What is your favorite vacation memory?
Our ‘destination’ wedding in Bluffton, South Carolina! We got there early so we could just relax and enjoy time with everyone as they arrived. I have wonderful memories of lounging by the pool, spa time with my bridesmaids, and my bachelorette in Savannah in the few days before our wedding. And of course it only got better when we reached the wedding weekend events. It was an incredible week.
Our Wedding at Berkeley Hall. Photo © Tim Zielenbach Photography
What is your profession and do you ever travel for business?
I am in Finance for a Chemicals company. When we were in the States, I regularly went to our office in western Massachusetts and took a few trips to NYC per year. Here, I frequent our office in the south of the Netherlands. My more exciting work travel comes when I get to visit our other offices, partners or attend conferences. That has taken me to Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chicago, LA, Sweden, Turkey and London on multiple occasions. And of course Amsterdam when I wasn’t living here!
Istanbul from my hotel room window.
How do you pack and do you have any items that you have to take with you?
Ah, a favorite topic. So much so I do a regular bit on my blog, “The Packing List” where I detail what I packed and how I wore it. I was terrible at packing for a long time. I over packed and often found myself buying lots of clothes before trips. Of course it’s fun to get new things but I saw this as an indication that I was missing key pieces and not putting outfits together in a smart way. Now I’ve got a pretty good handle on what to bring to feel appropriate in all situations [and not like a tourist] while still packing light.
Two things I always bring are comfy shoes (and at least two pairs, because even your comfiest shoes can start to hurt after a lot of walking) and my cashmere wrap (keeps me warm on planes and doubles as a scarf if our destination is chilly).
Do you have any trips planned for the future?
We’re spending ten days in South Carolina [Bluffton and Charleston] and Georgia [Savannah] right after we get back to the states.
How do you plan your trips?
The first decision point when we plan a get-away is do we want to take a ‘trip’ or a ‘vacation’. I’m a firm believe there is a difference between the two! Next, of course, is can we hit a new country on the list. (Note, this is much easier while living in Europe) Then we look into flights and hotels for our shortlist and pick a winner. I love a point system (we used points for our honeymoon and only had to pay for one of our ten nights!) so, if we can, we stay at Starwood hotels and fly SkyTeam. If we hit all those in one trip it’s the trifecta but we don’t let that
limit our travels.
What is your dream vacation?
Tough to pick just one! (I dream a lot). I’ll go with staying in an over water bungalow in the Maldives. It just seems like pure bliss.
What kind of traveler are you?
My husband is my main travel partner. Luckily, we have the same travel style which I will classify as ‘leisurely.’ We’ll make a point to see the major attractions in a city, but we’re not the type of people who wake up at 6am and sprint from museum to museum. Before trips we research a few spots we want to go and use those as a rough guide. We walk everywhere we can and generally just explore. In my book, eating and shopping are the best ways to see a city so those are things we include. I always seek out the market or food hall at our destination - it’s a great way to sample local treats and see more of the city.
Our favorite stand at Borough Market in London. Grilled Cheese and Raclette.
Fresh fish at the Central Market in Helsinki
Amazing traditional Swedish fare at the Willy Ohl counter in the Stockholm Saluhall
Delicious Estonian Garlic Bread in Tallin.
Thanks so much Jana! Check out some more of her great travel pics! I'll admit, I'm more than a little envious!