Entries Tagged as 'Inspiration'

Holiday jetlag



Jess in Seville

I have diagnosed myself.

I have jetlag.

Jetlag from vacation, having crossed only one time zone.

Stay with me for a minute because I am convinced this is a real thing…

Traveling gets my curiosity going. It gets my heart going. I get my learning on and I get my walking shoes on. I try to understand what makes another culture tick and give up my trivialities and my worries for a few days.

Travelling solo brings that out even more so. I woke up thrilled by the fact that I had no agenda everyday. I could get going whenever I wanted. Two cups of coffee while getting ready? No problem. In no rush to throw off the pajamas? Amazing.

I’d wrap my camera over my shoulder, grab my city map and my brand new iPhone 6 (no…  wait… I broke that approximately 5 seconds after arriving in Seville) … my iPAD (yes, I was THAT tourist on this trip holding up a screen the size of my face to get my Instagram pics) and run out the door. Maybe I had a plan, maybe I didn’t. Maybe I’d look at the map, maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe I’d get lost. Maybe I’d find my way again. Maybe I’d ask for help. Maybe I’d accidentally speak Italian to everyone. Maybe I’d be shy about asking for recommendations. Maybe I’d get my courage up and do it anyway. Maybe I’d embarrass myself. Did it really matter?

Maybe I’d run around town and see so many sites in one go my feet would ache at night. Maybe I’d take my time the next day and sit in a Moorish Garden with Amy Poehler’s (incredible) book for an hour, soaking up the sun. Maybe I’d discover something.

Travelling solo makes you realise and appreciate the power of choice. And the fact that you need to make choices because no one else will make them for you. Adrenaline is also a funny thing. I’m learning that travel is the one thing that can guarantee to get my heart going.

But this post is about the one thing I apparently haven’t learned and that is how to come back down from it. I landed in London on Saturday afternoon, ran errands all day Sunday and tried to fix the last phone I broke (yes, this is apparently now “a thing” and I no longer trust myself with technology).

I could not for the life of me fall asleep last night. My mind was racing. Going back to work/to the everyday/to responsibilities was hard. I’d only gone to Spain – I was still in Europe – there was a one hour time difference – why couldn’t I snap out of it and just rest?

And here we are – Monday night – I’m exhausted. I’m not exactly sure why I’d been so unsettled the night before – why I couldn’t snap out of the solo travel mode.

But I do know I’ll embrace it again at the next opportunity. Being diagnosed with holiday jetlag is 100% worth it.

Seville trip in stats:

  • 1,354 miles from London to Seville
  • 2.5 hours flight from Gatwick Airport via EasyJet
  • 4 nights via AirBnB
  • 6 historic sites visited
  • 840 pictures taken
  • 3 evenings of neighbors hosting opera singing lessons
  • 3 meals consisting purely of gazpacho (trust me, its better in Seville)
  • 2 rooftop Gin & Tonics

Marion Cotillard and Dior



Marion Cotillard can dance.

Sometimes something is so gorgeous you just want everyone you know to watch it (at least, that’s how it goes in my book.)

Sitting in my little AirBnB in Seville, a city so beautiful I’m trying to get my head around it and take it all in, I came across this little short film Marion Cotillard has made with Dior. I love it – from the soundtrack to her gravity-defying leap – right down to the little knowing smirk she gives before she flies over the pool. Its not what you expect and is gorgeous from start to finish.

Dior is one of those brands that just kills it aesthetically. I still can’t get over the backdrop of their 2014 Paris Haute Couture show (take a look at Carin’s photos here and this behind the scenes video from 2013).

Just a little something to brighten up your Thursday. Now I’m off in search of some history and a palm tree or two.

An apology to Lena Dunham




I owe Lena Dunham an apology. An apology for underestimating her.

I was lucky to get two tickets to the Southbank Centre event on Friday night during which Caitlin Moran (of How to be a Woman fame) interviewed Lena Dunham (of GIRLS and Not That Kind of Girl fame). I essentially begged one of my bosses to stalk the internet until the “purchase” button came up when I was in a meeting (professional).

But here’s the thing: As excited as I was about the night, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. People have either told me they LOVE them – both Lena and Caitlin – or they didn’t really get them. I found myself with super high expectations for no real reason.

So when my friend Tatiana and I sat down, we braced ourselves. And then we laughed for 1.5 hours (along with Miranda Hart, the cast of Call the Midwives and Sara Millican who had come along to see her.)

For someone who launched a TV show at 23 years old (and who is now looking back at it all at only just 28), Lena has an inordinately gigantic sense of perspective. She read a passage from her book which explains why she is so comfortable with nudity. She asked why we’re perfectly OK with male CEOs on their yachts with their mistresses but why we all give Sheryl Sandberg such a hard time. She noted we’re living in a golden age of women taking action. She gushed about how much she loves being friends with Taylor Swift: “I would like to tell you guys that you’re not missing out on much but its the best.” And she laughed when Caitlin asked her if she finds herself saying things in rhyme just in the hopes that one day her words make it into Swift’s songs…

But Lena was at her best when in short little bursts, she managed to mix the poignant and hilarious together in quick succession.

She joked about the hard time she gets for her fashion choices and said she’s sorry to disappoint everyone, but she just kinda doesn’t care what they think. If people complain, she just does it again at least 8-10 times. When she wore “that pink dress” to the Emmy’s and everyone thought she was doing it to ruin their day, she was thinking “nailed it”.  Laughing about peoples’ expectations she added “people love a Pgymalion story: ‘she was quirky and then she came to California and now she is normal!'”

She described 2014 as her “year of saying no” partly because, for some silly reason, women often find it hard to. She wondered why she felt the need to apologise for her success, why women have to either “suffer or prosper in their profit.” Talking about how the entertainment industry gets paid inordinately insane amounts of money (when those like social works and teachers don’t), she went on to describe how she is founding a production company to encourage more female creatives to succeed.

But my favorite part of the evening came when Caitlin asked her what she thinks when she looks back at her old work. Lena said she looks back in sympathy at her former self, because its brave to create at any age. It was said so truthfully, she had me hooked. It takes loads of bravery. As it did to sit with 2,500 of us at the Southbank Centre on Friday night.

I, for one, felt lucky to be there.

PS – My favorite Caitlin moments of the night were 1) when she described why she leaves all of her work until the very last minute: “You get cleverer every minute. The longer you wait, the cleverer you get.” 2) when she encouraged all actresses to wear floral ballgowns like the one Sara Millican did to the BAFTAs to get back at everyone who criticised her for wearing it. She hopes to see a “big floral army” at the BAFTAs.

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