Interview with Julie from Wish I Were Here

This week I wanted to interview a writer I’ve been following – Julie, who has been travelling and writing for a while now.  Unlike most travel writers, she writes on the different places and time from a personal perspective. Her stories range from the amusing to the introspective, and all are eye opening. You can find her at “Wish I Were Here”.

I was curious to see how her packing and personal style had changed over her years of travel.

You have been travelling for a long time now, how has your travel style changed over the years

After hauling one too many oversized  and overstuffed suitcases around unfamiliar cities, I’ve become a total minimalist. These days, I can fit what I need for 5 days in a carry on suitcase.

If you had to label your travel style, what would it be? E.g. a Glamper / Gypset/ Minimalist/ Backpacker or any other term to connote your style?


FRANCE1988(At the Louvre in Paris – 1988)

How different would you say your travel style differs from your daily style? What are the big differences?

It doesn’t differ that much, except for the shoes. When I sightsee, I walk rather than take transport. I’ve got a couple pairs of high heeled boots that are really comfortable, but have yet to find some higher heeled sandals that don’t kill my feet after twenty minutes.

What is your essential or favourite travel outfit?

Dark blue denim MAC skinny jeans and gray Born boots. With a blouse, the jeans are nice enough to wear to most restaurants, but I can also wear them with a tank top and feel casual. The boots are incredibly comfortable and unique looking without being too faddish. I get lots of compliments on them.

In comparing all the different time and places you have travelled to, which destination would you consider the most stylish one you’ve seen?

France: Cannes and Paris. Even if they’re wearing jeans and sneakers, the French always look stylish.

RIO1997(Timeless style – Ipanema Beach in Rio in 1997)

Which destination did you consider the most difficult one to pack for? And why?

Paris in March, because the weather is so changeable.

What would you say are the big lessons you’ve learnt from all your packing and travelling?

Travel lightly. I always cringe when I see people lugging huge suitcases onto trains, etc. If the trip is for more than 5 days, I book a hotel/B&B/etc that has a washer and dryer for guest use. If I’m changing hotels a lot, I make sure that I can at least wash my clothes on the 3rd day.

What kinds of fashion ‘disasters’ or fashion emergencies have you faced before?

When I visited Israel a couple of years ago, I didn’t think to pack clothes for the more conservative areas of Jerusalem and for our day trip into Palestine. I figured this out after being hissed at a few times while wandering around the souk in Jerusalem. I was wearing a short skirt, not a mini skirt, but it was a couple of inches above the knee, and a sleeveless shirt. Something that would be considered almost prudish in Tel Aviv, where the girls run around half-naked. Thankfully I was with my husband and his friend, otherwise it would have been an ugly situation. I quickly ducked into one of the shops and bought a pretty scarf to throw over my shoulders. For the rest of my time in the Muslim areas of Israel and Palestine, I wore long jeans and the scarf over my shoulders. It was June, so I was uncomfortably hot. I definitely will remember this the next time I visit a Muslim country.

What are your secrets to ‘refreshing’ outfits you may have worn many times on your travels before?

I change the jewellery that I wear with it.

Vienna2011(Hundertwasser House in Vienna in 2011)

What advice would you give to someone who wants to travel stylishly?

Something I learned on my very first trip abroad: make sure your clothes are ironed. Most hotels have an iron for guest use. It’s difficult to look stylish in rumpled clothes!

J.D. Riso is a nomadic writer who was last seen traveling around Eastern Europe. She can sometimes be found at her blog Wish I Were Here

Thank you Julie for the wonderful interview