Whether she's cruising the Mediterranean on a superyacht, wandering the streets of Seoul checking out the latest cafes and galleries or hitting up international trade shows, one thing is for certain—when Jessi Chloe Chen travels, she does it right and she does it in style.
Balancing her roles as director of brands and marketing at District Distribution—where she handles brands like Herschel Supply Co., Superga and Jason Markk to name a few—and co-founder of boxed roses delivery company ANDRSN Flowers, for Jessi, travelling is a way to unwind as well as to hit refresh and seek inspiration.
We spoke to Jessi about her most memorable trips, where she's flying to this year and the essentials she just can't travel without.
Turin, Italy—we recently signed exclusive distribution of Italian footwear brand Superga in Hong Kong, so I was there for the brand’s seasonal product launch. Lots of exciting collaborations to look forward to in the coming season.
I’ll be in Da Nang at the end of the month for a friend’s wedding and then to Luang Prabang over Easter. I’ve covered most of Asia, but have never had a chance to visit Laos. With Luang Prabang being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s always been on my bucket list.
What do you love most about travelling?
Outside of the usual sights and local eateries, I love new experiences. Visiting a completely new place bridges the gap between your preconceived idea about a place and what that place is actually like. More often than not, you end up being wonderfully surprised.
Meeting people from the other side of the world reminds you how much common ground and shared experiences link us all together and that our differences should be celebrated not feared. Sounds like textbook stuff, but that’s really what it’s all about.
Most memorable travel experience?
My dear friend Luke invited me on the most spectacular yacht this past Summer. We motored from Genoa down to Corsica and then to Sardinia. We spent the week exploring the beautiful water-coloured Italian coast, waking up at dawn to watch the sunrise at one port then seeing it set over another while surrounded by infinite blue. It was magical.
And the worst?
Hands down—USA TSA.
Three things you always travel with?
Supplements, film camera, Airinum mask.
What do you normally read on the plane?
I don’t. I watch a movie and sleep so I’m fresh when I land.
Favourite travel companion?
My man. Easiest person to travel with, favourite person to do life with.
Aisle or window seat?
Window. More privacy, less disturbance and I always like to look out the window during take-off and landing.
Favourite travel app?
It depends on the region. In Europe, Google Maps to navigate while exploring on foot or to estimate how long it’ll take me to get to my next meeting by car.
In Asia, Waygo for translating text. You hover your phone camera over Chinese/Japanese/Korean characters and it superimposes an English translation onto whatever you’re viewing. Great for reading menus. In the US, I use Uber. Everything there is so spread out, and it’s the best way to get around.
Your best travel tip?
Ask a local.
Any tips on overcoming jet lag?
Melatonin and 5HTP—both are natural supplements that can be taken together as a sleeping aid. The key is to be strategic about your sleep during flights so you’re best adjusted to local time when you land.
What are the latest travel trends?
I think now more than ever, people want to travel solo and to more remote places. People see an amazing photo of a monastery on the side of a remote cliff in Bhutan and think, "that’s where I want to go!" Social media has definitely played a part in drawing more attention to lesser-known regions, and in turn makes the world seem smaller and more accessible, which I think is great!
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