It’s World Oceans Day — 5 Easy Ways You can Give Back to Big Blue!

The ocean covers more than 70% of our planet’s surface and hosts more than 90% of Earth’s water. She’s mighty & playful, yet she has seductive powers that casts trance like spells upon us. Most who are graced with her presence succumb to her never-ending sway.
There is a notorious understanding that we often hurt the ones we love most – taking them for granted as we know they will always be there. This phenomena goes beyond human to human and seeps into our relationship with Mother Nature.
Right now, there is an island of plastic floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, that was last measured in March to be about 1.6 million square kilometers in size. To put it into perspective, this is more than three times the size of France.
Today is #worldoceansday and we have one favor to ask you; before you purchase anything that involves single-use plastic, remind yourself of the likely hood of where it will end up. Whether it be in a landfill or in the ocean, its inability to decompose is detrimental to Mother Earth. Remind yourself that the power is in your hands. On this World Oceans Day in celebration, we are slipping into our bikinis and headed to the coastline. Before we dive in, we wanted to share a list of crazy easy, super practical ways we can conserve Big Blue every day — even if you don’t live near its shores.

A reusable water bottle is your best accessory:
Not only are we a nation chronically dehydrated, but we also have the terrible habit of using plastic water bottles and discarding them without realizing the impact. Only 7% of the millions of water bottles manufactured a day are recycled and turned into new bottles.

Sippin’ on Stainless Steel:
Trade in your plastic to-go straw, or worse those flimsy recycled cardboard ones that disintegrate in your cold brew (anyone else hate those?) and invest in these reusable stainless steel straws. They minimize waste and wash easily!

Be the Clean-Up Crew:
Every time we head to the beach we make sure to have our If You Care compostable garbage bags and reusable gloves and just pick up micro-trash as we go. You’re not only giving a little love to the ocean’s edges, but you’re getting a nice beach walk in while you do it!

Get Clean:
Toxic products we use in our everyday life — the most harmful can be found under our kitchen sinks — get back into our water sources and into our oceans. These can be detrimental to the animal and plant life living within. Until we stop using these products it’s a never-ending cycle! Below we’ve linked some of our favorite green cleaning products for your reference.

Consume, but Check-in:
in conclusion, it comes down to consumer choice so anytime you go to buy something check in and ask yourself about the longevity and toxicity of the product. What is its life cycle? Is the packaging going to end up in a landfill and/or ocean? If it’s not biodegradable or properly recyclable — the answer is probably yes.

 

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This Weekend’s Road Trip Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure

THE WANDERESS | DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO
MOVE THROUGH THE WORLD WITH LIGHT FEET,
OPEN HEARTS & PURPOSEFUL ACTIONS.This Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, Vacation

It’s often mid-week or mid-spring when the hunger arises. Like the grumblings of our stomachs that creeps up just around 10 PM, it’s the need to be satiated but this time by a changing of scenery. However, when you don’t quite have the funds for a ticket to Tuscany, and your PTO is no mas, there’s always Ojai.
Even if you can’t swing a night, an afternoon here will renew your sense of adventure and your nomadic tendencies. That’s why on a Sunday at noon four girls piled into a Prius and headed for the orange-blossomed hills of California’s hidden hippie oasis. Read on to find our treasured Ojai past-times.

This Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, Vacation

This Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, Vacation

This Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, Vacation

Why don’t you…

Grab a loaf of rye bread fresh off the counter of The Farmer and The Cook and a few other picnic accouterments and head for a shaded patch of grass just off the main road. 

Snag a bottle of wine from The Ojai Vineyard to accompany said picnic.

Stop to smell the orange blossoms. This time of year the Ojai area is rampant with heavy hanging fruit trees. It’s a sight to see, and even more rewarding if you’re able to snag a few for the ride home.

Book a night at the Ojai Rancho Inn for a most romantic look at local Ojai life.

Take in the sounds of the valley with the Ojai Rancho Inn’s Folk Steady — first Sunday of every month you can catch live music & maybe even Jack Johnson if you’re lucky.

Fill your woven basket bag at Summer Camp with independent designer goods and souvenirs for your friends back home!

Heal your soul (and sore muscles) when you take a dip in Ojai’s most serene natural hot springs, Ecotopia. Book online.

