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Interview with Lucielle Salomon

Lucielle Salomon is a writer, photographer and content creator who is passionate about traveling in a sustainable and socially responsible way. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to seamlessly prep for a trip or insight into her latest Netflix travel binge, read on for Lucielle’s advice on how to reduce your travel footprint.

KAYU: Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up, your background, etc.

I was born in Massachusetts to Dominican parents. When I was eight years old, my parents decided to move back to their home country, the Dominican Republic, where I had the privilege of living for 11 years. This experience allowed me to grow up with a global mindset, be adaptable, and be curious about other cultures. It made me realize at a very young age that I wanted to discover new places, connect with people, and share my learnings/findings. Fast forward, and this translates directly to my current career as a PR professional, freelance writer and content creator in the areas of travel, beauty, and fashion.

KAYU: What does sustainable travel mean to you?

In a nutshell, sustainable travel aims to engage with travelers to protect the environment and expand economic development in the local communities. It’s a concept beyond just eco-friendly practices and environmental responsibility, as the social impact is a crucial element too.

KAYU: Why do you think sustainable travel is important?

It puts you in a mindset of not just taking away but giving too. It’s about being aware of how our choices and actions affect the local people and businesses.

 

KAYU: What are your top tips for readers that want to travel sustainably?

  • Support local businesses and artisans
  • Respect local culture
  • Choose tour providers that are invested in the community
  • Reduce your single-use plastics and limit your trail of waste
  • Respect the boundaries of animals
  • Reward environmentally friendly hotels and establishments
  • Use public transportation
  • Walk as much as you can or rent a bike

 

  KAYU: What are some of your go-to list of things when prepping for travel?

  • Pack items that I could easily mix and match for different outfits. I typically travel just with a carry-on — no matter if it’s a weekend trip or a month-long adventure.
  • Check out if the destination I am visiting has any farmer’s market during my stay
  • Pre-pay my bills
  • Inform my bank
  • Empty refrigerator items that will expire
  • Clean my house
  • Charge all my electronics
  • Do any pre-travel personal care routine

KAYU: How has the Coronavirus pandemic affected your travels?

My travels lately are close to none. It made me value my surroundings more, and that I don’t need to travel far to seek adventure. Sometimes the best experience is right in your backyard.

KAYU: Do you prefer to travel alone or with someone, and why?

Nothing beats traveling with my husband. I’m very fortunate to have a partner that enjoys traveling and loves to discover and try new things. We travel well together, which is a blessing. At the same time, I treasure my solo trips. I’ve made three solo trips to Europe, and the rewards and learnings have been enormous. It’s nice to take the time and do the things you just want to do. You learn so much about yourself!

 

KAYU: What inspired you to get into sustainable travel?

Sustainability came about after my so-called quarter-life crisis. It made me introspect and reflect on all my decisions and the impact they have. Of course, travel being one of them. I typically approached travel in a very selfish way — just going through the list of places I wanted to visit. Now I have started to consider how my travels can contribute to environmental and community well-being.

KAYU: Any tips for coping with jet lag?

This is a tough one, as I continuously try to work on it myself. I would say stay on your new schedule as much as possible. That goes for both meals and sleep schedules. Also, it’s nice to have a relaxed schedule right before your trip or on your first travel day. Don’t jump to your activities right away.

 KAYU: What has been your all-time favorite place to travel to thus far?

Without a doubt, it’s Paris. It was the first city I ever visited in Europe, and I immediately fell in love. I binged-watched Emily in Paris, and it made me chuckle at the several cliché things I did when I first visited the city.  I feel so blessed and grateful to have gone numerous times now and have developed genuine friendships with many people. Now when I go, it sort of feels like a second home.

KAYU: What are some challenges you think the next generation will face in regard to traveling sustainably?

I would say some potential challenges are the change of mindset and mainstreaming sustainability into all tourism. It’s on us to make a conscious effort of integrating good practices into our travels, no matter if it’s a business or leisure trip. But we must work collectively to ensure there is an available market to meet that demand.

KAYU: If you could have lunch with one person alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I could list so many, but I’m going to go with Michelle Obama. She is so inspiring and always brings me happy tears when I hear her speak. I relate to her determination, the importance of prioritizing self-care, and using our voice for change. Plus, that it’s OK to be a rule-breaker when it’s intentional and for an act of good.

KAYU: What’s next for you? Any projects?

I am currently looking to work with brands that share a similar mission to craft their message and amplify it to those alike. My passion lies in creating content and building partnerships in the sustainability space. I also recently started a weekly newsletter called Elle Curations, where I share the products of brands with sustainability and integrity at the forefront. I’m excited to build its community!