I started this week in a state that pretty much matches the size of my dreams - Hello TEXAS!! It is such an honor to join Kimberly and Esteban to share my go to travel tips. We talked all things carry-ons, as I spend so much of my creative career in flight (averaging 100,000 sky miles a year and where I wrote most of my book, The New Southern). For me, traveling is a mindset and perspective is essential. It’s all about how we respond to the unexpected and the uncontrollable. Having a reliable, working system for my carry-on allows me to focus on what I love so much about the experience, which is all the abundant creativity that travel ignites for me. Having a plan and working the plan gives me the space for inspiration and creativity to grow, even on a cramped, cross-country flight. Click the link below for the full run down of my four “Cs” of carry-on packing and have fun shopping each category below! Safe travels every one and much love!! - AR
From Nashville to LA, Santa Barbara, Chicago and Austin — I have been hopping around time zones quite a bit these days (Hello #TheNewSouthern). Bouncing from city to city, photographing & styling beautiful spaces while collaborating with creative souls from all different corners of the country is both a joy and a blessing...but it also absorbs a lot of my physical and mental energy. Amidst my travels (over 100,000 miles a year!) I’ve managed to pick up a few personal tips which keep me going throughout my long work days and hours spent in the air. The life I’ve cultivated on the road has granted me with lots of tools for staying healthy and focused. Whether you’re packing for a short road trip or heading off on a cross-country flight — these are my go-to hacks for healthy (fulfilling) travel!! Xx
Hydration is key!
I drink plenty of water to balance tons of sky miles and I also have found great moisturizing creams for my lips and face. Every night and regardless of the season I use Epionce Medical Barrier Cream for my face cream and Avene Cold Cream Lip Cream. These two items along with lots of water have been skin lifesavers for me!!
I always have a bedtime when I am traveling!! I am nocturnal by nature and I get a second wind of creativity around 9 pm. So, when I am traveling I have to be mindful and get myself into bed no later than 10:30/11:00 pm if I want to be a fully functioning human when my early call time hits. When you have dinner meeting scheduled with clients, don't be afraid to set a phone alarm to be mindful and I always travel with a useful pair of earplugs (best $6 dollars I ever spent) for a guaranteed quiet night's sleep.
Limit the liquor…
There is truly nothing worse than traveling after a few too many drinks. I limit myself to a single glass of wine at dinner. I know that I am less effective and less creative when I am combating a headache so I avoid too much alcohol all together.
Direction vs. Schedule
All of my trips incorporate goals and direction. My goals are centered on connection and life giving moments. I connect with multiple clients in each city and when I travel I try to not have a regimented schedule. I like to be open to new dinners, new people and new inspiring moments to dictate the next decision. Having a regimented schedule prevents this and I always come from a place of yes when I am on the road — yes to new adventures, new places, and to feeling alive!
Work from anywhere
Airplanes are my office! I love to travel and embrace this uninterrupted time for myself. Sometimes I sit next to a fascinating neighbor and we become friends, but most often I am writing or editing while listening to something that is inspiring my soul. This sets the best tone for when I land. For more of the tools I use while traveling, head over to MyDomiane for my resources there. Xx
Keep it light
Traveling isn’t always easy so I try to make things emotionally lighter and have perspective when the proverbial Sh$%t hits the fan.
Example: Two weeks ago at LAX, the rental car took almost 2 hours to Get OR LAST WEEK IN DALLAS My schedule was all over the place with 3 IMPROMPTU Meetings I had to take.
Instead of freaking out, this was the perfect opportunity to catch up on emails in LA and respond to instagram DM’s and also implement a little mind over matter. I walked away from LAX feeling a little more caught up on my way to my lunch meeting and I walked away from Dallas feeling I can conquer anything thrown my way. Remember, what we focus on expands. It is so much more constructive and energy preserving to breathe through the last minute moments and tackle them head on with a positive attitude.
Keep things interesting
Cities evolve just as we evolve. I am always staying on top of the newest restaurants (I love beautiful spaces (duh!) and I’m a foodie at heart) so that I am able to create new experiences with my clients — even if I’m not in my home city. I love killing two birds with one stone when I have meetings! Do a little due diligence before arriving by researching some of your favorite bloggers in the destination city or sites such as Eater, MyDomaine or Thrillest. AND!! If you are headed to Music City, my friends at Nashville Guru have done an incredible job providing great hot spots per neighborhood. Xx
I always pack a pair of yoga pants and a bikini — just in case!!! It’s always best to be prepared for an impromptu few hours by the pool, some time in the sauna or a quick power flow yoga session. Disclaimer: This has happened to me once out of the 4 years I have been doing this but what a great way to end a productive trip!!
Food is an energy source for me! I eat to feel good. I do not diet but instead believe in moderation and really listen to my body when it comes to this. My schedule gets super hectic on the road so I always have an emergency RXbar with me, sour patch watermelons (can’t deprive myself of my sweet tooth!) and raw almonds.
For more of my travel recommendations, read my interview from last fall with MyDomaine!
MY FAVORITE TRAVEL TIPS FOR TIME MANAGEMENT WITH MY DOMAINE!
This month marks my 4-year anniversary as a photographer and stylist. My business anniversary symbolizes a dream come true, lots of hard work, and many frequent flyer miles (Hello, Southwest!!). This journey as a photographer started out as a personal outlet and catharsis from the corporate world. I allowed myself to dream big from the beginning, and I said yes to the opportunities that scared me the most allowing me to travel all over the country.
My travels have given me the opportunity to broaden and diversify my work as I am shooting and styling homes of all genres from coast to coast. Quickly, I noticed an aesthetic trend taking place among my designer counterparts. It's a visible shift happening in design—we're moving away from the intangible and priceless to humbly embrace a new, open-minded, relaxed way to integrate personality, architecture, and style into the home. It is becoming a mindset, this common thread of traditional southern elements being reimagined in new and refreshing ways all over the country. It really hit me when I was in Portland, Oregon, standing in a home that embodied a warm southern comfort in a modern, fresh way. This discovery made me push harder and travel further to keep my finger on the pulse of this creative movement.
This movement is The New Southern and as it gains more mileage, so have I. I am averaging well over 100,000 miles annually, and the incredible talent I'm highlighting continues to fuel my energy and focus to give a voice to the creatives that foster a national design shift. Dreams are coming true as I am living out of my suitcase, and I've picked up a few tips and healthy habits to make sure I'm operating at full-speed and feeling my best no matter where my travels take me (Bonjour Paris, France 2018).
I love sharing the things that work for me with all of you. I am hoping my best practices for a smooth travel day and productive workflow on the road will help you. Today, I am dishing some of my favorite apps, email efficiencies, and yummy products (ALL TIME FAVORITE Le Labo Santall 33) with MyDomaine! Whether you're a frequent business traveler, a student, or a busy mom running a mile a minute, these little tips make all the difference.
Head over to MyDomaine to read on, and of course, share your comments with me, questions, and any good pearls we can all use in the comments! You all inspire me daily and I am so grateful for your continued support! Xx
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