2020 Inquiry Pop-up Q&A

With each edition of Inquiry Pop-up, we steal away to inspiring locations, and refresh the eye through a gaggle of meaning-making moments… share ourselves at the table, experience the field, learn new things, create new pathways — and this year, being unmoored. At sea.

You’re invited to be one of eight women sailing the Phong Nga Bay in
Thailand. Inquiry Pop-up is fixin’ to attract a coterie of women ready to drift.
To be guided by the rules of different currents «water & wind». And to
behold new sightssoundstastessmells—with friends and friends to be.

QUESTIONS. ANSWERS.

Indulge me… What’s Inquiry Pop-up, again?
Why the name Inquiry Pop-up?
Where in Thailand are we going?
What’s included?
What’s Inquiry Pop-up cost?
A whole entire week?!
What are these daily “experiences”?
Who are the other participants?
Tell me about the boat…
I’ll be sleeping on a boat?
I need to book flights for when…
How do I get to the marina?
Do I need Vaccinations before I go?
Can I invite my friends?
Is my phone (computer) going to work at sea?
What can I do to prepare?
Yo hablo, dietary restrictions?
Is this for me if I’m not rugged?
How do I pay for Inquiry Pop-up?
And if something comes up, and I can’t come?
 
 
Indulge me… What’s the backstory with Inquiry Pop-up?
Gladly. In 2010 I saw a movie that was the antecedent of what was to become Inquiry Pop-up. At a certain point, Bill Cunningham, in his eponymous documentary Bill Cunningham New York, says he has to come back to Paris every six months “to re-educate the eye.” This was but one gem spoken by him—or about him—in the 84 minute biography. The movie left me rapt. Mr. Cunningham’s pluck, outlook and prolific career was most enviable. It was then when I first realized something critical was missing from my practice. Something Bill had. What exactly that was, was unclear. But immediately, intuitively, I booked a flight to Paris.

Something Anna Wintour conceded early in the film could be a clue to my impulsive response:

What amazed me, is he and I, and all my team, and all the rest of the [fashion] world are sitting at the same fashion show—but he sees something on the runway that completely missed all of us. And in six months time, you know, THAT will be a trend.

A-ha! Bill’s eye was clear to see the future. Clear to create the future. More than the most revered, and trusted in the industry. I, too, wanted to do my best work and feel most fully myself. To be on the vanguard. A dedication to refreshing the eye became an important part of my practice. Privileging creating opportunities for intake over output would keep me excited, and relevant, and in service to my ideals—and my client’s.

In every place I visited, this friend and that friend came to mind:

Oh, [blah-blah] needs to come here.
[So-and-so] MUST see this.

I envisioned gatherings of friends to facilitate fertile “intake” time. For us to refresh the eye together. We’d engage in new skills, new relationships, and a revitalized understanding of the world around us.

Today, Inquiry Pop-up consists of global gatherings held in remote and awe-inspiring locations worldwide. The first two years to act as muse was Marfa, Texas. Then Pioneertown, California called my name. Last year, I took it urban and international in Marrakech. This year, we’re to sail the Saronic Islands.

From minimal high-deserts to a winding medina to ever-changing water. Have at Google and see for yourself. OH! And If you haven’t seen Bill Cunningham New York, go go go. It’s currently streaming on Netflix.

 
 
Why the name Inquiry Pop-up?
For a time I called it “Whatever This Is.” I was thinking it described the indescribable: a mastermind meets residency meets workshop meets retreat meets dinner party meets one-on-one mentorship. What do you call that? Whatever This is! But then that name lost hold on me because it asked more questions than held answers. It was spot-on, however not the right solution. And, I reserve the right to resurrect that title for something, sometime in the future.

I was feeling “A Week of Inquiry” for a spell. Closer, but not quite. That name led to an expectation that the entire week was programmed/planned. It also didn’t have the energy of what I was feeling. Plus it’s not really A WEEK of inquiry. It’s 5 days of it—plus two for travel. Anyway, I let that one go the moment “Inquiry Pop-up”, popped into my head.

It’s perfect because yes yes yes to Inquiry. Curious minds are invited and required. And Pop-up was spot-on because just like the retail Pop-up movement, I’m creating short-term, limited edition collections of friends and (sometimes) luminaries in locations worldwide. It’s niche, and its temporary nature creates an uncommon engagement. EXACTLY what I want for you to experience.
 
