Road Warrior

Damien Dernoncourt, CEO of jeweler John Hardy, eats sushi all over the world, and avoids the hotel gym.

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By Diane Tegmeyer

damien_dernoncourt.03.jpg
The French-born Dernoncourt gives his feet a rest in SoHo, near his offices in central Hong Kong.

(Fortune Magazine) -- Running jeweler John Hardy takes endurance. The company is based in Hong Kong and has offices in Bali, and the men's and women's styles are sold all over the world through jewelers and stores like Saks and Neiman Marcus.

Luckily, endurance is something Damien Dernoncourt has in spades: Every year he participates in Racing the Planet, a six-day, 150-mile event in the world's most difficult desert terrains, such as the Gobi and the Sahara. The race raises funds for his favorite causes (Bali orphanages, schools in Nepal), and it's not a bad way to stay in shape either. Here, Dernoncourt shares his tips for slightly less extreme travel.

1. Days on the road: Over 200 days each year.

2. Favorite destination: I love Bali, which is where the John Hardy business was actually started. But when I vacation, I go to France so that my wife and I can catch up with our families.

3. Best hotel gym: No such thing. I hate hotel gyms. Instead I take my Asic running shoes everywhere I go because every city in the world has a trail somewhere. Also, when I run, I take a small voice recorder and make notes for myself.

4. Check or carry: I only do carryon. That way I can arrive at the airport half an hour later and get to my destination half an hour earlier. I use the big Longchamps folding bags because they aren't full of hangers and pockets that take up so much space.

5. Carryon contents: I pack jeans because I can dress them up with one of my jackets by Dries Van Noten. I also bring my favorite shirt, which I had made at Raymond Lo's in Hong Kong in 50 colors. I always have on some cuff links that were designed by John Hardy just for me.

6. Preferred airline: If I can, I use Cathay Pacific. I'm typically on a 777, and I like to have a window seat in the front of the plane. I usually request seats 11-A or 11-K because they are separated from the rest of business class.

7. Keeping it clean: John Hardy has a program in which we add up how much carbon emissions we generate by flying. Then to offset that pollution we plant bamboo trees on the coast of Bali. Last year alone we planted more than 500 trees.

8. Favorite hotel: In New York I stay at the Maritime Hotel in the Meatpacking District. I request a corner room because they're larger.

9. Top meal: Sushi. It's my favorite food, and I eat it everywhere I go. I think the best I've ever had is at Kaļ on the Rue du Louvre in Paris.

10. Spare time: I like to wander stores like Bergdorf Goodman and Saks. I like to see what products women are buying. I check out the customer service, because at the end of the day that is what it's all about.

11. Jet-lag fighter: A bloody mary. It's always morning someplace.  To top of page

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