Against all odds, travel is an inherently stylish activity—it transcends luggage laced with laundry in the "before" state and security searches through your intimate possessions. (When you discover unfamiliar disarray and a government disclaimer in a checked bag, it's hard not to feel invaded by the trolling.) But private realities such as these do not diminish the opportunities for mental and spiritual enhancement; in my view, they sharpen the colors and heighten the rewards, adding to the mix of knowingness and openness that results from seeing and experiencing the new—minor inconveniences, mishaps, and all.
We ?ing ourselves into adventure's path this month in our annual October Style Issue, stopping off in Istanbul, where New York Times reporter Guy Trebay is intrigued by the colliding universes of Europe and the Muslim world, and exploring the tiny northeastern islands off formerly war-torn Mozambique—soon to be on the GPS of the international fashion set—with Zimbabwe native Douglas Rogers. We venture into the authentic restaurants of China, from Shanghai to Chengdu, on a madcap tour with designer Han Feng and author and T+L contributing editor Andrew Solomon. And we scope out hotel impresario André Balazs's hot spotin-the-making: the Standard, Miami, né the very sixties-era Lido, which contributing editor Tom Austin declares to be the spa-is-everywhere resort for the 21st century. Also in deference to our theme, we travel to Madrid, that most stylish of European cities, where we follow Carolina Herrera and two of her daughters to their favorite haunts, which they generously shared with writer Mitchell Owens.
As with the bags we test in our definitive luggage and packing guide (page 192), and the globe-trotting women we feature in our Women's Travel Special, you need a certain degree of resistance and resilience to travel well. Once you've mastered that, you're ready for the fun. —NANCY NOVOGROD
La Grande Épicerie Paris
Le Bon Marché's food hall—go for the experience, the packaged goods, and French kitchen staples. 38 Rue de Sèvres; 33-1/44-39-81-00; www.lagrandeepicerie.fr.
La Conca del Sogno
A seafood restaurant set in a cove near Positano that you can access by boat. 9 Via S. Marciano; 39-081/808- 1036; www.concadelsogno.it; dinner for two $62.
This town is famous for its divine trulli (stone cottages), which you can rent. www.trullienatura.it.
A great neighborhood restaurant. 5961 Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli; 39-06/321-0992; dinner for two $99.
Modern Sicilian cooking. 25 Via del Pozzo delle Cornacchie; 39-06/6830-1427; www.ristorantetrattoria.it; dinner for two $119.