 
 
Where in Thailand are we going?
After last year’s sail in Greece, I’m again engaging the brilliance of The Sailing Collective to create an itinerary to die for. The islands situated in the Phung Nga Bay, between the southern mainland and Phuket, are storied to be among the most beautiful and interesting of all the Thai islands. We’ll have long stretches of sandy beaches, limestone cliffs and rock formations, as well as mangrove forests, caves, and lagoons in spades. The bay’s waters are dotted with coral reefs.

We’ll dock in:

PHUKET TOWN | This city is an ideal starting point for our sail in Phang Nga Bay. But first, we’ll explore Old Town. Thalang Road is lined with colorful 19th-century shophouses and Sino-Portuguese buildings. Tranquil monks navigate the same streets as pumped up nightclubbers. There’s the touristy Big Buddha, and I hear thrift shopping here is the bomb — haggling is encouraged!

NORTH BAY | We’ll venture north into the silty dark waters of Phang Nga Bay. Here we’ll explore secret lagoons and venture into the winding “streets” of the famous floating village market. Calm waters, local fishing villages, and towering limestone islands punctuate this part of our journey.

KRABI | On our sail south we’ll wind through the Koh Hong Krabi archipelago. Krabi province includes 200+ islands and has stunning scenery: long stretches of white sand beaches, dotted with palm trees. We’ll dock at Rai Le Beach catering to more laid-back visitors. (Eh-hem, that’s us!) Here we have the opportunity to get a massage, try out rock climbing, or swim to shore for a siesta.

KOH PHI PHI | The Phi Phi Islands are some of the most beautiful in Thailand. Phi Phi Don is the largest island in the group and has the best anchorage and facilities at Ton Sai Bay, where we’ll find restaurants and bars with lively nightlife. We’ll also stop at Phi Phi Le, known for excellent snorkeling, and rugged high cliffs. (The movie The Beach, was filmed at Maya Bay on Phi Phi Le.)

KOH PODA | On the island of Poda, the real glory lies in an unassuming rocky pocket beach on the other side of Poda. Beyond the thrill of seeing overhanging cliffs and rock walls that jet vertical out of the water, there is superb snorkeling and a little shady alcove ashore with a beach wedged in between rock walls.

KOH RACHA RAI | A small island surrounded by excellent snorkeling in crystal clear water. And when in Rome… It’s likely we’ll peep large turtles swimming, and for sure colorful fish are abundant in the coral seabed. We’ll enjoy our last dinner here, at a little local fish restaurant perched on the rocks above the cove. Glasses will be raised, toasts made, laughter in spades.

 
 
What’s included?
TO DO | Included is 6 days of prompts, workshops, movement, and/or adventures. One per day to keep thing chill. They will be designed based on the makeup of our coterie, as well as inspired by my intuition of what we’ll need.

TO EAT | Our personal chef will have local foods and produce on board. She’ll prepare 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, and 3 Dinners. Light Snacks, Water, Coffee & Tea are also included and readily available to us. Alcohol is BYO, so grab a bottle before we set sail, and we can grab a few more at different ports during our island hops.

3 dinners we’ll take ashore. We can dine solo, as duos or trios—or eat as a group of 8. I have a few places in mind. These meals are not included in Inquiry’s cost, and as you might be aware, the USD/Bhat exchange is very good and prices for (even really good) meals are stunningly cheap.

TO BE | We’ll spend the majority of our time on the boat: on deck, down below, swimming around it, or in your cabin. There are 4 cabins— all designed for two. If you want your own cabin, that too can be arranged – first come first served. Everything on the boat is included: Freshwater showers, bedding, and towels. (Also marina fees, gas, dockage, etc.).

In addition to the 8 of us, we’ll share the boat with our chef and captain (both are women). They’ll help to guide us at sea, and expertly help us navigate the islands throughout our time sailing in Thailand.