 

This Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, Vacation

This Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, Vacation

This Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, VacationThis Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, Vacation

This Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, Vacation

This Weekend's Road Trip That Will Renew Your Sense of Adventure | Ojai, Ojai Rancho Inn, Santa Barbara, California Wine, The Farmer and The Cook, Jack Johnson, Olesya Rulin, Summer Camp Ojai, Shop ojai, Road Trips in California, Hot Springs, Ecotopia, Where to hot springs in Ojai, Travel, Destination, Vacation

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Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert

THE WANDERESS | DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO MOVE THROUGH
THE WORLD WITH LIGHT FEET, OPEN HEARTS
& PURPOSEFUL ACTIONS.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.

Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.

Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.

If there were to be a track to this travel story it’s Rihanna’s Desperado — blaring from the windows of a white pickup truck speeding from California to New Mexico, in search of the entrancing gypsum dunes of White Sands Monument.

Gotta get up out of here 
And you ain’t leaving me behind
I know you won’t, ’cause we share common interests you
Need me, there ain’t no leaving me behind
Never know, no, both flying out of here yeah
Once we’re gone, ain’t no going back

The scenario was as such, seeking a change of pace from the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, two babes borrow a pick up, pack their bags, and chase the sun towards New Mexico. A dashboard littered with crystals and bunches of sage, the scene was perfectly set for an enlightened journey.

Desperado
Sitting in an old Monte Carlo
We’ve both had our hearts broken
Take it easy
I’m not trying to go against you
I can be a lone wolf fishing

The ivory sculpted sand dunes emit a vast mood of noiseless aloneness — the type of place where thoughts can multiply into the infinite space. Beginning as a two day trip, it quickly grew in added hours as they put home on pause for more days dancing in the dunes.

If you want
We could be runaways, running from 
And it’s out of luck
Yeah, yeah, there ain’t nothing
There ain’t nothing here for me
There ain’t nothing here for me anymore
I don’t wanna be alone

The wardrobe consisted only of bare feet, billowing white fabrics, eclectic jewels, and micro bikinis — all you need in a locale where the temps hit high of 100 in early spring. Dashing from the park rangers to shed their clothes and run free, they bounded over the sand hills, and under the sun’s rays for what felt like endless moments until the desert turned pink, then black with night, and it was time to return to California. 
Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.

Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.

Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.

Two Babes Borrow A Pick Up Truck & Chase The Sun In Search of The Worlds White Desert -- VERITE PUBLISHED --- White Sands Monument New Mexico, White Sands New Mexico, Road Trip, Photography, White Desert, White Sand Dunes, Editorial, Fashion, Spring Summer 2017, Color Palette, Blonde Girl, Brunette Girl, Travel, Gyspet, Gypset Style, Travel Style.

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Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba!

Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! | Now on VERITE WOMAN, Cuba, Travel, Wanderlust, Gypset, Travel Tips, What to bring to Cuba, Havana, Viñales, Where to eat in Havana, Where to shop in Cuba, What to do in Cuba. Color Study: One Photographer Charms Us With Postcards From Cuba! When scrolling through Anna-Alexia Basile’s Instagram feed it’s easy to garner her aesthetic is highly influenced by color and light. Color through light. Light impacting color. It seems only natural that she booked herself a ticket to Cuba just a few months after the country settled differences with the U.S. and opened its welcome gate. Retrophiles have shared in worry — Cuba will soon be impacted by our tourism, and will no longer feel like a moment stuck in a time long, long ago. However, you see here, this has yet to unfold. Cuba is still a land of charisma — each photo almost bringing to life the sounds, smells, visuals of Havanas streets, all swirling together into one visceral treat. We wanted to know everything Anna could tell us about this until-now forbidden place, so grab your café cubano and read on…

Why Cuba?
My world is ruled by color so Cuba was a no brainer. Everything — the house, the cars, the people — are so vibrant. Cuba speaks my visual language, so it was the ideal place to make some color-heavy magic. Plus I’ve always been enamored w salsa dancing and salsa music– you can barely walk the streets there without getting pulled into the rhythm. You may be dancing with a stranger, but the moves are perfectly familiar.

