mind and crave that routine and system again.

With my day-to-day as per normal, I found I was taking my mental respites around the time the sun was setting (between 19h and 20h) each day. Some of my walks and sittings were longer than others, some were amongst crowds, and one was just by myself as I found I had walked, perhaps, too far.

The detachment from my norm this week has been most welcome, but, also very much needed. Whether it’s been walking without a destination in mind, sitting by the lake or appreciating the indistinct chatter around me, these moments have provided their own version of calm for me. The highlight, though, has been timing my gazes at the sun as it slips between trees or noticing people’s shadows get long and skinny.

I know I’m breaking all the rules of ancient (and modern) rituals like finding a quiet space, reciting mantras, or using the breath as an anchor, but I’m hoping that this break might return me to a beginner’s mind. And, if it does, I might make these mini mental sabbaticals a permanent thing.

I chose the park and to be near water, but you don’t have to do that. Just go outside by nature: garden, courtyard, balcony, or even a rooftop. If you get sidetracked or your mind runs wild — embrace it. Let me know if you’ve felt the same before, or have come up with other methods — like anti-practices — to counteract any meditative rut you may have experienced.


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→ Interview with Adam Katz Sinding

In a first for The Considered dispatches, I’m going to be doing a series of interviews with people (over time) who I believe embody a considered lifestyle, as well as inspire me. I’ve written a list of the names of people I’d love to interview because I think both you and I might enjoy it, but I’m also open to reader suggestions.

For this first ever interview, I chat with an old friend, Adam Katz Sinding, a talented photographer and equally great runner and cyclist. I chat to him about his latest work (two great books which you should consider), how he got into each sport, his favorite running loops around the world and other self-care routines he practices. I met up with Adam a couple weeks ago in Copenhagen (where he lives now), just as he was getting ready to fly to Alabama. (Gentle cautionary: some strong language)

Arj Selvam (@arj.s)

Adam Katz Sinding (@aks)

Adam, good to see you. It’s been a few years, how are you and where are we today?

I’m good, and we’re sitting over at Israel Plads (a park square) in Copenhagen, across the road from the Torvehallerne markets.

You’re on the road again soon I understand?

I leave Thursday morning to go to Alabama (Billy Reid Shindig), come back for one day, then off to Oslo, Kiev, New York, London, Milan, and Paris for fashion weeks.

How many miles have you done this year?

I’ve done 136,967 kilometers this year (reads off ‘App In The Air’ on phone), which is 192 hours on planes this year.

Last year was crazier because I did the book tour and went to 28 countries for just that.

O.k., let’s just quickly define what you do. Perhaps it’s evolved over the years?

Not really.

I’m a photographer first and foremost, I go to all the fashion weeks and take photos of people on the street. I also do backstages, some campaigns and I’ve made two books — obviously comprised of photography.

@garconjon took my photo!!!...
June 18, 2019
10 PHOTOS shot during @parisfashionweek SS20 in Paris, France 🇫🇷 for @wmag

SEE MORE on AdamKatzSinding.com •

#PFW #PMFW #SS20 #Paris #Menswear #FashionWeek #Hair #MakeUp #Model #Models #MaleModel #MaleModels #AKS #AdamKatzSinding #NoFreePhotos
July 29, 2019

Cool, let’s talk about your book (“This Is Not A F*cking Street Style Book”) then. How did the project come about?

I did this interview thing, I can’t remember what for, and mentioned it. A week later a Dutch publisher (Mendo) contacted me and said “If you’re ever in the Netherlands, let’s meet”.

I was like “Oh, I live here, I can be there in fifteen minutes”.

They were like “O.k., calm down”. 

But, when we met, it took more than a year to actually do.

Why?

Just coming up with a concept. If you think about what I do, it’s street-style photography which is quite boring. All I do is take photos of people walking into this door and walking out of that door.

It’s pretty cool you had Virgil Abloh write the Forward?

Yes, he wrote the Forward and that was right before he got the Creative Director role at Louis Vuitton.

How did you make that happen?

Virgil is a really nice dude, now of course extremely famous, but he still says “what's up to you” backstage. I had to chase him to get it done, but we were both in Stockholm, and we did it on the phone and transcribed it. I was nervous, thinking he might answer each question with one word. I mean I know the guy, but I just really figured he couldn't be fucked right? But, it was so good.

