Jakarta. Before that, I was in Vietnam, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taipei. I came to get inspired and to create the new season. It was my first time in Halong Bay and I think I took about 2,000 photos of patterns, materials and colours.
New York, and a couple of weeks from now, Dubai. It's a mix of business and pleasure. The world has evolved where work and pleasure are happening at the same time. We never really stop working because we’re always connected and always on.
What’s on your bucket list?
I want to get to Antarctica—that’s gonna be a pretty big one—but I’ve also never been to Australia, South Africa, or the middle of the US, even though I'm from there.
What do you love most about traveling?
Being surprised, getting those new experiences and meeting new people. What ends up happening is, you get into a routine with work and life, but with travel, you allow yourself to be open to something new and to be surprised.
What is your most memorable travel experience?
The Amalfi coast. I just found it such a great getaway—we were completely disconnected, the food was fantastic and the people I was with were amazing. We rented a villa right on the coast and just hung out, played cards, drank limoncello, and ate octopus that was just pulled out of the ocean. It was epic.
And the worst?
Four years ago, I was traveling through Asia, going back to New York, and we had planned this epic getaway in California. Then, the monsoon season struck and we got stuck in Hong Kong overnight and had to spend the night at the airport. The next day, we managed to get to Korea but got stuck there for two more days. Because of that, we had to cancel the whole California side of the trip.
A place you'd visit over and over again?
Tokyo. I’ve been there so many times and I have a great base of friends there now. It always feels fresh, new and there are so many amazing places to eat. There’s something that always seems like I’m looking into the future there.
Three things you always travel with?
My phone—it’s my connection to the world, to the design team, to the office (it’s also my camera and my music). My sketchbook. And a pen that I always keep with me, that’s it. Oh, and sunglasses, because jetlag’s a real thing.
Your favorite travel companion?
Probably another one of our designers on the team. His name is Peter Wu—he and I have been designing for 15 years together. It's super easy because we're 100 percent honest with each other. He’s been a really big part of building the brand and pushing it forward. Also, he eats anything, and I eat anything, so it's good.
Aisle or window seat?
Aisle—it’s just easier getting up and down. The trips are so long, and I don’t like to sit for that long a period of time.
Favorite travel app?
Our Tumi Global Locator app. It’s a tracking device that you can purchase in North America and it will track any bag, anywhere. I don’t have to worry about lost luggage or lost bags. My biggest fear is jumping out of a cab and leaving my bag behind.
Best travel tip?
Stay relaxed and try not to stress out. A smile will get you a lot further than an angry fist. I see these people that get really mad at people at the counter and I don’t know what their expectations are. It’s not their fault. I always tell people to stay calm, stay relaxed, you’ll get there and try to enjoy the trip. Things happen.
What are the latest travel trends in luggage?
Travel and luggage are becoming much more fashionable than ever before. It’s becoming much more an extension of peoples’ personas, and we're seeing a lot of customisation.
Tumi used to be all about the function and durability and we’re going beyond that with products that have a distinct personality. Like our Latitude collection is made of a material that comes from a bulletproofing material, but when you look at it, it has a very fluid design to it.
People are on the move. They're going straight from the airport to the office and they need to look good and put together. People operate better when they look the part.
Any tips on getting over jet lag?
Sunglasses, and lots of coffee. I also try to get outside as soon as I land. I think that’s the key, to keep moving until you’re about to drop. And try to get back into your regular routine as quickly as possible.
See Victor's top Tumi picks: