Ultratravel U.S.

Summer 2014

Issue link: https://www.ultratravelusdigital.com/i/334280

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Page 65 of 67

How many miles do you log each year? I travel about 200 days a year, and I can't remember the last time I did not top 100,000 miles in a year. What's your secret to a successful flight? I'll have a double espresso right before boarding, along with a light meal. Once I'm seated, I turn on my music and then just crank it. I've had more breakthrough ideas on planes and get more done in-flight than anywhere else in the world. What is your all-time favorite vacation spot? The Resort at Paws Up in Montana. I vacationed there a few years ago with my wife Heather, my best friend and his wife. We did the backcountry fly-fishing experience and it absolutely blew me away. How about your favorite place in the world to mix business and pleasure? Greece, especially the islands, where I am right now. I have always had a passion for sailing, and Greece allows me to both do business and sail at the same time. It can't get better than that. What do you consider your craziest travel experience? Being on "The Amazing Race" and losing a million dollars within four minutes. Toward the end of the show, after racing for 31 days, my sister, Paige, and I were actually in the lead. But, we lost by four minutes because I wouldn't stop to get a map. It was extremely difficult. The great news is that, even today, I'll meet a big fan of the show and they love to talk about it. It has opened a lot of doors with store buyers. And your most rewarding trip? My road trip through Chile from Santiago to Patagonia. While passing the most pristine countryside and glaciers, I came across an old, rusted sign on the road that read "reducir velocidad" (slow down). I pulled over and took a picture because I thought it really meant something prophetic. I made 700 copies of that picture and sent it to my friends and to influential people who support TOMS. To this day, people still tell me that the picture sits on their desk, reminding them to simply slow down and enjoy life. What's next on your list of travel destinations? New Zealand. My wife and I love to fly-fish, and it is the mecca of it all. You opened your first TOMS café and retail concept store in Venice, California, in 2012. Where else have you taken the concept? In the past few months, we've opened in Austin, Texas, and in Amsterdam— two totally different kinds of cities, but both speak to me personally. I heard that you named certain spaces in your office after places around the world that are significant to you. What are they, and why did you chose them? Argentina, because it was where I was inspired to create TOMS; Nepal, the first country where we started Sight Giving; Venice, because our headquarters are there; and Mammoth Mountain, where we tend to take most of our company trips. What's your favorite hotel? My favorite hotel would be Estancia Vik in Uruguay. If I had a country estate, I would want it to look and feel exactly like the hotel. I also love the fact that it has the most beautiful polo field in the world, yet it does not feel stuffy, but rather more countryside. The sunsets are to die for! Oh, and the wine cellar for dinner cannot be beat. I really could go on forever. What are the five travel essentials you never leave home without? My journal, my music, a good book, my laptop and an EBOOST energy supplement. You and your wife are launching an animal initiative. How did this idea come about, and why have you chosen to focus on the gorillas of Virunga National Park, in the Congo? Heather has created the TOMS Animal Initiative, which is a platform to drive awareness and funding for global animal conservation. My wife chose to focus on the gorillas of Virunga National Park because she's keenly aware of the challenges both the gorillas and the park are facing right now. There's only 800 endangered mountain gorillas living right now. She wanted to do what she could to raise awareness and support the gorillas directly. PAY IT FORWARD BY LESLEY MCKENZIE 64 ultratravel As the founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie has combined his love of travel with his passion for philanthropy and entrepreneurship. Launched in 2006, his one-for-one business model began by donating a pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair purchased, and then expanded to include vision-saving treatment with each sale of the brand's eyewear. Now, with the debut of the TOMS Roasting Company, California-based Mycoskie provides one week of clean water to a needy recipient with every bag of coffee beans sold. Here, the former "Amazing Race" contestant shares his craziest travel experience yet, wisdom he's learned on the road and what's brewing at TOMS. Blake Mycoskie with Josephine, a coffee farmer from Rwanda's Shyara Mountain.

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