Errolson Hugh (Cofounder, Acronym) did the Forward for my second book (“Live From F*cking Everywhere”) which I'm also extremely happy about. He also signed my book and I signed his. It was cool man. I was really proud of those moments and felt quite accomplished.

“We” made a book...
February 14, 2018

O.k., let's talk about your extracurricular activities and pursuits — running and cycling. I want to guess, you’ve been doing both for a while right?

I was pretty slow and kind of fat as a kid, so I joined my school cross-country team as the slowest on the team. I also worked at a local cycling shop in Tacoma building snowboard bindings.

I hated running and wasn't really good at cycling either, but I still did it.

In college I bought a full suspension mountain bike to commute 12 kilometers each way to work downtown. I had always wanted a mountain bike because I thought they were just so cool, even though my buddy had just bought a road bike. I thought he was so dumb, and such a loser when he brought it home!

Did he convert you to road bikes?

I remember Eddie asking if I had ever ridden a road bike and I was like “No, why the fuck would I do that!”. He said “just ride it down the alley”, so I got on it, barefoot, and was like “fuck, this is so fast!”. I traded my mountain bike that day and got the same bike as him.

So ever since then you’ve been riding daily?

I'm very black-and-white and I don't do any grey area. I'm either going to ride or run every single day or not at all. When I started running, I just ran 10km a day, everyday. 

Wow. When was this?

This was 2010. 

A girl at work who I was complaining about running to, said just run 6 days in a row and you'll see results. So, I tried it and started to lose weight quite quickly. Every day I had this residual runner's high. So I was like “Fuck, I'll just run the same 10km loop for a year”. But when I moved to New York City on the 366th day, there was a meter of snow on the ground, it was -17 degrees (celsius), and I said “I’ll run tomorrow.”. So I just bought six beers and a pack of Oreos instead, and before I knew it, I gained a ton of weight and stopped running. 

But you’re back doing it today and quite good at it now?

Now I am, which is weird, because I shouldn't be since I still have a lot of body-fat. I'm also getting a little faster with cycling, but I'm definitely not good yet.

So what's the goal, is it a performance one?

Mental clarity and losing weight. 

I always feel good just getting on the bike. Yeah, the bike especially, because with running you can have your phone and check it at every red-light, but with cycling it’s in your back pocket. Besides, you're doing 32km/h, you're flying, and it feels amazing.

When was your last ride?

Yesterday. I rode halfway up this island, around a lake, and back through a forest whilst it was torrentially pouring. The rain sucked, but the ride was amazing.

I was by myself, and I just sat there and worked shit out. You hurt but you can't complain to anybody right? It's awesome.

Image courtesy of Paul Jeong

Do you prefer solo runs and rides? 

Not really. I procrastinate a lot. I go out with other people because it gets me out the door, but I still don’t mind doing it on my own when I can.

So group riding brings you accountability? 

Yeah. I also use the Strava app, it’s basically social media for athletes.

For example, yesterday was a great. I was like “Fuck I'm going to go out and ride because no one else is going to, since it looks like it might rain”. And it fucking rained. Like hard. So I thought I was going to be the only one in Copenhagen to go out on this loop, but when I got home and checked Strava, you see everybody road today! That’s cool, but I'm just glad I went. 

Do you prefer one over the other?

Cycling, but you can’t travel with a bike. I hate running, but I'm good at it and it takes only thirty seconds to get ready. You can do it right from your door.

The problem is, both are detrimental to each other muscle-wise. If I run all of next month I'll lose a lot of weight, but I'll also lose my cycling base and feel like shit when I get back on the bike even though cycling is more fun. But you have to switch it up.

Do you meditate?

It takes a lot for me to get motivated to meditate. I have to be either really depressed or have high anxiety.

So meditation is more reactionary for you? 

Yes, which is dumb. 

For example, if I go a week without doing push-ups I feel gross. So I’ll do them, and wonder how the fuck I forgot three sets of 50 pushups each day. Like how do you forget that? It's the same with meditation, if everything's going o.k., I just forget about it.

How do you meditate? Do you use apps? 

Yeah, I use this Headspace thing. The dude's (Andy Puddicombe) voice is amazing. You can hear him smiling the whole time. And his accent is amazing. It's so good!

So you’ve used Headspace but not as much as you’d like then?

I’ve done it about thirty times. I should do it more, but I'd just rather get on my bike or go for a run. I don't listen to music either, I just listen to my breathing, count my steps, yeah that sort of thing.

