Wanderer

Bypassing Airline Limits

It’s fair to say, no matter how much I cut down the contents of my suitcase, no matter how strict I am with myself or how many hybrid items I buy (note, an IPod Touch and all-in-one makeup have saved me so much space and weight), I always struggle to remain within the 10KG weight limit of certain airlines.

The reason is simple: I’m a photographer. If I were not, I would not have a bulky camera, with its heavy lenses, and those little items that build up fast; chargers, spare batteries, blah blah blah. If I were not a photographer, I would drop the laptop, and all of the extras that go with it – again, charger, external hard drive, mouse (how some people can use Photoshop sans mouse, I don’t know). I could get by with a tablet – an IPod Touch, even. Camera – check, access to WordPress – check, email – check, the ability to show off to the world via various social networking sites – check. Kindle’s app – check. And then I swear, my travelling ways would be much simpler. I would not have been forced to swap a backpack for a suitcase to save myself from having to carry my life with my limited upper body strength… by limited I mean, barely existent, it seems.

Nevertheless, I am a photographer, and while my ‘kit bag’ is way more limited than so many that I have seen on the road, being an equipment minimalist, I did the maths last night, and the results were scary. I calculated exactly how much weight my camera, lenses (and extra snappity-snap related bits) and my laptop (and extra clickity-click related bits) take up alone.

My basic equipment comes to a grand total of 4.5KG. 4.5KG – that weight comes from a grand total of the following list:

1x 5D MKII

1x zoom lens, e.g. 24-105mm

1x 50mm prime lens

Camera charger

2x batteries

Several CompactFlash cards

A couple of filters

Camera bag

A teeny tiny cleaning kit

My Dell Ultrabook – aka – the working man’s MacBook Air.

Laptop charger

External Hard drive

Mouse

Laptop sleeve

IPod touch

IPod charger

Phone

Phone charger

Portable charger (because something always loses charge just at the wrong moment)

Various camera-to-laptop, laptop-to-screen, charger-to-blah-blah-blah cables

And that 4.5KG total is not including the bag in which I weighed it all. Had I included my tripod, the total weight would have included an extra 1.8KG. So that’s 6.3KG out of 10KG used up on equipment alone.

That doesn’t leave much for clothes, even if I do try to select the lightest fabrics, and minimalise my makeup bag.

Sure, I could merge my IPod and Phone and just get an IPhone – I know that that’s the obvious choice, but I’m not about to pay for an insanely expensive phone contract, nor do I want to buy a PAYG IPhone. Most of the time, I’m seriously considering just leaving my phone behind entirely, I use it so rarely.

I’m getting off track… so I’ve given a lot of thought over the years as to how to sneak through airport security with much more than I ought to be carrying. I’ve looked into the recommended methods of others, for example, Benny Lewis of Fluent in Three Months has made a few videos talking about ho he carries more than the weight limit. There are jackets and cargo trousers and magic handbags that turn into cardigans with seven-thousand hidden pockets, such as the Jaktogo, and if you want to go for that method, great, good for you. It’s definitely a clever design, as are the many other similar products, but I’m just… I guess, if I were to be honest with myself, I’m too vain to walk through any airport wearing something that resembles a Mr Potato Head fancy dress costume. Nor am I about to buy an old jacket just to tear a ‘pocket opening’ into the lining and strut through the terminal with a Kim Kardashian bum and boobs because I’ve stuffed the lining with my possessions.

Filling my pockets with items would be my go-to solution, but I don’t really buy clothes with pockets very often. My winter coat has sewn-up pockets for detail only, my jeans are jeggings… I have one fairly new trench coat with pockets, one jumper with pockets, and one cardigan with pockets… that’s about it. Ooo, and my new chinos! Ok, I guess the number of pockets in my wardrobe is growing. If pockets are available, stuff them with as much as you can.

Next – and quite obviously, I think – I layer. I wear as much of my wardrobe as I can get away with – as much as can be worn as an outfit without looking like this:

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I’ll also make sure that I wear my bulkiest item of clothing – my favourite pink skirt, with its 100 layers of tulle. Not only does it take up a lot of space, no matter how carefully I roll or fold it, but it’s quite heavy, so I almost always fly while wearing it.

