In this edition of Celebrity Travel Addicts, we chat with the travel journalist Kristin Luna and travel/lifestyle blogger supporting Chocolate & Camels. We talk about her mother affected her love of traveling the planet, making her native Nashville a great location for travelers to visit, her favourite things and a whole lot more! Check out her advice and discover out where she’s headed next!
How did your passion for travel get started?
My mom was always a significant traveler. She traveled a lot and moved to Europe! She took us over a lot of family vacations across the USA, therefore by the time that I was 18, I had been around at least 35 states and overseas a couple of times (to England, Italy, Mexico and the Caribbean). She encouraged us to follow our passions, so that she was really supportive when I chose to work during the summers of school in a ranch in Arizona, then leave out there on to study abroad. We try to travel together when we can, usually three or two trips a year , today.
Just how are you traveling in any given calendar year? What are the kinds?
There was a time at which I traveled as many as 250 days out of the calendar year, but today I have pared down to two weeks. And lots of our travel is at the driveway market, also, which means we are not necessarily dealing with the hassle of a airport. My husband and I have a media production company, so lots of our clients are on retainer, where we are handling their approach and marketing assets, meaning we see the same destinations a couple of times a year for customer visits, which I prefer these days to continuously visiting someplace new on every trip. There is a wonder in really learning a town intimately, which is what we’ve managed to do with several U.S. destinations we’ve worked with on numerous projects.
You Are currently Located near Nashville, Tennessee.
What makes Nashville a fantastic travel destination? What do you suggest people do when they see?
Nashville includes a bit of everything, that is the reason why it is loved by people, and it’s also very central with airlift that is wonderful to every city in the usa. But I have to say this first: Get. Off. Broadway! For people who have not been around Nashville, Broadway is your group of Honky Tonks that once were what gave the town a portion of its allure, but recently have only become completely eyesores (thanks to no fewer than a dozen country music bros opening up enormous bars branded using their titles, face palm). Downtown Nashville has turned into a combo of Times Square along with the Vegas Strip, and no Tennessean I understand is pleased with these dramatic changes that have pedal taverns galore, hot tubs onto wheels (no, really), celebration hearses, John Deere tractors hauling bachelorette parties and all other manners of sin.
You run a lifestyle and travel site called Chocolate & Camels. Would you tell us a little about it? What makes it stand out among all the other travel and lifestyle sites out there?
My favorite parts of Nashville are the Areas in the periphery of downtown: Germantown, East Nashville, Music Row, 12 Charlotte and South.
I’ve a pretty dining guide for Nashville, in addition to a guide to every one of the Nashville murals that are finest, also I must say that is my method of exploring Music City: via its art and via its meals.
What do you want viewers learn and to attain from the job?
Obviously, art encompasses music, without shooting from the live music scene and you can not visit Nashville. Even the Opry and Ryman have been all icons, but there are areas like Cannery Row, Station Inn and the Basement East that have shows every night of the week and tons of music nightclubs.
I’m a journalist first of all. It has been my craft as the late 90s, and I have written for almost every magazine that you locate on a lot of newspapers along with the newsstands . My husband also has a background for a writer–we met in Holland in journalism college –therefore we process our storytelling as we would any piece of work: via dives of a neighborhood by interviewing and getting to know the natives.
Give us a’Top 5′ list for a few of the best 3 destinations. Just like even a list of types or a mini-guide. It may be anything from your favourite hotel, best spot to have lunch, finest sightseeing, etc..
I started the site prior to SEO was something people or so the ability to be creative about everything I need to write about, and write has always driven my articles. A whole lot of newer journey sites solely concentrate on SEO, which is not a bad thing, that is just not M.O.–we do not sell advertisements, so we do not have to always worry about pageviews, also it’s a freeing version that enables us to actually tell a persuasive story without concern for how much cash a blog article is going to bring us via clicks.
I also feel as if we take trips that are much more attainable than several travel blogs that highlight destinations. America is a gigantic beast of a country, and it would take years, decades even, to see a big chunk of it entirely. I really like the flexibility of owning a vehicle, the capacity to pull over on a whim when you find a lookout or hole-in-the-wall diner or unique roadside attraction that you wish to research more, so lots of our coverage concentrates on road trips to mid-sized and smaller cities in the USA, with one or two international trips a year. Given that our readership is about 85% American, that makes sense–we provide them with ample tips for long weekend or weekend trips they can take in their time-off parameters, that can be shockingly low compared to, say, European countries that get six weeks off a year.
How many countries have you seen up to now?