But is there a genre of music that could get you into a meditative zone?

I don’t know. I just listened to that fucking James Blake album pretty much on repeat (laughing). 

I'm going to get a juice real quick, do you want something? 

Sure, I'll get the greenest juice they have.

Yeah they have this celery and lemon one, it’s quite good.

Perfect.

Image courtesy of Paul Jeong

Tell me about your gear and tools for running and cycling. I think you’re quite particular about the function, but also the design?

I used to wear a lot of Nike’s just because. I don't think Nike make the best running shoes but they get it. I now wear these Salomon x Satisfy shoes, which I think is probably a better shoe.

Is that what you’re wearing now?

(Laughs) Oh yeah!

It's very psychological for me. 

Like with my bike, it has to look fast to get me motivated. Same with my running shoes. I know it’s stupid, but I have to get motivated to get outside and run. I can't be the dude who runs in heather-grey sweatpants, a t-shirt he got when he was 18, and a terry (fabric) headband. He might be a better runner than me, but I feel like I need to look the part.

I wear Satisfy because I think they look the best and get me the most excited about running. Nike obviously sponsor the fucking fastest people in the world, but I'm never going to be a marathoner or sprinter. I'm just a dude who runs after a fashion show in Paris, then goes and gets a beer with his friends. Satisfy is a little more that vibe.

For cycling, I wear Pas Normal Studios because they’re based in Copenhagen.

Just for reference, I pay full-retail for mostly everything. Satisfy once gave me a pair of shoes but I ran through them so I bought another pair because I liked them. Nike and Pas Normal Studios have occasionally gifted me shoes or a musette bag, but ultimately I would prefer to buy things that I like.

So, where do you...

(Interrupting) Also, hold up, for running the only socks you should wear are these Falke, spelled F-A-L-K-E. They recently did a collaboration with District Vision and I ran in them. I haven’t got a blister since, they're so fucking good.

(Laughs) Socks are underrated. O.k., where are your favorite places to cycle or run around the world?

Running in Sydney. I stay in Woolloomooloo, it’s not my favorite location, but as far as getting a really fucking, fulfilling, beautiful, sunrise run, when you're jet-lagged, you just can’t beat that loop.

What’s your loop there?

O.k., this run is exactly 10km:

  1. Start in Woolloomooloo

  2. Run to Mrs Macquarie's Chair 

  3. Run around to the Sydney Opera House

  4. Run to Circular Quay

  5. Run to The Rocks

  6. Run across to Darling Harbour

  7. Run over to Chinatown

  8. Run to Hyde Park

  9. Run past the Coca-Cola sign in Darlinghurst 

  10. Run back to Potts Point, to the bottom of the hill stairs

That’s right...take it all in...
May 17, 2019

Yeah, I've done that run! Any others?

Seoul, because you can run along this awesome old canal amongst a huge metropolis, and Paris because it's just so fucking beautiful.

What about running back in your hometown of Seattle? 

Oof! I go trail running now with my cousin, it's insane, but the problem is you might get eaten by a mountain lion!

Oh yeah, in Australia I also once went running in the Blue Mountains with my friend Sam, and we were running this part where you couldn't see your feet. Sam calls it “snake alley”.

But, back home Point Defiance is my favorite, and it's only 5km from my home. It's a nature reserve with a rainforest — it's amazing. 

Image courtesy of Joe Harper

What about here in Copenhagen?

I do like running here but it's a bit flat and boring, I have to say. 

There’s some beautiful places around here to run but it's not terribly interesting. There’s just no wilderness here in Denmark. There’s beautiful pastoral fields and deciduous forests with smooth floors but it's perfect, it's just too perfect.

You need a challenge?

Yeah. I like the fact that you could slip on a fucking tree root or get eaten by a mountain lion. 

Thanks for the chat Adam. What’s on for the rest of the day?

Going back home to meet contractors for my apartment remodel, before going on a ride at 5:30pm.


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⏦ If someone shared this with you consider subscribing above, and if you enjoyed reading this I’d appreciate it if you could tell someone else.
The Considered is a dispatch of personal notes, useful information, and passed down tips on how to ‘live better’, through the lens of the mind, body, and the things which intersect them (figuratively). There may be occasional Amazon affiliate links in newsletters where I could earn a small commission if you make a related purchase.
The Considered is by Arj Selvam.

