A travel guide for your trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Where to stay, what to eat and other can’t miss places.Read More
After spending the last two years traveling America's most beautiful routes I feel confident in saying I've mastered the art of the road trip. How to pack your bags, your car, beauty tips while traveling, how to make it out of sticky situations in one piece and I'm in love with how good it feels to connect with the deeply routed people all over this big badass country.
I ended this year with a trip back to the country that spurred my interest in writing my book Wanderful to begin with - Spain - and here's the short version of how all of that came to be:
I spent the summer of 2014 finishing up my first book New Orleans Style. Here I was, given an opportunity to create something that would become my calling card as an author and in the spirit of my wanderluster Grandmother I studied the constellations, put my luck on a full moon and booked a one-way flight to the Mediterranean coast.
As I took off it occurred to me: every time I’d taken a trip I’d sought out a guide. Usually that came in the form of a book, or a magazine, and lots of google searching for travel blog posts on my intended destination - there were lots of lists of the best restaurants and bars, the museums to visit, and the tours to take - but what I hadn't found was a guide for the fashion loving bohemian types like me! Those interested in slow, experiential travel. So, I set out to make just that. Wanderful became the American road trip version of that, and what I wish for the readers is that they get out and see the wonderment that America has to offer.
2018 Dream Destination List
So now, 3 years later, it's the end of 2017 and I'm thinking where to next.?! I'm starting to brainstorm ideas for next projects and certainly intend to cover more international travel in 2018, and so to end the year Ben and I spent a few weeks in Spain - it's truly a country that sparks my inspiration like no other.
I've been poring through the Expedia blog to get ideas for 2018 travels and here's 5 destinations I'm adding to the list, and some of my magical girlfriends lending to that inspiration.
p.s. even if you're only planning one adventure this year, let these glorious destinations & ladies inspire the wanderlust in you.
My darling friend Keiko (yes the one that's alllll over my book) visited Santorini this year and every photo was a pure dream. I researched a bit and then this article grabbed me - romance? oui, please!
Glamorous seascapes, glittering horizons and white washed hillsides... I don't know what I'd do first: sample the local wines (the vines grow deep into the island’s ancient volcanic soil enhancing the flavors), swim in the Aegean Sea or rent a car to venture out to the blue umbrella-topped Red Beach and Oia.
This particular post on Italy has me wanting to spend weeks exploring the country but MIchaela's photos coupled with her the notes on Florence: a quaint apartment within walking distance of all one’s favorite gelato shops, tucked away restaurants with local fare of house-cured meats, and expertly curated cheeses and wonderfully stylish locals have me wanting to make Florence my first Italian destination.
Krystal is another one of my travel loving friends and my oh my does she ever make traveling look like an ethereal delight. Her blog is one of the most beautiful out there. Between she and Jasmine (my Aussie friend who's currently living life as a New Yorker) these two have given me a serious lust for Australia.
Krystal spent this holiday season traversing Australia, go take a look at her instagram to get some serious Australian summer inspiration, and in her recent post on Byron Bay she describes it like this: A coastal town, Byron Bay is located in the southeastern corner of New South Wales and offers all the sea-faring charm you’d expect it to — think Santa Cruz meets Montauk, with a dash of Venice Beach — where surfers live to surf [and] where families live in the most adorable beach-facing homes, shopping at the local farmer’s markets every Sunday." I want to go for the views (of course), the seaside meet jungle hikes and the bohemian inspired shopping throughout the area.
Amanda, who's gorgeousness graced the cover of my book (and who's also seen on lots of pages in the Pacific Coast Highway chapter), makes living the life of a world traveling photographer look incredibly connecting. This winter & spring she's leading Photo & Art tours and I'm fingers crossed, going to make one of these happen by end of Spring. Her Cuba tour includes balcony breakfasts, ocean swims, visits to artists collectives, and convertible rides. Si, si si!
Ana has been on a world traveling whirlwind this year. Go scroll through her 'gram for just a sec and you'll be hard pressed to actually decide which destination she makes look the best.
She visited Lisbon this year after discovering her grandmother's family originated there, and she shared her experience on "meadering" through Lisbon in this post. I researched a bit more, found this 48 hour guide to Lisbon, and coupled with the inspiration from Ana's photos - Lisbon climbed (easily) onto this list.
I can't wait to get the planning underway. I've got some good tools I've been using for booking too - so I'll be back to share those soon! In the meantime, any places you think I need to add to the list? Tell me, tell me, tell me!
SHOP OUI WE'S TRAVEL STYLE
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Notes on a lovers' lifestyle....
