You know that awful feeling when summer ends and your disdain for it ending begins? For some, it’s as though they’ve managed to set up their life, work included, to make it one endless summer, incorporating warm beach destinations all over the world as part of their career. Island-hopping off the coast of Spain for a few days of work, jetting over to Morocco for a shoot and then a road trip through the Riviera, for what else, but a little La Dolce Vita documentation. Sounds too good to be true right?
We thought we’d find a few of those lucky enough to do just that and ask “How’d you do it!?” (Read: HOW CAN WE BE PART OF IT) … okay, and a few other questions too.
Would you call yourself a “sun chaser”?
I think I would. I’m constantly trying to be in places where I can feel warm inside and out! I especially tend to run away from New York winters..
How do you organize your life around summer and travel?
This summer I’ve worked a lot and stayed in the city pretty much every weekend so that I can go to Europe for a month in August! Since most of my job is from a computer (I write and create recipes for clients, write for my own blog and for Harper’s Bazaar Spain’s blog), I can basically work from anywhere. I also work with clients via Skype, so it works!
In what ways does this inform your lifestyle?
Light and sunshine both inspire me to feel good and create food, recipes, come up with ideas to write about, and of course, to take beautiful photos… I think I’m more creative in general when I can have these two. I also love the ocean, and being able to jump into the water whenever I please is priceless – nothing really compares to be able to do yoga in nature and INHALE 2,3,4,5 EXHALE 2,3,4,5 fresh air. I surf—or used to surf before I moved to New York, so being near the ocean always gives me the chance to go back to my relaxed, laid back surfer roots.
What do you love the most about summer?
What I love the most about summer in Brooklyn is walking around the neighborhood at night, going to brunch, riding a Citibike across the bridge… I love how people are so open in the summer too — the summer months are when I meet the most people and end up making friendships that last through the winters. Oh, I also love early mornings at Soho House pool when no one is there yet.
I especially love coming out of a restaurant at night after dinner and feeling the warm summer breeze. Walking in the warm air reminds me of Thailand, and this awesome sense of freedom, even though I’m really in the streets of Manhattan.
And what are your upcoming summer travel plans?
I’m going to the Balearic Islands in Spain: Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera, and maybe Ibiza. Then I’ll be in Italy in Puglia, Tuscany and Capalbio.
If you need to make a quick escape from the crazy winter in New York, where you’re now based, where do you go?
Tulum! It’s very close and I have many friends that live there, so it’s like a second home for me.
What are your beach vacation essentials?
HAT, hat, hat. Cool bikinis, usually peruvian from Toque D’Sol, Cowshed body moisturizer, La Roche Posay sunblock, sunglasses, Dr. Hauschka rose cream, rose water, and then just a bunch of skirts, high-waisted shorts, and crop tops. I wear a lot of white in the summer, so I usually bring many white options. I don’t pack light.
How does your job allow you to travel so much, chasing the sun?
My job actually makes me travel. I write about different places and restaurants for my blog, and I also design menus for restaurants. This year I worked in Tulum setting up and running a juice bar at Casa Jaguar restaurant, and I got the chance to live there for a few months.
Now I’m working on a project in Lima, Peru and might start advising another one in Bogota, Colombia. In New York I also have a couple projects going on. I also see myself teaching more and more yoga in the months to come, so I hope that I will be able to travel a lot just to teach in beautiful spots.
Do you think part of that is from your upbringing, passed on from your parents or your experience growing up in Peru?
Yes! I grew up on a farm close to Lima, where my mom grew organic vegetables, so I was always outside, running around and playing in nature. Also, in Peru I would go to the beach every weekend since we had a family house in Paracas (where I still go every time and visit) which is only two hours from Lima. You can go year-round and it’s always warm.. I guess I got used to that! Also, I lived in Mancora (a surf town in the north of Peru), for about a year after college, where I would wake up and run to the ocean every morning, even before I was fully awake. The ocean was my equivalent to a New York coffee.
You seem to follow the sun. What are your favorite summer destinations?
I have a very special kind of love for Tulum, Mexico , and I also love Cartagena, Barranquilla and Santa Marta, in Colombia, and Nosara, Costa Rica (very special place where I did my Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training).
Since you have to tie in work every day when you’re traveling, what’s an average day’s schedule like for you?
It really depends on where I am, but I usually like to write for my blog early in the morning (7-10 am seem to be my most productive/creative writing hours for me). When I’m in NY, I go to acting school until 2pm, and then I go to Soho House, where I usually eat lunch and work on editing photos and finish up writing. Then I go back to my place in Williamsburg to make a recipe and shoot. Sometimes I shoot at lunch at a specific restaurant too. I go to Jivamukti yoga at 6pm every day and, after that, I usually go to dinner with friends, or a show, or some party.