⏦ 004 — Word of mouth, current reads and listens

Rimowa Original 'Cabin' field test, What I'm Reading, What I'm listening to

→ Summer air, water views, and iced Americanos

Hello and hope you’re enjoying the start to your weekend. Well, time does pass by quickly, because I’m a month into The Considered and it only felt like yesterday when I was nervous to press send on the first dispatch.

As I was sitting at my favorite coffee shops this week (most likely sipping an iced Americano) putting this newsletter together, it was particularly nice to see many new readers (from diverse backgrounds and geographies), signing up to read along this experimental-turned-permanent part to my week. Thank you and welcome. (If you’d like to read past dispatches you can find them here)

Before I let you go off to read this week’s dispatch (note: slightly different to previous weeks), I must confess, this edition was double in length. I was actually contemplating whether to introduce yet another new section — Interviews — before I realized introducing two sections in the same week might not be such a good idea. So an interview is coming next week, and Word of Mouth (a review) follows below.

⏦ Currently enjoying the summer air, water views, and iced Americanos (long black), whilst writing up 004. It’s also the first dispatch to feature ‘Word of Mouth’, a review write-up about products or services I use. It’s inspired by: Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog, the @NYtimes @Wirecutter and even Jenny Gyllander’s @ThingTesting. Make sure you’re subscribed so you get to read it (first) as I mindfully push ‘send’ to your inbox this weekend.
August 21, 2019

Until next week-end,

—Arj

If you missed the last dispatch or are reading this for the first time, you can learn more about this micro-publication, The Considered, here. Also, if ever you want you can unsubscribe below in a click.


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→ Word of Mouth (Product) — Field test of the Rimowa Original ‘Cabin’ 35L

Last week I talked about the monotony of packing/unpacking when traveling, and how the reciprocal task can lead to an almost meditative state. Part of the piece was about simplifying travel inventory and limiting the number of possessions. One of those possessions imperative to transporting your personal belongings reliably from place A to place B is the humble, old, suitcase.

Over my many years of travel, I’ve slowly accumulated (and retired) suitcases of manufacturers catering to every segment of the market, including: entry-level (no-name), mid-level (Samsonite, Crumpler, Away) and, now, premium (Rimowa).

Getting this out of the way: Rimowa suitcases aren’t cheap.

A case for standing out. Discover RIMOWA seasonal colours, available for a limited time.

#RIMOWA #RIMOWAcolours #RIMOWAessential
August 18, 2019

With consumer items, your propensity to purchase a good or service comes down to your perceived value for it. But (there’s always a but), for most consumers though, luggage might feel very much utilitarian — equipment for moving items from one place to another. However, with the proliferation of social media and the storytelling that comes with it, the “function over form” narrative has, thankfully, evolved and turned the humble suitcase into a design-object.

With the blink of a (red) eye, there’s now a bunch of direct-to-consumer (DTC) luggage startups, who’ve given the category a much needed refresh whilst creating their own lucrative, though saturated, middle-market. Of the bunch, I’ve only owned Away (the ‘Carry-On’ and ‘Large’ models). I don’t have anything particularly bad to say about them, other than each served their purpose, were still in good condition, and have now been passed on to my sister. However, as I’ve alluded to previously, my outlook on possessions, ownership, and what is excess, has shifted in recent years and the concept of essentialism — less but better — I’ve found to be rather liberating. So, nine-months ago I decided to upgrade.

After spending some time on travel and design websites, I narrowed my search to three brands: Samsonite, Tumi and Rimowa. I didn’t spend too long with Samsonite, quickly noticing their design and brand inconsistencies. Tumi, although well-made when experienced in-person (specifically ‘19-degree’ collection), I felt their backstory and identity was a little too corporate and bordering on afterthought for me. Despite not being a huge fan of heritage brands within, say, fashion, I was drawn to Rimowa’s panache and their popularity with creatives and seasoned travelers. And, after seeing a friend’s beautifully banged up, six year-old suitcase, complete with faded airline stickers — I made my choice.

My Rimowa Original ‘Cabin’ 35 litre carry-on in silver

→ Specifications

Model: Original ‘Cabin’
Price: $1150 (USD)
Weight: 4.3kg
Capacity: 35 litres
Color: Silver
Material: Aluminium

→ Non-linear pricing

I went with the Original model (previously known as Topas), because of their iconic aluminium and groove design, and the suitcases you’ve likely seen gliding through airport concourses. As for size, I opted for a ‘Cabin’ 35 litre, because it was the smallest and lightest at 4.3kg (for comparison Away’s polycarbonate Carry-On is 3.4kg). Yes, meaning I’m left with just 2.7kg for personal belongings, though you’re unlikely to face issues if you avoid (ultra) budget airlines who might strictly enforce the 7 or 10kg limit — I haven’t yet.