I also realised that a waist belt over a baggy shirt can be a great way to hold a few items. Purely by chance – this is the sort of discovery one makes while juggling my passport, boarding ticket, wallet, a novel, my IPod/IPad, my camera, and whatever else I’m trying to carry all at once. The waist belt makes a nice little pocket of space, and I’ve been known to shove a few things in there discreetly… though of course, emptying your shirt in the middle of airport security would be rather annoying.

These aren’t my main methods for slipping past strict weight limits though. The combination of a knee-length trench coat and a discreet shoulder bag is my best friend when flying. I’ve learnt that when passing through security, no one questions how many bags I have – I can be carrying a handbag as well as a suitcase, and even if my boarding pass clearly shows that I’m flying with an airline that won’t allow two bags, I need not actually put the handbag away until I’m about to board. And then, rather than shoving it in my suitcase like I see everyone else in line doing at the last moment, I chose a bag with a ‘flat cut’; you’ll need something stiffer than a tote or canvas bag, which will just bulge out rather than holding the contents flat and upright. I bought my particular bag in a small boutique in Budapest, but you’d need something like these:

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Nette’ Leather Goods. Olivia Laptop Case. £185. Available here.
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LK Bennett. Karina mini leather tote. £225. Available here.


Wear it beneath your coat, and no one need know that it’s there. I use mine to hold my laptop, external hard drive, a novel, my travel journal, passport and wallet, which immediately removes about 2KG (1.37 being the laptop) from my suitcase. The second I’m in my seat, I see everyone else awkwardly opening up their suitcases to pull out their handbags, or trying to balance their wallets, books, IPads and phones on their fingertips while pulling along their case behind them. Instead, I sit down, take off my coat, the bag goes under my seat, and bam, done. As long as you don’t fill it with anything bulky, no one can see that it’s there.

I’ve heard people talk about stuffing possessions in their socks, bras, even using safety-pins to attach socks to the linings of hats or folds of scarves. Bypassing airline limits comes down to creativity, and just how silly you’re willing to look in public. But if you’re as vain as me, buy a flat shoulder bag.

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Wanderer

Climbing the Pyramids…

I remember seeing these images this time last year when they were plastered all over various newspapers and on my Facebook feed. A group of Russian ‘pranksters’ somehow managed to sneak by security to scale one of the Great Pyramids.

Yes, I know what they did was illegal, and they were very bad for doing it and blah blah blah, especially giving how old the pyramids are – you can’t just trample over such an ancient and important structure as you please… but seriously, looking at the view.. it’s hard to keep that in mind.

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In this day and age, with travel such an easy an affordable thing for so many, many of us have or – in my case – will see the pyramids before we die. It’s on many a bucket list. Mine included. It’s a pretty standard part of tourism. And yet how many people have ever stood atop the last of the seven great wonders of the world and seen that view? Especially how it looks today, with the lights of Cairo in the distance. Not too many. Though judging by the graffiti on that bottom picture, so clearly security hasn’t always been so tight.

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Honestly, I would happily get myself arrested just to see that view. I’m probably being naive in saying that; Egypt isn’t ‘slap on the wrist’ England. How would they react to a woman climbing a pyramid? Maybe being a woman wouldn’t matter, but then again. I don’t know.

These guys were lucky enough that they were not caught by security. In fact, no one would have ever known that they had climbed it at all had they not posted their images online. Of course images like these are going to go viral immediately.

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I for one am go glad that they did, though.

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The 3 L's

HIMYM finale…. not a happy bunny.

I’m not a big fan of TV shows. There are very few that I make the time to watch – I’ve always preferred movies and books to TV, but HIMYM is one of the few exceptions, and I admit, these past few weeks I got sucked into the finale frenzy, and I sat up until 2am waiting for a decent quality copy of the big finale to appear online, despite my early start this morning.

