Insiders

Nicholas Campbell, Founder of Narcissus Arts

Nick Campbell started his company, Narcissus Arts, with the goal of making art more accessible for people he knew – the first time art buyers and art lovers in their 20s and 30s, who can afford to spend maybe a few grand or up to 10k, but who are typically ignored by an industry that seems to cater only to oligarchs and millionaires. Prior to founding his business, Nick gained experience in the Contemporary Art World in pretty big deal places like the Victoria MiroWhite Cube galleries in London, and Christie’s Auction House in New York. He also says sage stuff like, “I think art, at its best, provides viewers with a bit of escapism.” We couldn’t agree more, so we decided to ask him for some notes on some of his artful escapes.

Nick has been featured in publications like The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and the BBC amongst others (but also, on Safara!). He was chosen as the UK’s best art consultant under 35 by Spears Magazine in 2014, and on British GQ’s “Self Made List” as a top entrepreneur in 2017. He’s also a member of the ‘New 100 Club’, which is a collection of the top 100 young art collectors worldwide.  And there’s more- but it’s a lot. He’s a busy dude.

Nick was born and raised in London, but is constantly on the road – from San Francisco to Costa Rica to New Delhi and beyond, he’s been there, or is planning to go there asap…. Given his naturally curious mind and aesthetic eye from being in the Art World, we asked him to dish on his favorite hotels, where to sit on a cheap flight to Ibiza, Jude Law, and more. Read on!

Follow Nicholas Campbell on Instagram @nickcampbellna

What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

Personalized bicycles.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

A bathtub.

What is/are your favorite “douchey offices” while traveling?

By the pool of the Setai, Miami. The rooftop of Soho House, Istanbul, the lobby of the Imperial in Delhi

Art being your main passion – what hotels have memorable art collections that are worth a peek, whether you’re staying there or not?

The Thief (Oslo), The Dolder Grand (Switzerland), Cavalieri (Rome)

If you could outfit any 3 hotels in the world with Narcissus Arts’ works, what would they be?

The new Peninsula that will open soon in London, the Four Seasons in Singapore and the Delano in Miami as it needs a facelift.

What’s your best tip for finding under the radar / unique galleries while traveling?

Contact me.

This is a work Nicholas has purchased for his clients – “Melvin Sokolsky’s iconic ‘Side Kick’ photograph from @peterfettermangallery

What is your most used travel emoji?

Smiley face with heart eyes.

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

Jude Law.

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (travel partner- dead or alive), and why?

Richard Ayoade as his hatred of traveling would be endlessly amusing.

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

Personally, my go-to is the Conde Nast Traveller ‘City Guide’. They never fail to be on point and up to date.

Best travel advice you’ve ever received, and from whom?

When going to Ibiza, always pay extra to sit at the very front of the plane.

Anxiety and burnout are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?

I’m lucky that I can fall asleep almost immediately when traveling, so I, in fact, tend to use the actual voyage as my downtime.   (EDITOR’S NOTE: this is pretty annoying, huh! That’s the one super power we’d love….to be able to sleep anywhere, any time;)).

This is the new Barcelona Beach House

Do you have any favorite travel hacks?

Always be polite and always give it a go, you’d be surprised at how many times you can get an upgrade, or at least get a better seat- just by being nice and asking.

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

Costa Rica. Even on the side of the road, the coffee is excellent.

What is your favorite travel book – for at home, or abroad- and why?

Bill Bryson ‘Notes From a Small Island’. It’s an amusing read

What’s your favorite room service experience ever?

I’m a simple person, a free bottle of something, preferably in an ice bucket for when you arrive can never fail to impress.

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream (ie open a small hotel in a foreign land or on a remote island), where would you do it?

A Riad in Marrakech is the dream.

Alone or with someone else?

Alone

In-flight wifi- good idea?

No

Window or Aisle?

