• Lynn Lundstrom Belles

What does Travel Like an Architect™ mean?

For over 20 years now I have been Working and Traveling with an Architect.  To describe this Travel Like an Architect™ phenomenon in one word I would use “intense” – but don’t let that word Intense scare you – there is layer upon layer of passion creating the intensity!

You might even call him a Travel Architect!

I read the funniest article the other day by Time Magazine’s Editor, Belinda Luscombe entitled “Traveling with an Architect: Check out the Doorknob”!  She really helped me tune in to figure it out – Within the article lies the explanation of our Brand Travel Like an Architect™ in it’s Entirety!

According to Belinda in the first sentence she states – “Just like their drawings, architects’ itineraries can be hard to follow”.

Which is EXACTLY why this Architect prefers to Cruise…..

Cruising eliminates itinerary planning from the equation.  Freeing up your time to earn the money you will need when you get there!  Book a cruise and then work a few extra hours – then spend your earnings on something amazing during your journey!  I remember an outdoor romantic dinner in Athen’s overlooking the Acropolis in the glow of a full moon with my Architect husband!


Fine Dining in Athens

The spectacular view of the Acropolis from Orizontes Lycabettus an outdoor fine dining establishment in Athens Greece


In her article Belinda describes the depth of the study that goes into preparation for a trip like two months in India and even finds humor in a preconceived packing plan.  Our’s is likely just as funny!

  1. When Rob and I pack we each deliberately pack half of our wardrobe for the trip in one bag and half in another.  We don’t have his or her bags.  We have two bags of combined clothing – taking into consideration matching outfits for dinners & his and hers matching swimwear!  Sorting into two combined bags assures us that if the airline ever loses a bag one or the other, one of us is not “S-O-L”!  We both still have most of what we will need.  At least we have bought some time for our lost bag to catch up to us!

  2. The moment we book a trip the research begins….  We begin watching you tube videos and reading travel blogs specifically looking for the coolest Architecture!  Rob makes an index card for each destination with the names of places we desire to experience!  He rubber bands them together and we use one in each of our cruise ports of call!  They are not fancy, detailed and anyone could do it!

You might think that it’s all about finding all of the most famous places – but it’s not – some times we just go exploring…..

a home in the Dominican Republic

This too is Architecture! The doors and windows of this Dominican home are closed because no one is home. We learned that in this neighborhood they don’t own the land and some have lived here for decades!  We were on a fathom cruise – one of the impact activities was to pour a concrete floor in one of them.


  1. For us it’s not entirely about buildings….  Because we understand that it is a culture that designs and builds buildings to meet the needs of the people.  Recently we learned that photos of Architecture are so much cooler with people in them!  I mean if there were no people there would be no buildings!  Right?

Cienfuegos Cuba

Without the woman – you really wouldn’t understand the size of this building.  She is standing in Cienfuegos Cuba (a UNESCO world heritage site) waiting for a bus.


  1. Rob and I really don’t plot out a timeline or schedule.  What we will do has more to do with a personal priority and how much time we will be at a destination port of call.  Since we Cruise our allotment of time is pre-determined.  We ALWAYS scan the destination from the height of the ship before heading out – because it gives us a site plan, or map type view of the city!   I don’t think we have ever missed something that was really important to us.

What is important to YOU?  If you determine it ahead of time you will set yourself up for a satisfying experience.  More densely populated places (like cruise ports) have more to choose from all in one place – no long car rides necessary!  Something for everyone!

  1. Sometimes we just use our instinct to sniff out the coolest things – – – yeah you really don’t need a detailed point of interest schedule if you are real architects…

Architecture tour

Would you think I could be this excited over that opening just beyond??   Yeah – we are going in there…. In FACT we just paid $1 for a ticket!


Mansion ceiling

Would you have guessed that it would lead us to THIS ??


Ornate Cupola in Cienfuegos

Or this? Would you believe that we got to stand in that crown on the tippy top!  What a THRILL!  (for us anyway) There was a 360 view of the town of Cienfuegos up there!!


Would this street scape draw you in?? Architects be like - "Oh My God - Where's the door?"

Would this street-scape draw you in?? Architects be like – “Oh My God – Where’s the door?” There is a reason they call them “Landmarks”  Cienfuegos Cuba 2016


It looks to me like we weren’t the only ones interested in that building…   Although we are likely the only ones who admit it.

Although I found  Traveling with an Architect: Check out the Doorknob? to be hysterically funny I do really appreciate that my Architect husband enjoys Shopping, Fashion, Fine Dining; that he looks cute most of the time, likes to drink, dance and go to the theater or the beach!  He always involves me in deciding what we will do and we never have to argue about it.  One has never compromised to attend an event that ONLY the other preferred (well maybe dress shopping). That’s how it’s supposed to be right?

Travel Architect

Photo by Ocean Images – Ship Photographer – on Dress Up Night!


What would you instinctively find?  The best food, beverage, view, hiking path, animal, it all depends on your Curiosity and your Passion!

  1. Recently after a long HOT day of wandering in Havana Cuba Rob really – really wanted to find a building with a gold dome that we had seen from the ship – so instead of giving up for the day we were off on a hunt.  We must be better at sniffing out these locations than Belinda’s friends because we have never been lost looking for something.  In fact – in almost no time at all we were standing in front of the Our Lady of Kazan Orthodox Cathedral. Unfortunately (or fortunately) it was closed.  I admit I was tired and we have been in so many churches that people must think we are religious nut-balls!

