travel blog tips

Yana Puaca Of NoMad Luxuries // Behind The Blog Scene


It never ceases to amaze me the learning lessons that can be found when you reach out and connect with strangers. A lot of the interviews I've been lucky enough to conduct this year are the result of my trip overseas to Alt Summit, where I connected with strangers that soon became friends, with contacts online that shared similar passions and whom at the end of the day share a love of blogging that knows no global boundaries.

That's why I'm so glad to have Yana from NoMad Luxuries on the blog today. Despite blogging from an entirely different continent, she and I share a love for flea markets, travel and chocolate with sea salt - it's the small things in life that matter right?  Beyond that she has worked with some of the top lifestyle sites in the US, but began her blog just like you and I - as a creative outlet. Enjoy her refreshing advice and don't forget to bookmark her blog when you're feeling in need of a wanderlust fix....

Describe your blog in 3 words…
Global, luxurious and sophisticated
What is your blogging manifesto?
NoMad Luxuries is a lifestyle blog for the woman who wants to create and live a beautiful and inspired life. Started in 2010, NoMad Luxuries has evolved into much more: a place where women can focus on the details that bring a global flavor to life. Beautifully-inspired interiors, trendy fashion and worldly-dishes add a stamp to your virtual passport. A source of inspiration for creating a well-styled life. 
Top 3 blogging essentials?
My Canon, my laptop and good tunes. Chocolate doesn’t hurt either. 
My biggest blogging moment/milestone was....
When you’re first starting out, everything seems to be a big deal since it’s a first. Up to this a point it’s been such an amazing experience collaborating with Home Depot, The Everygirl and joining as a contributor to the Style Me Pretty network. I’m looking forward to a lot more firsts!
Best piece of advice I've been given?
Be persistent. Eventually the universe will get the message and work with you to make things happen. Also, sometimes the wrong train will get you to the right station. So, don’t be afraid to take risks!
I'm dreaming about traveling to...
India. We’re hoping to make it happen this year- I’m so intrigued by the exotic and vibrant culture. 
Best piece of advice to a newbie blogger?
Find your own voice and style. There are so many amazing blogs out there that it’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. You need to find a way to tune out the other voices and find your own niche. Once you do, readers and brands will notice.
If I wasn't blogging I'd be...
Curating and buying for my own boutique. Oh wait…
Behind the scenes of my blog looks like...
While there’s no typical day in the life of blogging, most days involve emails, brainstorming and planning, writing, shooting with my amazing photographer, Jennifer Coffey, and tons of food. I’m always eating. 
This year I'm most excited about...
Opening up my first storefront of vintage furniture and homewares. This has been a dream of mine for quite some time and I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with the world.


Photography by Jennifer Coffey Photo; bottom photo by NoMad Luxuries

Over 8,000 Miles in the Wrong Direction // Travel

By Amy Lynne Hayes

I’d had my eyes on it for more than a year. It was this a grand finale, looming in the future for so long I thought it would never arrive. Time passed, and I worked my tail off to make it happen. I filed the paperwork, got the visa and booked the plane ticket for a journey of a lifetime.

Ever since I left Australia in March of 2013 I had been planning a return. I wasn’t eligible to receive another visa for Oz, but I could obtain one for New Zealand. And I certainly was never one to hesitate on the prospect of dropping myself off in some foreign country. I was a traveler, wasn’t I? I’d lived in four countries, and touched down in more than 20. This was my lifestyle. So as I boarded that plane in sunny South Florida, all packed and set to embark on my next great adventure, I was surprisingly relaxed. And ready to put that 12-hour flight from Los Angeles behind me. I’ll never forget the view from my window seat as we cruised into Auckland. The green hills, the gorgeous water, the sun poking over the clouds to bathe the landscape in a glorious light. I was so excited.

I followed my usual routine upon arrival. I had an AirBnB booked, and proceeded to open a bank account, file for a tax number, set up a local phone number… all the little life details. I joined a gym and registered with a recruitment agency and even found my first position as a temp worker. All in less than two weeks. Sounds like things were working out perfectly, right? Except they weren’t. My heart wasn’t in it. You see, I had worked hard in Florida. I set up a blog, started writing freelance, and had gotten to the point where I was being published regularly with a local magazine group. I had to give that up to move and follow this dream I’d concocted almost a year and a half ago. I wasn’t there anymore.

I had changed. My priorities had shifted, and I was no longer that person who was so desperate to stay overseas. I had built the beginnings of a solid life back at home – the one place I never thought I’d end up, not in a million years.

But life is funny like that. 

