Res Ipsa wanted to hear from women who love to travel. Why? We want to share these amazing stories, inspire others - especially women - to travel more, and feature some enjoyable content worth reading. In our interview series, we hear from some of the most successful young women in the travel, art & photography, and health & wellness industries about why they love to travel, who inspires them to travel, some of their best and most recent travel memories, and how their personal lives and perspectives on life intersect and take shape from their travel experiences.
In part III, we interviewed Chelsea Martin, a Californian turned Texan turned luxury travel advisor (we highly recommend you contact her for travel inquiries). Chelsea is better known as the "passporttofriday" as she is called on social media and her website. Traveling to continents and countries the world over each year, Chelsea is the expert at organizing trips in dream-like destinations. She can organize trips for solo travelers, friend and family trips, corporate events and any others looking to escape for the weekend or longer. If you're looking for an enjoyable escape or just some inspiration from beautiful travel photography, Chelsea's your passport to the weekend and the world.
What inspires you to travel? What have you learned from travel?
Constantly learning about new destinations or new hotels in destinations inspires me to travel. I am always looking for unique experiences for my clients, so my clients are essentially my inspiration! There's few things more satisfying than discovering somewhere new that you know your clients will love.
When did you begin traveling solo?
I actually don't typically travel solo, at least not for long periods of time. Most of my trips are either with other Travel Advisors or with my mother, although I do typically have a couple nights at the front or back end of these trips where I am by myself which I love, because there's nothing I love more than walking around a new city by yourself and having that moment to just yourself. I started doing this type of travel around 4 years ago.
What advice would you have for others, especially women interested in traveling for fun and/or a profession?
Save up lots of money beforehand! Whether you are traveling for fun or for work, you will be spending money and don't want your lack of money to get in the way of having the best experience. Also when it comes to travel advising and blogging, don't expect to get paid to travel or even travel for free right away. Lastly, have fun with it!
What’s one thing you can’t travel without?
The obvious answer for me would be my phone, as it stores all of my itineraries, is my way to get around a city, gives me access to email so I can still work abroad, Instagram for blogging, etc. A less obvious answer for me would be snacks - you will NEVER find me traveling without a multitude of snacks.
Have you experienced any inequalities traveling? If so, how do you manage them?
The most common inequalities I have experienced while traveling have been across different cultures, in which case you need to accept the culture you are entering and their traditions. I think it is also important as a single woman traveling alone to be more vigilant and aware than groups of people or even solo men have to worry about.
Would you recommend solo traveling to others, especially women?
Yes! While I personally am not the type of person who could travel solo for months on end staying in hostels, I know women where traveling in that fashion has changed their life. I prefer short solo travel trips. It is incredibly humbling, strengthening, and rewarding, and I think you get to see things and reflect in a way you would not have a chance to if you were traveling with others.
What’s your favorite trip you took in the last six months?
This past month when I went around the world to London, South of France, Cambodia, Thailand, and Hong Kong was absolutely incredible and life changing. Don't ask me to pick a favorite destination amongst those however as I loved them all for different reasons!
What trip are you looking forward to this year?
I am going to Paris and Switzerland in June with my parents, and I am especially excited for this trip as us three have never all traveled to Europe together! My mother and I travel often together, but it will be special to be able to share this with my father as well (and give him a glimpse into a Luxury Travel Advisor's life!)
What brands do you think of when you travel?
Hotel brands, honestly! In the fashion space, I love to buy well-made products (like Res Ipsa!) as well as support local brands with a cause when possible. Otherwise, recently I have been loving my Rent The Runway Unlimited subscription because I constantly have new clothes!
What do you read or watch for travel news, inspiration, or updates?
I subscribe to the newsletters of Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, various travel blogs, and also through travel agent sources! Our travel partners are great about keeping us updated (often before it's public knowledge!) as well as providing inspiration for us and our clients.