Each day at Victorinox, we are surrounded by extraordinary women who inspire us. In celebration of the launch of Victoria – our first collection designed by women, for women; we’ve teamed up with some inspiring ladies who love to travel as much as we do.
Stephanie Yoder, author and writer of travel blog Twenty-SomethingTravel.com can’t sit still. Since 2010, she has traveled all over the world – living in some places, visiting others – and even met and fell in love with her husband along the way. Read on for Stephanie’s story, as well as her top travel tips.
1. What sparked your travel itch?
My senior year of college, I studied abroad at University College London and just fell head over heels with the freedom and excitement of travel. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation, but I knew I had to explore the world. I’ve pretty much been on the move ever since!
2. What makes a great travel partner?
Compatibility is a really tricky thing. I think that the most important thing is being on the same page in terms of budget, travel style, itinerary etc. If one person wants to go out partying every night and the other one prefers to sit in and read, you’re going to have friction.
I also think it’s important to be able to give each other space and alone time when needed. Split up for the day or at least take a walk by yourself. My husband and I have become really talented at being alone, together.
3. What are some of the benefits of solo travel in your twenties?
I really believe everyone should travel alone at least once in their twenties. It gives you such great insight into your own personal preferences and travel style. You have to really listen to your inner monologue and make your own decisions, which isn’t always easy if you are used to going along with someone else.
It’s important to get used to spending time alone. You can practice this when you’re not traveling by going out to dinner or the movies by yourself. It feels really strange at first, but with experience you start to feel more comfortable. All of a sudden a whole new world opens up.
4. How long do you typically spend at home in Washington DC? What are some of your favorite spots there?
It really varies a lot. Earlier this year my husband and I spent seven months in Mexico; before that we were in DC for almost six months uninterrupted. We are actually moving out of the area very soon and we’re not sure what our home/travel split will look like.
I grew up in the DC area so I have a lot of favorite spots, but one of my absolute favorite things to do is to visit the National Monuments at night. There are barely any tourists out after dark, the monuments are all lit up and it’s just beautiful.
5. For someone who’s always on the go, what are some little conveniences that keep your life running smoothly?
Thanks to travel, my most prized possession is my Kindle. I’m a huge (and fast) reader and I used to lug around two or three books in my suitcase at a time, which got really old really fast. I bought a Kindle and never looked back. It’s so great to have my entire library in my hands, no matter where I go.
Victorinox Travel Tip: Protect and easily access eReaders and tablets in many of the new Victoria Collection pieces, including the Charisma, Sage, Divine and Harmony day bags and Brilliance wheeled carry-on, all of which feature padded pockets to guard tech gear on-the-go.
6. How do you keep yourself organized on the go?
I try to keep things simple: minimal make-up, clothing that matches and one or two comfortable all-purpose pairs of shoes. I try to pack light and make liberal use of space organizers like packing cubes and a toiletry bag with many compartments. Having everything in its place makes it easy to repeatedly pack and unpack.
My husband is more of the “throw everything into a suitcase and stir it up a bit” school of packing, and he can never find what he needs, so I like to think my way is better!
Victorinox Travel Tip: Organize essentials with the Lifestyle Accessories 3.0 Packing Cube Set and hanging toiletry kit like the new Victoria Muse. The convenient detachable zippered pouch even allows you to take a few beauty items on the go.
7. What are your top 5 travel essentials?
- My Kindle (naturally)
- My Laptop – I am always working on the road so I can’t live without it!
- Sunscreen – no matter where I’m headed
- Comfy sweatpants – great for lounging around the hostel or hotel
- Snacks – granola or crackers fend off low blood sugar bad moods
8. At Victorinox, we believe it’s important for every woman to have a little piece of luxury. What’s yours?
Really good face moisturizer. I go back and forth on the brand, but I always have some in my suitcase. Travel can be terrible for your skin: changes in weather, dry air on planes and hours out in the sun. A good moisturizer feels so luxurious after a long day on the road.
9. Of all your travel experiences, why was “A Year Without Makeup” the most significant lesson learned?
The title really encompasses an entire philosophy of life and style rather than in the literal sense. Yes, I didn’t wear makeup for a year, and I still usually don’t bother to put any on, unless I’m going out somewhere nice. The bigger lesson however, was that I learned that beauty standards are basically arbitrary, and that I can pick and choose the ones I want to prescribe to. That is very freeing.
So, while I still like to get dolled up on occasion, when I’m traveling I generally choose comfort over sex appeal. You will never catch me in heels. Being able to walk for hours through a new city is more important to me.
10. Where are you off to next?
My next big adventure has been a secret for awhile: I’m actually moving cross country – to Seattle! I’ve never lived on the West Coast of the U.S. and am really excited for this big change in scenery and lifestyle. That doesn’t mean I’m done traveling though. I simply refuse to sit still.