Window

Bryan Kinkade, Publisher at AFAR Media

Bryan’s career in digital media, marketing and advertising spans over 15 years working on some of the world’s most influential travel brands. Prior to joining AFAR, Bryan was the Travel Director at National Geographic Adventure, Sales Director at the New Yorker, and most recently had served as the Associate Publisher at Outside Magazine. Basically, he has lived the dream travel media career! Obviously we wanted to pick his impressive travel brain for his tips and tricks…

Though super busy being a big deal Publisher of a major global travel media company, Bryan also takes the time to be active in many philanthropic initiatives with organisations involved with conservation (specifically re: water), and sustainability. He has served on several boards including the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa, Benefit Committee of the Africa Foundation, and GreenTeam USA. Bryan is back and forth between the big apple for work and Hastings-on-the-Hudson (where there are far more trees!) where he lives with his wife and 8 year old son.

Follow Bryan Kinkade on Instagram @bkinkade001

Name 3 hotels that you love.

Casa de las Olas, Tulum

Scribners Lodge, Catskills

Anvil Hotel, Jackson Hole

What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

The Amangani in Jackson Hole had a wonderful little wooden carved bison as a gift to all the kids that stayed there.  Such a small touch but one that my son still cherishes and we talk about 4 years on now.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Illy coffee maker in the room.

What are your favorite “douchey offices” while traveling?

Any porch or veranda looking over crystal clear waters.

Where would you go to digital detox or just generally to get off the grid?

Isla Holbox, Mexico (a car-free island north of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, that’s on a Nature Reserve) for a longer stay, or Phoenicia, NY for a quick weekend reboot.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

Bruce, Bruce, Bruce.  (EDITOR’S NOTE: he means “The Boss”….or Springsteen for the youngins;))

What is your most used travel emoji?

At work, eye roll dude. When traveling – sunglasses guy.

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

AFAR Magazine, a New Yorker, plus one random new mag picked up at the airport. I like to roll the dice.

Have you or would you travel alone?

YES! Solo travel breaks down barriers, local access opens up to you more, and conversations are initiated when you’re solo and not staring at a phone or at your travel buddy. 

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

Very biased but honest answer – AFAR.com.  It might not cover everything there is to see in a place – but there’s always going to a be a local/secret gem that you wouldn’t find out about otherwise.

What’s your favorite room service experience ever?

&Beyond Ngala camp in Kruger – sipping on champagne and enjoying Namibian oysters while being visited by a mother elephant taking a drink out of our plunge pool.    (EDITOR’S NOTE: !!!!! Jealous).

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (travel partner- dead or alive), and why?

Robert Young Peloton.  The dude has talked his way out of kidnappings in Colombia, partied with militias in Somalia, and navigated his way through the world’s most dangerous places with an intrepid spirit and open mind. There are a lot of conflict zones and countries in flux I’d love to visit, but only with RYP as a co-pilot!

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?

Digital detox and traveling unplugged can absolutely change the way you look at the world, interact with your family and reflect on your priorities while traveling.  Whether for a long weekend or your next week+ trip, I’d so strongly encouraging everyone to #travelunplugged.

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?

Ambien.

What is your favorite travel book – for at home, or abroad- and why?

On holiday I’m a sucker for crime/spy/mystery paperbacks – usually the first one I see at the airport bookstore or left behind at the lodge/hotel etc where I’m staying.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?

Ever since Levi’s started adding some stretch to their jeans I can leave the sweats behind on red-eye flights and stay warm, comfy and hit the ground ready to go.

Rank the following, from most to least important to you, re: what you seek in a hotel experience:

Unique, comfortable, architecturally intriguing, close to things, dope minibar, has a pool, doesn’t break the bank, locals hang out there.

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream, where would you do it?  

Near a solid surf break in Latin America.

Rapid Fire Round:

Beach or City or Mountain?  Mountain

Alone or with someone else? With someone

In-flight wifi- good idea: yes or no? TERRIBLE idea.

Lost luggage, or lost phone? Phone.

Airplane food- Y/N?  Yes.

Fantasy minibar/fridge item? Local IPA.

