California-native Olivia Lopez exudes all the character traits of someone who has a major lust for life (if you're one of her 261,000 followers you will get this cheesy comment). Her blog, Lust for Life, which she's run since she was just 14-years-old, has amassed a following of travel and fashion lovers across the globe who visit for the way that she flawlessly marries adventures in both travel and style. We spoke with the star to learn more about her philosophy...
SUITCASE MAGAZINE: Who or what inspired you to start Lust for Life?
OLIVIA LOPEZ: Lust for Life is inspired by the name of an Iggy Pop song, and is an overall metaphor I use to describe my perpetual drive to partake in new experiences. The site aims to capture the spirit of bon vivant, where the best things in life come first. Growing up in California and spending summer vacations in Europe instilled a strong sense to live well and make time to enjoy your life, and I strongly believe that it plays an integral part in boosting creativity and productivity.
SM: What are three packing tips you live by?
OL: Less is more: There is nothing that stifles travel more than too much baggage. Versatility is key. Any pieces that can take you from day to night, plane to meeting, beachside to streetside is worth taking along for the ride. Always pack your best pieces and valuables in your carry-on. I learned this summer to never rely on an airline to get your luggage from point a to b.
SM: How many days a month do you spend at home in California versus traveling?
OL: It varies month to month, ranging from one layover day at home to a week at my apartment. As soon as summer rolls around, I permanently live out of a suitcase.
SM: What is your travel philosophy?
OL: Travel is part planning and part spontaneity - don't be afraid to stray away from an itinerary to experience something new. Some of my best memories arose from making a new friend or taking a wrong turn that completely changed the direction of a trip, but sometimes the best moments come from having little expectations.
SM: You are originally from the Philippines. What do you miss most and what is the first thing you do upon returning?
OL: What I miss most is authentic Filipino food. It's one cultural cuisine that is yet to be embraced here in the US and the best dishes still come directly from the kitchen of Filipino families. I'm planning to return in early 2016, and I can't wait to explore all the beautiful, unspoiled islands that make the archipelago one of the most interesting destinations in South East Asia.
SM: Do you think the success of blogging has an expiration date or is it here to stay?
OL: As long as the internet exists, blogging will stay relevant. I think people will always have the curiosity and desire to share or search for stories outside of the circle they live in.
SM: What is one thing you cannot travel without?
OL: My Canon 5D Mark III and a swimsuit.
SM: What do you pack in your suitcase?
OL: Muji Pens, a notebook, a tan brown Acne leather jacket, The Row sunglasses, a Mikoh swimsuit, Evian face mist and New Balance sneakers.
SM: What are your favourite stories to tell through film and imagery?
OL: I like to tell a story of a place based on the emerging colour themes that strike out the most to me while I'm there. In Santorini it was white and blue, in Montenegro it was lush greens and turquoise blue.
SM: Where has been the most inspiring place you have travelled to and what lessons did you learn from that place?
OL: I absolutely loved the sights and sounds of Rio. The landscape is endlessly enamouring and it's where I learned to samba.
SM: Top three things on your bucket list?
OL: Learn to fly a plane. Host a travel series. Do a road trip across South America.
SM: What is your greatest extravagance?
OL: Apart from flights, my greatest extravagance is meals. A long dinner with friends involving wine and shared plates is my definition of happiness.
SM: Which other travel/fashion bloggers do you admire?
OL: I've always adored Shini Park from Park & Cube and Amanda Shadforth from Oracle Fox.
Favourite place to shop?
Paris in June, dangerous because of sale season.
Favourite place to eat?
LA - the food scene here is so rich and diverse that it would be difficult to find another place with a range that a metropolitan sprawl can offer.
Favourite place to go out?
Favourite place to stay?
Korakia Pensione in Palm Springs. My place of repose after long trips abroad.
New York or LA?
Black or White?
Checked bag or carry-on?
Red-eye or day flight?
Laptop or tablet?
Feminine or masculine?
Early bird or night owl?