Arman Answers: How Does Travel Fit Into Your Life? (Plus $500 to Your Charity!)
On a trip to Mexico in his 20s, Litner + Deganian partner Arman Deganian first tried out his now-signature travel photo pose: Chin in hands, legs crossed and head tilted to the side. Think cheerleader team photo … but Arman. He and his brother thought it was hilarious, so on the next trip, to Switzerland, Arman tried it again. At first he was a little embarrassed to lie down on his stomach in front of recognizable landmarks, but it wasn’t long before he was asking strangers to take his photo.
Now Arman wants to see if you have what it takes to pull off the “Arman Pose” at your favorite vacation spot. The person who sends in the best “Arman Pose” in the most original out-of-town locale wins $500 toward his or her favorite charity. So pack your bags, tilt that chin and get snapping!
Obviously, if he has a signature travel pose, it’s safe to assume Arman is a pretty dedicated globetrotter. Just this year, he has trips planned to Cuba, the Grand Canyon, Germany, Belgium and Scotland. Why does he make travel a priority in life, and what does it add to his work as an attorney and his interactions with clients?
How did you catch the travel bug?
As soon as I started practicing law, I started traveling. My dad’s from Iran, so my first big international trip was with him—visiting family at home. At 27, I went to Rome. There was just so much to do there, I knew I had to come back. I’ve been four times now.
I don’t like to just sit on the beach; I like to do something. So my trips tend to break down into two types. There are the outdoorsy, active trips—like backpacking through the Italian Alps, where I’ll hike all day and sleep in a mountain hut. And then there are the more leisurely city trips, where I’ll pick a place, decide a few things to do there and spend plenty of time just people watching with a beer in my hand.
Why do you make travel a priority?
Travel gives me a break. Even if it’s the more physical trips—like hiking Yellowstone or Mount Rainier—it still lets me recharge. I try to schedule something every three or four months. That’s when I start feeling burned out. I still check in on my emails and messages a couple times a day, but I get a little break from the constant push of being an attorney. It’s what I love doing.
How do your travels affect your life and your work?
Travel gives me perspective, making me think about the way I eat, the way I manage my time and how I handle stress. The world is just so much bigger than you think. When I first started visiting places where I didn’t speak the language or know the culture, I felt nervous. Now I don’t care. I know we’ll find a way to communicate and understand each other. Travel has made it easier to talk to people with different backgrounds and life experiences—something that’s translated to my work back home with our clients.
With so many trips always in the works, what’s your best advice for planning a great vacation?
When I’m doing an international hiking trip, I like to go through an outdoors company—there’s just a lot to plan in order to have a safe, fun trip. But if it’s a city visit or something domestic, I take the old-fashioned approach: I buy a map! I’ll research neighborhoods and find out what part of town I want to be in. Then I head online—reading reviews, maybe watching an Anthony Bourdain episode. But I try to not over-plan. It’s best to just give yourself a few “must-sees” and then go explore what’s nearby.
Enjoy some summer fun with Litner + Deganian and send your best “Arman Pose” in an out-of-town spot to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to our Facebook page by July 31. The winner will receive $500 toward his or her favorite charity.