Early check-in/ late check-out?  Early.

Favorite subscription service you’ll never delete?  Amazon.

In-flight cocktail –  Vodka.

Favorite travel app – Fishbrain.

Window or Aisle?  Window. Always.

Georgia Zeavin, Brand Consultant and Creative Producer

A California native, Georgia has been braving winters on the east coast for 10 years. After her most recent role as the Executive Producer at Lemonade Creative, she branched out on her own as a brand consultant and creative producer for a breadth of fashion and lifestyle clients in NYC. She’s worked with rad brands you may have heard of, like Goop, Virgin Atlantic, J.Crew, Negative Underwear, HBO, and more. Prior to producing, Georgia was a brand strategist at Horizon Media and curated national partnerships for Gilt Groupe.

Though her career as a “multi-hyphenate” has her working on everything from tablescapes to strategy plans, her true love is traveling with a pen and camera in hand. She is passionate about storytelling and story receiving equally, and finds that the best tales are told over a good plate of food in dim lighting.

Follow Georgia Zeavin on Instagram @georgia_cassidy

Off the top of your head- 3 favorite hotels, anywhere in the world. Go!

La Reserve de Beaulieu in France for the wildly overpriced club sandwich and the immaculate attention to detail. The Kamaroti Suites on Sifnos in Greece –  everything about the island was magic, including this boutique hotel. Ventana Big Sur: I am a California native and getting away to Big Sur was a family favorite for us. I haven’t been back in some time, but it’s such a special place.

Where would you go to digital detox, or just to generally get off the grid?

I just took a big trip to Peru. During my month down there, I trekked the Cañón del Colca. No cell phones, no wifi, just you and a truly breathtaking landscape. So far, that has been my favorite digital escape, but I have a few more “off the grid” places on my list for 2019!

Have you or would you ever travel alone?

Yes – I actually just did a big 6-week solo trip in South America this summer. I think if you are lucky enough to find the time, space, and means to travel for an elongated period of time alone – it’s incredible. The perspective you get from 30k feet, without the soundboards and the constant communication is invaluable. I’ll be writing a lot more on this topic soon!

What is your favorite travel book – for at home, or abroad?

Hemingway always reminds me of my Dad, who was my favorite travel partner, so A Moveable Feast would have to be one. Recently, I read Donna Tartt’s A Secret History while traveling between Shelter Island, CA, and NYC. I’m a little late to this one, but I am a huge fan of her writing and this book is definitely one you can get lost in during those hours in transit.

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?    

The best cup of coffee I ever had wasn’t at a luxurious coffee shop. I was staying at a bed and breakfast in Jardin, a small town in the coffee country in Colombia. Every morning, our host would make a beautiful breakfast spread and coffee. Usually, the best coffee that is grown in this region is exported, but that’s slowly changing. Our host made us a french press every morning with freshly grown coffee, most likely from less than a mile away, infused with anise, cinnamon, cardamom, thyme, and panela. I have yet to taste anything like it!

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?    

First and foremost: dark chocolate. I am a chocolate addict so I need it on me at all times. EO Hand Sanitizer, three different chapsticks, my journal, Andalou Naturals Micellar Facial Wipes, one of four books I’m reading, and usually Porta 400 film and my Olympus Stylus Epic.

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream (ie open a small hotel in a foreign land or on a remote island), where would you do it?    

This is a really hard one. I have about six places that come to mind… but I might have to say Portugal.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?    

For me, comfort is a huge priority. I can’t get on a plane in jeans. I usually go the athleisure route, and today it’s easy to feel put together and comfortable with brands like Outdoor Voices, LNDR, and Nagnata. Most of the time I’m in black on black, wearing leggings with whatever Nike sneakers I’m feeling, a cropped tank, and a Uniqlo zip-up. I get super cold on planes so I usually have a pullover handy as well.

In-flight Wifi? No

Window or aisle? Window

Early check-in/late checkout? Late checkout!

