An excerpt from Camilla Morton’s A Year in High Heels
I love travel—it’s nutritious for the spirit to try things that may seem (at first) weird or difficult. I always want to discover more about myself, and the only way that happens is if I expose my mind (and senses) to things it’s unused to, and I like to explore and savor another culture, and to feel what a welcoming place the world can be. I’ve been to lots of breathtaking, “the-postcard-doesn’t do-this-place-justice” destinations in my life, but these romantic, beautiful, and fascinating spots are among my all-time favorites:
For the Sports Illustrated shoot, I had to ride an elephant with no saddle, wearing nothing more than a bikini. (Nobody told me that elephants are nearly as prickly as porcupines.)
The city still has a British-inspired elegance—the fancy old hotels, high tea service—but the underworld is what makes it riveting: pigs and chickens hanging in restaurant windows, not to mention some rather peculiar aphrodisiacs on the menu, and at night the lurid little alleys and nightclubs. The view from the peak of the city’s gleaming high-rises is jaw-dropping, and the shopping (including the huge jade and pearl markets) is overwhelming (in a good way). It’s a modern bazaar.
The Mongolian desert
There’s nothing there. No cars, no congestion, no white noise, practically no trappings of civilization. And never has that word trappings seemed so apt. Almost nothing that seems to matter here—how you look, what brand you wear—matters there. The people could not be friendlier, and if you have a chance to stay in a yurt, do it.
Heidi plays with her boys at a park in New York City. Photo by INF Photo.
There’s no place like it anywhere in the world—crazy, dirty streets giving rise to soaring silver office towers. European-style cafés and shops in Soho contrasting with the wide, elegant boulevards of the Upper East Side. From the yellow cabs and 24/7 delivery options to the melting-pot citizenry and New Yorker’s brusque, efficient energy, it’s my kind of city, my kind of home. Right now, it is home. Every spot in the world has something about it that sticks with me and compels me to return.
And some travel tips:
• For some ten years (and counting), there’s one companion I will not travel without: my Samsonite hard case, covered with stickers from all over the world.
• DON’T BE A PACK RAT. People often suggest bringing things—a favorite pillow or candle—to personalize your hotel room and make yourself feel cozy, but I am a minimalist. Try not to carry your entire home with you; otherwise, you might as well just stay there.
• For up to a week, I bring two cute outfits—a little black dress and a nice pair of jeans, maybe a jean jacket (which you can wear with the black dress). They all adapt nicely to dressy or casual situations. I also stuff in a great purse, shoes that go with both outfits, and a wrap that can be worn with anything.
• For makeup, I forgo all the colors and steps and just pack a little bag with bare necessities: gloss, lipstick, concealer, sunscreen, and mascara.
• Don’t forget those adapters for international outlets!
• I leave room in my suitcase for new purchases…or I pack an empty bag or knapsack. (If I buy a lot of clothes and there’s no room in my bag, I just wear lots of layers on the flight back.) The combo of suitcase-bursting-at-seams and stern-looking-suspicious-customs-officer makes for an unpleasant reentry.
See more Heidi here.