TO DREAM | Finally, all week long, I’m available to work with you, one-on-one. It’s my pleasure and honor. Grab me spontaneously or let’s schedule time. We can talk about creative direction, design solutions, opportunities to seize and more. {Design! Opinion! Tarot!}

 
 
What’s Inquiry Pop-up cost?
$3535pp double occupancy and $5353 for single occupancy. Why? The spreadsheet says this amount affords me to not subsidize the gathering. And, I like repeating the meaning of numbers:

Number 3 resonates with rediscovering your inner spark and strengthening your intuitive ability. Number 5 brings personal freedom and individuality, major life changes, making positive choices and decisions, curiosity and adventure, adaptability and versatility, life lessons learned through experience and resourcefulness.

When you’re ready go HERE. Read the terms on that page, make sure you are in agreement, and pay a $500 non-refundable deposit. I’ll follow up (jumping up and down) with a Venmo request for $3035/$4853, you have 7 days to respond. Submitting payment is your declaration of participation and acts the same as registration. If you’d like to pay via credit card, I need to include a 2.9% service fee ($100/$150). Reach out to arrange.

Inquiry Pop-up is a Viewers Like You, Co. Production.

 
 
A whole entire week?
Well, 6 nights/7 days. Depending on when you arrive, and at the absolute latest, we’ll meet at the marina the evening of Saturday, 29 February and return on the morning of Saturday, 7 March. I happen to be arriving in Bangkok on the morning of the 26th to get a little time in the city before making my way to Phuket. Maybe you want to do this too? Let me know.

Inquiry Pop-up emphasizes the processes of experiential knowing and unexpected integration. The stuffs that flourish with time on its side. The immersive nature of this year’s Inquiry Pop-up is designed to trigger a body of inquiry where you have the opportunity of time and space to allow for clarity. A week of being untethered, at sea, a float, unmoored… to return anew, again.

 
 
What are these daily “experiences”?
To help stake claim in our location, I’ll create down-to-earth, simple, inspired presentations to fuel our experience—every day, and cumulatively. This way we can leave behind preconceived notions, and create new pathways of thinking and seeing.

I have many ideas in mind but will curate the itinerary based on the ‘yes!’ RSVPs received. As a teacher, designer and curious individual, I’ll choose activitiespromptworkshops—on board and ashore—based on their potency, and my mood. If you’ve been to a previous Inquiry Pop-up, this programming will be a lighter touch than you’re accustomed to. We are a smaller group, and a little goes a long way.

 
 
Who are the other participants?
As I’ve mentioned, this is invite-only—so it’s you, me, and a few other friends of mine. There are no troublemakers in the lot, just the finest of fine humans. My gals are: PR Execs, Personal Stylists, Museum Curators, Novelists, Designers, Bakers, Product Creators, Body Workers, Artists, Event Planners, Photographers, Designers, action-takers… All are grand dreamers—soulful forms of wisdom, ease, and fun.

We’ll be 8 total, plus our captain and chef.

I’ll for sure be making introductions, finding places of intersections—but have ZERO doubt organically y’all will do this yourself. Quickly, effortlessly, brilliantly. Inquiry is now in its sixth year and the connections that have been forged are as heartwarming as they are powerful.

 
 
Tell me about the boat…
It’s a vision to behold:
 

 
 
Our boat is actually a luxury catamaran. Catamarans are better able to navigate shallow waters, effortlessly, than yachts. And we want to get into those coves! It’s big (45′) with excellent handling characteristics: speed, power, control. The design is clean, efficient and lets in lots of light below deck.

There are 4 cabins, each has a double bed, made up of two twins, and a private bath with freshwater showers. Check out our ride here. Brace yourself, it’s very exciting. Our captain and chef will share their own skipper’s cabin below the bow. Even with 10 of us, the design of the boat means we’ll feel spacious.

All cabins are first come first serve and include linens + a towel.

Our vessel is equipped with all necessary safety equipment: life jackets, fire extinguishers, first aid kit, GPS, emergency signalization set… The galley has a gas cooker, an icebox, stainless steel sink, dishes/utensils, and a salon to sit in for dining and leisure.

The deck has a generous cockpit with seating, PLUS there’s a bathing platform, where we’ll drop anchor, chill and take a swim. Swanky.

 
 
I’ll be sleeping on a boat?
A luxury catamaran, and yup. From what I’ve learned this vessel is sa-weet. Smooth. March in Phong Nga Bay was chosen for the seasonal calm waters and reliable wind. This isn’t open ocean sailing, and while I’m not prone to mal de mer, I plan on bringing all the motion sickness accessories jusssst in case. Plus acupuncture before. I desire that no one is a martyr. Come prepared to manage any sudden onset queasiness. I’m being dead serious and at the same time not worried. An inch of preparedness is a yard of gold.

