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Ben Cramer on wanting to unplug (someday), negronis, and walking off the vacation calories

We caught up with the singer-songwriter to talk about all things travel

Ben Cramer and his fiancee, Fanny Algenax, in Sweden with their rescue pup.Handout

One of the things indie singer-songwriter Ben Cramer, better known as Old Sea Brigade, enjoys about being a touring musician is the traveling and how it “takes me out of my comfort zone.” Cramer, 31, and his fiancee, Fanny Algenax, a jewelry designer, split their time between Nashville and Gothenburg, Sweden, where Algenax is from. “We’re both so passionate about travel, so when we’re in Gothenburg, it’s easy to hop on a cheap flight to explore other parts of Europe,” said Cramer, who will be performing at Café 939 at Berklee College of Music on Nov. 15. The Atlanta native, who just released an album, “5AM Paradise,” said he always enjoys playing in Boston (most recently, he performed at the House of Blues in April). “The crowds are really friendly and they kind of keep me on my toes,” Cramer said, adding that this is his first tour with a five-piece band. “One of the things about playing live is reinterpreting the songs to fit the lineup of musicians. I still want to stay true to the original songs, but mold them into a special, unique live experience based off the lineup of musicians I have with me for this tour.” We caught up with Cramer, who with his fiancee is the proud owner of Rasmus, a rescue dog from Romania, to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? I love traveling too much to choose just one. I live in Sweden part-time so my fiancee and I like to take advantage of the cheap flights around Europe. A couple years ago we flew to Barcelona for a weekend in November. That was a particularly special trip. It was perfect walking weather so we walked around the whole city discovering little neighborhoods. I guess because of the time of year it wasn’t overcrowded either. We probably had a glass of wine for every mile we walked. And we walked a lot of miles.


Favorite food or drink while vacationing? I’m a big negroni fan. That’s usually my go-to but I can only have one, otherwise I get a headache. Not very rock ‘n’ roll I suppose. Food-wise, I always go for whatever the local cuisine is.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Croatia has always been high on my list of places I’ve been wanting to visit. It just looks incredible from all aspects. I just finished [watching] the Croatia episode of [the Netflix series] “Somebody Feed Phil” and that made me want to go even more. I guess I haven’t been because I haven’t had enough free time to go there over the last few years. I want to make sure I have a few weeks to really take it in and hop around to different islands.


One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? I wish I could leave it behind, but I always need my laptop. I’d love to do a trip where I unplug from all my devices, though that’ll take some practice. Maybe I can try not looking at my phone for an hour first.

Aisle or window? If it’s a long flight, I take the aisle because I like to get up to stretch my legs often. But anything under three hours or so, I always choose the window. I find flying really therapeutic when it’s a nice day. I love getting lost while looking out the window at all the different landscapes. There’s a reflective magic to it.


Favorite childhood travel memory? When I was 16, my dad and I flew down to Florida to go deep sea fishing with his old college roommate. I knew nothing — and still don’t — about fishing, so it took me completely out of my comfort zone. We woke up at 3 a.m. to drive 80 miles off the coast in this tiny boat. I caught a tuna that almost pulled me overboard. It was an exhausting day and at times not the most enjoyable, but I look back on that trip with so many special memories that I cherish to this day.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? I probably don’t eat very healthy when I’m traveling. There’s too much great food to worry about that when you’re on vacation. I do love to walk a lot, so maybe that counterbalances it.

Best travel tip? Be open to new experiences and allow those experiences to challenge your perspectives. I think you have to be patient too. The AC may be broken or there’s a loud party next to your hotel. That’s all part of it. I love traveling because it takes me out of my comfort zone. That creates memories.