If I’m traveling, I usually do yoga in the morning, and then write for my blog/recipes for clients up until noon. I usually take photos later in the day, or very early at sunrise if I’m at the beach or somewhere in nature.
What are the systems you have in place that make anywhere you go feel like home – or an office?
My beauty routine is an important one: specifically my face wash, face moisturizer, body lotion, and perfume. Smells for me are very powerful, and smelling the same way everywhere I go makes me feel at home; it makes me feel more IN myself. I also have these boots, and a beige pair of shoes that I take everywhere, and they make me feel confident.
And do you ever think you could give up the travel and sit through a full, snowy winter?
For sure. I actually think its a very satisfying experience to have. I’ve done it in the past, and I really hated it but loved it at the same time. Winter allows me to be more quiet, and to dive deeper into areas of myself that summer would otherwise tan away or wash away with the waves. I think that winter has a very interesting magic, and I also believe that, just like plants, we as human beings, are meant to go through, and experience all the seasons (or maybe not if you’re Peruvian!).
Finally, the best beach you’ve ever been to?
San Blas Islands in Panama. We ate cacao beans and crab every day and lived on a sailboat. The beaches were UNBELIEVABLE.
Photo by Erik Melvin.
Fine Art Photographer & Founder, Gray Malin.
Everything about your works is so summery! Do you consider yourself a “sun chaser”?
Definitely. I am attracted to all things feel-good and the sun is the epicenter of so much joy, especially the beach.
How does that love of summer inform your lifestyle?
I believe in making every day a getaway, regardless of the season. However, summer is definitely the one that brings out the fun and whimsy in us all.
Do you feel as though you build your life around the sunshine?
It certainly is a big part of my professional life considering A la Plage is by far my largest collection! I enjoy all sorts of weather, though. Being up in the mountains with snow falling can be just as beautiful as a sunny day at the beach.
And where – or how – do you think that passion for summer was born?
I grew up taking summer vacations with my family in a small 1950s style community on Lake Michigan. We spent (and still do) our days sailing on the lake, playing games, and just enjoying each others’ company, free of the internet and cell service. These summers actually inspired my series Sail Away.
How did your career steer more towards summer-oriented photography?
My first aerial concept began on a hotel balcony with a bird’s eye view directly down on the large swimming pool below. When I got home, I kept coming back to these images. There was just something about them! A few months later I was in Miami for Art Basel and asked a few of the hotels if I could shoot their pools from the roof. After being told no, I thought of the next best thing: a helicopter. Soon after I became determined to document all seven continents and I traveled to Kauai in Hawaii, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney before continuing on to Europe and Africa to capture the world’s most famous beaches from above.
What’s the craziest destination your work has taken you to?
They are all different but Antarctica was by the far the most difficult series I have ever shot. It was so strenuous to capture, but it was worth it though as each image is filled with compassion about the changing landscape of our earth.
Another destination is the Salt Flats of Bolivia, which is where I shot my series Far Far Away.
You live in always sunny Los Angeles, but what are your favorite beach destinations?
Such a tough question! Locally, I love taking my dog to the beach in Huntington and Laguna Beach, and then a few of my favorites destination beaches are in Sydney (Coogee, Bondi, Bronte), Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema and Cape Town’s Camps Bay, South Africa.
And where are you taking a vacation or trip to this summer?
I actually just got back from a three week road trip through Italy, which holds a special place in my heart. It’s where I shot one of my most popular collections, La Dolce Vita and, during my recent trip, I got to document all new coastal towns across Italy and revisit some of my favorite Riviera spots.
What are your summer essentials, the items you always pack?
For a day out in the summer, my essentials are my husband, our dog, backgammon, a Gray Malin beach towel, and a bottle of Rosé. Perfect, right?
Do you have some secret tips or tricks for when traveling to a beach location?
I actually like to search the hashtag of the beach on Instagram. Sometimes you can find amazing tips and great vantage points to inspire where to go and what to photograph.
Can you ever see yourself stopping the travel, or is this an aspect of your life you never see slowing down?
It’s hard to say at this point if I’ll ever “slow down” as travel is a huge part of my life, and I love it. I definitely value the comforts of being home, though. I think having both makes you appreciate the other that much more.
Photos, courtesy Gray Malin.