Again, there are 4 cabins, double occupancy, with queenish sized beds. The cabins are first come first serve.

 
 
I need to book flights for when…
We’ll meet at the marina in the evening on Saturday, 29 February and return on the morning of Saturday, 7 March. Most transpacific flights leaving on 27th February will have you arrive in Bangkok the morning of the 29th. That gives you a little time to walk off your jet lag and hop on a smaller flight to Phuket.

I’m arriving in Thailand on the morning of the 26th to get a little more time in Bangkok before we set sail form Phuket. Thailand’s capital city is a dynamic landscape seamlessly synthesizing old and new. Maybe you want to arrive early, too? Happy to explore the city with you. Let me know.

COFFEE
SERENITY
HIPSTERS
FOOD
3 DAYS

For your return flight, midday would support a leisurely disembarkment. We will be shoo’d off the boat by 9am, so you decide what’s best for you.

OH! You’re flying into/out of Suvarnabhumi* The New Bangkok International Airport (BKK) and then onto Phuket International Airport (HKT). Or, fly straight into Phuket. Either way, HKT is 20 miles north of Phuket Town, where we set sail, about 30-45 minutes by taxi. Expect an 800 baht/26 USD fare.

*su-wan-na-poom

 
 
How do I get to the marina?
From what I hear, the marina we’re embarking from is near the airport, but because I’m not 100% confident in this, Watch this space for updates. When you register, I’ll be in close contact with you and will share news as I receive it.

As we get closer to February, I’ll know more and share my plan.

 
 
Do I need Vaccinations before I go?
Check the CDC requirements to be sure, and my recon came up that we aren’t required to have any to enter the country, but! AND! When my son went to Thailand this past summer, we went to the VCU Travel Clinic to see what they advised. They recommended 3: tetanus, hepatitis A and typhoid. Warning: Shots can be pricey, so be sure to ask about cost before you get immunized.

 
 
Can I invite my friends?
You’ve been invited to Inquiry Pop-up because I know you to be a curious person, possessing grit and unparalleled camaraderie. You play nice with others and I’ve also seen you to be a good judge of character. So, I’m fully open to hear about someone you believe would absolutely LOVE Inquiry Pop-up, and would really contribute to the dynamic. That being said, this year we are 8, and I’m privileging current amigas.

Common sense caveat: No babies, por favor. Adult or otherwise. And I love dogs, but they are not invited, for what I assume are obvious reasons.

The decision for me to NOT make Inquiry Pop-up available to just anyone who can click a link was deliberate. It supports our having a symbiotic and harmonious week together. From past group experiences I’ve had (and quite possibly you too?), a bad apple can spoil things disproportionately. It’s a real bummer when a negative, uncomfortable, far out-of-sync person is in the mix.

 
 
Is my phone (computer) going to work at sea?
I don’t know your mobile plan or phone make, and I cannot guarantee wifi while we are sailing the Bay. For sure the islands we’re headed to will (at least) have cellular/3G access. So every day we will be connected to the world through our glorious, hand-held teleportation devices.

There are outlets onboard. I will confirm the voltage on the boat, and necessary adaptor(s) to bring as we get closer to “go” time.

Common-sense courtesy: If you plan on working during your stay I only ask that you keep it to your cabin. Ya? 

 
 
What can I do to prepare?
I’d geek out on the weather, because we’ll be in it. We are not sailing during rainy season, but the air will be humid. Thankfully, sailing means wind means breeze. Average temps on land are 23-34°C / 73-93°F. But expect it to be cooler aboard ship. And lucky us, the optimum time to sail in Thailand is around the last two weeks of February and the first two weeks of March — when the water is calm, and a very pleasant 28°C / 84°F.

Collapsible bags in lieu of large rigid suitcases are advised for ease of transport on and off the boat. Loading and unloading from the dingy can be a wet activity, a pair of shoes such as flip-flops that you can get wet if we are landing on a beach.