Lost luggage or lost phone? Depends on what is in my luggage…

Alice MacKinnon, Plant-Based Chef

Alice is a plant-based chef, cooking teacher, and product consultant living in London. After heading to culinary school at the age of 21, Alice went on to work with the Jamie Oliver group in London, before consulting with some of the UK’s best-known food brands. In 2015, Alice headed to Los Angeles to deepen her love for plant-based foods, where she taught and learned under Matthew Kenney.  Alice can make raw, vegan desserts that taste wonderful- and can make anyone laugh over a glass of wine or two. So we decided to ask her for a few tips on how to stay well while traveling- if not every day. Read on for her wisdom:

Follow Alice MacKinnon on Instagram @alicemackinnon1985

DIY plant dies while cooking in LA

What supplements/ vitamins etc do you travel with that are lifesavers?

Magnesium, for restful sleep + relaxed muscles post-flight.

Essential oils for the flight – I love DeMamiel Altitude Oil, it smells amazing and completely alleviates stress.

Good quality probiotics. 

What’s the best TSA-approved airplane snack?

An avocado. You can grab a sachet of salt and pepper from any airport now, and its filling.

Where would you go to digital detox, or just generally to get off the grid?

To Norfolk, England, where my family has a home (there’s limited WiFi and it’s extremely peaceful) – just being there is a tonic! Or I’d do Panchakarma (an Ayurvedic therapy) in India, but that’s more of a commitment…

One of Alice’s favourite restaurants in LA, try Shima in Venice, and definitely order the spiced ginko nuts!

Have you or would you ever travel alone?

Absolutely. I love traveling alone. I like doing whatever I want without having to discuss the details!

Best Travel advise you’ve ever received?

Food wise, if there’s a more expensive restaurant on your list but dinner isn’t an option, try going for lunch. There are often lunch specials that tend to be cheaper, and if you go mid-week it’s quieter, too.

Also – ALWAYS pack earplugs and an eye mask. Game changers. 

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?

Don’t eat on the plane. Just drink A TON of water, more than you think you need. It really works. Eat before or after the flight. 

Alice’s healthy “nut pulp” cookies (made from leftover homemade nut milks) are a treat for the eyes, as well as the taste buds)

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

In Tanzania, at Nomad– a moving safari camp. Every morning they bought fresh coffee and fresh shortbread to your room. It sounds small – but I still dream about that shortbread. The camp had no electricity, but you barely noticed because the attention to detail was extraordinary.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?

I wear the same thing for every flight! Vince slip-ons, Lululemon pants, and a cozy sweater. I always have a big scarf because I am usually cold.

In-flight wifi – good idea? NO. Enjoy the offline time.  

Airplane food? NOOOOOOO.

Window or Aisle? AISLE! So you can get up to walk around, and go pee after all that water you’re drinking.

Cha-Cha Matcha in NYC is one of Alice’s favorite pit stops for a caffeinated pick me up- or a soft serve matcha swirl

Ted Gushue, Photographer and Digital Strategy Consultant

Ted Gushue is a Digital Strategy consultant and Photographer living in London and working around the world for brands like Porsche. But he’s also like the cat who has nine lives…except he isn’t a cat, and he’d probably hate that we just wrote that. Ted is your (above) average ex-New Yorker multi-hyphenate – he had his hand at successful DJ-ing and wrote for The Observer, worked in marketing at Grandlife Hotels (which owns The Roxy, amongst others), and then become the Editor in Chief of Supercompressor and later moved to LA to be Editor of Petrolicious– one of the world’s most popular classic car websites (2MM unique visitors a month!)….all before even turning 30. Ted is a trained photographer, writer, and editor, and has shot for publications like Architectural Digest.  He loves Aperol spritzes, traveling by the seat of his pants (200k miles last year would be a conservative estimate!), Slim Aarons, a great blue suit, and of course his Leica. His favorite car is a Porsche 911 S built in 1976.