Orthodox Church in Havana

You can barely see the Gold Dome while standing under it – and you for sure can not get a good picture!! But we found it – CHECK!


Hey – when you travel like this architect you might be stopping to enjoy a glass of red wine mid morning!

And it’s even permissible to have more than one at lunch!  We love to live by our own rules – because we are creative & confident. We work hard and we deserve it!  Pssst… you do too!

Morning stop for red wine

When you Travel Like an Architect™ You might also wine at the beach later the same day….  with some new friends that you just met on the ship!

Wine at the rock beach

When you Travel Like an Architect™ you might need coffee and baklava before calling it quits 🙂  Because you have to check Belles Firm of Architecture’s email and you found FREE Wifi!

Coffee and Baklava at Patmos Greece

We learned that in the town of Skala on the island of Patmos in Greece – The Baklava is bigger than the Coffee!

We left with a NEW 100% linen shirt for the next casual interview, an evil eye door hanger and a fascinating collection of door knocker photos!

hamsa door knocker

You are lucky I am only showing you ONE!


I mean – not to say that her article is totally fictional…

  1. Rob did read about a winery that had been built in the region of Ensenada Mexico.  It was made of upside down boats salvaged from a boat junk yard and other re-purposed materials.  He found it while reading an Architecture Magazine in our bathroom… It is true that Architect’s live, breath, eat, shit and even dream Architecture.  It took quite an amount of negotiating with taxis to find one willing to seek it out! Of course we had our index card with the name and address of the destination on it….  how could they say “no”?

vena cava winery

That’s me ready to taste some wine – waiting while Rob tells the cab driver about the Architecture Magazine he reads!

Can you see the resemblance between the building and the drawing?  The tunnels shown in the Architect’s water color schematic plans are the wine tasting room and other wine making production areas.  These drawings were mounted on the wall inside.  Architect’s really get excited about their work!  But really when you can think about something on paper like that and then turn it into a building – it really is awesome!

Archtiect's concept plan

Belinda talks about Architect’s who “Document” buildings or look at broken elevators on their vacation…  

  1. On one occasion we did document an elevator that at first we couldn’t figure out how to operate!  We just took a selfie inside.  But we didn’t go to the place simply for that …..  it just happened to be the elevator in our hotel.  The door had to be opened manually.  We discovered this after we waited patiently for a long time…  When you Travel Like an Architect™ you are respectful, polite and never pushy, and you don’t panic…  You just try to figure it out.

Elevator in our hotel in Athens Greece

I do admit that Belinda is right – we take a lot of pictures!!  Not normal pictures though….  But we don’t haul around heavy photography equipment.  We just carry our phones and a spare battery charging device in case our phone dies!!

  1. The strangest pics we end up with are close up pictures of floors, walls and ceilings…  Floors are fascinating when you think about the people who have walked on them, those who assembled them, or elements that have effected them.  Were they people like you?  Or were they totally different?  How many people walked there?  Did you ever, in your life, think you would be one of them??  Here are a few of our floor pics and some other strange ones that I happened upon while uploading the floors!  You can thank me later for not posting the pics of toilets or TP dispensers….  there were some unusual facilities over in the Middle East!  (I’ll give you a hint – women had to squat)

Some times when I tell people that our blog is called www.TravelLikeAnArchitect.com – they look at me and say “what does that mean?”  So here you go!  In a nutshell – it means: Look at that building over there!!!  Look at this floor!!  Look at the walls!!  Look at the ceiling!!  Look across the street!!  Look out the window!!  Look at the roof!!  Open your eyes – notice this shit because it’s f*****g amazing! Architecture is our world – it sets the stage for our life!  But our blog is so much more than that….  It is a place of well thought out logical travel advice – some philosophy – tested by the experience of a Travel ing Architect!

To Travel Like an Architect™ is adventurous, educational, respectful, well informed & prepared – I mean what tourist wouldn’t want to be all of that?

Like many professionals Architects work long hours solving other people’s problems and when the time comes – THEY NEED a VACATION!  Don’t YOU?  Give us a Call!

I had a good laugh at Belinda’s satirical humor!  Finally I found someone who can relate.  But deep down inside I am glad to have taken this thinking and writing journey, with her article in mind.  But once again I have come to the conclusion that she doesn’t dislike architecture, or traveling with an Architect.  She is a damn good creative writer finding humor in her own un-willingness to admit it.  After all, the passion she thought of adopting was yet another “Building Type”, Supermarkets???  

BELINDA LUSCOMBE writes the People section for Time magazine. I found her work that had been published by Travel + Liesure.  She, like I – travels WITH an Architect!  I am LYNN BELLES, an Architectural Designer that does most of the writing for Travel Like an Architect – THIS Architect’s Travel Blog!  

Please feel free to call us  or ask a question in the comments.

We love to share our expertise and have not yet written it all here!

Rob and Lynn Belles are seasoned World Travelers who enjoy the comfort and luxury of Cruising!


We are real Architects and Travel Architects – meaning we help people Blueprint their next vacation!

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