It’s pretty clear from a quick glance at Twitter that the HIMYM, like all sitcom and drama finales, has divided opinions. You can’t just have ‘liked’ the HIMYM finale – it’s a marmite situation. I myself came away bitterly disappointed, but not at all surprised. I was, I guess, ‘team Swarkles’ (actually, I was team ‘why does Robin have to end up with someone?’), and Ted pissed me off from day one. Ted pissed me off so much, that while I first saw HIMYM back in about 2007-2008, it wasn’t until last year that I finally got into it and caught up in time for the final season. I hate his whiny, self-absorbed, snooty personality clogging up an otherwise great show. I also can’t stand Lily. She’s a bitch.

Then again, I can’t deny that it’s a great show. Blatantly inspired by Friends, it has all the same base characters; the couple (Monica/Chandler, Lily/Marshall), the will-they-won’t-they couple (Ross/Rachel, Ted/Robin), the slightly adorable comedy gem (Joey – and Chandler too! And in HIMYM, Barney). And I always found Phoebe ridiculous and unnecessary – and a complete bitch. So I’m glad that she, as a character, has not been re-imagined.

Don’t read any further if you haven’t yet seen the finale. Spoilers!

Last night’s finale answered a lot of necessary questions including the big ones: the mother’s name, how they meet and of course, who gets a ‘happily ever after’ ending.

Barney and Robin get a divorce within the first half of the finale. As much as I prefer her with Barney than Ted, I saw this coming as soon as it was revealed that Robin becomes a successful news anchor who travels around the world, I just though… Barney doesn’t seem like someone who would want to travel the world. And yes – her travelling drives them apart after just three years.

Reverting back to his womanizing ways, it’s revealed that the only girl he ever truly falls for is his accidentally conceived baby daughter, Ellie. I didn’t anticipate this, but when it happened, it made sense and suddenly seemed obvious that this is what they had been building to all along.

Nothing surprising happens with Marshall and Lily. They have baby number three, Marshall becomes a judge and later, a judge of the Supreme court (lovingly dubbed ‘Judge Fudge’ and later ‘Fudge Supreme’ by the gang). With three kids in tow, they of course have to move out of the apartment – minus the big Friend-esque ‘goodbye house’ scene.

As for Ted, we learn that his wife’s name is Tracy McConnell. They take a surprisingly long time to get married, their fairy tale wedding being indefinitely postponed on finding that she’s pregnant with Penny. They do eventually get married, though. And then… Tracy gets sick. Very sick. Those fan theories were right – the mother is dead.

It had been hinted at, of course, and thinking about it now, it was pretty obvious throughout. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t piss me off, all the same. Purely because of the inevitable Robin and Ted ending that followed – the kids give their blessing for him to ask out ‘Aunt Robin’, and he arrives outside her bedroom window with the blue french horn, just as he did back in season 1.

I’m not a fan of corny, and that is undeniably corny. But more so, why does Robin have to be with someone? Earlier in the series, Ted said that Robin was ‘never alone’, and yet, during the ten years or so between divorcing Barney and finally ending up with Ted, it’s made clear that she’s pretty lonely, despite her successful career and slightly nomadic lifestyle. She distances herself from the group because, as she points out to Lily, the gang consists of a married couple who are about to have their third child, her ex husband who is back to his womanising ways and ‘the guy I probably should have ended up with, with the beautiful mother of his child’. That’s life – people drift apart, life choices drive us away from each other. Why couldn’t Robin have lived happily, independent and successful, travelling the world but still making an effort to be there for ‘the big moments’, as she was in the first half of the finale. Why does she have to be lonely? Lily seems to spend the duration of the show selfishly complaining that she’s never around anymore, as she does.

It seems like they decided to give Ted his perfect happy ending. He always wanted Robin, but it was just impossible – he wanted kids, she didn’t. He wanted to raise his kids in the suburbs, she wanted to live in Japan or Argentina or wherever else took her fancy. So, easy solution, give Ted a wife to have kids with in the suburbs and spend a decade or so together, polishing pennies and admiring NYC’s architecture. Then kill off the wife. Bam. Ted finally gets the girl.