Follow Ted Gushue on Instagram @tedgushue

What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

The Peninsula Hong Kong will embroider your initials on your pillow cases – one of the coolest things I’ve ever come across.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

I like being able to have my shoes polished when I leave them outside the door at night before bed. It’s a small thing that really makes my day. 

What is/are your favorite “douchey offices” while traveling?

My whole life is one long string of lustworthy offices. Today I’m working from a houseboat on the Thames river just off of Chelsea embankement. Yes I am listening to Yacht Rock on Sonos. 

You travel for work- a LOT. How did you get into doing what you do?

I built and ran a few magazines while living in New York which lead to me having to hire a lot of people to do things that I wanted to do. Like go to events around the world and document them from the inside. Picking up my camera again in 2015 really changed the course of my life. It allowed me the freedom to tell a story from end to end. To not just be the writer, but also the photographer and the editor and the publisher – all in one.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get into the travel industry, or have travel as a critical part of their job?

If you are waiting for a dream company that will give you a $200k annual travel budget, you’re not going to find it. You can however train your work environment to let you work from where you need to be happy. I’m happy on the road, but you might be happy working from Barbados while your company is based in Boston. Depending on the nature of your work, there may be a way that you can do that same job while filling in the gaps with your own pocket money.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

Here’s my Spotify playlist that I keep most updated and listen to every day. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Seriously follow this! Ted was a professional DJ in NYC in a past life…and has the best & most eclectic taste in music).

What is your most used travel emoji?

The Crying laughing emoji, because sometimes my life is so hard to believe (even for myself) that I just have to laugh.

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

Photographer Peter Beard.

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (travel partner- dead or alive), and why?

Haven’t met them yet. Traveling alone is bliss. No waiting.

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

I’m quite lucky that I have a really engaged group of people that believe in the work that I’m doing, or at least are fans of what I share on instagram. If I’m in a new place (Bangkok for instance, where I did this interview for you!) I will take a photo of a landmark, and say I’m new in town and want to know whats up. 10/10 times it results in someone fascinating reaching out and meeting up with me for a beer. The world is much smaller than it seems, and the chances that you know someone who knows someone who has been to the little town you’re currently visiting is higher than you think.

Best Travel advise you’ve ever received, and from whom?

“Buy the ticket.” – Justin Shaffer

Anxiety and burn out are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?

Nothing cures a bad hangover like getting on a plane and fleeing the country, or even better – the continent. 

Do you have any favorite travel hacks (ways to score an upgrade, methods of getting your meal first on a flight, etc)?

Bank your points with one airline alliance. I keep Exec Platinum status with American which lets me use the 1st class BA lounge at Heathrow.

(EDITOR’s NOTE: go to waitlist.safara.travel and sign up for our waitlist – then you can access the best loyalty for boutique hotels, too!).

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco.

What is your favorite travel book – for at home, or abroad- and why?

Everything that Slim Aarons has done. He inspires a lot of my work.

What’s your favorite room service experience ever?

I once had my sunglasses removed from my backpack in my bedroom at the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel in St Moritz Switzerland and brought down to the outdoor bar where I was eating steak tartare and it had become too sunny. Never before had a hotel offered me that level of service.

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream (ie open a small hotel in a foreign land or on a remote island), where would you do it?

Italy, Porto Ercole to be specific. 

Beach or City or Mountain? 

Mountain – I’m the global ambassador to St Moritz so I think I have to say this?

Alone or with someone else? Alone

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no? No

Lost luggage, or lost phone? Luggage

Airplane food- Y/N? Sure

Fantasy mini bar/fridge item? Sparkling Water

Early check-in/ late check-out? Both

Favourite subscription service you’ll never delete? (ex: netflix/spotify) All of it

In flight cocktail – Y/N? What kind? Bloody Mary

Favourite travel app? Priority Pass lounge app 

Window or Aisle? Window

Negar Mohammadi, Director of Brand Marketing at Vogue

As the Head of Editorial Partnerships and Brand Marketing at Vogue, Negar oversees all aspects of the magazine’s promotion – from the September Issue to collaborations with rad brands like Nike and Comme de Garcons.  She has lived in downtown Manhattan for the past 14 years, and is grateful for her Chicago roots and Persian values in keeping her grounded and kind. Surfing, family, and friends are her top three favorite things, and she balances her busy career with regular (& sometimes rogue!) surf trips with her best friends.

