Travel is essential for creativity and personal growth. Interior designer, VP Hospitality at Baskervill, and man about Market, Gary Inman has travelled all over the world. He shares an old passport photo, bits of his travel journal, and thoughts on globetrotting for business, beauty, and zen.
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU HAD THE BUG?
I think I had a case of wanderlust even before I ever traveled. I loved books and films and wanted to be Sinbad or Sir Galahad off on a great adventure. My first travel was to the picturesque mountains of North Carolina — Highlands, Cashiers, Blowing Rock, and Asheville's Grove Park Inn. I still adore these beautiful mountain settings all these years later. I fell under the spell of the mountain culture, the vistas, the food, the music, and a lifelong fascination with Cherokee culture.
IS TRAVEL ALWAYS PART OF A DESIGNER’S LIFE?
I am forever shopping for my clients. Even after a project concludes, I’ll happen upon an antique chest or a great painting and reach out to them. Frequently, they love the piece as much as I do and we always manage to find a home for it. I love this part of my career — the eternal looking and editing is just in my blood. I never view it as a negative and find that I enjoy my travels more because of it. I also love that I’m able to support artists, antiquaries, and artisans around the world through my practice. (In this article all about Wanderlust, Gary shares how travel has influenced 12 of his design colleagues.)
WHAT IS THE PLACE YOU KEEP GOING BACK TO AND WHY?
Florence has touched my soul in a way that is difficult to express in words. I’ve visited four times in recent years and I still feel I have just scratched the surface. I often walk Florence till 2 in the morning and love the empty streets and its haunting beauty. The discovery that my wife is a descendant of the Corsini family, one of Florence’s oldest noble families, has made it all the more personal. We’re planning to lead our first tour, “Design Secrets of Tuscany” to the region next November.
WHAT ARE SOME INDIGENOUS GOODIES THAT YOU HAVE FALLEN FOR?
I love the little Greek bowls from Patmos.
HOW HAS THE IPHONE CHANGED YOUR TRAVEL EXPERIENCE?
I have a love hate relationship with my IPhone. The upside is I always have a camera and video camera in hand. The bad news is I also have office emails, calendar reminders, and non-stop text messages even when on vacation. Nothing scatters the tranquility of the Aegean Sea faster than a buzzing phone. I’ve learned to silence my phone and avoid emails during my Zen time!