This morning I sat down to work on a chapter in my next book. I'm at a road side coffee shop on Highway 1, heading north. I'm reflecting on what's been an awesome adventure over the last 7 days of travels... and as I sat down to catch up a bit the first email I opened was from a friend asking for recommendations on New Orleans must see places to visit.
No matter how far away I go New Orleans is my home. And I'm always happy to share.
A few weeks ago Helen, the market specialist from Borrowed & Blue—an online wedding planning site that caters to couples seeking the best of New Orleans—came to me to ask questions about my travels and where I make my home. So, yes! Of course I was happy to share! There are a million travel guides to New Orleans, most of them written by visitors, but no one knows NOLA like a local, so naturally I obliged! I love talking about my home!
Here's the note from Helen:
“This early spring weather always gives me such a sense of wanderlust. The air is getting warm, the trees are greening, and it feels like the right time to be moving and traveling. My latest fascination: New Orleans. I love this city’s warmth and its unique blend of cultures, but it’s so rare to find a guide written by a local! Borrowed & Blue is your inside guide to finding local wedding vendors, but getting to know the area? We leave that up to experts like Andi. As an avid road warrior and sartorial genius, Andi is just the sort of tastemaker we trust to introduce us to a new place. I can’t wait for folks to read through her answers and get a sense of Andi’s work and of New Orleans itself!”
Dude, I'm seriously flattered, and couldn't wait to chat further with her.
So voila! Our Q&A:
HELEN: Andi! Your blog is seriously dreamy. How did you get started?
ME: I’m a serious romantic and live in the mindset of manifesting day dreams into reality. So I appreciate that! I started the blog several years ago - I had a tumblr page, I shared things I loved, visuals that were inspiring me. It transitioned into a personal style blog, however what it is today is a serious departure from that. It’s become my story of bon vivants collecting perspective from around the globe. There’s a bit of self exploration that happens in the travels and in the type of writing I do - and hopefully the reader can identify with that.
HELEN: Who/what are your most significant aesthetic influences?
ME: When I was little I'd hide out in my mother's closet pouring through pages of Vogue Magazine. The photographers, editors, designers - they created a dream world that I wanted to be in. As a 'grown up' I'm influenced by textiles and wardrobe of people all around the world. Costumes and couture, whatever is unique to the places I visit.
HELEN: You’re a traveler, by trade and by nature. Where are you going this year, and why?
ME: As I answer these questions from Big Sur I'm on the last leg of a 7 day road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. This year my travels will be the most extensive they’ve ever been. I’m writing a book - titled “A Wanderful Life: A Modern Gypsy's Guide to the Infinitely Stylish Road Trip." I love the mindset of artistic survival; I feel a kinship to the people that live their lives on the hunt for the next destination. This book will feature 9 road trips and the creative muses that have the notion of gypsy traveling down to a science. My travels this year are for that reason - I'm digging deep to experience America's artistic hideaways. Next month I'll be in Terligua, Marfa, Santa Fe, White Sands and will trek through the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.
HELEN: Travel is a big part of your life, but your home is New Orleans. What makes it home?
ME: I say this often - there’s no city that encourages it’s residents to chase the muse like New Orleans. I'll come back every time for that feeling. My nomadic self finds the European, African and Caribbean blended city to be one of the most enriching in the world.
HELEN: Describe your dream day in New Orleans.
ME: The city is a dream; it's hard to narrow it down. I love the oaks at Audubon and a good afternoon Champagne picnic. I love strolling Royal Street - window shopping the galleries and shops along the way. I love a night out at d.b.a. or Tipitina's sweating and dancing with a few hundred other music lovers.
HELEN: I adore your taste in clothes. Where do you like to shop locally?
ME: I'm becoming more and more of a minimalist as I travel. However, when I find the need to add a few pieces to my wardrobe it's vintage or statement pieces that I'm interested in. Tippi Clark’s Little Flea NOLA is my favorite - all the best vintage vendors in one place.
HELEN: Describe something that sets New Orleans apart from other cities where you’ve lived.
ME: I could write a whole book about this honestly. For me, New Orleans’ cultural blend - it's roots as a European city and a Caribbean city in one American place is unique. You can get anywhere from New Orleans easily. It’s still inexpensive to live, so young creatives can come and establish a business and make connections. And the music: it's on every corner, authentic and soul filling.
So there we have it. A little ode to another year of travels and my home in New Orleans. Thanks to Helen for the chat, and be sure to check out Borrowed & Blue—they've got great recs and it’s a perfect place to find New Orleans wedding photographers too!
(this post was created in collaboration with Borrowed & Blue)