I’m so happy to kick off a new year of Frequent Flyers with the following lovely lady. To those of you into home decor and design you probably already recognize Nicole; the woman behind the uber popular blog So Haute – a decorating & lifestyle blog that has garnered recognition from some of the top media outlets including: House Beautiful, HGTV.com, Elle Decor.com, The Washington Post, Lonny Magazine, and several others.
For those of you who are “meeting” Nicole for the first time I’ll let you know that Nicole is that girl that everyone wants to be friends with. She’s gorgeous, has an amazing job that she’s fantastic at, a beautiful home (that she decorated herself), an enviable wardrobe…and did I mention she’s nice too. Like, really really nice. And I can say this all, confidently, because Nicole is one of the handful of bloggers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting “in real life” and who I now consider a friend.
If you’re into design & decorating and don’t already have So Haute bookmarked do that now – it’ll be one of the best things you do all day….but don’t forget to come back and check out some of her travel tips, tales, and recommendations – including an amazing hotel in the Turks & Caicos (one day I’ll stay there!).
Can you share a favourite travel memory (in 5 sentences or less):
Gosh, there are so many but in general my favorite travel memories involve laying on a deserted beach looking out at the ocean and listening to the waves. I adore the beaches of the Caribbean and every chance I get to vacation I head there to explore a new locale. To me there’s nothing more peaceful or relaxing than being on a quiet beach and taking in all of the natural beauty! I also enjoy snorkeling and exploring underwater life…it’s so beautiful and absolutely incredible to see!
Best thing about traveling:
Having the opportunity to explore new places, learn about new cultures and be inspired.
Toughest thing about traveling:
I travel a lot for work which is much different than travelling for pleasure. It’s exhausting & I’ve had times when I’m on planes going to 2 or 3 cities in a week. That gets exhausting & also makes you really miss home.
Three essentials you always take with you (excluding money & passport):
1. Magazines – They occupy my time on planes and also make for great beach reading.
2. Laptop – I have to stay connected at all times! And when I’m traveling internationally I keep in touch with friends and family via Skype.
3. Camera – So I can document my journey.
A favourite gadget/item/tip you’ve discovered that helps:
Babel Fish is a great website that allows you to translate languages. I always go on and learn a few essential words & phrases to help me get around when I’m traveling to a place where a different language is spoken.
How do you survive long plane rides:
Thankfully I’m one of those people who can fall asleep instantly on planes however I always make sure to bring along enough stuff to occupy my time. I always bring my Macbook and if it’s a long flight I’ll bring an extra battery. GoGo in-flight wi-fi is the best so if the flight offers it I usually spend some of my time surfing the internet and working on my blog. I also have an iPad which is great for reading books.
How do you plan for a trip?
I’m a total planner! I usually research hotels on Tablethotels.com, Concierge.com, Travelandleisure.com and Tripadvisor.com. I research flights on Kayak or through my frequent flier programs depending on where I’m going. I always like to make a list of activities I want to do and places I want to visit and a rough itinerary. Things often change due to weather or other unforeseen factors but it always helps to have a plan.
Favourite things to do/see when you’re in a new city:
Eat local food!
What camera do you carry with you:
I use a Canon G10 and I love it. It’s an advanced digital point and shoot that’s small and light with a wide angle lens, allows you to shoot in RAW mode and offers a lot of the manual settings that you’d find in a DSLR camera. That said after having my G10 for nearly 2 years and getting more and more into photography I’m ready to try my hand at a DSLR and am researching what to buy. I might get a Canon 60D or Canon 7D this year…we’ll see!
Many people want to travel but often don’t – citing reasons like not enough time/money, too busy etc. how are you able to make travel a regular part of your life:
Just do it! And prioritize what’s important to you. I’d rather take a fabulous trip and have the memories forever than to buy an expensive handbag that I probably won’t want to wear 2 years later. I’m lucky that I get to travel a lot domestically and I make it a point to take one if not 2 luxury vacations a year.
Do you collect anything from your trips:
I collect seashells from all of the beach destinations I visit. They’re all sort of jumbled together. I wish I would have had the mind to organize them by location so I could remember where each one came from!
Turks & Caicos
Detroit (going home for Xmas!) (Kay’s Note: Whoops! I received Nicole’s answers before Christmas…but I’m sure she has another fantastic trip planned right around the corner…)
Place your dying to return to:
St Barths – I love it there!
Best hotel you’ve stayed in:
I have a few favorites….I just stayed at the most fabulous resort ever in Turks & Caicos – Amanyara. I also love Le Sereno in St Barths, XV Beacon in Boston and The Chamberlain in LA.
The Maldives, Seychelles or Mauritius – all remote islands in the Indian Ocean. I’d love to go to Bali too!
Finish this sentence: a world without travel is like…..
…..a world without freedom.
Don’t you just want to go and relax on a fabulous beach somewhere in the Caribbean? Thanks so much to Nicole for participating! I loved reading her answers and have now added the Amanyara in the Turks & Caicos as a place I definitely want to stay at.
BTW tons more awesome Frequent Flyer(s) coming soon. Stay tuned!
+photo credits: all pics taken by Nicole of the blog So Haute and used with permission.
Frequent Flyer spotlights a blogger I enjoy who also happens to love traveling and exploring new places. In Frequent Flyer I ask them a few questions to get their thoughts, tips, suggestions, and travel tales – in hopes of inspiring YOU (and myself!) on future travels. In the Frequent Flyer feature I don’t just talk to travel bloggers – I talk to bloggers of various backgrounds (design, photography, fashion, life…) Some take many quick trips a year, others travel frequently for work, and others take a handful of longer jaunts abroad – but they all have great stories and tips and I hope you enjoy this feature!