All posts filed under: Travel Well

Moving to Where With Elle

Over the past five years of documenting what’s in my wardrobe I’ve simplified a solid system for closet clean outs, spent a year away from retail therapy (and audited another year’s worth of purchases), identified smarter shopping habits, developed a deeper sense of personal style, re-framed perspective, greened my beauty routine, married my best friend, and packed my bags for a few lucky adventures around the world. Over those years I set aside time to develop a system of personal values that’s helped me become more intentional about what I choose to consume each day. I’ve since shifted my daily habits and decisions to engage in more ethical shopping, make less wasteful purchases, and center my projects and posts around a more sustainable lifestyle. As the final chapter of Rose & Fig comes to a close, I’m beginning to write a new story that’s all about celebrating healthy, vibrant, verdant living — where to go, shop, and stay — as well as smart, simple solutions for sustainable living and evergreen guides geared at fostering a more …

Summer Staples: Blue Ridge Mountains, Tennessee

All you really need in the summertime is a tall iced coffee, a mountain to climb, waterfalls and forests to explore with your favorite people and pups, and a few solid outfits that will breathe with you through the afternoon breeze. For a recent weekend getaway wandering the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee, I packed a few trusty wardrobe staples along with some new favorites I’ve picked up this season.

Castles to Cliffs: Killarney and Dingle, Ireland

Betwixt unwinding along Ireland’s quiet northwest reaches and enjoying copious helpings of Scottish whiskey, we took the train down the Irish coastline for a weekend of adventures along the southern reaches of the Wild Atlantic Way, a 1,500 mile scenic route speckled with jaw-dropping views and castles along Ireland’s rugged westerly shores. With much to do and just a few days to soak up Ireland’s first national park, centuries of history, a gorgeous peninsula, and some incredible seafood, CPR and I hit the ground running as soon as the train slowed into Killarney station. Our first stop would be the surreal sanctuary of Friar’s Glen, a small bed and breakfast nestled away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Killarney in an ancient valley between the mountains of Killarney National Park. After dropping our bags and borrowing a flashlight (and quick history lesson) from the Glen’s innkeeper, we took off into the woods for a walkabout to Muckross Abbey. Evening had just begun to work its way down the quiet country roads that lead up …

24 Hours in Edinburgh, Scotland

Between roaming the Irish countryside and touring through the Scottish Highlands on to Islay, we spent a wee bit of time in Scotland’s capital of Edinburgh. Although our stay was brief (and fell just a few weeks before Brexit!), we packed in a full day of culture and history as we stumbled across so many unexpected gems in this quietly beautiful, cosmopolitan city. One could spend an entire vacation wandering Edinburgh’s storied streets, taking in its spectacular architecture, enjoying incredible dinners, and learning about the city’s intriguing history and residents – J.K. Rowling, Sir Sean Connery (James Bond slash collegiate nude model, as we would discover), Robert Louis Stevenson, and medieval witch hunters (who drowned their victims in a loch that once filled Princes Street Gardens) alike have hung their hats in the affectionately nicknamed “Athens of the North”. Even with only a day to spare, there’s a lot you can see and do – a stopover in Edinburgh is definitely worth your while if you can fit it into your travels! If you’re overnighting, …

The Whiskey Trail: Scottish Highlands to Islay, Scotland

When you marry a whiskey man (or whisky man, as they say in Scotland) with whom you share an affinity for first editions, bedroom slippers, bran cereals, Ken Burns documentaries, gardening, and heavily peated scotch (we are essentially grandparents in the chrysalis) it’s tough to decide on a honeymoon destination. Oddly enough, we both landed on a tiny island off the coast of Scotland through independent research (another beloved Hunt-Ralston hobby) and soon realized it would be the perfect spot to unwind after exploring the wilds of Ireland and bustling Brussels. Halfway between Ireland and mainland Scotland, the remote Hebridean Isle of Islay is home to whitewashed harbor villages, deserted beaches, windswept hills, ancient ruins, a visit here and there from Ron Swanson – and some of the very finest whisky and gin that this good earth has to offer. We set out through the Scottish Highlands with our trusty Nikon D3300 and a notebook in hand and came back with the most unforgettable experiences, new friends, memories, and some seriously heavenly drams. You can …

Straight From a Storybook: Galway, Ireland

After a few weeks abroad I’m back home, unpacking, sorting out photos, and catching up on beauty rest. Three countries and three times as many plane and train rides later I’m missing one city in particular. Nestled along the northwest coast of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, Galway is a relaxing train ride from Dublin (with wifi and wine) or just an hour’s drive from Shannon airport. The city holds an extra special place in my heart as likely 1700s stomping grounds for my great-great-great-you-get-the-idea-grandfather who immigrated from North Ireland to North Georgia and opened a tippling parlor only to be eventually killed by local Native Americans who would also become part of my Appalachian lineage – but that’s another story for another blog.

3 Weeks in Europe: A Complete Guide to Packing Light & Printable Packing List

Pack for three weeks in Europe with a single carry on. Plus: capsule wardrobe packing system, what’s in my bag, travel tips, printable packing list. For a long time I’ve been whittling down my travel luggage. If broken roller bags, sore shoulders, a feisty baggage fee episode en route to Zambia, and the mental image of a single suitcase languishing on the tarmac of the Madrid airport have taught me one thing about exploring this world, it is this: Pack light to travel well. How light? Whether a trip is three days or three weeks, my max is a 10 kg / 22 lb duffel bag paired with a little backpack. Twenty-two pounds is the limit for carry on luggage on most smaller airlines, and according to seriously old school backpacking experts it’s also my ideal pack weight. For me, traveling well means having enough clothes, toiletries, and travel essentials to be comfortable without dragging along anything I could do without. The fewer things I carry, the less I have to worry about keeping track …