You may have a life filled with travel without making travel your life. There are all those digital nomads who market this unrealistic style. I like to demonstrate that you can have a house, a family, a profession, and also travel far and wide at the in between, no matter your budget.
What are the top 3 favourite perfumes?
International: Scotland, South Africa, Switzerland.
Domestic: the Florida Panhandle Savannah and the Northern California coast.
What is your favourite restaurant on the planet? What dish would you advocate?
What is your travel movie?
I lost count a couple of decades back. I try not to country-count, and now in my travels, I’m more interested in revisiting places I have been two rather than ticking off new countries. As an example, my husband and I had been likely to go someplace”exotic” like Tahiti where neither of us has been for our upcoming 10-year wedding anniversary, and once we sat down and spoke about it, we decided we’d much rather go back to Holland and Denmark, where we spent our first year of our relationship together.
What is your international airport?
Tacos, bourbon and chocolate. Those are food groups, correct? ????
Which city had the friendliest people?
B Star Bar in San Francisco.
It’s a noodle joint and also the more well-known Burma Superstar’s offshoot, and Scott and I travelled there at least one time each week when living in California due to the fermented tea leaf salad. Pro tip: make a booking!
Who is your travel companion?
A Far Off Place, the early 90s film starring my hometown woman Reese Witherspoon, consistently made me want to see Africa. Ditto to The Constant Gardener.
What is the ideal way to kill time when traveling?
NOT Charles de Gaulle.
That place is your worst! The Scandinavians do everything straight, and Copenhagen is an fantastic place in which to be stuck onto a very long layover, especially in the event you have lounge access.
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
You would not believe how the natives are there, also. It’s among the most underrated cities in the USA, and I invite any traveler who loves urban exploring to add it.
What is your best bit?
My husband Scott (commonly referred to on the site by his initials, SVV). We fulfilled traveling in Europe in 2005, and it has been the basis of our entire relationship. For decades, he traveled along with me a few times a year and only worked at an office job , then he came to work with me full-time and quit his job, so today we journey together for work and play.
What are without?
I seldom have the time while I’m home, so that I never travel without my Kindle or a novel as airport and airplane period are when I whittle down my reading list.
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Svalbard in Norway’s Arctic Circle was undoubtedly the most otherworldly place I seen. Concerning pure exoticness, you can not conquer Aitutaki in the Cook Islands.
What is your travel quote?
Stockpile your PTO.
Incorporate travel into your life at which it makes sense: vacation evenings, as an example, where you get time off and can take an excess day on every end. Try and negotiate more time off than you are initially offered, When you’ve got a job or request an excess week in your annual performance evaluation. In a day and age where several employees do not work in offices every single day, talk to work remote, which can be a wonderful way while enjoying the perks of a paycheck to travel frequently. And be flexible: in where you move, flexible in when you move, and flexible when you arrive flexible. My travel experiences that are best are those that have been unplanned.
Where are you headed next?
My iPhone, my MacBook, my Canon, my sleeping headphones that block out my husband’s increasingly loud snoring.
Or the Faroe Islands! Or Palau! Or anywhere exotic and distant I haven’t seen yet.
“Not all who wander are lost?” I KID. I’m really tired of seeing this quote on every third Instagrammer’s profile. I don’t have a favourite quote per se, however also a muralist I recently worked with–my husband and I also run a neighborhood improvement program installing murals in rural areas 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 into community improvement these past few years:”If you want truly to understand something, then try and alter 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 to a new-to-me province in Canada along with an actual holiday to Bermuda for the mother’s 70th birthday.
From the time that I was 3, I knew I was going to be a writer, particularly through high school, I chose every gig I could get as a means to gain experience: at a paper , in a radio station, to get a TV network. After graduating with my degree in journalism and digital media from the University of Tennessee, I promptly transferred to New York to get a research position in Newsweek. From there, I hopped around publishing companies in various roles–Time Inc., Conde Nast, Bauer Publishing and Wenner Media, among others–although moonlighting as a reddish carper reporter for Glamour, InStyle along with PEOPLE magazines. I got my feet wet at the travel industry by penning a hotel and pub column for Newsweek, then authoring over a dozen guidebooks for Frommer’s. Now, I still freelance for such 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 attempts through my firm, Odinn Media, along with 12-year-old website Camels & Chocolate. I’m an unabashed Taylor Swift enthusiast (and yes, I have guessed her!) , a craft beer an AcroYogi along with enthusiast.
Find out more about her travels and Kristin Luna by checking out Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and her website!