Boarding Pass – Natalie Schaefer

After an extremely stressful past week at work, I am SO ready for a real vacation abroad. Much to my surprise, airfares this spring are looking much better than expected. So until I decide to jump on some last minute deal -which has been known to happen – I’m stuck traveling vicariously through the latest edition of BOARDING PASS, starring the talented designer, Natalie Schaefer (who is author of the blog Random Inspiration). I really love the way that she’s documented her trips and can’t wait to take some of her tips with me on my next trip. (P.S. Stay tuned in the coming weeks – I have more great ones coming!!) Thanks, Natalie!!last trip taken:
a ten day adventure in budapest and prague
next trip on deck:
nyc for work (and a bit of fun too) and puerto rico for pleasure
one place you would go back to again and again:

paris! everything in paris is beautiful. i had low expectations of the city when i traveled there, assuming that it was super cliche and full of snobbery, but was dead wrong. the people were very friendly and helpful and the city itself was alive with energy and more beautiful every time i turned a corner. i remember sitting in the mall in front of the eiffel tower and not being able to take my eyes off of it.
place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
traveling abroad i would recommend prague. it’s such a stunning city and i love the history that has been preserved there. i felt like it was a good mix of european cities…it reminded me a bit of paris, brussels and venice all mixed into one. fantastic food czech food too and a very walkable city. traveling stateside i would recommend san francisco because i absolutely love it there. the weather is always beautiful and i love the vegetation and all the fruit trees blooming. it has everything: friendly people, good public transportation, beautiful coastlines, wine country, redwoods, year-round farmers markets.

preferred method of transportation: the first day i’m in a new city, i prefer to walk around and get my bearings. after that, i love a good subway ride! we don’t have a subway in minneapolis, sadly, so i always appreciate good public transportation and i’m always amazed at how easy it is to use. place you’ve never been but dying to go:

istanbul, india, tokyo, vietnam, brazil, new zealand, stockholm, iceland, portugal, montreal, vancouver, quebec city, mexico city…

place you’d never go back:
michigan. the best part about michigan was taking a high speed ferry out of it!
most memorable: I went backpacking in europe between college and career with my friend heidi. it was the perfect way to conclude four years of crazy fun with my best friend. this is how i ended my journal while on a layover in toronto on the way home: “now that it’s over, i can’t believe it is. i feel older, at least more versed. and here i am, sitting in the middle of canada, waiting for the rest of my life to start.”
how do you prepare for a trip?
talk to friends, family, and acquaintances that have been there. we have a subscription to WGSN (a trend research company) at work and they have really detailed city guides with first hand tips from staff who have traveled there – i always print those out and take them with me. one thing that i learned when i took my first trip to europe was not to do too much research on my destinations because the places i enjoyed the most were the ones i knew the least about and had no expectations for.

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
i keep a journal where i mostly write down events and happenings, but i like to record my intentions for the trip and what i want to get out of it as my first entry. my last entry is usually a recap of all the things i’ve learned and how i’ve grown from my adventures. i also like to do silly illustrations and take an obscene amount of photographs.

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
i love photos of doors, food and typography. super random!
on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
50 per daywhat’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
a notebook to journal and sketch paired with my favorite pen: black ink, pilot precise V5 extra fine rolling ball, a point and shoot digital camera, a comfy pair of walking shoes and my iphone which is wonderful for both google maps and listening to my favorite musicians in new settings. you’re never traveling alone as long as you have your music with you! i’ve also learned to pack ear plugs and tylenol PM for those rough nights.
what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
i get my photos onto my computer right away because i’m so excited to look through all of them. then i usually throw a few up on facebook for my friends to see and share. i love to blog, so i’ll usually do a quick post about my travels.
what are your travel traditions?
i’m usually happy to come home to minneapolis after my travels, so i’ve made a habit out of listening to the song “minneapolis” by the band that dog as the plane is coming in for landing. my friend scott gave the song to me a long time ago and i still love it.

what i learned from my last travel adventure:
i had to travel a few thousand miles to land on my feet again.

Design work + Portfolio:
Blog: Random Inspiration
etsy shop: Collect Three

Click here for ALL the past editions of Boarding Pass.


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