Veital Designs 3x3 new year in kyoto, adventure, travel, japan

3X3: The New Year in Kyoto

Veital Designs 3x3 new year in kyoto, adventure, travel, japan

Our journey took us from our home at the time in Seoul, South Korea to Osaka, Japan and then by train to our final destination in Kyoto just outside of Fushimi Inari-Taisha during the last week of December, 2014.

Even 4 years out from that trip, it’s hard to put into words how amazing this adventure was and the impression that has stayed with us ever since. Most days were relatively warm for late December which made wandering all the more enjoyable. Each day we made our way from temple to temple, onto and off of trains, and through quiet narrow streets, taking in the architecture, culture, and harmony of the city.

Veital Designs New Year in Kyoto, Kyoto Wandering, Japan, Winter, Adventure, Adventure in Japan

Everyone we met were incredibly friendly and patient with our extremely limited Japanese vocabulary. We rang in the new year on a wooded hillside at Fushimi Inari-Taisha with mini beers and a ton of super friendly folks.

Veital Designs New Year in Kyoto, Japan, Kirin Beer, Fushimi Inari New Year

New Year’s Day, we visited Heinan Shrine and it’s gigantic Torii gate just as the snow began to fall, continuing our exploration and ringing in of 2015. As the afternoon turned to evening that day, we found ourselves twisting and turning our way down snow covered walks in search of a place to warm up and eat. While this was a bit of a challenge due to many shops being closed through the holidays, it only gave us more of an excuse to keep walking to see what was around the next corner. We eventually ended that New Year’s day at Bar Dylan II (A Bob Dylan themed bar), warming ourselves over whiskeys and watching the snowfall on the hills to the east. Four years out, we’re still twisting and turning, trying to find our way, and see what is around the next corner.

Veital Designs, New Year in Kyoto, Kyoto Japan, Heian Shrine, Japan, Adventure

Caught Off Guard:

The Kamo River. We did not get a chance to walk along it’s banks but another visit in spring would be a perfect time to walk amongst it’s flowering cherry blossoms.

 

Calories:

Kyoto Station has a ton of great restaurants so check out the lower level shops and restaurants. With that, the true MVP of this trip was Family Mart’s delicious premade sandwiches. Seriously, try the Egg Salad.

 

20:20 Hindsight:

More time to explore! We only had about 5 days all told to explore and a few things were closed through the holidays. More days on the ground another time of year might help us develop a deeper appreciation of all that Kyoto has to offer.

 

 

 


Veital Designs, Veital, Hiking, Travel, Adventure, Argentina

The Ginger Goes to Agentina

The best part of traveling is being thrown into a totally new environment and feeling so uncomfortable those first couple hours you almost feel sick. Now that I think about it, that sickness feeling could have been from the 14 hours of traveling, three flights and less than stellar airplane food. Argentina was my destination for the next two weeks as I studied international entrepreneurship. More specifically, I was headed to the city of Mendoza which is on the eastern half of the country (very close to Santiago, Chile). Right away I had to get used to being stared at at almost every place I went. I can’t say I expected this, but being a 6’1 white ginger doesn’t exactly help you “fit in”.

 

 

As part of the class I was taking we had the opportunity to meet with many different types of local business owners in the city. Out of the six companies we met with, one called “Energe” really stood out to me. Energe is a solar energy provider that started in 2007 by three locals. One of the owners spoke to us about the challenges of starting a company saying, “When I was at my job in the oil industry, mentally I was constantly thinking about my startup”. Here at Veital, each of us understands that we might not be doing what we love at every second of everyday, but building this company little by little helps Adam, Matt and myself with the balance of work and play. The other comment he made during his presentation was about money saying, “You get so many unbelievable experiences and opportunities when it comes to starting a business. It’s not all about making money. Money is secondary”. Through the process of starting Veital Designs, the three of us learn more and more each day that your mindset can’t just be about trying to make a profit. It has to also be about building relationships and providing a product that will actually help people. Veital has been around for a little over a year now and in that short amount of time we have been able to build incredible relationships with many different companies and people. Like Matty-K has mentioned in previous blog posts, Veital is all about developing a community of rad people who love to be outside, but understand that to get outside you have to work your butt off during the week.

During the two weeks that I was in Argentina I had opportunities to see incredible views that come with being surrounded by the Andes mountains. One of those experiences came in the form of hot springs in the foothills. We drove from the city of Mendoza to a spa called “Termas Cacheuta”. Along with the springs sitting in the hills of the Andes, the Mendoza river ran right by the spa, which made for incredible views. The first thing the manager told us when we arrived at the spa was “Please do not go in the river”. But like the little rebel I am, I had to jump down and capture some shots.

 

 

On one of our last days in Mendoza we drove into the Andes to a lake called Potrerillos, which sits at around 1300 meters (4,265 feet) above sea level. Along with the crystal-clear water, the lake was surrounded by gorgeous views of the snowy mountains. While we were taking in the gorgeous views of our surroundings, some kite surfers showed up to shred this incredible lake.  This obviously wasn’t their first rodeo with some of the tricks they were doing. It was unreal to watch these guys surf with such an amazing backdrop. We sat around this lake the entire day, grilling burgers, drinking adult beverages and just enjoying each other's company. It was one of the most gorgeous places I’ve ever been to in my life. At the end of the day, I was extremely grateful to be able to witness a view as spectacular as that one.

 

 

Out of every experience I had during the trip, nothing compared to the lifelong friends I made. I can honestly say that I met some of the most genuine people while in Mendoza. This is why Matthew, Adam and myself enjoy traveling so much. We love to get out of our comfort zone, meet new people and explore the surroundings. The three of us at Veital Designs are  pumped for the future of the company. If you’re like us and love to travel consider signing up to be a Veital ambassador. We’re calling it Viva Veital. It’s simple: sign up, go through our grueling interview process (just kidding), and we will hook you up with some Veital Designs gear. From there, all we ask you to do is product test, and grab some still frames of rad trips across the world.  Who knows, maybe we’ll give you the reins on our Instagram stories from the official Veital Designs account! To sign up, go to our website under the “Team Viva” tab.

#embracethebalance #vivaveital

-Thomas “Tommy-T” Schreiber

Marketing Associate, Veital Designs, LLC.