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Valentine's Day Gifts for the Well-Traveled Couple

GQ Valentine's Day Gifts for the Well-Traveled Couple | Alicia Mara and Leo Chan

We were recently featured in a GQ article, which you can read here. We were so excited to be a part of this project and wanted to share the article on the blog with you!

Leo Chan of Levitate Style, a menswear and travel blog, is a pro at buying gifts for his lady—including well-timed jewelry.
Chan and his girlfriend, Alicia Mara, have been together since meeting at college in Buffalo eight years ago. “I understand Alicia’s need for love and appreciation, and I show her that by getting her gifts,” he explains. “I’ll be browsing somewhere and thinking about her–if I see a pair of shoes she’ll like, I buy it.”

A recent example: Alicia, a book-lover, had her eye on an enormous coffee-table volume about the libraries of the world. She and Leo were changing apartments at the time, and neither felt like adding to their packing list. Then a few weeks after Christmas, once they’d settled into the new place, Leo surprised her with it.

When it comes to jewelry, he’s a little pickier. “I know she has a certain style, so jewelry isn’t just another thing I would normally buy,” Leo admits. “But Pandora Jewelry is definitely a brand I trust. I know that it’s quality.” And the brand’s Valentine’s Day collection has stylish hand-finished pieces that convey a romantic message—with the elegant simplicity Alicia likes.

GQ Valentine's Day Gifts for the Well-Traveled Couple | Alicia Mara and Leo Chan
ring and a bracelet from Pandora’s ‘You Are Loved’ collection appealed to her right away. “I like daintier pieces, and I tend to wear more gold than silver,” she says. “And my ‘love language,’ as they say, is words of affirmation. Something that says LOVED on it is definitely a reminder of that.”

Two charm pieces with Cupid’s arrow as a motif spoke to her, too. “I like the symbolism of the arrow—it’s a cute nod to the whole Cupid idea without being too loud,” she notes. “And this idea of a flying arrow reminded me of all our trips together.”

GQ Valentine's Day Gifts for the Well-Traveled Couple | Alicia Mara and Leo Chan
They’ve notched a few of those. Three years ago, the couple quit their jobs to take advantage of an opportunity to go on a five-month world cruise. They’ve visited a total of 41 countries together since meeting eight years ago, when both were college students in Buffalo.

They’ve also learned a lot about life together closer to home, including how to make the most of Valentine’s Day. “It’s not so much about glamour, it’s a moment apart from our work life—we’re not working, just being present,” says Alicia, who does photography and works on back-end operations for Levitate Style.

For Leo, the most romantic day of the year is not one for experimenting with restaurants. “I take her out for the cuisine she likes most—Italian,” he says. “It’s a no-brainer.” Sort of like saying ‘You Are Loved’ with a thoughtful piece of Valentine’s Day jewelry.