Boarding Pass – Victoria of SFgirlbybay

The more time I spend on my BOARDING PASS column, the more I love locating styles and themes that are so specific to the featured person. Today I’m thrilled to have Victoria of sfgirlbybay, fresh off her blog re-design. My two favorite things about Victoria are: first, that she takes advantage of everything her own city – San Francisco – has to offer (in a beauty in simplicity over toursity kind of way), and, second, she does it through beautiful photographs which she often groups together in diptychs – her signature style – which she posts in her Sunday in the City series, and now in her etsy shop. Both of these elements on a local scale benefit they way Victoria travels, sees the world, and shares it with us. Oh, and the other bonus with Victoria is that the two of us have been to a lot of the same places, so I spend way too long looking through all her pictures, but it was also fun comparing notes on Thailand when we finally got to meet in Savannah this past spring. {Thanks, Victoria!}

{victoria on longtail boat : hong islands, krabi}

{from sunday in the city : road trip edition}

last trip taken:
A jolly good trip to London, England.
{why do i keep looking right?}

next trip on deck:
A short trip home to L.A., but nothing big planned yet.
{my kind of billboard : south bank, london}

one place you would go back to again and again:
Rome, Italy.
{colors of london: row houses in notting hill, london}

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
I adore Italy – everything about it. I loved Venice and Cinque Terre and Rome was a huge surprise – much more quaint than I expected. Venice, too – we stayed in the Dorsoduro neighborhood (near the Peggy Guggenheim Museum) and it was not touristy at all.
preferred method of transportation:
I do love a good road trip, but airplane is still obviously the quickest route and I’m usually in a big hurry to get where I’m going!
{mint: notting hill, london}

place you’ve never been but dying to go:
I very much want to go to Barcelona – I think I’d love it.
{lucky birds @ amulet market…bangkok, thailand}

place you’d never go back:
Patong Beach, in Phuket, Thailand. Horrid, touristy place – like Fisherman’s Wharf with hookers. Really bad.
{we got to this tiny island [thailand] and they were filming this bollywood music video. i cannot express enough how hysterical it was}

most memorable trip:
Venice. This one evening always comes back to me: I spent a rainy night alone in Venice, and met up with two musicians at a chichetti bar, who serenaded me all night long under an awning while we shared wine and stories and the rained poured down around us. An older Italian guitarist, and a young Czech violinist, who ended up kissing me goodnight at my villa in the pouring rain.
{women in krabi, thailand}

how do you prepare for a trip?
I actually do a lot of research – is great for finding unique rental homes, which is where I prefer to stay over hotels. Also I check Trip Advisor for recommendations and ratings. I like getting as many books as I can about a place and immersing myself before I go. I love reading fictional novels about a place I’m headed, too, to get in the right mood.
{stiff upper lip : sunday in the city london diptych}

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
I usually keep a small journal with me – I either buy one that’s unique to the trip, or I like Moleskines a lot.

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
I like capturing the people a lot. And the architecture. That’s hard thing for me to decide – I shoot everything. Even the most mundane details.
{broken : notting hill, london}

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
Thousands. Thanks to the digital era. It’s bad really. I’m horrid to travel with – I stop and shoot everything! Although my friends claim not to need to bring their cameras along since they have me shooting like a mad woman.

what’s in your “designer travel kit”?
I’ve learned to bring my own small travel pillow, or a cute pillow case that fits the in-flight pillows (I found them on etsy), socks, a pashmina (because I get cold on planes), earplugs, iTunes, and an eyemask, water and snacks. It’s ridiculous, really when I write it all down. And then I always have my Nikon D80 DSLR camera, maybe a Holga or a Diana toy camera depending on where I’m headed. I usually bring my Macbook Air, too so I can upload pix to Flickr as I go. I like my journals pretty plain – a blank canvas to start out with, so, as I said, a Moleskine, or simple Muji journal.

{london journal pages}
what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
Well, I always upload pix to my laptop and to Flickr as I go, otherwise there’s too many to deal with when I get back. I have made slideshows – I did one of Italy and one of a fun trip to Maui with a bunch of friends. But generally I share my travels on the blog now, so that does the job of sharing the trip with who ever wants to take a look.
{souvenirs clockwise from left to right: ceramic chinese girl from venice; eiffel tower from paris; mini camper from caravan in london; buddha and prayer beads from bangkok amulet market; watercolor from venice; another buddha and trinket box from bangkok; mini deer from caravan in london; tin leaves from caravan in london; and center, oil painting from venice.}

where should I go next?
Well, I think you should go to Barcelona, or Prague. One of those two!

{orange crush : from sunday in the city}
etsy shop: sfgirlbybay
Click here for ALL the past editions of Boarding Pass, including many designers who have been featured on sfgirlbybay.


  • Wow. What a great post by both you and Victoria. I’m seriously overwhelmed with information but I would love to visit several of those places.

    Anne – I love that you asked the question about places you’d never go back…so smart. That’s just as good of info as the places to go!!


  • kristine: i agree – that bird shot is amazing!

    sam: thanks – it’s fun seeing what the participants have to add to the column. one of my early features helped me come up with that.


  • Great post. I like the shots of the old cameras. I wish I had the desire to use film cameras again, I’m just too lazy and cheap to develop the film.

  • I adore this interview! Victoria’s blog is one of my favorites and it’s wonderful to get to know her a little better.

    My favorite parts were the idea of reading fiction books about a place you’re traveling to and bringing a plain moleskin to cover with all sorts of information. Definitely will be doing both of those things in the future!

  • This was one of me favorite Boarding Pass features so far. The idea for the journal is great. I’m taking my dream vacation to Spain and Portugal in August, and I will definitely do this, myself!

  • i LOVE the idea of reading a fiction book that takes place in the area you’re about to visit so that you can get in the right frame of mind! what a great idea! wonderful post – thanks for sharing your adventures!

  • Love this post – Victoria’s enthusiasm is always infectious! Reading a fictional piece about a place is a great idea – my friend Olivia gave me Willa Cather’s Death Comes to Archbishop just before my first trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico and it really brought the place to life for me.

  • Oh my goodness, I love this series! And Anne, how is that I am only now finding your blog? I live for travel and design! Well now that I have, I am going to be here for hours, making up for lost time. Yipeeeeeeeeee!

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