Travel connoisseur and CEO of leading Communications agency Scott Ideas, Emma Harding shares her holiday stories and tells us how she prepares for every getaway with her favourite suitcase essentials.
Great news that you have been able to get back to the US after an unplanned 10 months stay in the UK! How did it feel going back to the airport and travelling?
I’ve got such a mixed perception now. I love travelling more than anything and have so desperately missed discovering new places and tiny corners of the world, but as someone who was on a plane multiple times per month, it has definitely been grounding to have stayed in one place for so long. When we flew back, the airport was busy actually which instilled some excitement and energy in me; I hope a new era of travel will be re-born out of all of this which is respectful travel – both environmentally and also socially. When things are offered too cheaply or too easily, there are usually severe consequences elsewhere.
Your job requires you to travel a lot, what would you say the key carry-ons are for you and have those been adapted since COVID restrictions have come into play? By carry-ons, do you mean the lessons I want to carry with me ongoing or the physical products? 2 responses below.
It does. It did. I definitely want to travel more mindfully henceforth. With people using zoom more, I think there is a new general understanding and acceptance for people not to be geographically present all the time. Travelling from now for me will be about going somewhere long enough to really enjoy it and make it worthwhile both personally / culturally for me, but also it has to be mindful of the CO2!
I never travel anywhere without comfy, squishy earplugs and an eye mask – I’ve been caught out too many times. I grew up in the mountains in Switzerland and sleeping in deafening silence has definitely been a curse in the ‘real world’. I need absolute quiet. I have a little carry-on pouch which is the only thing that I take out of my bag during the flight. It has de Mamiel altitude oil, Carmex, Sturm face cream, cashmere socks, a spare pair of contact lenses, a pen and Saltee hands sanitising hand gel.
I’m sure, like Saltee, you’ve spent plenty of time ‘desk-dreaming’ about your next escape. Do you have any big bucket list travel destinations planned for 2021?
My bucket list hasn’t necessarily changed – and I don’t think it will all come true in 2021 – but I had quite a bit cancelled in 2020 so I’d like to re-plan those trips, which were: Palacio Belmonte in Lisbon / Zero George Hotel in Charleston / Heckfield Place in the UK / Bodrum in Turkey
But my ultimate life goal list: Nihiwatu in Sumba / Alba for the truffle festival / More of Australia / Seeing Orcas in the wild in British Columbia and staying at Nimmo Bay / Colombia and Cartegena / Swimming with wild dolphins off Mnemba Island / Galapagos / More of Greece.. I could go on…
What have been some of your stand-out hot-spots on your travels so far? A breath-taking view or a special, memorable moment you’ll remember forever?
North Island in the Seychelles is truly wonderful – but best enjoyed as a romantic trip or a full island takeover. Mallorca is my happy place and I have spent my summers growing up there – there is always a new cove to explore; all the travel guides of Mallorca feel so outdated and ‘standard’. Bequia is my husband’s happy place and fast becoming a firm favourite – when you visit somewhere so regularly you discover it more and more. Amangiri in Utah is hands down the best place I have ever stayed – it literally took my breath away every time I opened my eyes. One of my favourite moments ever was jet skiing amongst the biggest pod of dolphins off the coast of Malibu.
We’re busy plotting our next sunny adventure. Where do you think will be some destination favourites for 2021?
La Granja in Ibiza is high on the list. Milos in Greece. Finally making it to Charleston and probably a West Coast road trip!
With so many of us planning to chase the sun once travel is allowed again, how do you keep your skin protected from harmful rays so you can focus on enjoying your adventures?
I only really started a beauty regime when I turned 30 – prior to that, I really wasn’t bothered at all. 2020 I really took it up a notch experimenting with different things and figuring out which skincare was best for me. I am a sun worshipper and I love my freckles but I think I have now truly learnt the power of SPF. I try and apply it every day – a higher factor in the summer and a lower factor in the winter – I don’t want to block out the sun entirely (some sun is good for you) and I really struggle from Seasonal Affective Disorder so having sun rays and Vitamin D shining into me is so crucial to my happiness. My mood is so affected by the weather. Some SPFs totally block which is not what I want, so it’s important to find a balance. SPF 30 in winter and SPF 40/50 in summer. My absolute favourite is Saltee SPF50 Face Sea & Sun Formula when I’m away travelling and then Saltee SPF50 Face Daily Protection Formula when I’m at home and for everyday.
How are you keeping busy during this lockdown while travel is on hold and what do you do to maintain a balance between work, mindfulness and staying active.
Well after 10 months stuck in the UK, I have finally made it back home to New York City. We have signed on a new apartment, a new office, we want to get a dog – so it feels like a new start for a new year and a new era of time. I’m feeling really positive and excited and I am just trying to find a renewed routine. I ‘learnt’ how to run during the last lockdown and I have maintained that, along with my pilates which really helps. I put on a podcast and run three times a week alongside the Hudson River, and I do pilates on the other days. Whilst I was in the UK, I was working across two timezones so was on my phone from the moment I woke up till the moment I went to sleep. Being back in NYC means I get my evenings back, so once we’re settled in the new apartment and the admin of moving is over, I vow to put my phone down in the evenings!
Discover more about Emma Harding here.