Follow Negar Mohammadi on Instagram @negarmoh

Name 3 favorite hotels off the top of your head!

The Edition Hotel in Miami, Hotel Costes in Paris, and Le Sireneuse in Positano.

Where would you go to digital detox, or just generally to get off the grid?

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Everything you need is there (surf, delicious food) and the best friends you’ll make are in the water where there is no wi-fi.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

Gypsy by Fleet Wood Mac, Night Moves by Bob Segar, Wild Thoughts by Rihanna and DJ Khalid.

What is your most used travel emoji?    

Surfing girl emoji. 

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

Silk eye mask by Slip. Doesn’t matter where you’re staying, once you shut your eyes – you feel like you’re sleeping in luxury.

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

Kim Kardashian — Wait, actually Kourtney. I’m closer to her size.

Have you or would you travel alone?

In a world where you’re always on someone else’s schedule, nothing is more luxurious than having the freedom to do what you want, when you want.

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

Instagram!

What’s your favorite room service experience ever?    

French fries at the Hotel Martinez in Cannes — they arrive in the most elegant silver bucket. The presentation pretty much negates all calories.

Best Travel advise you’ve ever received, and from whom?

From Maya (Co-Founder of Safara!) – she encouraged me to travel alone with an open mind and agenda, letting the universe surprise me with its magic.

Anxiety and burnout are big topics these days. How do you combat them, and how do you use travel to do so?    

I make sure to have a trip planned every 6 weeks (hoping to make it once a month). The excitement and anticipation are enough to light me up and help push me through anything. The moment I get on a flight or arrive somewhere new, I feel an immediate wave of happiness that washes away any anxiety or feelings of burnout.

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?    

Instead of napping when I land, I move my body any way I can – be it a run, or even a set of jumping jacks and other 80s aerobics moves in whatever space I have. Otherwise, I drink tons of water and do anything it takes to get on the local schedule.

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?    

Double espresso from Cala di Volpe in Sardinia. Served with a perfect square of gianduja chocolate.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?    

Black skinny L’Agence jeans, black James Perse v-neck, Common Projects pink sneakers with a big black cashmere sweater – as I’m always freezing on flights. The L’agence jeans have so much stretch in them, they feel like yoga pants.

Rank the following, from most to least important to you, re: what you seek in a hotel experience: unique, comfortable, architecturally intriguing, close to things, dope minibar, has a pool, doesn’t break the bank, locals hang out there.

1. close to things since I love being able to explore on foot, 2. comfortable, 3. unique, 4. locals hang there, 5. architecturally intriguing, 6. pool, 7. minibar, 8. doesn’t break the bank

Beach or City or Mountain? Beach!

Airplane food- Y/N? Hard NO. I always bring snacks

Early check-in/ late check-out? Late check-out – insurance for whatever the night before has brought you!

Emma Svensson, Fashion Photographer and Mountain Climber

Emma Svensson started out as a photographer in 2002 by shooting music artists and concerts, and has since then grown to become one of the most hired fashion photographers in Sweden. Emma now runs a namesake studio, where she employs 12 other photographers to help take on all the projects that come her way.

Until a year ago, Emma knew nothing about rock climbing, but after watching a life-changing film (see below!), she decided to break the world record and climb the highest mountain in every European country within a year- that’s 49 peaks total! Ever the over-achiever, she actually ended up climbing 61 mountains in a year instead, but who’s counting…

We were utterly impressed by Emma’s bravery and travel stories, and wanted to share more on her unique (and sometimes death-defying) experiences- read on, below!

Follow Emma Svensson on Instagram @emmasvenssonphoto

Have you or would you travel alone?

