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Anywhere, Anytime

Global

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Were travel, art, architecture, fashion, food and adventure meet. Founder and global adventurer Geren Lockhart was "Born Packed" when she started traveling at a young age and never stopped. This site follows along on her journey. 

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Filtering by Tag: Sun

ST. BARTHS RESIDENTS HOLIDAY HERE

Geren Lockhart

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Marie-Galante is a small island in an out of the way corner of the world. Hidden a day trip away from Guadeloupe which is a days travel from most places, it delivers on what you imagine the Caribbean was like before it is now. There are no large hospitality companies playing on the island, only local hotels and restaurants with expanses of postcard ready beaches that you'll have mostly to yourself. The tourists I encountered the day I was there were mostly people escaping from other islands, with the highest concentration being made up of those that live and work on St. Barths, but can't afford to relax there. They come to Marie-Galante for holiday. The island is part of the French overseas department of Guadeloupe and it's about as calm and chill as you can get this close to the USA. 

I was lucky enough to have a local to guide me around. Eric Luc Bade was a perfect host. He's lived abroad but also knows everyone on the island, and half of them are his cousins. We explored all day, stopping at various sites and meeting many makers. Yes there are still makers of things on this island. Sugar and rhum are the primary focus. Pere Labat was my favorite distillery, we toured the in's and out's of the buildings and the distilling and packaging processes. Then we topped it off with a shot of gorgeous aged rhum and a Panache at 10am. Onward into the rest of the day where we popped in and out of sugar syrup makers, beekeepers and a wood carver who all impressed upon me the idea of using what is near. They have no choice due to geography and they're doing an amazing job of making top quality products that are personal. One great example of this is that by the time we left the sugar syrup stand there was a line of locals outside the make-shift storefront waiting for it to open so they could clean out the days stock in less than an hour just like they do everyday. 

I pushed Eric to giving me the local tour in addition to the tourist tour and it paid off. We stopped at one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen and then turned the opposite direction away from the beach which lead to us climbing up a small hill and down into the mouth of a cave. BATS..lots and lots and lots of them. It was really exciting and something I wouldn't have seen otherwise. We drove down unpaved roads to see vistas and sites, sped thru the mountains, along the way spotting historical slave homes from long ago, we sat at the mouth of the massive river that flows from the mountains and watched as kayakers took off for th e day and then made our way further afield to Capesterre the second "city" of Marie-Galante where we relaxed sipped beer and hung out with a few French ex-pat's that mind a great beach bar called La Galette.  As we departed for the ferry back to Guadeloupe I promised I'd find a week of my time on this planet to make it back to this patch of peaceful paradise. 

DETAILS

  • Catch a ferry from L'Express des iles or book a private charter from Charter World Guadeloupe or Dominica and land in Grande-Bourge.
  • Hire a great guide. Contact the Board of Tourism for advise. I usually don't want a tour but in this case it's the key to seeing the magic of the island. 
  • Speaking French is a big plus, I spoke and heard very little english in my time in Guadeloupe and the surrounding islands. It was refreshing! 

 


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BYRON BAY AUSTRALIA

Geren Lockhart

BYRON BAY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA 

Stunning beaches, a bubbling foodie culture, gorgeous green countryside, and a chic beach vibe make for the perfect well curated peace out. I was lucky enough to experience Byron when I spent a long weekend there earlier this year.

STAY //

  • Atlantic Guesthouse / Communal living at it's best among a compound of houses and room blocks surrounding the courtyard Airstream. Family style share kitchens and chill out areas are great for meeting your fellow travelers while whipping up a great bbq or a healthy breakfast. The clean chic beach theme rooms are well appointed and sport comfortable cozy beds. Ask for a room upstairs so you can take in the green view and the sunsets. Read more on born packed. atlanticbyronbay.com.au

EAT// 

  • St. Elmo / Tapas and Spanish influenced mains, alongside the best cocktails and wine list in the area. Read more on born packed.  stelmodining.com
  • Harvest Cafe & Deli /  A short drive down the coast but so very very worth the trip. A hopping main restaurant serves amazing breakfast and lunch offerings. Be prepared to wait a bit as they are in demand. The deli next door serves up their wood fired breads and sports a cheese cellar that would make Murray's jealous alongside a meat locker that's not to be missed. Stock up on their sauces and treats for the kitchen back in Byron. harvestcafe.com.au
  • TOWN / Karl and Katrina Kanetani are big chef's in a small town. There are two TOWN's. Uptown which is for dinner offering sophisticated tasting menus and Downtown offering up breakfast and lunch that is thoughtful and complex and accessible without reservations or with a group. townbangalow.com.au