What cities did your Cuban adventure take you to?
We flew into Havana and immediately drove to Viñales, a small rural town on the western side of Cuba. Viñales is so dreamy — it has one main road that’s lined with tons of colorful houses that lead you to the main square. The streets are filled with locals and travelers alike who are all mixing, mingling and dancing in the square into the wee hours of the night. By day we rode horses through the avocado groves and tobacco farms and sampled local rums and hand-rolled cigars. By night we’d always find ourselves back at the main square dancing with strangers and dipping in and out of bars with live music.
We ended our trip in Havana, Cuba’s capital. We spent our days soaking in the ocean air and exploring the winding streets of old Havana. We made friends with young locals and would explore art galleries and beautiful pools by day and then dance into the night on timeworn rooftops.

How did you prep for this trip? 
I did a lot of pre-planning because I knew we were going to have very limited access to the Internet once we arrived. My tips for anyone considering making this beautiful adventure are to:
Download an offline map — enter in all the destinations you’re interested in before you leave the States. This will show you what’s near each other so you can group activities in close proximity together on the same day
BYOB: Bring Your Own Basics — Because of the embargo, Cuba doesn’t have a lot of the basics that we’re used to having day-to-day. I didn’t realize how much I took for granted elementary first aid until I got some gnarly blisters on my feet. Not only did the stores not have Band-Aids, but neither did the emergency room…in Havana, nonetheless!
Embrace the Bike Taxi — Bike Taxis are a great way to quickly shimmy through the skinny streets of Havana. On our first day there we had a young kid Bike Taxi us around Havana Vieja and point out all the big landmarks so we could familiarize ourselves with the area.
Talk to the locals — Make friends with people you meet in the street and spend time with your hosts. Chances are they’ll turn you on to something unexpected!

Tell us about Cuban life: What stood out? What impacted you? Where did you feel the most inspired?
I was blown away by how friendly and welcoming the locals were — both in urban and rural settings we were greeted with open arms. It felt easy to experience the culture because everyone was excited to share it with us. I was most inspired by the colors. My eyes were constantly on sensory overload. I never knew where to look—the corners where the colorful houses meet, the vibrant cars whizzing past each other on the street or the striking older Cuban women smoking cigars alongside ancient buildings.

Let’s get down to it: Where do you suggest travelers go, eat, shop?

Viñales | Eat: At the Casa Particulare that you’re staying at! The hosts will often cook you a really delicious local meal that’s a nice change from the usual nosh

See: Tour the tobacco fields on horseback and take a day trip to Cayo Jutías, a wistful crystal-clear beach where the locals drive their old cars right up to the water

Do: Salsa dance with someone new in the main square!

Havana | Eat: At El Dandy for quick and delicious vegetarian friendly meals and free popcorn, La Guarida for a nice sit-down date, $0.30 street pizza!

See: Get lost in the streets of Havana Vieja and walk the Malecon (the big wall along the sea)

Do: FAC (Fabrica de Arte Cubana) for an evening experience of the young and modern in Havana

Shop: Clandestina for locally designed really rad clothing and bags

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Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us!

Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.Ever wonder what it’s like to be a travel writer with a book deal? A dream life for most of us. Andi Eaton, founder of the blog Oui We is now seasoned in the process of executing a book, and even more so in the art of The Wanderess — packing up her car, grabbing her camera, and getting on the road. With her second book Wanderful: The Modern Bohemian’s Guide to Traveling in Style (Amazon Prime people,hustle and it could still be the perfect Christmas gift) just out we thought it high time we dove behind the scenes of her 35mm, technicolored life.
From the spookiest of road trip stories, to how traveling America in such a dire time rejuvenated her, Andi embodies the nomadic lifestyle many crave, yet few are brave enough to follow.
Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.

Vérité Woman: You just published your second book, Wanderful, which is truly the coolest thing ever! What did the process of making this book look like?

Andi Eaton: Ahhh, yes — thank you girl! I’m sooo glad to see it out in the world finally — the process is so damn lengthy, about 2 years. So here was sort of how it all broke down, and this is once the whole concept was created and sold to a publisher (that was a whole process in itself): 3 months of outlining, organizing, researching and deciding which locations would be featured, 3 months of traveling to the destinations, shooting, meeting the girls that would be featured, taking notes on their stories and stalking the cool kids in each destination to get a sense of where locals truly hang… and then after that write, write, write.
I’m the type of writer that likes to lock myself away and get it all done. I would write a chapter in about 3 days, take a day to edit and then move to the next.
After all of that is complete, the book goes into the design stage and that’s another several month process. That’s truly the part I loved the best (besides traveling to all of the destinations of course). Seeing all of the photos laid out and creating a story told through visuals and words… I love that. From there, it’s off to sales/marketing/pr, etc… and voila! We have a book.