Surely Ted and Robin are impossible at working as Robin and Barney? Even more so, considering that Swarkles divorced because of her travelling for work, which would surely be an issue considering he has two kids in school to think about, as well as his own career and his general dislike for travelling far. Or would that problem be neatly resolved too with an early retirement for Robin at the tender age of fifty?

No, had I been the writer of HIMYM, I’d have done things very differently. The mother – Tracy – would not die. She and Ted would live happily together, as they were perfect for each other. They would live in the suburbs with their kids, and no doubt Marshall and Lily would live nearby with their own trio of kids. Barney would have his daughter to dote on, and Robin would simply be alone but happy, dropping by whenever she was in the neighborhood. There’s Skype, right! Or the 2030 equivalent… I’d cut out all of the ‘lonely Robin needs Ted to be happy’ crap.

And there was me thinking that the inclusion of a strong, independent, feminist character like Robin in the show was a big leap forward compared to the ‘everyone gets married and has children’ endings of so many past shows – including my favourite, Friends.

Ah well… I wonder how Big Bang Theory will end, when its own finale finally comes. I really hope it’s not a Shamy wedding…

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Wanderer

My European Top Spots.

It’s nearly April… I’ve been wondering where to spend my summer. While I’m looking at spreading my wings as far as Thailand or America (I know, completely different ideas there!) this year, I think I’ve definitely scattered my heart across different cities of Europe, including good old England. Then again… I tend to say that about pretty much every city and country I visit, so no doubt as I wander further afield, that list will just grow longer and longer.

I love the diversity of Europe; the array of cultures and languages and delicacies, the contrast of stark differences and intermingled traditions from border to border. There are some cities that I just find myself going back to again and again, and it never gets old – there are always new cafes serving coffee even more delicious than the last, more landmarks that I haven’t found the time to visit yet and beautiful little streets that are deserted but for myself and the occasional knowing local.

This wasn’t easy at all, but I managed to order my unruly top 10:

1. Paris. For years Rome held this top spot, but France’s capital has rather snuck up on me over the years – every time I go I love it more and more, even if I’m literally just passing through on a train, and somehow, it overtook Rome. Yes, the people can at times be a little snooty, but most of the time the snooty-ness that I have witnessed against tourists is purely because they are not meeting Paris’ standards – arriving in Paris in dirty clothes and Birkenstock with a tatty rucksack on your back is not going to make you the darling of the city. It’s quite like trying to wear jeans and a t-shirt to a ball. Everyone makes an effort in Paris, even if it is in that je ne sais quoi, ‘I just fell out of bed’ Parisian sense. They’re experts at putting in a lot of effort in looking effortless. Try to blend in, and that snooty-ness will disappear. Or so I find. 

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2. Rome. See, my ex-top spot has not slipped far. I love history. I love art, architecture, literature and the renaissance, all of which can be found on every corner of Rome. I feel comfortable walking around the city without getting lost – I can act as tour guide to fellow travellers. There’s no better feeling than realising that you know a foreign city. It’s not just a place that I have visited a few times anymore. I’ve always been and will continue to be lured to Rome for its history, its art, its food and its coffee. Yes, yes, yes and a very big yes from me on those fronts!

My one pet peeve when in Rome? Arrogant, metrosexual Roman guys who still live with their mothers well into their thirties. They linger around Trevi Fountain in droves. Huge, huge pet peeve of mine.

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3. Prague. When I first visited Prague, I didn’t really know what to expect. It’s just not a place that I have looked into too much before I arrived at  Hlavni Nadrazi station. Until then my Pinterest (what came before Pinterest? Good old fashioned cut-and-paste scrapbooks?) had been full of photographs of Paris, Rome, Athens, The Great Pyramids, Macchu Picchu and Buddhist Temples. I’d always planned to visit Prague, but somehow looking at what it was like never occurred to me. The beauty of the place blew me away. It’s a perfect blend of East and West European; some streets could easily pass for France or Italy – or even England, when suddenly you’re surrounded by Eastern European architecture, Czech music ringing through your ears and people drinking brands I can’t even pronounce.

