Boarding Pass – Brittany Watson Jepsen

Brittany Watson Jepsen, aka The House that Lars Built is one of the craftiest and most creative ladies I know. It was a blast getting to know her better (and in person finally) when we were roommates in Berlin for The Hive conference. She’s an American living in Copenhagen, so she understands the expat perspective (her husband is Danish and I love that when she got married she saw her wedding as an opportunity to create an awesome portfolio piece). Today she officially announced Blog’nhagen, an event she and her friend Maria have been cooking up to pull together design bloggers around Europe and give them a taste of Copenhagen on July 3rd. It’ll be my first time there, and I can’t wait, so stay tuned for more next week! In the meantime, here’s an inside look at how Brittany travels. Thanks, Brittany! –Anne

last trip taken:
Berlin, Germany to attend The Hive.

next trip on deck:
Florence for 3 weeks in August. I’ll be blogging for Spirit of Place – Spirit of Design, an architecture group that builds a memorial to a new culture/country each year. It’s been going for 16 years and I started 2 years ago first in Helsinki, Finland and then last year in Nepal.
Helskini, Finland

one place you would go back to again and again:
My hometown to visit my family! Ideally, I’d love the luxury to return to a new city again and again, but there are so many places I’d like to visit that I’m not sure I have the time to make too many return visits. My favorite city, however, is Washington, DC and a big part of my heart still resides there (where I went to grad school).

place you’d most likely recommend a friend go visit:
Iceland! That place is other worldly. We went in April for 2 weeks and I’m still recovering from it. Here are some photos of it on my blog.


preferred method of transportation:
Inter-cities–bus! I’d much rather see things than be stuck underground on a metro. But if it’s traveling to and fro cities trains are awfully romantic. For time constraints, planes.
Helskini, Finland

place you’ve never been but dying to go:
Austria. My dream is to do the Sound of Music bus tour where apparently you sing the songs from the musical while visiting the sites. I would definitely go in costume.

place you’d never go back:
Hmmm, that’s a toughie. One time I went to Toronto in the dead of winter. That wasn’t so great. Maybe it’s better in the summer?

most memorable trip in 2 sentences or less:
Stranded along the Grand Corniche in the South of France with my two college buddies when we spotted and flagged down a French police car who took me up the mountain and dropped me off in a village leaving behind my buddies. I called the person we were going to stay with and she arrived but then I had to remember how to get back to my friends? Needless to say we eventually found them passed out along the side of the road due to heat. We stayed in this woman’s villa for the weekend after meeting her in California at TJ Maxx. (that was 4 sentences. agh!) It’s a magical story better in +2 sentences.

how do you prepare for a trip?
Oh man, preparation is my weakness. The more traveled I become, the less I prepare. They make it too easy nowadays with online check-in, etc.

how do you record your travels when you’re traveling?
For details of the trip I either keep them in my inbox or write a few strategic notes in my moleskin. To record my adventures I’m a journal keeper. I’ve been keeping a journal every day since 7th grade so it’s become habit.

what is your favorite thing to photograph in a new place?
Confession, I’d prefer not to take pictures. I now take pictures because I blog but in a dream world my mind is my camera and I just remember the things I see. My dream is to have a photographer by my side documenting the whole thing for me.
Blue Lagoon, Iceland

on an average, how many pictures to you take on a trip?
Iceland I took 1,000s. Berlin I didn’t take a single one. It depends on how long I’m there and for what purpose.
Helskini, Finland

what’s in your “designer travel kit” ?
My little moleskine comes with me everywhere to jot down this and that. My camera, my iPhone camera. And my journal.

what do you do after a trip? how long after a trip does this happen?
I generally blog about it within a week. Iceland I’ve been blogging about it ever since because there have been so many amazing things to show. I used to make books and albums when I was younger, but I’m afraid the digital age has allowed me not to print anything off for ages! I post a few pictures onto Facebook too.
Red rocks, Iceland

favorite souvenir/thing to bring back?
My husband and I have been selecting a beautiful illustrated children’s book in each city we go to. It’s a fun tradition because finding the right bookshop is an adventure in itself.

The House That Lars Built (blog)
The House That Lars Built Etsy shop
The House That Lars Built on Zazzle (including cell phone cases, skateboards, stationery, etc.)

Boarding Pass is a weekly column exploring the creative ways people travel.


  • This settles it. Iceland 2013 for me! Must. go. Also, love Brittany’s answers – I can’t believe she maintains a daily journal! I tried that for so long and never felt satisfied by it. It became more burden than mental release so I stopped. But I see the utility, particularly when it comes to cementing travel memories!

    I also would love to hear the full stranded in France story!

  • I am a big fan of Brittany’s blog and creative endeavours, and her travels so far documented on her blog have inspired me (as have the ones you blog about yourself!)

    I live in the UK, and I am constantly berated by my US/Australian friends for not hopping on a plane every fortnight – it’s easy to forget how fortunate I am to live so close to so many amazing sights. At the moment my life is about saving for the next trip, but also about savouring the one coming up in just a week, when I shall be exploring Cyprus!

    I’m so looking forward to hearing about your experiences in Copenhagen with all the other lovely bloggers and wish you an amazing few days!

  • I love Brittany’s blog and I love it when blogging worlds collide like this, travel and creative. I’m also very glad to have now heard about Blog’nhaven… will be following!

    Bird x

  • I’m leaving for Iceland this Saturday. I’ve always dreamed of going, and Brittany’s series on Iceland was the straw that finally broke this camel’s back!

  • Deepa & Lindsey, I may only have been in Iceland for 24 hours, but I thought it was AMAZING. Dying to go back myself.

    Rosie, I’ve been to Cyprus twice. The first time was for a big fat Greek wedding, which was awesome. Make sure you eat some halloumi cheese!


  • Love this!

    A couple things:

    • I’m crushing on that business card case. Where can I get mine? ; )

    • I love the idea of collecting a children’s book in each new city!

    • You could totally pass for a hip Julie Andrews. Watch out, that tour bus co. might hire you ; )

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