wan.der.lust // traveling the world with Jason Perry

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page" -St. Augustine

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page" -St. Augustine

I must admit I have not done any Euro adventures. I did travel some when I was younger but that does not even count. As the days fly by and my Espana relocation countdown gets closer and closer, I am finding myself completely overwhelmed and nervous but soooo excited at the same time. I have become fascinated with my world traveling friends partly because I can live vicariously through them. Their awe-inspiring experiences ignite my 5 senses and I am soooo ready to take this leap and see the world with my own eyes. I want to be fearless and have an open mind through this whole process. I also want to become more spontaneous. I struggle with this greatly. There was one time that Lin and I did a winter moto trip through The Ozarks staying in Hot Springs and then looping back into NWA  to stay in Eureka Springs. Well, it was freezing. It was raining. We had a bike issue and had to get it serviced at The BMW repair in Bentonville adding an additional 3 hours of bike time in these uncomfortable situations. We had zero plans, zero reservations and when we got to Eureka at almost 9 p.m. (and we are not night riders) every single hotel was booked solid. I freaked out. Like seriously Samantha in an exorcist tantrum on the ground with frozen hands and soaking wet clothes. It was horrible. So the spontaneous part for me...yeah, that is a tough one! I have this amazing friend who inspires me daily with his travels. He inspires me to get out there and embrace the world as it is. He inspired me so much when he made a move to The West Coast too. I have wanted to do this for sooo long. He has the most amazing stories and photos and adores things with wheels. (he helped me buy my first bicycle)  He also loves coffee so naturally we connect and he never disappoints with his food recommendations. I knew I wanted to not be selfish forever and share him with my readers! Grab some espresso and kick your feet up and daydream travel with the brilliant Jason Michael Perry. With Tulsa Tough happening in my backyard this weekend, this post is perfect timing too!

 (all below photos were taken by Jason Perry and/or belong to Jason Perry)

Jason was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and works as a Commercial and Advertising Photographer. His photography takes my breath away. Shooting with him is actually on my bucket list!  He was shooting a portrait project at Tulsa Tough (he wanted to give thanks to Jake Drevs  for his help with all that) and when the project was released into the wild, it had a bit of a viral success and he made a few new friends because of it. In particular, the ladies of The Vanderkitten racing team. They all kept in touch after the race and even met up a year later in Saint Louis where he shot a few more photos of them. After that they encouraged Jason to come out to SF for a visit. He had never been there and they were positive he would love it!! These are the also the girls I channel in spin class. Like I pretend I am on their racing team which is hilarious because they would leave me in their dust.

Jason Perry Interview:

-So TUL to SF...OMG? Tell me all about this big relocation! (I am super jelly)

I made the trip out a couple times, met some really great folks, made some amazing friends and decided it was the place I wanted to be. I came home, looked at my work calendar, picked the weekend after my last scheduled job, and decided that was the weekend for the big move.  I made the decision to move in July, ‘11 and was on the coast in October of the same year. I told everyone, terminated my lease, gave notice to people I was working with, etc. to bolster my commitment to moving. I felt like if I waited until the time was right, I’d never make it. I just leaped and decided it’d work itself out one way or another. It took a couple years of suffering but I finally found my groove.

- One weekend in SF..where should I eat, sip, stay and play?

SF is a small city (7x7 miles) and is relatively easy to get around so it’s hard to pick a bad place to stay. If you want the authentic “like a local” experience, try a neighborhood near Golden Gate Park (I like the Inner Sunset). It’s a bit more calm than most other spots in The City, the Park is an awesome place to hang out, it’s not far to the beach, transportation is easy (MUNI or rent a bike) to the more bustling neighborhoods and it’s typically easier on the wallet. Get an AirBnB!  The list for amazing food and drinks is never ending so I’ll just give you a couple of my faves.