Also, Prague is one of the most beautiful cities at night.

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4. Venice. Yes, it’s quite a pricey city, but then I’ve found that I can still keep my budget low – Venice is not a city teaming with museums and must-see sites with expensive ticket fares like other touristic cities. I’m also not big on souvenirs, which could prove to be super pricey if I were. Venice is the city I head to if I want to see Italy, without the hustle and bustle of Rome or Milan or – to some extent – Florence. I tend to avoid the few busy spots of the city – St Mark’s Square and Ponte di Rialto. Two or three streets from these Venetian hot-spots, and you’ll find deserted streets, a woman beating sheets over her balcony perhaps, the occasional cat, but otherwise you’re entirely alone. No cars, no noise. It’s wonderful.

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5. Florence. Yes, Paris may be my number one city, but Italy is clearly my number one country. Florence is a nice balance of everything I love about Italy. It’s not as mad as Rome, or as busy and metropolitan as Milan, and while it has that same peace as Venice, it’s gifted in sprinkles rather than spades. It is quintessential Italy in the country’s best region: Tuscany – I love taking day trips from Florence to explore the beautiful surrounding countryside.

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6. Lisbon. I tend to yo-yo between Porto and Lisbon when choosing my favourite Portuguese city, but right now, I’d choose Lisbon. It’s true what they say – ‘Porto works and Lisbon plays’. Things are much more relaxed in the south, and people seem to mysteriously work less and yet are richer. I do have one issue with Lisbon – its treacherously slippering paving stones.

Praça Duque Terceira Cais Sodré Lisboa Portugal Calçada à Portuguesa Roc2c Portuguese Pavement stone white black pedra

Seriously, I had to buy a new pair of shoes just because wearing my sandals or ballet flats was about as effective as wearing Cinderella’s glass slippers. Otherwise you pretty much have to choose between risking your life by walking in the road, or risking your life because every step could end in a broken neck.

Still, Lisbon is beautiful, not majorly touristic and yet not entirely isolated to the lone traveller who doesn’t speak a word of Portuguese – like me. Actually, that’s a lie. I can say thank you. I think thank you is the most important phrase to learn in every language. Even more so than hello.

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7. Budapest. Another city that I had little knowledge of – like Prague. I knew it to be cheap, but that’s about it. Yes, it is cheap, though as tourism grows, so do those prices. The architecture is sophisticated, the people are sophisticated – but for a few old men who linger on park benches whistling at passing women. So many people have apologized for ‘the habits of the older generation’ – honestly, it’s fine. Clearly they have never passed a building site in the UK. The famous thermal baths are wonderful. I recommend visiting the bath houses during winter – it’s instantly even better when you’re lounging in the steaming water watching the snow fall outside.

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8. Barcelona. I’m not a fan of gaudy Gaudi, but of course, his architecture makes Barcelona what it is. I find it amazing how we all flock to see a building that is not due to be finished until 2026. I mean, of course, La Sagrada Familia. However, one place where I feel Gaudi’s unique style does work within the city is Park Güell – also the spot of my favourite (yet discovered) view in Barcelona. In Park Güell you will find pianists, violinists and musicians of instruments so exotic that I don’t even know what they are. They claim a spot and play beautiful classical pieces to entertain tourists and locals alike. It’s quirky and amazing.

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9. Vienna. A haven for museum-geeks like me, my favourite being the Sisi museum; a museum dedicated to the life of Empress Elizabeth of Austria. It’s cleaner than Paris and Rome. It’s more efficiently run than England, but it’s not as frustratingly perfect as a few cities I have been to; so perfect that they no longer feel real. Also, the people who live there are unbelievably lovely.

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10. Off the beaten track. Finally, while I could go on and on about this city and that city, for me, one of the best parts of Europe is the little villages whose names I never learnt before I moved on to the next. I love the lakes, beaches, rivers and hills. I’m a country girl as well as a city girl, and I love rambling around woodland and climbing hills to see the view at sunset. So if you’re going to Europe, don’t just stick to the ‘must see cities’.

