Travel Spotlight: The Glamourous Traveller
I’ve kept this Traveller a mystery because she is indeed mysterious, traipsing the Corporate world, hopping from one city to another like Tarzan does to a grapevine. That is part of the reason though. The other part is that the Travel Spotlight of this month happens to be my adoring little sister (who is not so little any more) who has the same itchy feet like we all do. She has been living out of a suitcase since she was young (unlike her sister who is staying put in sunny Malaysia) and she loves it. Together we often compete in terms of “How many countries or cities have we been to?”, like how normal sisters do. Her funny and free spirit character will make you want to be her best friend.
When she was living in Malaysia, she wrote a blog titled “Weekends in Malaysia” because it was the only time she had, for a little getaway from her busy scheduled life. Now that she is staying put in our neighbouring country, she started blogging again under the ‘Glamourous Traveller’ moniker talking about the things that she loves most, fashion and travel.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – your current location, who is the ‘Glamourous Traveller”, why you love travelling…
The Glamourous Traveller came up as a concept one day as I was sitting around staring at my closet and trying to figure out which outfits to pack for my next trip. While sifting through my clothes I recalled wondering why travellers tried to outdo each other dressing up like hobos for a trip and why someone would travel so far just to not put their best foot forward dressing wise. And so I thought I would fuse my two great loves in life. Travelling and fashion. As for the name of the website, it’s an ode to those days when people would dress to the nines to go on a trip. It also seems that there was a subconscious fight on whether or not I grew up with British English or American English. Turns out the British side won, hence the glamourous spelling rather than the American glamorous.
You have been trailing the world at a very young age, moving from one place to another until today. Which is the best city to live and work in so far?
I think my heart will always belong to Paris. I like to tell people that ‘The world is my love, Paris my mistress’. It is a city that is hard to let go off. No matter where I travel to next, I find myself taking a few seconds and remembering how I fell in love with the city of love. It was my first European city and the city I ran to when my heart was broken. Paris took those broken pieces, shrugged off the shards and put it back together with its architecture, effortless style and cafes. What is there not to love about Paris?
Your blog mainly focuses on fashion in different parts of the world, which city would you say is the most fashionable (on the streets)?
I like to think of fashion as a two way street. You are influenced by the cities and places you travel too, and you in turn represent the style and fashion of your personality and where you come from. Perhaps the most fashionable cities I’ve been to would be Buenos Aires and Amsterdam. In Amsterdam the style is effortless, sometimes painfully so. But perhaps because they’re almost all 5’10, with blonde hair, flawless skin and toned thighs whatever they put on looks good. As for Buenos Aires, they place immense pride and focus on what they put on every day.
Have you ever experienced any fashion disasters during your travels?
I think my worst fashion disaster was the one that helped start the website. Remembering how once I too tried on fisherman’s pants and tried to pull it off as stylish travelling wear.
If you could only bring three items to an island getaway, what would it be?
A nice trilby hat to make sure I keep cool in the shade, a flowy maxi dress that can be dressed up and down and a bikini to enjoy the sun of course!
Who hasn’t dreamed of that scene from Sex and the City, when Carrie lands in Paris and steps out of the car looking incredibly chic and in place. Or how the cast of four arrives in Abu Dhabi looking as though they just stepped out of Vogue while still maintaining sufficient respect to the customs of the country. ~ The Glamorous Traveller
Tell us your favourite travel adventure / experience.
One of my top travel memories so far has to be seeing the Northern Lights. It was something I’ve always dreamed about doing and can’t believe I finally made it. It makes you believe that anything is possible, believe in a higher power, and believe that the world is an incredible adventure.
These questions were posted by our Twitter fans who would like to know the following:
In your opinion, which country that you have been to has the best offerings to travellers like you? [via @RambleandWander]
Again, probably Paris, followed by Amsterdam. Paris just because for stylish clothes there probably is no better place to be. Given that I am also a lover of vintage, Paris has an amazing (if more expensive) range of it, Amsterdam has a more curated and affordable collection. Gorgeous travelling and stylish clothes, perfect setting for me.
Have you ever left a country thinking, ‘Oh, God. NEVER again. Ever!’ and if yes, why? [via @AnisIbrahim]
Definitely. I’ve always tried to keep an open mind when travelling, but sometimes you do feel that the door shuts on a place for you. Hanoi was the toughest of all my trips mostly because I felt that I wasn’t welcomed there. That alone makes a huge difference. You could have taken away my hot showers, my air conditioning, and made me walk miles and I would have still been ok. But if the people of the country don’t want you there, there really is very little that can help turn your experience around. That being said though, I’ll give it a few years and maybe head back for a third try.
I think my heart will always belong to Paris. I like to tell people that ‘The world is my love, Paris my mistress’. It is a city that is hard to let go off. ~ The Glamorous Traveller
If you were to dissatisfy/regret with ONE thing from your trip, what was it & what did you do about it? [via @Biqque]
Hmm, this is a toughie for me, especially because I also try to live on the mantra of no regrets. I guess maybe I can take it in a lessons learn position:
Wear sunscreen – even if you’re Asian. I learnt this the hard way after proudly telling a British couple I didn’t need their sunscreen to hike the Great Wall of China… because I’m Asian, and statistically my people do not predominantly die from skin cancer. However apparently stupid people like me still do get burn though… and peel.
Give yourselves space when travelling with another person (a significant other or a good friend). My magic friend and I perfected this art over years of travelling together for a typical 2 week duration. The pattern usually follows the same vein – we are excited to see each other, love catching up, then by day 8 want to kill each other. We both understand now that you would need a day or two just by yourself and maybe catch up again for dinner. Then towards the end of the trips we are the best of pals again. My ah-ha! Moment for this was when we were backpacking Spain and I was pissed off at doing all the things my friend wanted to do, and my friend was pissed at the fact that I didn’t have a list of things (with facts backed up) to contribute to going to.
Plan ahead, but don’t plan too much. I think I’m learning this right now as I prepare for my Myanmar trip in April. It’s essential to lock down things like bookings, but to try and pre-plan everything including all the sights you’re going to see ruins that amazing wow factor. Seeing all the pictures of Schwedagon and Golden Rock in our planning has already set an expectation in my head about how its going to look like and reality may not live up to the ‘highly photoshopped’ version of things.
Last but not least from us, any travel planning tips to share with the readers?
Loads! But most important thing to me is, just because you’re about to embark on a 3 month adventure on a backpack, or melt through the warmest summer in the tropics, always try to represent yourself in a dignified way that showcases your personality. Don’t just give up because it may be too much of a ‘hassle’.
The Glamourous Traveller was born and raised in Malaysia, and has lived in Mumbai, Chicago, Amsterdam, Paris and now Singapore. She has been in jobs that required a lot of travelling, and have taken the opportunities to visit, breathe and live (albeit short stints) in more than 30 countries so far. Website: http://glamouroustraveller.com/ | Twitter: @GlamTraveller | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you Glamourous Traveller for taking some time out to be our Travel Spotlight of the month. I never really did care much into what I pack for a trip but after reading her stories I realized that for me, comfort is key to travelling! What about you?