Foods:

  • La Palma for the best burrito on Earth
  • Burma Love
  • Souvla for gyros (get the pork but the veggie option is amazing, too)
  • Brenda’s French Soul Food
  • The Slanted Door
  • Devil’s Teeth Baking Co. for breakfast sandwiches.
  • Dynamo Donuts and Coffee (they have awesome vegan and GF options)
  • Ken Ken Ramen

Drinks:

  • Royal Cuckoo for dark, warm, funky, vintage ambiance
  • Zeitgeist for beer and a huge patio
  • Toronado for beer if the weather sucks. Get a sausage next door before you go over.
  • Vesuvio for an authentic, vintage SF experience. Go across the street to Specs’ for more of the same

It’s worth noting that some of my favorite places aren’t in The City, but rather up North. So, if you have time go check out:

  • Mill Valley Beer Works, The 2am Club, Sol Food and El Paseo in Mill Valley.
  • Wild Flour Bread in Freestone, then down the street for lunch and beer at Barley and Hops Tavern in Occidental (sit on the porch).
  • Hop Monk in Petaluma
  • Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg
  • Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa
  • Pier Chowder House and Tap Room in Point Arena

Pro Tip: Don’t call it “Frisco” or “San Fran”... People get irrationally irritated by it and you’ll automatically be labeled on of “those” tourists. (gasp guilty as charged..thanks Jason)

-Americano or Latte? Fave coffee shop in SF? Fave coffee shop in the world?

The past year or so I’ve been avoiding espresso drinks and focusing on pour over coffee. I think it’s the purest and most consistent way to enjoy my morning brew. There’s a lot of amazing coffee here, Ritual, Four Barrel, Blue Bottle are all a great place to grab a cup. If you just want a fun place to hang, check out Trouble Coffee out by the ocean. Be sure to get a cinnamon toast while you’re there.

For right now, my favorite coffee shop is Drop Coffee in Stockholm. She has won a lot of awards and been named the 2nd best roaster in the world. I’m enjoying one of her Colombian coffees as I type this. Bite the bullet, order a bag of her coffee. Get the Blanca Rojas. It’s worth it.  (honorable mention to Heart Coffee out of Portland).

-When you come back to T-town you must eat what?

All the BBQ! Haha! I can’t get enough of it when I’m there and I can’t find anything that compares out here on the coast. Drinks and dinner at Stonehorse are also mandatory. And, yes… Taco Bueno. I can’t help myself. I love all my old haunts in Tulsa and try to make the rounds when I’m there. So many great spots that I enjoy even more than when I lived there. (did he just say Taco Bueno...guy after my very own heart)

Burn Co. TUL, OK

Burn Co. TUL, OK

- Fave place to travel?

I’m not big on picking “favorites” because I love so many places for different reasons. I love what’s happening in Amsterdam lately. It’s seeing a lot of really great trends right now. I can’t recommend it enough. Exploring NorCal and Oregon is one of the things I’m always looking forward to. The Wild West is still out there! I always love Eastern Europe. Russia, Ukraine, Hungary… There are a lot of authentic, memorable things to experience there. Go before everyone else does.

- Aether moto Central Coast rally?! Tell me all about this!

Aether Apparel is an outdoor apparel (and moto apparel) company from LA. They have a shop in SF and I’m in charge of the group rides from the shop here. The rides are all about exploration and sharing our passion for motorcycles. It’s always a chill ride and we try to end at an off-the-beaten-path location in the Bay Area. We recently held the first West Coast Rally where everyone from SF and LA met up at a winery outside of Paso Robles for BBQ, drinks and camping. It was a good time!

- For anyone planning a moto trip in your neck of the woods...can you map it out for me with things to do along the way?

I love riding north on HW1. There isn’t a dull moment and it’s full of lovely places to stop along the way. It’s perfect for a day trip or a week long trip. See some of my recommendations from the earlier questions. If you have time, go further north to The Lost Coast area. Ferndale, Arcata, Blue Lake, Humboldt Redwoods (Ave. of the Giants), Heceta Head, Jedediah Smith State Park. The road is incredible, all the way to the Washington/Oregon border.

-You recently went to Norway! What were your fave things there..eat, sip, stay and play?

The lady and I flew into Bergen, rented a car and drove around the Sognefjord. It was, without a doubt, the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I was only there for a few days so I’m not sure if I’m ready to give a list. I had great meatballs and local pilsener at a Vaagen Pub. I also ate a reindeer sausage (with lingonberry sauce) from Trekroneren, a walkup window type establishment. It’s pricey there so most of my decisions were driven by the desire to not spend a fortune on eating out.