Yes, I love to travel alone! I can do whatever I feel like, and never have to compromise. I also get to know so many more people than I ever would if I was with a friend all the time; I feel like traveling alone develops you as an individual. It also makes you more spontaneous- I’m never scared when I travel by myself, for whatever reason. I also feel very welcomed when I’m traveling alone, wherever I go.

What inspired you to start mountain climbing?

I was on a plane to New Zealand, and decided to randomly watch the movie “Everest.” After it was over, I had this life-changing feeling in my body. I have only felt like that one other time in my life: when I photographed my first concert. And that was why I became a photographer. I just knew I had to do this! The primal instinct was strong, and impossible to ignore.

What mountain had the largest impact on you, and why?

Monte Rosa Dufourspitze – the highest one in Switzerland. When I climbed it, I did it with a friend that had not done alpine climbing before, and it was the first time I was “the guide.” To be able to feel like I could lead a climb of that caliber only a year after I started rock climbing was amazing. Also, it was the hardest mountain in the 49 peaks!

What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?

Everything at the Tree Hotel in Northern Sweden. It’s such a cool place! I love the mirror cube, it’s like art.

What beauty items can you not travel without?

I climb mountains. So I don’t really care about beauty. But I would never go up there without sunscreen. That is the only thing I take on the mountains except for toothpaste and deodorant. I must be the most careless person working in fashion in Sweden when it comes to beauty 😉

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Power outlet next to the bed. I always work from bed at hotels. I don’t know why, but I’ve found that most desks that I’ve encountered are not really made for working (either the chair is too low/high, or it’s just not comfortable). I want to be able to charge both my laptop and phone next to the bed- I think this is a modern necessity!

Where would you go to digital detox / get off the grid?

I go to the mountains or to National Parks. I love to travel to remote places where there is no wifi connection. Patagonia, the Highlands of Iceland, New Zealand – they all fit the bill. Next on my list is Nepal, where I will go up a mountain on a one-month long expedition. Climbing mountains are like meditation.

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

Elastic heart – Sia

I dare you – The XX

Life Round Here – James Blake

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

My phone, camera, and laptop. I always have work to do, and I don’t trust to check those things in, just in case. When I remember to, I bring Swedish candy as well. I love sweets, but think we have the best kinds in Sweden. Unfortunately, I always eat everything on the plane…so they don’t last long!

Who is your dream “co-pilot” (or ‘travel partner’- dead or alive), and why?

I would love to go on a climbing road trip with Alex Honnold (a pro climber, and the only person to have free-soloed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park!). That would be so inspiring.

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?

I notice that the more you travel, the better it gets somehow. I just sleep everywhere, all the time. On the flight, in the taxi… trying to get into the new time zone as soon as possible.

Beach or City or Mountain? This one is obvious!: Mountain

Early check-in/ late check-out? Late check out!!

Window or Aisle? Window

Maria Maleh, Art Director and Blogger

Maria is one those talented creatives that do lots of things (otherwise known as a “multi-hyphenate”), but most of the time she is a professional photographer, blogger, and Art Director. Also known as @MariaPizzeria, she has lived in London since 2011, but was born and raised in Sweden. She loves cooking (she even has a separate Instagram account for food & recipe ‘grams), as well as showcasing her predilections for skincare & beauty. She also loves chilling with cats.

Maria is the Co-Founder of Palmetto Studios, an art direction and graphic design studio that she runs together with her favorite person, Justin Moore.

One of her largest sources of inspiration is traveling – read on to learn more specifics re: her travel tips and tricks…

Follow Maria Maleh on Instagram @MariaPizzeria

Being an avid social media user, how much are you on your phone while traveling?

Unfortunately a lot. I use it to navigate, take photos, and keep up with my emails and social channels.

What does your activity on Instagram look like while traveling?

I usually take a lot of pictures, but I don’t feel that I have to post them… I love when I can take time off from social media while traveling. You can always post later!

Do you plan your outfits before traveling?