VW: What were your top three favorite places that made it into the book?

AE: Terlingua, Texas — it’s a total artistic utopia full of quirky drifters and was the last stop on a my first desert road trip.
Big Sur, CA — it’s magnitude is supernatural, I was immediately transported back to the 60s era bohemian artist’s off-the-grid Big Sur.
Flathead Lake, Montana — It’s the largest natural lake in the west. Once there, there’s so many choose your own adventure opportunities in those majestic mountain towns surrounding it.

VW: In a world of influencers whose content is very much based on themselves you bring a fresh take to blogging — uplifting others and sharing an outlook of freedom and free spirit. What about your journey made you want to focus on these subjects for Oui We Girl?

AE: I started this whole process at the time when fashion bloggers were starting to land front row seats at fashion week and instagram was starting to make stars out of the “the girl next door.” I launched my first blog with the intention to cover what was happening in my own community — specifically the fashion community in New Orleans. At the time I was running the fashion week program there and that’s all I wrote about.
Around then I was also finishing my first book “New Orleans Style” — I went to Spain for 4 months to get the writing completed (told ya I like to lock myself away to write) and it occurred to me that it was time to shift Oui We to reflect these new experiences. I love the mindset of artistic survival and for the first time I’d have to live that way — I’d left my corporate job and felt a kinship to people that live traveling gig to gig.
That summer, while taking writing breaks, I’d travel through Spain (on a serious budget, btw!) and the idea to relaunch my site as a home for bohemian travelers — with stories about the spirit that comes alive in oneself when traveling that way — happened there.

Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.

VW: Your Instagram is like peering down a Wes Anderson meets Twiggy rabbit hole. Where do you gain inspiration for your images from?

AE: Girlll, okay, yesss, omg thank you, that’s a serious compliment. I suppose I never felt quite right doing the standard #ootd posts… I’ve always loved editorial fashion — however I grew up going to flea markets with my mom, and always found a joy in collecting quirky things at estate sales and thrift shops. My aesthetic is a bit darker maybe — I love art, film, music and poetry that evokes ephemeral emotions that are kind of hard to identify. I’m inspired by visuals that have an air of heaviness, but still feel playfully potent. When I’m considering creating imagery for my own IG page I think about finding a way — through movement, or light perhaps — to have the viewer feel as if they were right there in the experience.

VW: What tips would you give to a girl with a small budget looking to take a life changing road trip?

AE: When I’m considering going somewhere life changing I think about going into nature first. I pack my car full of snacks, and sometimes even bring a cooler with fresh fruits, veggies and goodies to make little meals… you don’t have to eat out, or buy lots of things, or even pay for tourist sorts of things… just get out there with a map, a tank full of gas and a plan and it’s all possible.
Plus: I travel on a writer’s budget… so truly, while it can sometimes look glam, it really isn’t. In my book there’s lots of hostel priced hotels featured, I love glamping for budget traveling too… and even airbnb can be done on a budget.

VW: If you could give girls advice starting their own business, or dedicating life to their craft what would it be?

AE: Study your ass off, find brilliant mentors, don’t think you know everything about what you’re doing, ever — there’s always more to learn. Build a business plan, get comfortable losing more than you win at the beginning. Remind yourself that every morning is a leap of faith. Follow your intuition, don’t  allow the self doubt to seep in, and save every penny you can to get your dream going.

VW: Wow, those are serious nuggets of gold that just moved me a little! What does a day in your life look like?

