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Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Andres Izquieta. I'm an entrepreneur and CEO of Five Four Club, a fashion subscription service for men. I also created, executive produced, and co-starred in a new travel series "Weekend Fix" on the Esquire Network.
Tell us a bit about your new show and how it came to be?
Weekend Fix is a mix of travel and technology and everything that comes along with it. We use technology on-screen while traveling to search and discover everything from food to transportation, activities, people and nightlife. I went to Tokyo in March 2012 for a Five Four inspiration trip. The entire trip we were finding places, food, and directions from my phone. One night, we discovered a great restaurant from a blog, but when we got there it was closed, so I suggested we just walk until we stumble upon the first open restaurant. The next day we were reflecting on how great it would be to do a show that exposes exactly how we search and discover everything.
Weekend Fix abides by the philosophy that the best travel experiences come from following advice rather than a schedule; was there a certain experience or trip that led you to this outlook?
Yes, citing how Weekend Fix was inspired is a perfect example of this. Another instance was when I was in Austin for SXSW a few years ago. I was eating at an airstream trailer and asking the people next to me for the best barbecue in Austin. They all told me to go to a certain spot and not the places recommended to tourists. They seemed passionate and knowledgable, so I took their advice and I think that's the best way--to trust the locals. On your first night in a new place, always go to a restaurant and ask the waiter what they recommend on the menu and ask the chef or maitre d' for suggestions on other restaurants or activities.
How do you pack for an on-the-fly adventure?
I always have the basics covered, so it only takes me 15-20 minutes to pack. I already have my toiletries set - those that are dedicated only to travel. And the same with technology, I have all electronics in pre-set bags. I always carry 4 portable chargers (3 big ones and 1 small one--all pre-charged). All the cords I keep in a separate case just for traveling. I pack 2-3 pairs of shoes (brown pair, black or grey pair, and athletic shoes), 1-2 bottoms depending on weather, 2-3 shirts, 1 sweater and 2 jackets. Since I like to layer, I can easily create multiple looks using the same clothes.
You're using social networks to steer your way through a lot of your discoveries, how is it more advantageous than the traditional guidebook approach?
From social media, you get real answers from people who could be your friends. Sometimes with guidebooks it can be misleading because someone's opinion might not be completely authentic. You can crowdsource opinions by searching a restaurant's name (via hashtag form) on Instagram, and if the same menu item is featured many times, it must be good. In this day and age, if people like food at a certain restaurant, they'll post the dish to social networks. Many times, I've taken that as a form of validation that the food or restaurant is good.
What's the most outlandish or memorable thing you've experienced on one of your spontaneous adventures?
I fell out of a kayak while filming our debut episode. It was funny because I try not to take any physical activities too seriously since I'm not the best athlete. It's important to first make sure you feel safe and secure when doing any physical activities and in this instance I felt something was wrong, however I didn't speak up. A few seconds later I fell off the kayak, but luckily I got right back up. Ultimately, it was very funny and everything was ok so I can laugh about it now.
What advice do you have for the average traveler who wants to set off on a blind date with a city?
Just pick a place to go, only pack the bare necessities, don't plan too much and don't be afraid to get lost. The first thing you should do is eat at a restaurant that sounds interesting from the web. Then, talk to locals to get recommendations on activities and food. I've found this to be the best strategy from all my travels.
Do you have a favorite hotel in the world?
Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas.
What's the next big idea/innovation...what do you think is missing in the travel / hotel space?
I think Weekend Fix will end up being a leading innovative show in the TV space. It's a how-to guide that engages the viewer at home with tips and tricks on how to travel. It shows them that traveling is more simple than you think. Often when I watch travel TV shows, I want to know what led them to that destination, and Weekend Fix provides just that for the viewer. Then, taking that same approach in real life, the viewer can follow the same theories and tricks for their own adventures.