The ‘Cabin’ model will fetch you more than $1,000 (USD), and each incremental size will cost you a premium on the size below it: +17% for the ‘Check-In M’ and +11% for the ‘Check-In L’. When I asked Rimowa’s very smiley staff at their Saint-Honoré flagship about the disproportionate increments in price, they (jokingly) acknowledged it was simply due to — more aluminium. Yes, true, but not my point.

→ Materials, hardware, and wheels that glide

Materials and hardware used in Rimowa suitcases are probably industry-leading in terms of build quality. Their ‘Original’ and ‘Classic’ models feature high-end anodized aluminum alloy bodies along with riveted high-gloss aluminum corners, to protect it from knocks, bangs, and stray kids.

Though, the feature which probably draws me the most is the lack of any zippers, which can be tampered with and lack waterproofing. Instead, Rimowa provides you with two programmable TSA locks (reminding me of James Bond briefcases) and a rubber weather-seal rim that locks in snuggly to protect your contents. As for their famous patented wheels, honestly, it’s true, they seriously just glide (as they should) even with nine-months of considerable usage.

Internally, I enjoy the 50/50 split between compartments meaning I separate one section for fragile and hard items, and the other for clothing and soft items. You’re also provided with a (plastic) dust cover to protect your suitcase (which I haven’t used) when not traveling.

The TSA lock system, weather sealing, and wheels made for airport concourses

→ As a design-object

To the discerning eye, a Rimowa can be spotted from a terminal away, speaking to their iconic design and identity. Because I purchased my suitcase in Australia at the time, only superseded stock was (then) available, as the (2018) branding and design refresh meant the new models were in short supply. So, technically, I own a Rimowa Topas model.

I elected for the quintessential silver color, but they also come in stealth (a matte black), titanium (a light gold), as well as limited edition ombré options. With any hardcase suitcase they’re easily scuffed, but in Rimowa’s case they’re also easily dented too. Some people hate that, but I actually like the unique character the suitcase will develop in years to come.

The exterior update is minimally minimal, with Rimowa doing away with that small clip tie-thing to attach small grocery-like bags (anything more substantial dislodges), along with supposedly new wheels. Internally, the only changes I’m aware of is an update to the silk label bearing their new logo-mark, along with the lining color changing from bright-blue to a subtle dark-grey.

→ Repair service holds up

Another well-known trait to Rimowa’s brand is their post-purchase repair service (which I’ve actually experienced already, sigh, and more on that shortly). Prior to the 2018 Alexandre Arnault led strategy overhaul (consolidating wholesale to prioritize e-commerce/DTC), Rimowa opted for a network of “pop-up” service centres around the world, utilizing hotel lobbies and wholesalers, so esteemed customers could come to fix their broken suitcases with authentic parts. My understanding, however, is that Rimowa has brought servicing in-house, and thus rationalized their global network in the process — unfortunately. On top of their repair service, there’s also a 5-year warranty, though many luggage upstarts have adopted lifetime warranties which is kind of nice but probably just marketing copy more than anything.

Ironically — but weirdly too — just three flights into the use of my Original ‘Check-In L’ (not my carry-on), a wayward baggage handler at Munich Airport (MUC) thought it would be nice for me to test Rimowa’s repair service by damaging a wheel. The end to the story is after many back-and-forth emails and calls, with both Rimowa and the airline, I was successfully able to have my suitcase repaired (by Rimowa) and refunded by the airline. I think I was incredibly lucky here because that normally doesn’t happen for me.

My Original ‘Check-In L’ (not my carry-on), damaged at Munich Airport (February, 2019)

→ Final thoughts

I really like my Rimowa carry-on and it’s become a trusted companion in the past nine-months of travel. Do I recommend you upgrade? Possibly, but perhaps only if you’ve transitioned through the tiers and understand what each offers.

What I like about Rimowa is they’re beginning to tell their heritage story and become vocal across other creative industries — like fashion or beauty — through collaborations and partnerships. I understand traditional existing (possibly older) owners of the brand might balk at Rimowa’s recent collaborations with people like Virgil Abloh or Lebron James, but I think this sort of thing is important to help maintain relevance and financial stability for the next 121 years.

