Former creative director of Conde Nast Traveller, Yolanda Edwards talks to us about escapism during lockdown, reliving past holidays & the importance of an Aperol Spritz.
Whilst we are all frustrated at being grounded for the past few months, perhaps none of us are feeling our clipped wings more than professional globetrotter Yolanda Edwards. Yolanda has dedicated her life to capturing the beauty of travelling and discovering new places, evidenced in her photography and travel company Yolo Journal.
Where are you spending lockdown?
We have a weekend home in upstate New York which has become our primary residence. There’s a small cabin about a 5 minute walk from the house with a much stronger WiFi signal which I need for my work with the magazines (YOLO Journal and Wm Brown), so I walk back and forth quite a bit through the woods and often see chipmunks and woodpeckers and occasionally deer. Being immersed in nature is such a creativity booster for me and I’m so grateful to have this place during this time.
What changes have you made to your home environment to better suit you living there full-time?
We gave our daughter the guest room as her bedroom hadn’t really evolved since she was quite little. I took her room and turned it into a studio space for me and a place where we both can work out. I do most of my calls and work on our long dining table, but I keep work at one end of the table and at the end of the day I put it in a large box so it is contained and out of sight.
How are you staying inspired whilst at home?
I brought up several bins of my travel ephemera and several days a week I look through it. I have so many photography books and vintage magazines that feed my creativity. I started to do pictures of different collections of mine and it’s become a series I share on Instagram that I call Today’s Personal Assignment [see images]. My home is a bit of a scavenger house and it’s incredibly transportive. Sometimes it begins with something like a hotel bar coaster, and then it triggers a conversation about that place and my husband ends up making a cocktail that we remember from the trip! It often then becomes the theme for dinner and I decorate the table accordingly. We pick music to match and suddenly we feel, for a little while, that we have had an escape. I have really discovered the joys of making a playlist on Spotify, so while I’m working I’m also discovering new music.
The list must be endless of where you want to travel, where will you go first once it’s safe again?
I will travel straight to Italy to see my dear friends and meet them for a weekend at Il Pellicano Hotel. I also can’t wait to return to our house in the Médoc region of France and I’m dreaming of Greece too.
What has been your lockdown indulgence?
Staying in my robe until 11ish! Every few days each week we enjoy lunches that feel like holidays. My favourite was when my husband made pizzas and we had Aperol spritzes on a Monday.
Is there anything new you have started that you will continue post-lockdown?
I have started to write slower to improve my handwriting!