Traveling with Jun Jo

I’m slacking hard and Linc is probably hating me but here’s my ‘regular’ travel instalment. I decided to interview Jun Jo, friend and one of my fave Hawaiians. You might remember Jun’s name from an earlier interview the boys did with him, way back when….

Stalking Jun’s Instagram, which I’m loving big time these days, I’ve noticed he has picked up photography. I harassed Jun in between being a  busy retailer/surfer and got him to answer a bunch of questions about travel, etc ::

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Jun, can you tell me where your hometown is? Where do you live now?

I’m originally Kailua, which was once a small sleepy beach town on the east side of Oahu, Hawaii. For the past few months I have been kinda bouncing around different spots around the island which kinda sums up my nomadic personality.

What are some of best things you’d like to share about your hometown with people who may be traveling there?

Kailua is a great town where you can still get around on a beach cruiser. It has that real small town feel to it, that’s what I love the most about it. The small town vibe.

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Besides surfing, tell me about your other projects? Anything new and notable to share with Empire Ave?

Yea! One that I have been incredibly hyped on is designing a surfboard with Japanese master shaper Kohei Chiba. It’s a board that was made for fashion-y Saturdays NYC. It’s been going really well, now to the point of doing special surfboards with some famed artists. It’s been fun.

If you didn’t live in Hawaii, is there anywhere else you would want to live? Name 3 places.

NYC , Tokyo , Barcelona

You just won a free plane ticket to any destination but you can only go somewhere new. Name the first 3 that come to your head.

Morroco , Tibet , Turkey

What are some favourite brands and items to travel with (clothing, gadgets, etc)?

Of coarse In4mation…hehehe , Contax T3 , Polo , iPhone

Jun Jo Photography

What’s your go to luggage brand?

Even though they don’t make them anymore….I love the Gravis rolling bags.

What are your Carry-on essentials?

Turkish bath towel that I use for a blanket or scarf, Macbook -catch up with work, iPhone, music, water

What are your best travel tips to share with our readers, other travelers, and surfers?

Best travel tip that I live by is just go with the flow of things. With travel, there is always gonna be changes in plans so don’t EVER STRESS as it makes things worse. Usually when your plans are being changed, it always leads into an amazing travel experience.

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Now what are your favourite foods found on the road? Any favourite restaurants/cafe/street food places to share with everyone?

I would say just eat what the locals eat. Wherever you see a crowded restaurant/street vendor of local people that is the best bet to find a cultured meal or experience.

What is the first thing you do in a new travel destination?

Take that one deep breath with eyes closed once stepping out of customs. The smell and sounds setup the vibe.

Any favourite travel apps to share with everyone?

Google Maps

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As someone who’s been surfing his whole life and gets to travel so much, what are your favourite surf spots around the world?

My two favorites are Tahiti for the sheer beauty of the place. The water is so clear and the mountains are so green. The waves are like you’re surfing in an aquarium. It is so beautiful there it will make you cry. In Pohnpei, Micronesia, there’s a wave there called P Pass that has to be one of the most fun for a regular footer.

What is your travel style? Do you prefer to see tourist sites? Hang out with locals? Relax by the beach or find more adventure travel?

Hang with the locals mostly. For me its the best way to  get to know a place.

How do you gather research for pleasure trips? Travel guides? Internet? Word of mouth?

For me it’s all word of mouth. I love talking and learning from people’s travel experiences. From there I kinda gather up info what would fit best for me.

Jun Jo Photography

What’s a bad travel habit?

Losing stuff

Do you have any tips for a newbie surfer like myself??

Find the best place to fit your surfing style and ability is key. You don’t want go places where you can’t enjoy surfing.

I noticed on your social media accounts that you’ve been taking a lot of photos. Tell me more about your interest in photography and how that happened.

I think its something that happened naturally. I have always enjoyed looking at photos, the way it makes you feel and think. Being around photographers all the time, I just started picking it up. It’s a challenge, especially shooting mostly with film, which makes it fun for me. Capturing moments places and things I see has been really self gratifying.

Can you tell me what kind of cameras you’re shooting with?

Right now been shooting with Contax T3 and a Canon 5D Mark 3

Jun Jo Photography

Aloha and many thanks Jun!! All the photos you see here are from Jun’s insti. For more from Jun and his crew, check out their brand and shop in4mation here. For a better look at Jun’s nomadic travels and photography, check out his Instagram, click here.

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