If you’re on the fence, don’t want to spend as much or perhaps put off by the 4.3kg it weighs, you can go for the more bank-balance friendly polycarbonate option in the ‘Essential’ (3.2kg; $700). Or, you can definitely try the Away suitcase which starts at $295, is sturdily built, has an interesting founder story, and ships to Australia, Canada, most of Europe, and of course the United States.

→ What I’m reading

The Most Narcissistic Exercise Equipment Ever, by Courtney Rubin of the New York Times

I don’t know how I feel about personal workout mirrors yet, because when you’re sweating you probably want to avoid any kind of mirror. The whole smart-home-gym craze feels very much an “LA” or “New York” thing right now to me, but then again many weird fitness subcultures start in these places. Peloton, now looks very much ahead of their time. Anyway, can someone who’s tried Mirror please let me know?

How the pursuit of one European peak gave rise to modern mountaineering, by Mark Jenkins of National Geographic

I’m not a hiker, but recently I’ve been watching a lot of “solo hiking” (yes, it’s a thing) videos on YouTube, which somehow led me to this piece. The story is of the precarious Matterhorn alp in Switzerland, near the Italian border, which became the de-facto mountain peak in the mid-1800’s of which hikers around the world strived to climb — in the same way Everest is now. The piece goes on to explain the tales (and tragedies) of climbers of Matterhorn, and how the mountain is what gave rise to modern mountaineering today.

→ What I’m listening to

Every Monday I patiently await for Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist, personalised to my taste. This week a certain Nicolas Jaar song — America! I’m in for the birds — caught my repeat-attention, which led me down a Spotify rabbit-hole leading me to discover a 2010 compilation by Chris Coco entitled “Lazy Summer”, and perfectly describing how I feel this very moment. Enjoy.


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⏦ If someone shared this with you consider subscribing above, and if you enjoyed reading this I’d appreciate it if you could tell someone else.
The Considered is a dispatch of personal notes, useful information, and passed down tips on how to ‘live better’, through the lens of the mind, body, and the things which intersect them (figuratively). There may be occasional Amazon affiliate links in newsletters where I could earn a small commission if you make a related purchase.
The Considered is by Arj Selvam.

⏦ 003 — Unpacking travel, but mindfully

Sintra, Commercializing ancient rituals, Mindful packing/unpacking

Hello mindful readers, thinkers, and ‘ers of all kinds. I spent most of this week simply enjoying time in the sun since the month of August in Europe is perfect for that sort of thing. Not too hot. Definitely, not cold. But, somewhere in-between. Last weekend, I made a fleeting trip out to a small, old, historical town and national park, Sintra, which is about an hour west of Lisbon, Portugal. I’ve been meaning to visit Sintra before on previous trips, but, eh, logistics. If you ever get the chance, I thoroughly recommend a full-day (avoid Sunday unless you enjoy crowds) to give yourself enough time to explore the cobbled streets, parks, and Palácio Nacional de Sintra — a palace built sometime in the 15th century.

⏦ 15th century palaces, a lot of walking, clickety-clack bumps of stone cobbled roads, some quick-but-satisfactory mindfulness, but mostly just trying to stay hydrated with this hot Portuguese sun beating down. Olá from atop Sintra.
August 12, 2019

The piece on “Seeking discomfort in your commute” from last week’s dispatch apparently resonated with many readers, such that you even shared your thoughts and experiences with me. Some excerpts:

“My commute fyi is by bike - we know the meditation benefits of this - and I use it as podcast time” —ED

“I don’t know when I began popping Ubers like Maltesers, but I was thinking about it recently and decided to be way more mindful of the way I throw away money on stuff like that…” —ZE

“I think one of the coolest benefits of walking, biking and public transport is the interactions with communities of people. Every trip is a learning experience, I love it.” —JC

And to the many of you who’ve shared private messages of support (and feedback) since I took pen to paper to keyboard, I’m now kicking myself I didn’t get started sooner. It’s been tremendously motivating, thank you.


→ Commercializing ancient rituals

Readers who may know me personally, will know meditation is dear to me and has been an important aspect of my life in the last few years. When I initially came up with the idea to start this newsletter, meditation and mindfulness were two interests I wanted to start talking about right away. However, after some basic research and information collection, I was rather disappointed to find most conversations and storylines weren’t doing the ancient practices any justice.