SHOP BEACH MAXI DRESSES
Books to read: The Vacationers (Emma Straub), A Winter in Majorca (George Sand), Wild Olives: Life in Majorca with Robert Graves (William Graves), Turning Up at Dawn (Tomas Graves), The Rocks (Peter Nichols), Living in Style Mallorca (Christine von Auersperg)
9 am: the sun's starting to pour through the curtains and there's 3 things on my mind: a café solo from the coffee man we've started calling "our coffee man", a sugary sweet ensaimada from the bakery one door over from him (it's similar to a beignet I suppose and a delicacy in Mallorca), and the beach, of course. After we wander along through the sleepy streets of Arta, inevitably we'll decide which beach on this island will be ours for the day.
I peer out of the window, and as expected, the sun's waves are dancing upwards and calling me out, I push open the shutters and the sounds of the village are just starting to join in on what the sun's started: the zip zip and then zooooom of our neighbors moped, the children down the alley being hustled along to school and I settle back into the thinking of "oui, si, oh yes, I could live here - like this - forever."
This trip is different for me, technically - we're on vacation. We drink rosé with lunch, a local red with the late afternoon tapas, and we share a bottle more at night with whatever seafood dinner we're having. One day in and we were fully settled: food + wine, morning trips to the market and seaside drives, long soaks in our oversized bathtub at night: and we've said to each other over and over "vacaciones con mi amor!"
I thought quite a bit about what to share with you here, and truly, a trip to Mallorca in the off season means we had the beaches often to ourselves, we hiked Torrent de Parreis (plan a day for it) with just a few others, and our trips into the Serra de Tramuntana involved us, a few cyclists and locals, and only the occasional tour bus hair pinning up the winding roads directly at us.
I won't give you a "must see" list - the island is a bit more than that - however here's a few things I'll add to your list if you visit:
The Markets: Arta on Tuesdays, Sineu on Wednesdays, there on the weekend? Check around, you'll find one
The Beaches: Cala Gat at Cala Ratjada, Cala d'Or, Cala Pi, Cala Banyalbufar, Cala Deia, Sa Calobra and honestly I could go on and on (and on)
The Beach Towns & Villages: Arta (we stayed in an Airbnb that was an absolutely dream home), Deia, Fornalutx, Pollenca, Sineu, Santanyi, Valldemossa, & Port de Soller
Rent a car, it's cheap, and you can get anywhere.
One day we sat on our rooftop all afternoon - at sunset I looked down into the alley ways, the smoke rising as the neighbors lit their evening fires and commented: "there is something very Jim Jarmusch about this place..." a while later I opened another jar of olives and came across this quote: "if anyone tells you there is only one way, their way, get as far way from them as possible, both physically and philosophically."
In that moment, I pulled myself closer into Ben, the sun bounced down over the hazy mountain and then fireworks lit up the sky - we found ourselves running into the plaza to see what it was all about. We trailed along to find a wedding party second lining through the village! And right there in our small town of Arta ... tears fell from my eyes, a mix of wine and wonder and because this world offers so much. Love and celebration: that stuff happens everywhere, and today it was all ours and each of these lovers sharing this little island with us.
These travel diaries are often the hardest to write, why? because they're mine... no one else to photograph or interview or get local stories from... it's just me (and Ben, usually) out there experiencing the world and hoping to share the best of what we've found and experienced (even when we're on vacation) with you.
Gracias, always, for being here.
*wardrobe for this trip was provided by Ophelia Swimwear. Shop their collection at their newly launched online storefront.
I'm finishing packing up for a weekend down at Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. I've been to this festival many times, some of my favorite memories of times with friends have happened at this fest. I'm doing this year a little differently, however. I'll be staying at a beautifulllll b'n'b about 30 miles away, and taking notes on things to do for the female adventurer too. (Come back for that post, and follow along on my IG stories to get an inside look at our b'n'b starting tomorrow!)
I've always loved festivals on the beach and to be honest, I JUST checked the line up and am kinda wayyyyy excited: Phoenix, Band of Horses, MGMT and Mutemath are topping my list. It's my first beach weekend of the year, and as a girl that's always happiest by the water it feels like it's the perfect kick off to the summer.
I took a last minute road trip this past weekend to Shaky Knees Festival in Atlanta (and wow, it was a good one! Two weekends in a row of Phoenix, my faveeee, and omg I'm a happy camper.) One of the things I love most about a good road trip is the excitement of jumping in the car and just, well - going for it.
I'm truly thinking through my festival packing list this go round since it's a three day deal. I'll be meeting up with a group of travel & style bloggers in partnership with Subway (yummy salads and "green room" accommodations at the fest, yes please!), and there's two things I'm thinking about as I get my trunk loaded up:
1. Festivals give us the perfect opportunity to rock out our most adventurous bohemian summer fashions (I mean, c'mon whether we like it or not Coachella seems to be the new Fashion Week).
