Within this variant of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we chat with Kristin Luna, the travel journalist and also travel/lifestyle blogger supporting Camels & Chocolate. We speak about the way her mother affected her love of traveling the planet, making her Nashville a wonderful place for travellers to see, her favorite things and much more! Check out her advice for those who wish to initiate a life of travel and discover out where she is headed!
How did your passion for travel get started?
My mom was a huge traveler. She moved into Europe for a couple years out of school, which wound up being precisely what I did and traveled a lot in her youth! She took us about a lot of family vacations across the USA, thus by the time that I was 18, I had been around at least 35 countries and abroad a few days (to England, Italy, Mexico and the Caribbean). She always encouraged us to follow our passions, so she was really reassuring when I decided to work through the summers of school in a ranch in Arizona, then leave from there to study overseas. We try to travel together when we can, typically three or two trips per year , today.
Just how are you currently traveling in any given calendar year? Which are the sorts of places you want to see?
There was a time where I traveled as many as 250 days out of the calendar year, but I’ve pared that down to an average of one to two weeks. And a lot of our journey is in the driveway market which means we are not always dealing with the bother of a airport. My spouse and I own a media production business, so lots of our clients are on retainer, where we are handling their approach and marketing resources, meaning we all see the same destinations a couple of times per year for customer visits, and which I favor nowadays to continuously visiting someplace new on each excursion. There’s a wonder in really learning a city intimately, and that’s what we’ve managed to perform with several U.S. destinations we’ve worked with on several projects.
You Located near Nashville, Tennessee.
Why is Nashville a travel destination? What do you suggest people do when they see?
Nashville includes a bit of everything, that explains the reason why people love this, and it is also very central with airlift that is terrific . But I have to say this first: Get. Off. Broadway! For those who have not been around Nashville, Broadway is your assortment of Honky Tonks that formerly were that which gave the city a number of its allure, but recently have only become downright eyesores (thanks to no fewer than a dozen country songs bros opening up enormous bars branded using their titles, face palm). Downtown Nashville has become a combo of Times Square and also the Vegas Strip, without a Tennessean I understand is pleased with these dramatic changes that include pedal taverns galore, spa on wheels (no, actually ), celebration hearses, John Deere tractors hauling bachelorette parties and the other manners of sin.
You run a travel and lifestyle blog named Chocolate & Camels. Would you tell us a little about it? What causes it to stand out among all the travel and lifestyle sites out there?
My favorite parts of Nashville are the neighborhoods on the periphery of downtown: 12 Charlotte and South, Germantown, East Nashville, Music Row.
I’ve a guide to every one of the Nashville murals that are best, in addition to a pretty dining guide to Nashville, also I have to say that is my means of exploring Music City: through its meals and through its artwork.
What do you want audiences to profit and learn from the work?
Needless to say, songs is also encompassed by art, without shooting from the live music scene and you can’t come to Nashville. Even the Opry and Ryman are icons, but there are tons of music nightclubs.
Which are the top 3 destinations you’ve seen?
I’m a journalist first and foremost. It’s been my craft since the late 90s, and I’ve written for pretty much every magazine that you locate on a lot of newspapers and also the newsstands , too. My husband has a background as a writer–we all met in Holland in journalism college –so we process our storytelling because we would any piece of journalistic work: through deep flashes of a community by interviewing and getting to know the natives.
Give us a’Top 5′ list for a few of the best 3 destinations. Like a mini-guide or a to-do list of sorts. It can be anything from your favorite hotel, best place to have lunch, best holiday, etc..
I started the blog prior to SEO was something people believed about, or so the capacity to be imaginative about what I wish to write about, and write has always driven my articles. A whole lot of newer travel sites solely focus on SEO, which isn’t a bad thing, that is just not M.O.–we do not sell advertisements, therefore we do not need to constantly worry about pageviews, also it is a freeing version that enables us to actually tell a persuasive story without concern for how much money a blog article is going to deliver us all through clicks.
I feel like we take much more attainable trips than a few travel blogs that emphasize destinations. The United States is a large monster of a country, and it might take years, decades even, to see that a big chunk of it. I like the flexibility of having a car, the capacity to pull over on a whim once you locate a lookout or hole-in-the-wall diner or unique roadside attraction that you wish to research more, therefore a lot of our coverage focuses on road trips to mid-sized and smaller towns in the USA, with a couple of international trips per year. Given that our readership is all about 85 percent American, that makes sense–we supply them with ample ideas for long weekend or weekend trips they can take within their time-off parameters, that are shockingly low in comparison to, say, European nations that get six weeks off per year.
How many nations have you seen up to now?
That you can have a life filled with travel without making travel your life. There are all those digital nomads who sell this unrealistic kind of full-time travel, which is an fantasy for 99 percent of Americans. I like to show that you can have a home, a profession, a family, and also travel far and wide in the in between your financial plan.