Model who has been traveling the world since being scouted at age 15, @zippy seven
Do you consider yourself a “sun chaser”? What do you think about that term?
We all choose our own way. I chose the sun drenched, overgrown path to the beach and riding there bareback on a great horse.
How does you love for travel and the sunshine influence how you live your life?
I’m a quiet person, so I like to listen to strangers stories, take a lot of photos and keep travel diaries – and seeing the state of the oceans and the beaches makes you want to travel light and leave no footprints behind.
It’s a very set kind of a lifestyle. How do you organize your life to fill it with as much sunshine as possible?
I base myself out of New York and Paris most of the year where I have regular clients, and lots of opportunity to travel. I’m always looking for ways to keep this lifestyle that I love going and jump at any offer or idea.
When the cold starts coming, I skip down to Australia and New Zealand where summer is just beginning again.
Such an amazing way to live! So tell me what you think the best thing is about summer.
The air is hot, people are happy, free to spend long weekends cooling off in the ocean. Life is easy.
What are your favorite summer destinations? Is there one that you love the most and continue go back to?
It’s hard to beat an island..It’s a comforting feeling to me being in the middle of the ocean completely surrounded.
Where are you from, and how do think that helped drive your passion for the sun?
I’m from Waiheke Island, New Zealand . I grew up sailing, riding horses and running wild with my brothers. I can survive in a city because I love the galleries and rock n roll, but I can’t survive for long. I start yearning for the sea.
You’re in Paris right now. Do you have other summer travel plans?
We have plans to shoot in Morocco, Croatia and Belize before heading to New York, to help clean up the beaches on Long Island after that craziness.
And the best way to spend a summer’s day in Paris?
Paris is the city for summer romance! Wandering the canal, picnicking in parks, songs of street buskers in the air, everyone’s in the mood for love. Slip on a flowy dress, dance in the streets and be serenaded by laughing boys!
What are the items you always take with you when you travel to the beach?
Sun lotion, hat, books, camera, sarong, and pencils.
Can you describe your job?
When I was scouted at 15 I couldn’t have told you, I learnt over time and mistakes to always be on call, ready to run to a meeting, jump on a plane or take photos in my undies! I turn up at work ready for anything, I’ve been asked to get on all fours and howl and sneer at the moon. Put on stage dressed as Blonde, with a long haired backing band while I twirled and sang out her hits and cuddled up to a newborn foal. It’s a fun job. The more you put in the more you get out, so spending hours at the gym and living off green juices, will take you very far. I think the hardest part is staying true to your self and your morals.
As a model, how often does your job allow you to follow the sun?
I’m lucky, I’m small for a model. So light summer clothes and bikinis are everyone’s first idea for me, as they require no pinning or altering. And, although I once shot swimwear in the snow, it generally means we’re off to somewhere exotic.
And your ultimate way to solve the issue of tan lines / sunburn / other crazy summer-only beauty conditions?
Slip, slap, slop! It’s the only and most important rule to live by under the sun. I enjoy every relaxing second, letting long summer days and salty seas work their magic. To tell the truth, I don’t mind tan lines, I don’t mind when the hairs on my legs start to grow out or my hair starts to knot, the soles of my feet harden..
I like Aloe Vera for burnt skin, and learned to sleep under a wet Muslin cloth for a good nights sleep it hot countries.
What is the craziest summer travel story you have?
On a sailing trip to Arid Island we went rowing at night under a full moon into a Maori burial cave.
You could see the remains on a shelf in the eerie cave.
Another time in Indonesia the photographer and I stayed a few extra days after the shoot, we rode elephants through rivers and forest villages where the kids would chase after us and monkeys stole our food. I met an orphaned baby Orangutan, who clung to me with her arms around my neck and kissed me like a human baby does. It’s sad to see the deforestation and slaughter of such beautiful creatures.
Who is your ultimate travel partner in crime? What’s your best beach memory with them?
I fell in love with Terence Connors one New York summer…We were living in a shed in Montauk, playing music till sunrise, sleeping on the beach, borrowing bikes and surfboards. Bruce Weber took photos of us together that summer. He told us to take pictures of each other every day. So we have been ever since.
An ideal summer’s day for you is where, and what do you do?
Sailing with friends and family. Anchor in a beautiful bay, jump in, swim and cook a delicious summer meal while listening to Jimi Hendrix with crisp white wine.
Do you ever see yourself slowing down on the travel? And, when you do retire, where do you hope you’ll end up?
Yes, when I have kids I’ll probably have to stay put, between Waiheke and Paris… That will be an adventure!