If I’m being honest here, I’m terrified of all the glitzy attention and pseudo-advice being doled about (just login into social media) with limited reference back to history, culture, science or even technique. If we’re not careful and neglect some basic moderation, the practice (in the west) may borderline a novelty and something I think has occurred with yoga in small patches — commercialized and watered-down.

O.k., that sounded serious and grown-up. With this outlet for sharing stories mine, and mine alone, all I hope for is to share an honest and refined perspective on the practice. If I end up just telling a different narrative then that’s o.k. too.


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→ Mindful packing/unpacking

When traveling, does the idea of packing your possessions into a transportable case to then later unpack conjure feelings of burden or anxiety? Do you hold off the task because it feels like a chore, or perhaps get triggered with impending queues and security checks at airports? Well, it needn't be this way.

If you approach the repetitive task with practical sensibility, reduction, and some mindfulness — there’s an inherent calm it can offer. And with unknowns along a journey surely guaranteed, sometimes this calm could be an anchor in a trip marred by unexpected twists.

Having traveled extensively over the past decade, both through work and for leisure, I’ve noticed in that time I actually need less. Therefore, simply packing less has been the key for me to reduce stress that comes with travel. Whether it’s a quick overnight business trip to a nearby outpost or an extended pilgrimage to a far-flung corner, each itinerary offers you an opportunity to think about possessions, ownership, and what is excess.

The fact that you cannot logistically take every item you own with you calls for a routine audit of your possessions, reassessing their intrinsic value, and evaluating their relevance to the whole. With the whole referring to your identity (more on that later). But for all the possibilities travel bestows, you’ll likely fall back to a finite set of possessions which covers your basic needs. These finite possessions are something you should intimately get to know, so that you don’t need to rely on memory, packing lists, or even apps.

My finite set of possessions — or travel field kit — is one I can depend upon for almost two-to-three weeks at a time, before I’ll need access to proper facilities like washing or to make replenishments. They’re more or less my life essentials distilled further into the most functional and compact. As an aside though, if you don’t leave room or pack an item or two for the serendipity or unexpected that comes with travel you may not be accounting for the whole. So, for me that’s bringing an additional camera lens (85mm) and a (casual) suit — you never know. Lastly the final possession, and in my opinion an investment, should be a travel case* (wheeled or not) befitting of the stories it will adorn over the years through scuffs, tears and dents — almost wabi-sabi like.

Life essentials stowed in my carry-on (August, 2019)

My travel field kit inventory looks a little like this (excluding items worn) currently:

  • Clothing — staples, jacket, suit, shoes (2x), laundry kit

  • Connection — laptop, phone, global sim, watch, peripherals

  • Curiosity — camera, lenses (2x), books or magazines

  • Digital — podcasts, apps, music, books

  • Prerequisites - passport, visas, currency, notepad, pen, herbs, vitamins, tote, travel case

  • Well-being — toiletries, skincare, running gear and shoes

Having traveled extensively over the past decade or so, I no longer need to think about my inventory, plus or minus an item or two, as it’s usually always the same set of items I pack and replenish (I haven’t strayed away from too many brands I like). Once you’ve fine-tuned your inventory, packing starts to become monotonous thus serving as a gentle meditation each time you prepare your kit for an upcoming itinerary or decompress having arrived from one.

* Word of Mouth review of my travel case, a Rimowa Original carry-on 30L, in next week’s dispatch (004)


Now that we’re three (três!) dispatches into The Considered, I’m no longer calling this an experiment, a test, or guise of any other nature. So far I’m enjoying constructing this newsletter each week for you, tinkering with the content whilst learning more about this medium, it’s nuances, and the process.

Until next week-end,

—Arj

If you missed the last dispatch or are reading this for the first time, you can learn more about this newsletter, The Considered, here. Also, if ever you want you can unsubscribe below in a click.


Subscribe to The Considered

⏦ If someone shared this with you consider subscribing above, and if you enjoyed reading this I’d appreciate it if you could tell someone else.
The Considered is a dispatch of personal notes, useful information, and passed down tips on how to ‘live better’, through the lens of the mind, body, and the things which intersect them (figuratively). There may be occasional Amazon affiliate links in newsletters where I could earn a small commission if you make a related purchase.
The Considered is by Arj Selvam.

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