What’s in my travel bag: Herbert Ypma

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When Herbert Ypma was just three years old, his Dutch father moved the family to Spain. But instead of a picturesque hacienda or a cool flat in the city, the Ypma family lived in caravans and tents, his mother cooking on open fires every night.


Thus began a nomadic life that ultimately led the multilingual, wildly talented photographer to pursue a career in travel photography and writing, spawning a host of books, most notably the HIP Hotels guides. In Ypma’s recently released compendium, Nomad Deluxe, by luxe publishers Assouline, he escorts readers on a world tour, from the reefs of the Maldives to the expanses of the Atacama Desert.

Never a fan of pointless travel, Herbert says, “It’s much better if you have something to do – travel with a purpose. My next destination is Bali, taking my kids surfing on Echo Beach. I am also working on a custom-designed motorhome. I don’t know why every motorhome looks like a 1989 hotel room, but they do. Outside I want mine to look like a really slick SUV. Inside I want it to look like a beach shack. The idea is to get it on a boat to the US and take the great American road trip.”

And the most exotic place he’s ever been? “The Ice Hotel and Ringha, Tibet, would certainly be contenders, but I think the most exotic is the recently shuttered Shompole in Kenya. They decided to create these pavilions with no doors, windows, or walls. When I got there, they told me that I was lucky to have gotten the best pavilion because that’s the one whose pool the leopards like to drink out of every morning. So, you’re lying there totally exposed, every little sound in the middle of the night makes you jump, and you’re just waiting for those leopards to come.”

The Bag:
Navy blue and leather Longchamp.

The Contents:
My custom board shorts in a waterproof bag. I love surfing. White Converse sneakers.

A roll-out linen kit from Italy that has all my glue, scissors, tape, calligraphy pens. I almost always have a scrapbook going, on all sorts of things.

My scrapbooks are made for me in Florence by a man named Giulio – I don’t even know his last name.

A navy blue Viktor & Rolf amenity bag for all my cables – phone chargers, camera cables, and more.

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