Interview with Fie from Travel Chameleon

This week we speak with Fie from TravelChameleon.net on her fashion and travelling style. I thought it would be interesting to see how a self-proclained ‘hipster’ tends to travel. I also thought it would be interesting as she is also my sister (and fellow Malaysian travel blogger). But even though we both love travelling, our styles couldn’t be more different than night and day. Read on to see how her travelling styles are (and how different they may be to mine).

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

Trolley Dolley as they would call it because the backpacks are normally bigger and taller than me! I tried backpacking but it’s a bit heavy on my back so I ended up packing and travelling everywhere in a trolley bag. It’s easier to lug around too.

You travel to a lot of different destinations, but are mostly based in Asia for now. What would be your typical travel outfit given the temperature and cultural norms?

The weather in Asia can be hot with a touch of humidity, therefore I find white t-shirts, sleeveless tops and capri pants to be more of my kind of travel outfits. Sometimes a dress works too when I’m heading to a beach destination. I often tell myself to pack light but when I arrive to a destination and unpack, I often realize that I brought way too much clothes!

You also do a lot of road trips on your travels. What would you recommend to be comfortable during these long trips? And how would be different from your usual travel clothes (if different)?

Road trips are normally done randomly, therefore the clothes I wear tend to be random as well. For a one day road trip (head out and back home) I would normally be wearing my jeans and t-shirt but if it’s a long journey road trip, I would most probably don on shorts or three quarter pants, a white t-shirt and comfortable sandals. It’s not any different from my usual travel clothes too.

Casual wear in Mount Eden Summit Auckland  NZ(Casual wear at Mt. Eden summit, NZ)

What do you always bring with you on all your travels?

That’s going to be two pages long! Ideally I must have my toothbrush, shorts, t-shirts, a raincoat, essential medicines, sandals, and my make-up kit.

How has your style evolved from when you first started travelling?

My style used to be “Oh I don’t really care how I look because it’s more about the story” but then I realized that style does play a part when you’re involved in photos that capture interesting moments. From then on I decided to take a look at my style a little bit seriously, and pack for the right occasion. You’ll probably identify me earlier from my signature braided hair.

A simple t-shirt & scarf for a boat ride in Myanmar(Simple t-shirt and scarf for a boat ride in Myanmar)

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

The weather can be awfully unpredictable lately. When I was in Korea I had packed for autumn wear which meant a light jacket and a pair of scarf, but we ended up with snow on our skin so it was super cold! I had also travelled to Europe once during the cold weather but it ended up being warm instead after a few days. Luckily for me, I had brought a few t-shirts along just in case and I ended up wearing those instead of buying new clothes there.

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

Always check the weather before you travel. You can try to pack as light as you can but bring the essential and important items too.  Keep everything in compartments (excuse my OCD behaviour). I have a bag or a casing for items such as toiletries, chargers for my gadgets and medicines for example.

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

The only fashion ‘disasters’ that I have faced before was when I was soaked in rain during one of the boat ride to an island in Langkawi, Malaysia. I managed to dry off my clothes and bag once the sun appeared again.

Do you usually ‘recycle’ a full outfit? Or what do you do to change it up?

I do ‘recycle’ some outfits but I try to jazz it up with accessories just to make it a little different. I have a bag of those that I bring with me wherever I travel just in case of a fashion emergency.

Styling a recycled outfit with a hat in Vatican City(Recycling an outfit with a hat in the Vatican City. Hilariously I wore a similar combination to Cambodia)

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

Read up on the latest fashion trend but before that understand what styles suits you and go for it. I’m not a ‘dress’ or ‘skirt’ kind of girl therefore I look out for trends that has casual pants, jeans or shorts in them. This would definitely help in terms of what to bring or what not to bring during your travels.

Thanks Fie for the great interview. To find out more about Fie and her road-tripping and travel adventures check out her website at TravelChameleon.net

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