Postcards from Berlin, Costa Rica

March 17th, 2010


Freida Hulse sent this postcard of Mädchen and Panda by Kerstin Lightblau from Berlin.

After her stay in Berlin, Frieda Hulse found her way to New York about a month ago, sooner than I thought. I imagined the Urban Nomad designer would head to Paris and find a hundred reasons to linger there.

A day before I got her postcard, she called to say she had just arrived in New York but would have loved to stay in Berlin, which she wrote “is awesome, fast-paced, full of beautifully dressed, interesting-looking people.” New York is still an American city, after all, subject to dress-down egalitarianism.

As of a week ago, she was still looking for a place to call home in Brooklyn, but already has found a little Hawaii contingent there, including designers Michele Lau and Leah Evans. Michele found out Freida was en route via my Twitter feed (@fashiontribe). Small world.


tylercomp1tyler compcard

Tyler Van Roden’s comp card.

Meanwhile, sometime local/New York model Tyler Van Roden also e-mailed last month to say he was in Costa Rica, working on his brothers’ (Chad and Bret) boat, the Broken Compass, before heading down to Panama, where the three Van Rodens are now, as one part of a journey that will take them around the world.

Their voyage is one that they estimate will take about three years, including extended stays in impoverished nations to help “in any way we can.”

He writes, “I could go through a lengthy explanation of why I want to do this, and how I decided to, but mainly I am doing this because I just want to. I’ve always loved being on the water, thrived in the outdoors, and made $ to travel so I/we (my brothers and I) decided to put all them together while living as simply as possible. Also, I believe not enough people pursue their dreams, their passions in life, and by the time they realize it, it’s too late. I want to be able to say when I am older, I lived my life to the fullest, to my heart’s content.

“I believe Chad was the first one with the idea, I fully supported and pushed for it anyway I could, and we both kind of tricked Bret into coming.”

broken compass

Broken Compass photos
Still on land.

I worked with Tyler on a fashion shoot for HI Luxury magazine after meeting him at a party at Bally. He quit modeling and his last year of school at the University of Hawaii for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure. At a time many are looking for work, his brothers quit their jobs on the mainland as well.

Tyler said he realizes they are sacrificing a lot, but says he’s enjoying spending time with his brothers and hopes that one day he can share his adventures and gratitude with the rest of the world, while discovering more of what he’s made of in the process.

“I hope I find whatever I am looking for, both internally and externally,” he writes.

You can follow the brothers via, or via the captain’s blog.

Strangely enough, for a model, Tyler doesn’t appear often in the photos, saying, “I’m more the person that documents anyways :)”


The brothers on a practice sail.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Reply