Winter Sun With Christian Bendek

Blogger and photographer Christian Bendek is always on the go. Whether he’s relaxing in St. Barths, or running between shows at Milan Men’s Fashion Week, he’s always got his Burlington Stripe backpack in tow. We joined him on his most recent trip to Aruba, to find out more about his travel style, in-flight essentials, and holiday playlists.

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Home is…

‘Anywhere that’s surrounded by water. The beach has a special place in my heart.’

How often do you fly?

‘Once every three months, typically for leisure or work.’

  What are your travel essentials?

‘I always travel with my Smythson backpack and fill it with the latest issue of Vanity Fair to read during my flight and pack of caramelised peanuts.’

What’s your holiday soundtrack?

‘I love Lana Del Ray’s Honeymoon.’

Can you share your advice for travelling in style?

‘A guy should always have two things: a leather jacket because you can never rely on the weather while you are travelling, and a pair of sunglasses to hide any signs of fatigue after a long journey.’

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How do you stay in shape whilst travelling?

‘I don’t! I do try to eat as healthy as possible when I’m on the road, but the beauty of travelling is trying new foods and eating whatever you want. On my last trip to Milan, I ate pasta everyday—you’re in Italy, it’s the law! However, if it’s a longer trip, I try and make the effort to join a gym.’

What is the best travel location that most people have not heard of?

‘Rotterdam is a great city. It’s really underrated and most people have never heard of it. I spent a week there back in 2012 and it is such a beautiful place filled with amazing restaurants, a vibrant cultural scene and some beautiful street art.’

What’s the best beach in the world?

‘Half moon Cay in the Bahamas. It’s breathtaking. I also love Grand Saline in St. Barths and Baby Beach in Aruba.’

What’s the best travel app?

‘Easy. Google Maps.’

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Where are you travelling to next?

‘Most likely New York, but I also have a Caribbean cruise coming up. I really want to visit St. Thomas, in the US Virgin Islands because I’ve never been there.’

What can’t you travel without?

‘I have to travel with my two favourite colognes—Armani Pivoine Suzhou and Dolce & Gabbana Velvet Desert Oud.’

What is your top travel tip? 

‘Always take the photo! If you see something interesting or something that inspires you, take a few minutes to snap the image, because you might not return to that place and regret it in the long run.’

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Window or aisle seat?

‘I always choose the window seat. It makes the trip more bearable when it’s long and gives you a chance to snap cool pictures, daydream and watch the sunset or sunrise.’

Who is your dream travel companion?

‘I’d love to travel with Swedish musician Jens Lekman. He’s so cool and I love his music. I would love the chance to meet him and ask him lots of questions.’

Would you call yourself a traveller or a backpacker?

‘I like to think I’m a traveller. I like packing heavy because I’d rather have more clothing options—and they wouldn’t all fit in a backpack!’

Thanks to Christian Bendek for his Aruba holiday diary. You can keep up to date with Christian by following him on Instagram at @christianbendek or you can visit his website at christianbendek.com.