Julia Chaplin's Gypset.com

The Travel Guru Launches a Digital Bohemia

“There is a strong tradition of creative thinkers ditching constrictive society,” says author and journalist Julia Chaplin. “The Romantic poets. The Explorers too. Then you had the Beats. Then of course the hippies.” A  frequent contributor to Vogue, Elle, Wallpaper* and The New York Times, Chaplin is a fascinated with bohemian culture, which she explored in her 2009 book Gypset Style. “Gypset” is a word of Chaplin’s own invention, describe a nomadic yet sophisticated cadre of travelers that she encountered while on assignment as a travel writer, covering, as she puts it, “really jet-set-y things,” like the Cannes Film Festival or St Barths. Quickly getting “bored,” she began exploring, going a bit further, to the next cove down the coast, and she stumbled on a pattern. “There were people who were there before me, and not by accident—they were artists and surfers consciously not in St. Tropez. I realized it was a movement, it wasn’t just one town or village. It was happening all over the world.” In cobbling together a list of modern exemplars for her book—including Jade Jagger and model Nicolas Malleville —Chaplin found that many of her subjects, whether they lived in Mexico or India, knew one another. “It is like a floating group,” she says. “People who all belong to one place but are not of any place—people who want to do it their way.” This month, Chaplin launches a new platform for this community, in the form of her new travel website gypset.com. Chaplin hopes that the movement will interact on the site, providing recommendations and invitations as they’ve already begun to do on her Facebook page. “My favorite thing on the website is the atlas,” she says of the thumb-tacked map she has created of super-secret locales. “The idea being that there’s this alternative Gypset world out there. As it fills up you’ll have less need for the old world.”

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