When people think of models, they often envision a glitzy and glamorous lifestyle.
Although this is largely untrue, and modeling is a job like any other that requires hard work, dedication, and commitment, traveling is by far one of the most glamorous and exciting aspects of the modeling business.
I have been lucky enough in my career thus far that I have spent over a year working in one of my absolute favorite cities, London. I have shot hair campaigns in Hamburg and Paris, flown to Milan to walk in fashion week, skied the slopes of Courchevel and hit the beaches on the Côte d’Azur, all while snapping photos and featuring in editorials.
Another huge perk is that I have friends all over the world that I have met through work and on my travels. From Canada, to New Zealand, to South Africa, to Moscow I have someone I can call almost anywhere I go!
But more than simply exotic locations that serve as the beautiful backdrops for photoshoots, international travel has taught me so much about life that I would never have known had I not been a model.
As an American, we are often caught up in our own world. Because of the vast size and diversity of culture on our own soil, it is easy to never leave. But in my opinion, you have to!
Everywhere I go I experience different cultures, religions, languages, world views, work ethics, table manners, customs, food, the list goes on and on. What I have taken from this, is that you have to have an open mind. What traveling does for you, is gives you a framework from which to understand that people may be different from you. It makes you question your convictions and while you may abandon some, you will stand by others with greater understanding and appreciation for your own point of view.
It’s the little things that make you realize what a big impact these experiences can have on you. I no longer struggle to order food from any cuisine. I navigate an international airport or a subway station in a foreign language with ease. The other day when I had a German guest in my apartment I offered her water by saying, “Sorry we don’t have any ice, but you probably don’t care because you’re European.”
My life in transit has changed my life.
Which brings me to my final point. I have now become homeless, in many ways.
Although at this point, I feel very at home in Europe, I’ll never really be European. Though New York City has been my home for over eight years, I’m not a New Yorker, and when I go home to Georgia to visit my family, it is abundantly clear I am no longer the Southern Belle I once was.
I have abandoned the comfort of feeling completely in place and at ease in any particular situation and have replaced it with the rush, fear, and excitement of new opportunities. Although it can be stressful and confusing at times, travel is truly the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
You begin to see people for who they really are, and not for the cultural trappings that we have come to accept. I’ve traveled all over the world to find that really, we’re all not that different from one another, no matter where you go.
So I encourage you to get out there and see the world! Whether you work, study, or just travel, you have to go! Just remember that when you get back, nothing may be the same.
Until Next Time.