- Your travels to Columbia?! What were your favorite things to explore there? Eat, sip, play, stay)

A couple years ago, I lost my apartment in SF and decided to go to Colombia for a month while I hunted for a new place to stay. I have spent most of my time in the mountainous areas. Medellin and Salento, IMO, will give you a nice sampling of what that part of Colombia has to offer. Go dancing and drinking, drink amazing coffee, and check out the museums in Medellin. Go hike the rain forests and see the wax palms in Salento. I like the street food scene in Colombia. Empanadas, tamales, papas rellenas, platanos maduros… I could love on them alone. Treat yourself to a Bandeja Paisa after your hike in Salento… You will have earned it! 

- I love your photography? What inspires you and what advice can you offer to the young aspiring photographer?

I love to tell stories and make portraits so I’m usually inspired my travels and the people I meet along the way. The best advice I have is, learn the business end of things. It’s more important than you can imagine and it’ll also give you a leg up on the competition as it’s neglected by a lot of other shooters. Don’t stop shooting and learning. The industry is getting more and more difficult but there are so many opportunities out there to work and share your creations. Be ready to work very, very hard. Be tenacious.

-Big Sur?? As dreamy as it sounds? What did you love about it?

There’s so much to see and do there. I love to ride my motorcycle in the Los Padres National Forest and camp along the way. Hike in, go swimming in a waterfall-fed pool surrounded by giant redwood trees. For what it’s worth, I like the coast north of SF better than Big Sur. It’s just as nice, more diverse, bigger and less overrun with travelers.

- Amsterdam...where should I eat? sip, shop, stay?

Ahhhhh Amsterdam… As I said earlier, there’s so much incredible stuff happening there right now.

In no particular order…

  • Neef Louis in Amsterdam Noord. Crazy antiques from all over Europe and a little cafe that has the best Appeltaart in the City. Very much off the beaten path and worth it.
  • Brouwerij De Prael in the Red Light District for beer and bar food. Get the Scotch Ale, the tripel, some bitterballen and then go walk around the area. It’s fun with just the right amount of riské, not to mention, it’s one of the prettiest parts of the city.  
  • Buy a fresh stroopwafel from a street vendor. Thank me later.
  • Brouwerij Troost for burgers and beer in De Pijp.

Ruk en Pluk for the best local bar experience. Prepare yourself for sensory overload, lots of Heineken, and genever shots. It’s a VERY dutch place and they’ll be surprised to see you there. Learn how to order beers in dutch (it’s not hard).

The Dutch aren’t notorious for their food but their colonial past has brought a couple incredible cuisines to their shores. Eat Suriname food at Lalla Rookh in Amsterdam Oost. Eat Indonesian food at Blauw on Amstelveen… Order the Rijsttafel (rice table). These are the best eats in the city.

Check out De Ceuvel, brown bars, De School, Radeon, for eating and drinking opportunities.

For shopping, Check the Nine Streets (Negen Straatjes). And be sure to take a trip to De Hallen, an old streetcar repair and storage facility that’s been turned into boutique shopping with an incredible food court.

The only windmill in Amsterdam is home to the famous Brouwerij ‘t Ij. A great place to hang out, especially if the weather is nice.

Try to find an AirBnB in Jordaan or somewhere just outside the center. Amsterdam is incredibly easy to navigate by public transit or bicycle so it’s hard to pick a bad spot.

Visit the Rijksmuseum, Foam photo gallery, Huis Merseille, The Stedelijk, the Van Gogh, etc. Take a canal ride. Get out of the center. Hop on a train, visit Haarlem, The Hague and Utrecht.

(soooo many gorgeous pics of Amsterdam! Check them out on his insta )

-You are the world traveler?! Do you ever get tired of airports?

I find the lack of efficiency frustrating at times but when I’m in an airport, it means I’m going somewhere so I’m always a little excited even if I’m going home.

- Your favorite Sunday consists of?

A short motorcycle ride to have brunch with my lady here in The City or some other small town here in the Bay Area.

- Your fave things to shoot?

People doing things that they love.

- What's next for Jason?

I’m currently hatching an idea that revolves around photography, travel and stories… It isn’t quite ready to be let out into the wild so you’ll just have to stay tuned! I’ll announce it on my social media if/when it all comes to fruition so give me a follow! I’m @jasonperryphoto just about everywhere.

I am on the edge of my seat!!! Life is short dears. Get out there and see that big big world!!!

Shop my travel essentials here !

Xo

Sam