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The Careful Art of the Capsule Wardrobe

Despite all of my talk last week about all of the beautiful midi skirts and satchel bags and kitten heels that I would love to throw in my suitcase, I am a slightly fanatic follower of the capsule wardrobe system.

My favourite and equally, most despised part of preparing for my travels is definitely putting together my travel wardrobe. As in, a few carefully selected items of clothing that all mix-and-match together perfectly. And figuring out what stays and what goes is always much easier if I sit down and think about all of my available outfit options – if something doesn’t go with anything else, it stays behind, stored away in my Dad’s spare room. No, I’ll never be nomadic in the sense that I own nothing but the contents of my suitcase. I love books, and I love clothes, and ridiculous as it is to buy clothing and books only to leave them to gather dust while I’m off on my adventures, I can’t help myself. I try to be strict about clothes shopping though. At least, I try to limit myself to a general rule of timeless pieces that aren’t going to go out of fashion within a few months. I tell myself that that’s a reasonable solution, anyway. Books can be read at any time, and I will one day – a few always join me on my travels, and I churn through them at lightning speed when I return home. You should see the Olympic-speed page turning on Christmas day. It’s impressive, if I say so myself.

I always pack more tops than bottoms. I think everyone does, right? A pair of trousers – I rarely jeans because they’re so heavy and slow to dry – shorts, a skirt or two and a few dresses. Mostly light tops, a jumper, a light coat. For shoes, I take a pair for rainy weather – a pair of waterproof, quality-over-quantity brogues – something a bit dressier but also so easily casual – black ballet pumps – and sandals.

The result is endless possibilities… well, I say endless. At least 21. 40+ if on a chilly evening that requires a cardigan or jumper. I’ve met girls who’s backpacks are about as tall as they are, who are carrying about 50 dresses, 20 skirts, 20 pairs of jeans and tops… and then I walk around, slightly smug, in a different outfit a day for at least the first three weeks of my travels, with a tiny case that doesn’t need checking in, that I can lift into the overhead locker all by myself (not that I ever decline any kind offers of help… who says chivalry is dead?), I have room to shop, and most of all, I can skip around from country to country without snapping my spine under the weight when it’s time to move on.

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No doubt I could cut it down further – cut down on tops, limit myself to one skirt, but I find that if I’m travelling for more than a few weeks, I really don’t want to be too strict with myself, even if there is a very likely chance that I will find myself lured into clothes stores and markets abroad… I am pathetic enough that I find myself missing certain dresses or pairs of shoes, so now if it’s one of my favourites, I take it with me. Even if it is a bit cumbersome – like the pink skirt that is made from about 1000 layers of tulle, but it’s my favourite.

And yes, my suitcase also matches my wardrobe. Happy accident. Red suitcase, red handbag, neutral wardrobe. It just works. The red dress that has recently become a favourite is questionable though, I’ll admit. Red on red on red on red? Too much red… I think I’ll have to save that to days when my suitcase is tucked away in a hostel, warm enough that the red cardigan is not necessary…

There’s always that one item of clothing that doesn’t quite merge as perfectly as the rest.

A great site for minimalistic-but-fashionable packing tips here.

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Not the best wardrobe for backpacking…

When it comes to fashion, I think the 1950s were the best time for travelling. How on earth they managed to so perfectly pack those huge Grace Kelly skirts without completely ruining them, I’ll never know… how they managed to find the space to pack anything other than those space-hogging petticoats and skirts, I have no idea. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve tried in the past to be ‘sensible’ in what I pack for my travels. Jeans were banned (in the summer, anyway), my love for big midi-skirts was ignored, and I’d stick to a boho, mix and match, Free People-esque capsule wardrobe; lightweight, fold-resistant fabrics that take up minimal suitcase space . You’re mocked if you’re a girl with a big suitcase (especially one like these), full of the latest trends, which is definitely flared or pencil midi skirts right now. People – guys especially – roll their eyes out if they catch you applying lippy, or straightening your hair (though that last ‘backpacking offence, I am entirely innocent of, despite the cowlicks). You’re supposed to wander around with a grubby backpack (been there) – something ‘serious‘ (aka, ugly), or if you’re fashion conscience, vintage and canvas, which therefore feels like a bag of bricks hanging from your shoulder blades (done that).

