To kick off our Trip Swap Instagram Video series, we caught up with a number of creators who traveled with us across North America. Portrait photographer, director and content producer Karston Tannis, for example, recently stopped by the newly opened W Philadelphia at the recommendation of Tania Araradian, co-founder of The Styleguise. Check out his episode on Instagram here, and read about his experience in the City of Brotherly Love, below!
In your words, please tell us about yourself. What do you do? And what is your single most favorite thing about travel?
My name is Karston “Skinny” Tannis, hailing from the mean (but awesome) streets of New York City. I’m an international portrait photographer, director and content producer specializing in lifestyle and fashion visuals. I’d say my single most favorite thing about travel is that it provides a chance to explore, experience and embrace a plethora of cultures. Travel allows me the opportunity to form my own opinions about the world, and I’ve made lifelong friends in the process.
What was the most surprising or memorable part of your trip to W Philadelphia and the City of Brotherly Love?
After a few months of zero travel, I was able to visit W Philadelphia for an entire week. I was most surprised by the hotel’s location. It sits in Philadelphia’s city center, with beautiful views, an epic Living Room bar, and a secret garden tucked high above the streets below. I found myself taking meditative walks through the garden to start my day, which was nice.
What recommendations came through from the Trip Swap? Any highlights in particular?
During my stay at W Philadelphia, I received numerous recommendations for food and culture in the city. From Suraya, an amazing Middle Eastern restaurant, to LMNO, a vibrant and cool Mexican restaurant located in Fishtown, the dining scene is strong. I also loved the bar Johnny Brenda’s, and a spot called Chris’s Jazz Café, which is literally around the block from W Philadelphia. It has great vibes.
What did you miss most about travel, and how come?
The past 22 months have been rough, yet they’ve fueled my urge to travel even more. I’ve found that the common thread of every trip I take comes down to cuisine and cocktails; the most amazing part of travel is experiencing a place’s food and beverage scene with great company.
What was something you were particularly excited to experience again, once you got back on the road?
I think it’s always about experiencing the inside scoop of each city or place, and that’s a talent that W’s team possesses in every location. It’s hard to contain the feeling of excitement that comes with discovering a new locale.
Final Q: What’s your new travel life hack? 2020 and 2021 have certainly brought about some new practices when it comes to trip-taking…
It’s definitely a cross-body bag, believe it or not. Everything essential goes in, from extra masks, my ID, phone chargers. I’m also trying to travel lighter. Less is more, and this has a positive effect on one’s psyche.
For more about Karston, his photography and content production, follow @skinnywashere on Instagram.