DRINK // 

  • Barefoot Brew Room / Simply the very best coffee in the area. A small hole in the wall just around the corner from St. Elmo. commongroundaustralia.com
  • Bayleaf Coffee / Great Coffee, Great Breakfast and it's just across the street from Atlantic Guesthouses. Owned by the roasters of Marvell Street coffee the coffee is top notch and the food isn't far behind. Be prepared to wait during the peak hours they've got the market cornered in Byron. Location Info

MUST DO //

  • Bangalow Market / A country upscale foodie version of what everyone in LA loves about the Rose Bowl. A must do if you're lucky enough to be in town when it's on. bangalowmarket.com.au
  • Hike the Lighthouse Trail / Ideally timed with sunrise or sunset this hike is a must do while you're in Byron. You will wind down the coast walkway and past some of the most famous beaches in the world on the way to the lighthouse and the easternmost point of the Australian continent. Rounding the tip you spy Tallow Beach below before you pop into the canopy and hike through the woods on the back side of the loop. byron-bay.com
  • Beaches /   They're all beautiful. They're all different. Don't pick, just go to all of them. Ensure you don't miss. Main Beach, Tallow Beach, Cosy Corner, LIttle Wategos and Wategos.  byron bay beach listing
  • Byron Bay Massage / Katie Connolly is a magic maker. She will come to you at the Atlantic Guesthouse and your life will be better. A variety of services and very well vetted therapists means you're in good hands, literally. I booked a massage just before hitting the road again and it made a huge difference in my travel experience. byronbaymassage.com.au 

BRING BACK //  

  • Super Awesome / cool surf spot on the main drag in Byron. Snag a tee or a backpack. Worth the luggage space. superawesome.com.au
  • Island Luxe / A chic for anywhere edit of high end and unknown designers some global and some local.  With outposts in both Byron Bay and Bangalow it houses styles for you and the new beach house you are slowly decorating in your head as each moment here passes.  No doubt you will begin imagining future summers here within an hour of landing. Islandluxefacebook
  • AHOY / Bright and playful accessories, clothes and home stuffs from around the world. Curated to match an overall theme each season there will be something you NEED here. ahoytrader.com
  • Our Corner Store / In Bangalow this small store on the main drag is packed to the gills with creative finds and great treats to bring home to those that didn't get to tag along. Pop in after lunch at TOWN ourcornerstore.com.au
  • One Teaspoon / If you're in need of a party dress or a bathing suit. This is your shop. Fun young and ready to dance is the best way to put it. oneteaspoon.com.au

RADIO // Triple J Radio 

TRAVEL STACK //4 Wheel carry-on & a tote. Bring your tablet and your phone, no computer needed. Swimsuit, sunhat and sunblock are musts. I picked up a Jack & Jac towel and some All Tomorrows Parties sandals in Sydney which became instant staples in the travel stack. They've been on every beach adventure since. 

TRANSPORT //  Fly to Gold Coast Airport from Sydney on Quantas.co.au and rent a car from Europecar.com. I had an Audi A1 the whole time I was in Australia and I couldn't recommend it more. 

WHEN TO GO // December to March which is the Australian summer is the best time to visit. New years eve is a big blowout but a bit less chic even though the fashion flock from Sydney make a showing. 

CONNECTED // Hotels and restaurants are Wi-Fi equipped, and when not directly connected you will get a signal most areas with your locally equipped mobile phone. Pick up an Australian SIM from Vodafone.co.au at Sydney Kingston airport just outside the customs check. All you will need is an un-locked mobile phone and a passport. 

POWER //  You will need adaptors for your US based electronics. Multi-port options save suitcase space and the Apple international adaptor kit is a must own. 

VISA //  Most countries require a visitor visa to enter the country. It's an easy on-line process that needs to be completed prior to arrival. Web link


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