During days on the water, you’ll want to be wearing light and comfortable clothing. As the vast majority of your time will be spent outside, prepare for elements – bring a light raincoat just in case, a hat to shield yourself from the sun. Also, a set of warm clothing. We may dine out at a nicer restaurant, so bring something that suits your vibe. Again, loading and unloading from the dingy can be a wet activity… shoes that you can get wet is the fashun.

BRING
» your passport
» dry bag or case for your phone/camera
» hat/sunglasses/sunscreen
» light raincoat/wind jacket
» boat shoes or non-slip shoes for being on deck
» shoes you don’t mind getting wet such as flip-flops
» books
» any special dietary foods
» toiletries
» beach towel (1 towel is provided with linens)
» bug spray, medicine for an upset stomach, Sea-Bands.
» small flashlight, the one on your phone is fine
» some clothes, and fewer than you think.
There is a clothes’ washer on the boat, but this hand-washing and air drying was fine when we sailed Greece. Again, pack light. A bathing suit and caftan is de rigour.

When the time comes, do do do feel free to reach out to me as you’re planning. I’m happy to offer support, advice—or what have you. I’m never lacking for an opinion and always like feeling useful.

In a nutshell, get excited. This is going to be gooooood.

 
 
Yo hablo, dietary restrictions?
Yeah, this is tricky. I’ve researched modern rules of etiquette and compiled a few “Pop-up rules”. This was for my own understanding on how to best navigate this, and so you too know how to handle meals.

1. You’re my guest. Making you feel welcome is part of the deal. If you’re vegan, let me know. If you have Celiac, or another allergy let me know. Knowing dietary restrictions well in advance so our chef can stock the fridge with ingredients everyone will enjoy, is my pleasure.

2. As a guest, being polite and helpful is part of the deal. Your primary role as a dinner guest is to be punctual and create conversation. There are no hostess gifts or thank you notes required—but doing your part to clear the table, drying a dish or two and giving verbal gratitude for the food and the chef is Miss Manners-approved.

3. Food preferences are not the same as genuine restrictions. Unless you know you’ll be in intestinal distress, or you need to abstain due to religious restrictions, maybe try that something new, or scoot it aside without much ado. Kindly consider that for our chef to accommodate every preference would be a Sisyphean* task.

4. I’ve requested meat and non-meat options to be provided, for sure. And that gluten-free and vegan options be incorporated where possible. Our chef has asked to know about food allergies as well as our likes/dislikes (I will get these from you closer to March). I know we’re going to eat very well. Vivian was our chef this year and is on board to nourish and delight us again in 2020.

 
 
Is this for me if I’m not rugged?
The cataraman is fancy, and by all means, we won’t be roughing it. HOWEVER, this Inquiry is for the optimistic and hearty. We are to be unmoored, literally. 80% of the time. Surrendering to the will of the tides is not for everyone. To the weather. To close quarters. To short showers.

I see this much like I see glamping on a moving island floating in an ocean. Stilettos are no bueno.

 
 
How do I pay for Inquiry Pop-up?
After you read the terms, and pay your non-refundable deposit ($500) HERE, I’ll send you a Venmo request for $3035/$4835—you’ll have 7 days to respond. Submitting payment is your declaration of participation and acts the same as registration. I’ll be in touch soon after receipt to welcome you and connect. If you’d like to pay via credit card, I need to include a 2.9% service fee ($100/$150). Reach out to arrange.

Also, reach out if you want to talk more about where you want to sleep and/or whom/if you should roommate with. And let me know if you and a friend intend to share a cabin.

When Inquiry Pop-up meets its quota for participants you will see SOLD OUT next to the price.

Kindly note: Inquiry Pop-up doesn’t traffic in refunds. See below.

 
 
And if something comes up, and I can’t come?
While I’m dedicated to providing a top-notch experience, I’m also really committed to keeping this a low-impact endeavor for myself. Coordinating refunds don’t fall under that metric. Once you’ve paid in full, simply put, I cannot offer refunds. However, if you have a change of heart, or a personal matter keeps you from coming, I can see about exchanging your place with someone on the wait-list or, if that’s not a possibility, I can apply a portion of your payment towards a future edition of Inquiry Pop-up. Fair enough?

I want you to be confident and excited about attending Inquiry Pop-up. Kindly get in touch via phone or email to chat it up. I’m thrilled to share with you everything I know, so you can be 100% on-board and register/pay with no qualms.