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I spent January in Jogjakarta, Indonesia, and it proved a perfect chance to put some of the tips that have appeared in Travel Tales posts to a(nother) real-world test. Teeming and tropical, “Jogja,” as the locals call it, is the cultural heart of Java. It’s also home to my daughter and her husband who love the city’s cultural vibrance. Crowned by an opulent sultan’s palace and thrumming with performance and visual arts, Jogja is also a center for batik and other artisanal textiles—aside from family, the other big drawing card for me.
The slimmed down travel wardrobe
I packed light with a capsule wardrobe of Sympatico styles. The sweltering heat and humidity brought home just how comfortable and breathable Sympatico’s tops are in the Light Weight version of my fabric. I brought three tops with sleeves and two sleeveless. Alternating them with a knee-length Flip Skirt, an Angled Skirt and pair of Cropped Pants offered a lot of possibilities.
On the right, I wear my Angled Skirt on a long day trip to Surakarta.
Two pairs of shoes, some jeans for the plane trip and the rare cool evening, plus layers for frigid aircraft cabins comprised my "outer wear" wardrobe. My suitcase was light and had space to bring home presents plus some stunning scarves--more about those and the fascinating craftspeople I met there in future newsletters.
Travel wear on the road
On the planes, I carried a synthetic backpack, sturdy enough to hold both my computer and iPad. A cotton knapsack was stowed in my checked luggage for carrying camera, wallet, map/iPad and a small umbrella once I arrived. I loved that knapsack, but sadly the zipper has become unreliable and the pack is worn. So I am on a quest for a well-made pack of natural fibers. If anyone knows of a good one, I’d love to hear about it.
(The photo, left, demonstrates the downside of a synthetic pack in the tropics!)
On excursions to see textile artists, attend musical performances or just to explore, I walked, took a "Grab” (the Indonesian Uber) and occasionally rode a motorcycle, the ride of choice for most Javanese. Crowded city buses and walking despite tropical showers didn't lend themselves to staying well-pressed and neat. But except for days when I switched to my synthetic backpack because my cotton one was wet, I managed to stay quite comfortable and presentable.
I washed a couple items, but mostly found that, despite having sweated profusely, odors in my Sympatico items dissipated when left to hang over night. (That’s thanks to the hemp content in the fabric, which is antimicrobial.) Spot cleaning spills was the order of the day to stay neat and presentable.
These winter getaways are wonderfully restorative and also are a fascinating glimpse into an unfamiliar culture. Stay tuned in coming weeks as I share some of my adventures and textile discoveries.
2018 is under our belt and a new year is upon us with all its potential for change — and I'm excited!Taking a midwinter break can be a rewarding respite — a time to recharge, refocus and reflect on the things that matter most. I’ll be in Asia exploring textiles during January and will handle [...]
As the holidays and new year approach, I wish you a peaceful, healthy and heartwarming season. In a few days the nights will begin to shorten and the days will lengthen—a promise of rebirth and renewal. I hope your celebrations will be filled with those feelings.Happy holidays!Let’s stay connected!Enter your email info below to receive [...]
Jane’s Paprika Tuxedo Top accessorized with some well-chosen scarves served her well on a recent Japanese trip.Our latest Travel Tale focuses on a creatively simple packing plan. When Jane Averill packed for her recent trip to Japan, simplicity was key. As she writes, “The (Tuxedo) top was one of the few things I took with me, as I [...]
The simple elegance of a Black Princess Top with Grey Fog Stovepipe Pants is at home in nearly any setting.It's a truism that often the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, and I’ve found that’s especially true when it comes to artfully coordinating shades for pleasing combinations. One of the more challenging and interesting parts [...]
The Princess Top in Bayleaf coordinates beautifully with most of my other shades.In zeroing in on my newest color, I was looking for a complex of tones that draws from both the earth and its vegetation. The resulting fusion makes Bayleaf a very wearable shade, one that’s versatile too. Bayleaf looks great in Tops, Skirts, and Pants.A pair [...]
I’m thankful for Thanksgiving itself. Every year it serves as a reminder that gratitude as a regular practice can help us ride out the storms that can otherwise overwhelm us at times. As you’ve doubtlessly read, medical people rank gratitude highly as a means of improving and maintaining our health. And on a strictly [...]
Made of an earth-friendly hemp and Tencel blend, the Princess Top minimizes your environmental footprint.Textile production and apparel dyeing turn up on worldwide top-10 lists of the most polluting industries. For that reason, I applaud consumers who go out of their way and spend more to purchase organic clothes. Doing so helps protect our environment and improve [...]
As an entrepreneur focused on sustainability, I find it encouraging when I come across ethical clothing brands who share my commitment. That’s why I am highlighting a collection of companies, including ethical fashion brands and artisans, who share Sympatico’s values. Here are some those folks and their very gift-worthy creations:The GoLightly Scarf in Pretty PurpleHand-knit in [...]
The impression many westerners have of South Korea is of a bustling, tech-focused economic powerhouse. Exploring the island of Jeju earlier this year helped me get past that stereotype, especially when I stumbled upon Hee Jin’s workshop in Jeju City.Eucalyptus imparts subtle earth and sky tones, beautifully rendered in this organically dyed silk scarf.It turns [...]