Today we’re picking up where we left off last week with Victorinox JetSetter Joe Baur, an author, writer and filmmaker currently living in Costa Rica. Joe is all about sharing authentic experiences, and we’re lucky enough he’s agreed to share some with us! Read on to hear more from Joe on his travel tales from Costa Rica to Switzerland.
Let’s talk gear and packing. What’s your preferred travel gear for longer trips? Duffels? Roller bags?
I prefer a duffel bag if I’m working my way through a crowded city. San José, for instance, is chaotic during the day with an interesting take on sidewalk construction. Rolling a bag just becomes a nuisance. In Europe, the design might be more logical, but a roller doesn’t do too well over cobblestones. If, however, I know I’m going someplace with a more modern layout, I’ll save myself the arm workout and go with a roller.
What are the top 3 items you always bring with you when you travel?
Video camera, my backpack and my sense of adventure! Just kidding on the last one. That’d be unbearably cliché. Let’s go with snacks.
Cleveland is very near and dear to you—what are some of your favorite things to do there?
Cycling and hiking around both the Cleveland Metroparks and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Otherwise, I love taking the train to Ohio City or Shaker Square and hopping around various breweries. Cleveland, when you allow it, can be very walkable. So if nothing else, I’m a big fan of going on long walks around the neighborhoods—especially after I’ve inevitably downed a Happy Dog hotdog full of eggs and chorizo..
You’re an avid cyclist. How long have you been involved with that?
Really just about a year. I was fortunate enough to be the American winner of BMC Switzerland’s granfondo contest, which meant getting an incredible bike in early March of last year, and having one month to train for the 245-kilometer Ronde van Vlaanderen in Belgium. Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.
When you set out on a long bike trip, how do you go about packing?
In Switzerland, we were spoiled enough to have a company shuttling our bags from city to city, so they were ready for us when we arrived. The same goes for the aforementioned Ronde. BMC Switzerland had a SAG wagon for us, so they held on to any extra clothing we needed to remove during the day.
As far as food goes, I’m a huge fan of Cliff Bars. If I’m hungry before riding, I’ll eat one and bring one or two more along for my ride depending on the distance.
What would be your dream path after you graduate this summer?
If Anthony Bourdain inexplicably gives me his job and ignores the millions of other people wishing for the same thing. Seriously though, I want to continue traveling the word and sharing those experiences with people. Right now I only have the budget to support creating videos that are basically travel-music-videos that give viewers a snapshot of the destination along with some music from a band local to the area or country featured. Hopefully such a day will come when a microphone can be added to the works in order to create something more like Modern Enlightenment where I shared my travel experience living with Tibetans in exile in Northern India, putting in a little humor when appropriate.
If I can [use a little humor to] help open up the world a bit more and make people less afraid of places that might be off the tourist trek—I’ll be a happy man. That, plus my face on a Switzerland unlimited transit ridership card.
To learn even more and connect with Joe, visit joebaur.com or follow him on Twitter and Instagram @BaurJoe