Emma Kate is a wanderer, designer and self-confessed dreamer. She’s also the talented creative behind Emma Kate Co. a beautiful stationary line and travel blog. We asked Emma how she stays healthy and happy while juggling plane trips to far off lands and being a successful entrepreneur. We also asked her for her tips on how you can travel and be healthy too! (hint, it involves coffee!)
- Tell us a little bit about yourself – who you are and what you do.
I’m a designer – a traveller – and dreamer. In short, I live stories and write about them.
More specifically – I’m a graphic designer, hand-letterer, illustrator and all-round creative wayfarer. I’m travel obsessed, always on a plane and chasing the sun. A little over 2 years ago, I launched into the world my first stationery collection Wild Hearts, under my brand name Emma Kate Co. and it’s been a wild, non-stop adventure ever since. And importantly… I’m having so much fun!
- Do you have a morning routine? How do you adapt your routine when travelling?
There are some constants. I always start the day lying still for a few moments, thinking about my priorities and main purposes for the day ahead, and sorting through emails with a cup of English Breakfast tea. Always tea before coffee (a hangover from living a few years in London, I suppose). I’ve always been an early riser – I love to be up with the sun! I really love checking my emails, so usually do that first thing. As I work with all sorts of lovely brands around the globe, it’s always a treat to wake up and see what’s popped up overnight.
- Talk us through a typical day in your life on the road.
Depending on the kind of trip I’ve headed off on, a day on the road can also mean a day in the office [or my coffice, coffee + office, a cafe, anywhere]. When I’m overseas, waking up early often lets me check in with the office and stockists back home. I find that doing a few hours of work in the early morning let’s me feel at ease to disconnect for the rest of the day.
I am the strongest advocate for following your heart and your feet [and sometimes your stomach], hit the pavement walking, get lost amongst the winding streets. These days, I travel largely unplanned. I will always do some (necessary) research on where to find the best food & coffee. I try to eat the way of the locals and can be relied upon to have a glass of white wine or gin when the dusk sets in.
As an early riser, I am also an early snoozer, a good meal and a wander around the lamp lit streets and I’m ready to dream my way into tomorrow’s adventure.
- How do you stay healthy while travelling? Any tips, tricks etc.
Walk! Walk as far as you can, you’ll see more and experience more. Also, water for hydrating, coffee for caffeinating, and remember to eat to fuel & nourish your body [all that walking IS exhausting].
- Coffee or tea?
Always tea before coffee. But then, coffee and more coffee.
- What is your indulgence of choice?
Avocado. It’s a diet staple, I’m obsessed, everyone knows. I went without an avocado for 10 days on my recent trip to Europe, the situation was so dire that when I found one in Mykonos for 5.50 euro, I bought it and ate it for dinner.
- Three foods you can’t live without?
- Avocado [clearly]
- Fresh raspberries
- Tofu. I love it!
- What’s your go-to snack for flights?
I am pretty easy to please once I am crossed legged on a plane, it’s one of my most treasured happy places. Because I fly so frequently, I am lucky enough to have access to the Qantas Club. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I relish being able to work in the pre-flight lounge. Often I’ll arrive more than a few hours early, it’s where I get some of my best work done, with the hum of excited activity in the background. So it is here that I fuel my body for the flight ahead – and hunt out one final avocado snack. Being able to create my own plate full of salad prior to my flight helps set my body up, particularly for long haul flights.
- What’s your favourite destination for food?
Byron Bay – Byron Bay is my favourite place for a short trip. It’s sure to refresh the mind and rejuvenate the soul. It’s awash with places serving up fresh feeds that nourish the body. I’ll spend 3 days here, hoping from brunch location, to lunch, to dinner, napping in-between and signing off for a while. My favourite spots are definitely Three Blue Ducks at the Farm, Harvest in Newrybar, and Combi for Acai bowls!
- And favourite destination you’ve travelled to?
It’s so difficult to single out a favourite place, but my gut feel is to say Turkey. It’s such an exquisite country of colour, texture, kindness and contrasts – a total assault on the senses. I travelled there solo a very pivotal time in my becoming – after a significant breakup, and in transition between my life in London and relocating to Australia – so I think that’s why I remember Turkey with such gratitude and importance.
Turkey made me feel vividly uncomfortable, in a good way. I woke before sunrise to the prayer calls – the most unsettling and calming melody drifting through the sky. I covered myself in layers of clothing, yet felt more and more stripped back to my core. It’s a place where beauty and ruin coexists. And floating across the sky at sunrise, above the lunar-like, rugged moonscape of Cappadocia was one of the most incredible mornings of my life.
- Where to next for you?
This year I spent more time in my airport office than my real one – well, that’s how it felt anyway. So it is surprisingly refreshing to be able to say that I’ll be staying close to home [lets see how long it lasts though.] But this brain does start to tick away and I can feel the call to start planning again. I want to explore Hong Kong more, and I have been dreaming of the Maldives.
- … And any last words of advice or tips for those looking to start travelling/ travel more?
If I think about what travel has taught me most, I think it’s about hardening and softening. Hardening, in terms of strength – I’ve learnt that I can handle any situation – that I am much braver than I know. Softening – into the power of vulnerability. It’s beautiful to be inspired and moved by the world.
Always suss out the best coffee in a city, and make friends with the barista. They’ll usually have some great recommendations for adventures and things off the tourist track.
And…always make travel playlists. The songs you listen while you are on adventures, you will later associate with feeling free and conjure such powerful memories.
And…always pack sunscreen (I learnt this the hard way)!
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