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Gift Guide: The Global Traveler

It doesn’t matter whether she’s photographing nut brittle in the making or fresh fish on the verge of being filleted. If there’s anyone who routinely takes our breath away with her evocative imagery and ability to find the story in seemingly-everyday scenes, it’s Andrea Gentl, half of the husband-and-wife photography team Gentl and Hyers. Not only is Andrea an endless source of visual inspiration, we’re also honored to call her a dear friend here at EyeSwoon.

As for one of Andrea’s own biggest sources of inspiration, it’s travel. A seasoned globetrotter, she and her husband Martin shoot around the world for the likes of Martha Stewart, Bon Appétit and Condé Nast Traveler, among others. Off the clock, they also document their adventures on the blog Hungry Ghost Food + Travel.

Below, we’re thrilled for Andrea to share her top gift picks for fellow frequent travelers, along with her obsessions (both sweet and salty), philosophy for voyaging abroad and words of wisdom when it comes to the packing process. So if you have any travelers to shop for this holiday season, it’s time to take notes.

By Natalie Goel
Images via Hungry Ghost Food + Travel

Gift Guide: The Global Traveler

NAME: Andrea Gentl

PROFESSION: Photographer. Blogger. Writer. Visual Storyteller. Visual Vagabond. One half of the photography team of Gentl and Hyers.

HOME BASE: Lower Manhattan and Delaware County, New York

ADVICE ON GIFTS FOR TRAVELERS: I don’t like to shop from online much. I feel it is important to pick up an object and hold it. It is a bit more special if you have held it in your hands.

TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY: Pack light. Bring an extra foldable bag inside your main suitcase for all your finds. Get up early before the streets get crowded. Always seek out the most beautiful light. Stay up late and savor every moment. Talk to locals and be present — it will all be a fleeting memory too soon.

FAVORITE PLACES TO TRAVEL: I love travel and would go anywhere. Some of my absolute favorite places are India, Burma, and Mexico. I like color and frenzy when I travel. My idea of a great vacation is constantly being on the move. I could never just sit on the beach and chill — it is just not my vibe. I want to move and explore.

Gift Guide: The Global Traveler
Gift Guide: The Global Traveler

FAVORITE PACKING TIPS: Pack light. Set everything out and then edit down. Pack things that can be multifunctional by adding something like a great necklace or a shawl. Always bring something warm, even if you are traveling to the hottest climate. You just never know.

I ALWAYS PACK PLENTY OF Ziplock bags. I know it seems weird but I like to bring ephemera back from my travels, like napkins and menus, and this is a way to keep them from getting wrinkled. I like Ziplocks for sand or shells or other natural things. I am an avid collector of the weirdest organic bits so I never travel without these.

I DON’T GO OVERBOARD PACKING toiletries. I keep it super minimal and multi-purpose.

ENDLESSLY OBSESSED WITH salts and honey, which you can find just about anywhere. Honey is the perfect gift to bring back for a friend. (Don’t forget to slip it into a Ziplock before packing it between layers of clothes.) Honey speaks infinitely of the terrain of the region. I’m obsessed right now with manuka honey but another favorite is pine honey or miele di foresta (forest honey) from the mountains of Northern Italy.

Gift Guide: The Global Traveler

DESIGN TREND YOU LOVE: I love the handwoven fabrics coming from the women’s cooperatives around the world. I always seek out these cooperatives and try to support local artisans whenever I can.

ONE YOU WISH WOULD GO AWAY: Cast organic everything. I am pretty much over seeing cast skulls and antlers. Time for this one to take a rest and for us to just appreciate the original forms in their true and natural state.

COLOR OR NEUTRAL? Pretty much always neutral in my home with a hot pop of color here or there. I get pretty obsessed with the neon colors of the Rajasthani desert. I love a man in hot pink turban. I totally relate to the layered, muted, slightly dusty tones of the Indian desert but there is always that hot, hot flash of color.

  1. Aesop Maps of Light Gift Set: “I never travel without my stash of beauty favorites. I don’t think you can go wrong with this collection this season. They are groupings of Aesop’s favorite face and body care products beautifully packaged in reusable black tins. The collections are named for six of the modern constellations, Auriga, Cepheus, Perseus, Andromeda, Delphinus and Cassiopeia.”

  2. Acne Canada Scarf: “I never travel without a large shawl or wrap to double as a blanket or scarf on the plane or for chilly evenings. My favorite right now comes from Acne and is available in several different colors, though I would undoubtedly choose black.”

  3. Byredo Bohemia Scented Candle: “I am super inspired by the new Byredo shop that has popped up here in Manhattan this past Summer. It is the only shop that houses their incredible leather and travel collection alongside their signature perfumes and candles. When traveling I always bring a scened candle with me that reminds me of home.”

  4. Crescioni Logan Necklace: “Crescioni necklaces are grounding pieces. Weighted, strong geometric shapes, powerful and durable. They’re easy to travel with and wear because they’re statement pieces. They’re not delicate and small so won’t get lost. I never travel without mine.”

  5. Sony α7 II Digital Camera: “The camera du jour. With interchangeable lenses it is small and compact and completely quiet so you can be super stealth.”

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