AE: It truly depends on where I am, often I’m out on the road, however on the days I am home it might look like this: Sleep until 8 or 8:30 (I’m a serious advocate for sleep), plus my bf plays in a rock band, so inevitably we’re out late a lot.
Morning beauty rituals:  I do normal things like brushing my teeth, washing my face, take my vitamins and then I layer on holistic facial oils, but I do that stuff before I even step into the kitchen. Next it’s coffee, smoothies or an easy breakfast like turmeric oats maybe — I cook a ton — and then I’m at my desk by around 9:30. If I’m traveling, this is where the routine is totally different and I’m out exploring by 9 or so at the latest.
If I’ve got a writing assignment or a post going up on Oui We I’ll turn on some music, tune everything else out and get to work. I’ll spend the next several hours on that and on client projects (I offer creative consulting & direction for a handful of female-owned businesses). I often go to Bikram Yoga around lunch time and ideally the second half of the day is devoted to creative activities — whether that’s writing, mood boarding or taking photos out in nature (or in the city, depending on where I am!), I get a lot of energy from exploring.
In the evening it’s sage, essential oils and then I cook dinner with my bf, wine and a good 70s’ playlist. If Ben and I are on the road we’ll find a tucked away restaurant and maybe meet up with friends. My pace of life is much slower living in Nashville, by the way, than it was back home in New Orleans where there’s always a party.
Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.
VW: In such a time of strain within our own country your book, your blog, and your photos are like a beautiful ode to America. What discoveries have you made about the country and its people that stand out most to you?

AE: I started the research for “Wanderful” before I ever could have imagined what would happen in last year’s election… however, what I did know was that the natural resources and the beauty throughout America — like what we have in our National Park system — was something that I wanted an opportunity to talk more about. As I went out to experience much of America last year the relationships that I develop with people all over this country — people that are so deeply rooted in doing right for the environment, and for their own cultures and communities was an unbelievably awesome bonus.  
In all of the places I went, and there were a lot — the book covers 9 road trips across the country — there were many moments of unexpected connection. As divided as this country is right now, and that strain that we’re all feeling — I find that when we ground into nature, music, good food and drink, the stars — all the good stuff. I find there’s always something there that can bring us together … so those are the thing I spend time on.Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.

VW: I love a good scary story. Do you have any road trip horror stories for us?

AE: Haha, there were definitely some moments… but maybe this one was the best:
This occurred traveling through the Chihuahuan Desert, and I’ll preface with a note that there’s a deep magic in that sort of wildness, even when it is a bit scary.
We’d started out on a venture to a hot springs we’d heard about down on the border. The host of our campsite gave us directions, reminded us to drive slow — we’d be taking a seriously primitive road — and said in 6 miles we would cross into the backside of the national park where the hot springs would be. We packed water, PB&Js and took off. What none of accounted for was the heavy rains a few days before. The other question we’d failed to ask… ‘when we cross that 6 mile mark, how much further until we hit a paved road?’ The answer to that question would have been 18 miles. And 18 miles is major on a mud soaked primitive desert road.
About 3 hours in, we drove deep into a mud bog… no cell service and visions of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre were only half of the fears that were starting to bubble up. We thought surely someone would cross our path, but we’d seen no one yet that day. We climbed onto the roof… nothing as far as we could see, and then the coyotes started to howl. We thought we’d hike out, however a short distance from the car we were startled by the sound of rattles (omg, snakes?!) and were there scorpions scurrying behind the cactus trees? Back to the car we went.
Finally 2 hours later another human: a border patrol officer — however we weren’t of concern to him…he needed to attend to what was happening on his radio. I plead. He stopped: “How in the world did you guys get out here? it’s only going to get worse ahead, so put it in first gear and crank yourselves out of here.”
This is the first time my skill from being the only girl in a crew of off roaders when I was 16 has come in truly, very handy. We worked that car out of the mud, and a few hours later we were finally drinking beer in that hot springs saying to ourselves… “the stories we will tell.”

VW: I am so satisfied with that scar story, I got goosebumps. What’s your next dream destination?

AE: I’ve not been to Japan yet. It’s high on my list. Australia too.Definitely in 2018.

VW: Three books you can’t live without?

AE: I suppose these are the three I recommend the most:
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles – Steven PressfieldMany Lives, Many Masters by Brian WeissAnd lately there’s been a tie between Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and Material Girl, Mystical World: The Now Age Guide to a High-Vibe Life

Travel Writer & Two Time Book Author Andi Eaton Schools Us! | VERITE WOMAN, Bohemian, Travel, Gypset, Instagram, Best Books 2017, Road Trip, Desert, Travel across America, Amazon.

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