Which are the top 3 favorite perfumes?
International: Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland.
National: the Florida Panhandle Savannah and also the Northern California coast.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the world? What dish do you recommend there?
What’s your favorite travel film?
I lost count around 120 a couple of years back. I try not to country-count, and at this point in my travels, I’m more interested in revisiting areas I’ve been two rather than ticking off new nations. As an instance, my spouse and I were inclined to go someplace”exotic” such as Tahiti where neither of us was for our forthcoming 10-year wedding anniversary, and once we sat down and talked about it, we decided we’d much rather return to Holland and Denmark, where we all spent our first year of our relationship together.
What’s your preferred global airport?
Tacos, chocolate and bourbon. Those are totally food groups? ????
Which city had the most friendly people?
B Star Bar in San Francisco.
It is the Burma Superstar’s offshoot and a Burmese joint, when living in California due to the fermented tea leaf salad and Scott and I went there at least once a week. Pro tip: create a reservation!
Who’s your favorite travel companion?
A Far Off Place, the early 90s movie starring my hometown woman Reese Witherspoon, always made me wish to see Africa. Ditto into The Constant Gardener.
What’s the ideal method to kill time?
NOT Charles de Gaulle.
That place is your worst! The Scandinavians do all right, and Copenhagen is an outstanding place in which to be stuck on a very long layover, especially in the event that you have lounge access.
What’s the most exotic place you have been taken by your career?
You would not think how the natives are there. It is one of the most underrated cities in the USA, and I encourage any traveler who loves urban exploring to add it to their list.
What’s your very best bit of travel suggestions for a person who wants to, or is about to, embark on a life of travel?
My spouse Scott (generally referred to on the blog by his own initials, SVV). We fulfilled traveling in Europe in 2005, and it’s been the cornerstone of our whole relationship. He worked an office job and just traveled that a few times a yearhe quit his job in 2016 and came to work with me full-time, so today we travel for work and play.
What are without?
I have time while I’m home, so that I never travel without a novel or my Kindle as plane and airport time are if I whittle down my reading list.
What’s your ultimate dream destination?
Svalbard in Norway’s Arctic Circle was undoubtedly the most otherworldly place I’ve ever seen. Concerning exoticness that is pure, you can’t conquer Aitutaki in the Cook Islands.
What’s your favorite travel quote?
Stockpile That Your PTO.
Incorporate travel in your own life where it seems sensible: holiday evenings, by way of instance, where you already get time off and can take on each end to optimize that moment. Try and negotiate time off than you offered In case you’ve got a job or request an extra week at your performance evaluation. In a day and age where employees do not work in offices every day, speak to your boss about the capacity to work remote, which is a terrific way to travel often while still enjoying the perks of a paycheck. And be adaptable: in where you move, elastic in if you move, and elastic once you get there elastic. My travel encounters are those that have been unplanned.
Where are you headed?
My iPhone , my sleep headphones that block out my husband’s, my MacBook , my Canon increasingly loud snoring.
Or the Faroe Islands! Or Palau! Or anywhere exotic and distant I haven’t seen yet.
“Not all that wander are lost?” I KID. I’m really tired of seeing that quote on each third Instagrammer’s profile. I really don’t have a favorite quote per se, however, a muralist I recently worked with–my husband and I also run a community improvement program installing murals in rural regions on the side–amazes me this the other day and it really resonated with me as my husband and I’ve thrown our complete hearts in to community improvement these past few years:”If you want truly to understand something, try and change it.” -Kurt Lewin
Our fall is filled with revisiting U.S. destinations that we love–Oklahoma City, Cincinnati, San Francisco and New Orleans–as well as a work trip into some new-to-me state in Canada and a genuine vacation to Bermuda for the mother’s 70th birthday.
From the time that I was 3, I knew I was really going to be a writer, in order throughout high school, I took each gig I could get as a way to get experience: at a paper at a radio station, to get a TV network. After graduating with my degree in journalism and digital media from the University of Tennessee, I immediately transferred to New York to get a research position at Newsweek. From there, I hopped around publishing companies in a Variety of roles–Time Inc., Conde Nast, Bauer Publishing and Wenner Media, among others–while moonlighting as a reddish carper reporter for Glamour, InStyle and PEOPLE magazines. I got my feet by penning a restaurant and hotel column for Newsweek authoring more than a dozen guidebooks. Now, I still freelance for these publications as Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Parade and AAA Living, although I more regularly works with city and state tourism boards in their content efforts through my firm, Odinn Media, and 12-year-old blog Camels & Chocolate. I’m an unabashed Taylor Swift fan (and yes, I’ve interviewed her!) , a craft beer an AcroYogi and enthusiast.
Learn more about Kristin Luna and her travels by checking out her website, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!