For Smythson’s new interview series we’re divulging definitive travel recommendations from those who spend their careers on the move. Here, we’ve asked the co-founder of Dazed Media and Nowness, Jefferson Hack, to truncate decades of travel into the essential luxuries, and how he manages to make anonymous hotel rooms feel like home.
One of the things I use to help with sleep deprivation or jet lag is the Headspace app. It won’t cure jet lag but when I listen to the sleep meditation it really does send me off. Also, I love listening to really relaxing music like Mazzy Star, Cocteau Twins or Eno to get me into a zone where I’m in between being asleep and awake, but not anxious with jet lag.
On his cocktail of vitamins…
I love Dr Rath’s Vitamins; the Vitamin C is amazing and I use a mix of different ones, a small cocktail of pills every day. I haven’t had a cold in a very long time.
On not stealing from hotels…
My friend Howie B once walked out of a hotel with the entire minibar contents and the minibar itself, which I thought was very rock’n’roll. I really don’t steal anything from hotels, just stories. The Hemingway Bar at the Ritz has the most amazing ashtrays, almost too big to walk out without getting noticed, so I paid for that one and I love it. The Hemingway Bar is one of my favourite hotel bars in the world and Colin Field, the head barman, is legendary.
“Right now I’m reading Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari, The Sellout by Paul Beatty and Lines in the Sand by A.A.Gill. I remember being stuck in an extraordinarily long customs line in New York once and getting through almost all of Ben Lerner’s 10:04 – by far one of the best books I’ve read in a while.”
Breakfast in bed at The Carlyle! Mmm….
On the in-flight essentials…
I’m a prolific note taker and love writing and journaling on trips. I’m always carrying a notebook and I love Smythson’s Soho Notebooks.
I always make sure I bring my Bose Mini 11 portable speakers: the sonic range is brilliant, it’s loud and the battery lasts all day. Lots of pens and pencils: I have to write, so I never want to run out. But no ink pens, because they have a bad habit of exploding all over me and my luggage on planes. Jewellery: I love rings and necklaces and have two lucky necklaces, one is an Ethiopian cross on a leather strap inspired by Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, and one is a miniature harmonica and typewriter charm to symbolise my two loves, writing and music…. and then I always travel with a real harmonica, a Honer Blues Harp. Also a candle, some incense, and lighter to light it with: it’s important for me to be able to take control of a room that I’m staying in by making it feel personal to me. I think candlelight is so much more beautiful than most hotel lights and it helps me zone out. I also love The Grenada Chocolate Company’s 100 per cent organic chocolate, which is available through Rococo Chocolates. I always pack a bar as it’s not something you can get anywhere else. I always make sure I travel with a tie and white shirt just in case I get an invitation where a specific dress code is required. I’ve been in some crazy situations; I remember once I was passing through Cannes and was invited to see a premiere of a film in competition. I ended up bribing a waiter to give me his tux and had to roll up the sleeves because he was 6 foot 5 – a giant, even compared to me. It was hilarious, but the pictures were not.
I love Smythson’s correspondence cards. I remember placing my first order with Smythson over a decade ago and it felt so special when I had my own personalised cards arrive ready to be sent out all over the world. It was like going from renting to owning, from being a boy to a being a man of letters, from travelling coach to travelling first – and after that… well, it’s very hard to go back, isn’t it?
About This Series
The One: The definitive guide to the one thing that you must do in a city, take on your journey, or wear when you get there: from the best sashimi restaurant in Osaka, to the perfect travel-sized moisturiser; that one dress that never creases, to the place for late-night paella in Madrid. Take advice from the people who’ve seen it all, and never find yourself stuck queuing for a tourist trap again.