2. I don't want to look like a "fest girl wannabe." At all. And you shouldn't either. Be your best you, and maybe funk it up a bit and you'll have the best time.
So here's what I'm packing and a little of the prep I'm doing before road tripping to the beach tomorrow.
So there we have it loves. I'll catch you guys at the top of the ferris wheel and I hope you guys will follow along this weekend on insta. I'll definitely be sharing a post festival recap. Share your thoughts on my packing list in the comments. Anything I'm missing?! What's your festival style?
Time. It's a surreal thing, tumbling by on occasion and slowing to a halt on others... As I prepared to share this post: the reveal of the cover of my new book - "Wanderful: The Modern Bohemians Guide To Traveling In Style" I ruminated back on the last several years. I reflected back to the summer of 2014, road tripping through a foreign country - eyes ablaze - taking in new places everyday. Then fast forwarded to the summer of 2015, back home in America contemplating what wonderment my home country might hold for me.
I came across a post I wrote then, August '15 - here's a little note from that post:
A year after finishing my first book, I'm so excited (and a little nervous) to share that I'm underway with book number two (eeee!). With an open heart, I'm ready to tell you at least this much -- this little story will be a girl's guide to the best road trip of her life...
It'll include road trip necessities, routes for weekend travelers and those who are planning a bit more time on the road. There will be picnic baskets (the kind that'll chill champagne for late nights camp side), piles of woven blankets to keep cozy in the cool desert air, and Polaroid snapshots along the way. Of course, it'll have music selections for long winding nights behind the wheel and a library of road trip reads for the bibliophiles like me.
And here, a year and a half later I'm having for real, a moment of straight up euphoria in sharing this with you. I truly feel that THAT is exactly what we've created with this book!
I'm often asked, 'how does one decide to take on writing a book?' and, then 'what's the process like?' - especially when it's a book that covers 9 road trips across America. I felt prepared going into this, I mean, hey - I've written a book before, and understood the joy and pain (and trust me there's much of both) even though this concept and approach would be so seriously different.
However what I couldn't have prepared for was the beautiful travelers I'd meet along the way, the friendships I'd develop and those that would deepen from doing this sort of traveling. I couldn't have prepared for the genuine thrill of exploring my own creativity in a new way while concepting this book... the delight in seeing ideas come to life through photographs, and my own romance with the world at large that would expand with each passing hour on the road.
So without dragging this on any longer, I'm happy to share a bit more about the book, this is an excerpt from my publisher's site:
"A girl with a love for off-the-beaten-path destinations, Andi Eaton found herself putting aside the Lonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveler guides and, instead, looking to bohemians and artists for travel and style inspiration: What do the flower children wear on their excursions? Where are the creatives’ favorite vintage shops? And where do the musicians go late-night dancing after the last encore? The dreamer in her wanted more than what a standard travel guide could offer, so she decided to create her own.
Wanderful is a stylish lookbook and travelogue for the adventurous and nomadic at heart. Follow in Andi’s footsteps as she travels the United States to discover some of its most effortlessly chic destinations—and the fashionable free spirits and wanderers who live there. Nine intimate and exciting road trip routes explore cities, forests, and in between, and will make you feel like you’re traipsing the country with your best, and best-dressed, girlfriends by your side."
The book comes out on September 12th, so we've got a little ways to go, however you can pre-order now, and I will truly love those of you who do forever! And! In the meantime, I'll be sharing little peeks and behind the scenes stories every month leading up to the release.
Here's a bit more about the cover!
The cover features Photographer & Musician Amanda Bjorn. Each chapter features locals and wanderlusting road trippers that I met along the way. When I took off for my own Big Sur road trip I thought about Amanda. She had traveled the PCH with her boyfriend (and creative partner) and an old school Super 8 camera creating film footage for their band's newly released EP "Young and Restless."
Amanda was my muse for this route. She is the ultimate wanderful girl.
As Allister (who photographed much of the Pacific Coast Highway chapter) and I pulled into Big Sur, I envisioned Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac and Joan Didion perched high on the rugged cliff’s edge in their writer’s retreats. What it must have been like for them when they first laid eyes on this place. I wanted to emulate their stories, and Amanda clearly had done the same.
Btw, in Big Sur, people make plans a different way. It’s old school; the mystics and mountain men, healers and musicians flow along without any need or want for the outside world’s static. I fell in love instantly. Big Sur was a highlight of my first road trip and embodied an energy and a feeling that would stay with me for the remainder of these wanderful travels.