I don’t plan whole outfits in detail, but I always plan what shoes to bring. That’s the most important for me. After that, my skincare products get the most attention. It’s very important to me that I bring all the products I need with me…unfortunately this can make carry-on tricky at times!

What beauty items can you not travel without?

I can’t travel without my The Ordinary – Squalene oil, Glossier – Invisible shield, Glossier – Stretch concealer and Laneige – Lip sleeping mask, they’re lifesavers.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

It has to have an iron!

What 3 songs are on your OOO playlist?

The sweetest taboo – Sade

Hold tight – Change

Candy – Cameo

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

My cameras, beauty products, and a power bank.

If you could swap suitcases with anyone in the world at baggage claim, who would you swap with?

It would be with Reese Blutstein, the influencer and stylist from @double3xposure 

Best Travel advise you’ve ever received, and from whom?

Be prepared. Make lists, do your research and look things up, and pack in advance. There is nothing worse than leaving for a trip and feeling stressed. Not sure who this came from, but as a Virgo it makes sense that it’s my advice to myself.

If you could quit your job and follow the “Mamma Mia” dream (ie open a small hotel in a foreign land or on a remote island), where would you do it?

THAILAND! <3

What do you ultimately get out of traveling?

Relaxation, good food, and gathering as much inspiration as I can to bring with me home. A good tan is always a plus!

Beach or City or Mountain? BEACH

Lost luggage, or lost phone? Lost luggage

Airplane food? NOOOOOO

Fantasy minibar/fridge item? Ice cream!

Sarah Murrell, Founder of BY SARAH LONDON

Our latest /Insider, Sarah Murrell, founded the all-natural and organic, plant-based skincare brand BY SARAH LONDON with her sister, Lauren. Sarah passionately believes in empowering our wellness choices (BY SARAH even details a full ingredient list on the front labels of their vegan and cruelty-free products!). Sarah’s inspiration and motivation to help us all make natural, organic skin care choices began with her sister, Lauren’s recovery from leukemia in 2012 (when she couldn’t find any products that had clear and natural ingredients, so she started mixing her own!). Prior to launching her own company, Sarah spent 10 years in branding and communications for the world’s leading beauty brands- so she knows her stuff…read on for her travel tips and tricks.

Follow Sarah Murrell on Instagram @bysarahlondon

What beauty items can you not travel without?

Our organic skincare minis! For long-haul flights, I apply 2-3 drops of our Organic Facial Oil so that my skin remains hydrated and deeply-nourished, and top up just before landing for healthy, radiant skin on arrival.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

I love a roll top bath! – does that count? There’s an amazing one at Gleneagles– an incredible luxury hotel in Scotland that made me feel fully rested and rejuvenated after celebrating a special birthday.

Where would you go to digital detox or just generally to get off the grid?

I recently took a trip to Zermatt, Switzerland and cannot recommend it enough for the nature, breathtaking scenery and sense of calm. We stayed at the Hotel Christiania, which is family-run and has the most charming & welcoming atmosphere, and an equally as spectacular setting- nestled at the foot of the Swiss Alps, with views of the Matterhorn.

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

I’m never without our Organic Lip Balm (a wonderful multi-tasker), S’well water bottle and podcast series (currently listening to How I Built This).

Have you or would you travel alone?

Yes! Traveling alone is an amazing sense of achievement and adventure!

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

I look for the latest plant-based restaurants and yoga studios to give me the lay of the land. In NYC, I love by CHLOE New York (for plant-based “fast food,” any time) and the restaurant The Butcher’s Daughter – but I always recommend getting there early, as the queue is often out the door!

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?

Water, water, water!

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

I’m a lover of tea, and the most aromatic brew was in Copenhagen at Royal Smushi Cafe – scent, flavour and even the tea cup itself were divine!

Beach or City or Mountain? Beach in the winter / (Swiss) Mountains in the summer!

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no? No!

Early check-in/ late check-out? Late check-out

  • 1
  • 5
  • 6

Thank you for visiting Safara!

© Copyright 2018 Safara UK Limited. All rights reserved.