When you work for a travel magazine, trips take on a new purpose.
My travels aren’t vacations—unfortunately, they’re nowhere near relaxing—but when I visit a new place, I’m armed with background research, a schedule full of meetings and interviews with locals, and access to the best that a city has to offer. It’s my job to uncover stories worth telling, and, in doing so, my experiences are deeper and more meaningful than they would otherwise be. The best part, of course, is the people I encounter.
For issue two of Here Magazine, I headed to Cartagena. There, I met fashion consultant Cloclo Echavarria, who was born in Colombia and grew up all over the world, but has always returned home for her family’s epic New Year’s parties. Hosting comes as naturally to her as it does to her mom, Chiqui.“Colombians are very inviting—they’ll say, ‘Oh, come here,’ or, ‘Let me introduce you to someone,’” she told me. “People don’t say no or ask why.” And it was true everywhere I went. Here’s resident photographer, Vanessa Granda, and I made new friends who gave us aguardiente (the anise-flavored liquor of choice in the country) at Bazurto Social Club, taught us how to salsa at Café Havana, and personally escorted us all the way back to Casa San Agustín hotel at the end of the night. Echavarria, meanwhile, invited us to her stunning jungle of a home every chance she could get.
I’ve found, though, that anywhere you travel with an open mind and a desire to learn, people more often than not want to share their stories—and hear your own. In our second issue, you’ll find the story of plus-size model Candice Huffine, who started traveling at age 15 for work and hasn’t stopped. You’ll hear from the chef Camille Becerra on how cooking takes her around the world and inspires her when she’s back at home, and from photographer Gray Malin about how his childhood vacations led to his career. Plus, a look at drinking trends around the world, flight attendant style over the decades, and the power of getting back to nature. And as for that vacation? I’m cashing in all my days this season. I hope you are, too.