I prefer to step off every plane, train and bus like this:

Minus the pin-perfect curls. I really don’t care that certain people who I meet on my travels openly presume that I am a) rich b) spoilt c) a bimbo and/or d) ignorant to the reality of backpacking. I’m not about to climb mountains in a pair of stilettos! Especially as I can barely walk down a perfectly flat and even pavement in stilettos without falling flat on my face… needless to say, while stilettos are pretty to look at, I never take anything higher than kittens abroad.

Fashion and travel don’t always work well together, of course… take the second Sex and The City movie. There were some great outfits in that film – I love the Dior tshirt-and-big-skirt combo. But equally, sometimes it was like a car crash headfirst into the wardrobe department. For example:

Personally, I think people have become lazy when it comes to fashion when travelling. I get that when travelling, people don’t want to spend hours and hours getting ready each morning. It takes me half an hour. Bam.

I think this is an expansion on my RSS… my fashion style is definitely ‘settled and working in the big city’, while my passion is to keep on moving, moving, moving. I’m molding the two tough, into something that works well for me.

Now days, besides making sure that I have one or two practical outfits for things like rock climbing, long, long, long walks or anything else that can’t be done in ballet pumps and kitten heels, I pack whatever I want, and just keep my fingers crossed that it will all fall naturally into a perfect capsule wardrobe. I seem to repeat the same go-to fashion habits again and again when it comes to colours and patterns, so generally, my entire wardrobe works well together. I guess in a way, I’m not particularly imaginative.

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Bottega Vetena

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Fashion week still fresh in my mind, I’ve been thinking about my packing wardrobe of the season… Yes, the skirts are staying, along with tuxedo jackets – buttoned and bra-less… or maybe a cute lace bustier…hmm…), big petticoats beneath midi-skirts, patterned pencil skirts and amazing shoes.

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Look One: BlazerPetticoatSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Two: BustierTrouser. Bag. Shoes. Belt. Necklace.

Look Three: Top. Skirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Four: TopSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Basically, I travel Audrey and Grace style.

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Wanderer

The Pains of Restless Soul Syndrome

yup      and currently my spirit has been home too long for the liking…

Hello, my name is Emma and I have R.S.S. As in, Restless Soul Syndrome – yes, with capitals, because I think it should be recognised as an official condition. It drives me crazy. What’s that saying about… you can have it all, but not at the same time? Or something like that. That is my life. There’s two sides of me; the crazy, spontaneous-trip taking, digitally nomadic, wandering hobo creative travel nut, and the somewhat sensible, but equally ambitious, city-loving Fashion photographer. Part of me wants to spend the rest of my days (or the next several years, at least) seeing every inch, documenting every moment, building up this blog and making a freelance, online living, on the road. The other side of me wants a cute little apartment in London, or Paris, or somewhere in Italy, and to build up an amazing wardrobe and focus on getting my portfolio into the big fashion magazines.

When I’m travelling, I feel guilty for not devoting 100% of my time to work, even though I still am working (you know, about 50% of the time), so then I come home, as I did at Christmas, to focus primarily on work, sneaking away only for a few days here and there, and yet I find myself still feeling guilty. Guilty for confining myself to one place, to one office, one home, when there is so much of the world that I have not yet seen and so many things that I have not yet done! R.S.S is a contrary bastard.

I think it’s obvious that my ‘cure’ will be found in balancing out my needs out better. I’m still trying to become truly ‘digitally nomadic’ in my business. Too much of my work is still UK-based, and while popping to London frequently is great, and I adore it, I need to spread things further afield. I’ll live in London one day. That much is obvious to me. And Paris, and at least one Italian city. I’m just constantly torn between my impatience to move there now and my impatience to see every single country in the world. Yes, I’m only twenty-two. There’s plenty of time to do everything I want to do, but damn it, I wish it were possible to choose one thing that I want and temporarily switch every other desire off until I’ve finished with the first one.

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