Without giving anything away, I've shared a few behind the scenes images and outtakes below, these photos capture the spirit of this sort of travel (I think)! Enjoy!
I can't wait to share more with you, and truly hope you all love it and are inspired to get out there in the world.
outtake photo credits (from top, and l to r): Allister Ann 1, 3-5, 7, 8, 10 | Hunter Holder 2, 6 | Keiko Lynn 9
Hi hi you guys!
I've been away for a while I know, figuratively and literally. This month's travels are off to a super brilliant start, and for the first time I think - ohhhh - ever, I've had some truly off grid days. I began my first official book writing road trips this month, first along the beaches of 30A (more on that in a later post!) with Hunter and then a few days later I flew out to LA for my first trip with Allister. Both are photographing the adventures for "A Wanderful Life."
When I landed in LA I had a day to get organized. A 6 day road trip through beaches, mountains, valleys and farms with photo shoots for the book planned all along the way requires a lot. A car full of props, clothing, accessories, plus the standard road trip supplies was necessary. I landed, spent a few hours out on Venice Beach and then headed into LA to collect wardrobe for the trip. I met up with 3 killer (and super cool) LA designers: Rob of Jungmaven, Renee of 16th Colony and Ayumi who's the designer for the newly launched Miss Me Vintage.
The next morning Allister and I took off from the Los Feliz neighborhood of LA (funny how she lives there, and I decided to Airbnb in a backyard '78 camper before knowing that's her 'hood).
We headed up the 101, wound our way along rolling green fields, pretty spring flowers, and then, there she was, the Pacific Ocean -- directly out of my driver's side window. We dipped off of the interstate beneath old gnarled vines and trees into the electromagnetic force of Ojai Valley.
The Chumash natives named the valley for the moon - the word is "ʼawhaý" - which at night, rises up creating a famous pink glow across the valley sky. Ojai is a mecca for artists, and let's be honest, anyone that follows the fashion forward instagrammers of LA has seen a weekend trip filled with concerts, horseback riding, spa days, tangerines (they're everywhere) and the beautiful back country in their feeds.
As an artist's retreat it's a bit different from other art destinations - there seems to be a synergy there between the spirit seekers, the makers and the ranchers living off the land. When Allister and I pulled in to the valley I got whatever invisible force Director Franck Capra must have felt when he chose Ojai as his location for the filming of "Lost Horizon." The Shangri-La vibe is everywhere.
Chain stores (other than a few gas stations and banks) are prohibited by law and the galleries and boutique shops featuring locally made wares are abundant. The mix of businesses is perfectly curated... think Truman Show but for the nouveau hippie glamping set.
There's vintage inspired lifestyle shops, Airstreams in parking lots, a farm-to-table biker bar, succulents and California flora, pop-up fairs and the most instagram-worthy road side inns. The vibe is old-school bohemian California blended with modern day farm, and the town streets are filled with handsome rancher types (with tattoos and cowboy boots) and gorgeous art girls on solace searching retreats.
Here's my list of things to do, places to stay and must see destinations if you're going for a quick weekend trip!
Ojai Rancho Inn - right off the main drag the Ojai Rancho Inn has the cutest little lobby that doubles as a boutique. Cactus plants line the fireplace and palo santo is for sale at the check in desk. The rooms have jacuzzi tubs (!, yessss) however the vibe is distinctly rustic. The pool out back reminds me of what you'd find in a 70's summer camp.
Lunch at Boccali's - it's directly between two peaks overlooking the valley beneath the shadow of hundred year old oaks. Sitting on a mountain side curve, there's a garden out back providing the pizza and pasta toppings. It's directly outside of the downtown strip (if you can call it that) -- serving up Italian family dishes, they're known for their Strawberry Shortcake.
Hip Vegan - I picked up a Vietnamese Iced Coffee made with coconut milk, Allister and I tried the tangerine marmalade cookie bars... I don't recall if that's what they were called, but that's what they tasted like and they were perfect! Directly next store is an adorable vintage/thrift shop.
Meditation Mount, Vista Point and sneaking into one of the tangerine farms to walk along the groves. Schedule a solid hour to explore Bart's Books (an open air bookstore that's been operating in the same location since the '60).
Visit Shop Summer Camp - a former gas station converted into a little lifestyle and frame shop featuring a perfect Americana mix of jewelry, art, vintage clothing and home decor. On your way out visit Ojai Valley Olive Oil, one of the many family-owned working ranches. The farm land is stunning.
Leaving Ojai Allister and I headed north -- next stop the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. Can't wait to share that over the top experience with you!