So I left New Zealand, after a mere three weeks. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make, and there were plenty of tears involved along the way. But deep down I knew. I knew that I had gone more than 8,000 miles in the wrong direction. This was not where I was supposed to be. One doesn’t have to fling themselves halfway across the world to find out the path isn’t quite right. It could be a a job, or a relationship, or a new project. Sometimes they feel right, and sometimes they don’t. Those little intuitive feelings are our strongest and most reliable guides, if we have the courage to listen to the whispers. It was Marilyn Monroe who said, “A woman knows by intuition, or instinct, what is best for herself.” And it takes guts to step outside the lines and justify your actions based on an intangible feeling. Many of us are out there trying to create our own careers. We’re carving out a little niche in an otherwise crowded world of noise and competing talent. And it can get disheartening. Others may tell us to give up and step back into the normal mould of a nine to five job. I may not have found success in New Zealand in the way I imagined, but I did learn. I learned loads, about myself and about what I really want out of life. And I want to keep pushing on. I plan to keep building my freelance career, even if that means I have to hang up my traveling shoes for a spell. 

The legendary Steve Jobs probably said it best when he uttered these words. “Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” 

Thanks Steve Jobs, I think I will. And so should we all.

You can find Amy blogging over at Createrice Mondial or on Instagram @creaticemondial

A Bloggers Guide To Quitting Your Job And Traveling The World // Travel


By Sonia Afonso

I quit my job 8 years ago, leaving family and friends behind, to embrace an adventure-packed life abroad with my husband, and now my kids. We left our ‘comfort-zone’ of our native Portugal and embarked on a new way of living.

After some exciting experiences in Switzerland, Sweden and Japan, we currently reside in Oslo, Norway. We tend to move quite often, more or less every 3 years: the life of expats.

Like everything in life, there are always good and not- so- good things everywhere we go. As we move around for my husband’s work, finding a job in each new country has been one of the hardest tasks for me. Potential employers tend to be wary due to the language barrier (even though learning at least the basics of the local language is always a priority for me), along with the time that it takes to settle in (from my experience around 6 months) and the short time that we actually spend in each location. And I want a job with a good work/life balance as family is a priority for me! So you can see my dilemma. Therefore, I’ve begun a "mission", to explore new career possibilities, new fields, new areas, that could give me the opportunity to do something "location independent". After a "what can we do?" conversation with a friend, on a whim, I signed up for a web design course in Tokyo. I had no clue what I was going to encounter, the level of difficulty and if would work for me! 

Well, it turned out to be a great challenge, and now a passion, and as "one thing leads to another", since then, I'm discovering the world of social media and web design. My education and training has nothing to do with this area that I'm now working with, but at 40 years old, I have changed my focus and embraced technology! Even though I didn't grow up with technology side by side like my kids, I now live side by side with it! I'm not from this generation but I live in it! So, by trying, exploring, and experimenting I have found my way in photography and web design. Now I blog, photograph, code, design, and continue to learn to improve my skills and spark my creativity.  My desire for learning grows more and more, and most importantly, I'm intellectual active, I’m building something for myself and I get the chance to visually story- tell through my photography and design. In the beginning I wasn’t sure what to do with all the moving in my life but as Todd Henry says: "You must define your battles wisely, and build your life around winning them". I decided that if you want to do something new, don't let the "but's" be an excuse for trying.  I assure you, if you look deeper something good will come out of it!

You can find Sonia blogging at Out And About Oslo or on Facebook or Instagram


Travel // Bali Creative Blogger Retreat


Travel is certainly on the cards for me at the moment and before I head off to Boston for a trip home and to soak up some of the US blogging scene, I just had to share some pics from our most recent adventure (tough life I know). I promise this is only a small portion of the photos that were taken on our recent trip to Villa Sungai in Bali as part of a creative bloggers retreat organised by Eat Read Love. These gorgeous images by Luisa Brimble capture a sneak peek the beauty that surrounded us for four incredible days spent poolside, picnicking in the rice fields, sipping far too many lychee martinis (recipe coming soon) and altogether having the time of our lives. 


Looking to grow your blog and finally take it to the next level? This is an e-course you'll want to check out.

Travel // Atlantic Byron Bay


I truly believe that inspiration can be found anywhere. As a blogger so much around you can inspire the words you weave - family, friends, experiences - and for me, most vividly, travel.  I try and soak up as much travel experience as I possibly can as it never ceases to provide an endless stream of ideas, images and experiences that change they way you think, act and live.

I was lucky enough a few weeks back to be invited by Nikki Buckland of Paper Runway to take part in her Splash Workshop weekend up in stunning Byron Bay. It was an offer I couldn't refuse and I was even more thrilled to find out I'd be staying at the Atlantic Byron Bay Guest House - yes, the one with that much loved airstream. I'd seen the hotel in the pages of my favourite magazines so I was thrilled to finally get to experience it myself it and lived up to every expectation so I wanted to share it with you. These are my own heartfelt options so trust me when I say that if you want an excuse for a weekend getaway or a chance to clear your mind head to Byron and watch your worries disappear - even better say at the Atlantic. You'll immediately wish you never had to leave and you'll wander the property wishing your own backyard look half as relaxing as this place. Every detail is perfection and it was a (travel) blogger's dream come true - not to mention Instagram heaven. Have you stayed in Byron Bay or are you a blogger based in Byron? Would love to hear your must see spots!


All images courtesy of Atlantic Byron Bay