Boarding Pass – Emily Westbrooks
Originally from China Village, Maine, Emily Westbrooks is behind the blog From China Village, with the idea that no matter how far she may be, she is still a product of her home. After studying American government and working on presidential campaigns, these days life has taken her to Dublin, Ireland. Her site is a lifestyle and design blog with a Dublin focus. You can also find Emily’s best Dublin tips on the Dublin Design Guide she wrote for Design*Sponge, and is a regular Dublin correspondent for PoppyTalk, with her column, Dispatches from Dublin. All I know is that she has me craving a trip to Dublin now (I’ve never been). Thanks, Emily!
Emily in Montmartre
next trip on deck:
Spring will be full of travel for me – Edinburgh (again) in March, Barcelona in April, Spain and Berlin in May!Eiffel tower with horse and carriage
one place you would go back to again and again:
Cliche, but Paris. We’ve been twice since moving to Dublin and I could go back every year.
place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Dublin! No, really. I’m on a bit of a crusade to tell the world how much more Dublin has to offer than Guinness, pubs and leprechauns. I’m working on a series of Dublin e-guides at the moment and I should have them out by summer time. There’s just so much to do here that most people never hear about!
preferred method of transportation:
I am a huge fan of subway systems in cities as quick transportation – they’re the best people watching as well! As a former motorcade planner for presidential candidates, put me in a rental car and I’m a happy girl. I like having the freedom to get lost off the beaten path – I’ve found the most beautiful views and scenes that way.
Maine coast trip
place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Oh, the list could go on. One of the toughest things about living in Europe and having family in America is that we take a long summer holiday to Maine – and I don’t want to use any time visiting anywhere else. It means I never travel around America anymore, and I really miss it. Some day, we’ll do a road trip through the south and the midwest, places I missed during my campaign travels. Of course, then I have a sister-in-law in Zimbabwe who I’d love to visit, and I’m always trying to convince my husband we should go stay in a cabin in Sweden or somewhere in northern Europe.
Exploring Ireland ballymoney
most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
Three years ago, I hopped on a one way flight to Dublin, it’s been been the most memorable trip that’s lead to lots of smaller trips. Some of my favorite weekends have been traveling to the ends of Ireland – such a wild place!
Dublin at night
how do you prepare for a trip?
To be honest, if I’m traveling with my husband, I let him do most of the research and planning. He loves that part, and he has the patience for finding great restaurants, shops he thinks I’ll like, and for picking tourist attractions we’ll both enjoy. Luckily, he doesn’t seem to mind that he does a lot of the grunt work, as long as I’ll be in charge of snacks! We’re great traveling partners because we like a similar mix of doing and relaxing. He loves history and I love art, so we each take the lead on different excursions.
what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
I don’t think I have a specific favorite thing to photograph. Instead, I like taking photographs of absolutely everything – I always end up capturing something I didn’t expect when I go through the photos later. I’m realizing, though, that I have a bit of a penchant for photographing blue skies. Perhaps living in Dublin leaves me in awe of clear blue skies!Portland Observatory Tower
on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
Probably lots less than a real photographer, but a hundred each day of a trip, maybe more.
Regarde le ciel [Look at the sky], Paris
what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
We often travel with budget airlines around Europe – which means packing very light! I pack my camera, laptop, iTouch, little lined notepad, and I always bring one of those little fold up grocery bags so we can pick up groceries to make breakfast and lunch when we’re staying in an apartment.
what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
In the last year or so, I’ve found my best travel journal is my blog. Writing about my travels for an audience means I analyze where we’ve been, what I liked and didn’t like, and any tips I want to remember – all quite quickly before I forget! This year, I’d like to start compiling a yearly book of our photos from trips in Ireland, America and abroad so we have an annual compilation of our travels.Emily in Austria
Sommellier in Austria
favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
I’ve brought back creamer and sugar sets from a few places, my favorite set is from Amsterdam with tulips, but since our apartment doesn’t have a lot of room for trinkets, I’ve switched to artists’ notecards. I like finding pretty cards with paintings or drawings by a local artist. Someday when we move to a bigger place, I’ll finally get to display them all!
Chesnuts in Paris
- blog: fromchinavillage.com
- on Twitter: @emilyholmes
- Dispatches from Dublin on Poppytalk about design and craft here
- Dublin Design Guide on Design*Sponge
Boarding Pass is a weekly column exploring the creative ways people travel.