London

Summer may be over, but the memories are not! We caught up with two of our jet-setting Nous girls, Tori and Grace, to speak on their recent adventures overseas. Here’s what they had to say ~


Tori Bass spotted in the Clapham district of London photographed by Shonay.

First and foremost, Where did you girls travel to?

Tori: I travelled around London and made a quick visit to Cologne (Germany).

Grace: Hong Kong with occasional visits to Guangzhou.

What brought you there?:

Tori: A mix of a vacation and work.

Grace: A few months prior, Nous spoke about sending me somewhere in Asia after I graduated from High School, but I wasn’t sure as to where at the time. Then in August, I got an email making sure that my passports were current, and to prepare to leave for Hong Kong; few days had passed when I got an email saying that I’d be leaving the next day! 24 hours later, I was on a plane to begin a new journey in my modeling career!

Grace opening the runway show for FFIXXED STUDIOS  in Hong Kong.

 

 

Where have you stayed or are staying for the majority of your trip?

Grace: I’m staying in a neighborhood on Hong Kong Island called Kennedy Town, which is an area where a lot of families live. It has only recently started to become more connected to the rest of the island because of its MTR station that was added in January. Because of this, the area is a more “hipster” part of Hong Kong, and it’s not as modernized as the more downtown areas such as Central.

Tori: I stayed in Greenwich, London. It has some of the best views of the city.

City views in Greenwich, London.

 

Did you girls get to visit any cool historical landmarks that you can now cross off your bucket list?

Tori: I went just about everywhere. Being the history nerd that I am, we visited Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, Hever Castle in Kent, Kensington Palace, Churchill’s War Rooms, and a whole lot more! I was so happy to finally cross them off my list of places to visit.

What is the fashion like where you two visited?:

Grace: The fashion is pretty similar to that in the states, due to the western influence in Hong Kong. I’ve noticed that people tend to look ‘on-trend’ and put together, and I’ve seen more people carrying designer handbags than in Los Angeles (although maybe some of them are awesome knockoffs, who knows?).

Tori: Everyone is London seems to dress super fashionable. A sort of “elegant but comfortable” vibe.

Grace backstage for FFIXXED STUDIOS runway show in Hong Kong.

What’s something you packed that’s not absolutely essential, but you like having it?

GraceProbably a journal. It’s been a good way for me to reflect on what I’ve learned throughout this trip in Hong Kong. I’ve also been making a list of lessons in it to take away from this experience, ranging from simple ones like never leaving the apartment without a portable charger, to more personal ones!

Out of all of the foreign cities that you have visited recently, which place stuck out the most?:

Grace: Out of the two cities, definitely Hong Kong. I love how everything is super connected and easy to get to, and how it has several cool places in nature that you can go to if you want to escape the city.

Tori: Probably Cologne. I had never been to a German country before so I didn’t know what to expect! It was so beautiful and the weather was perfect!

A street view of Cologne, Germany’s sensational architecture.

How neat! That’s great that you found a easy way to get around the city. This brings me to my next question – What did you find to be the most effective form of transportation (walking, car, bus, train, etc) in the city or cities that you visited?

Grace: In HK, I usually take the subway system, called the MTR, and then walk the rest of the way. But when I’m in Guangzhou, we go to castings and jobs in taxis and vans, which makes for great book reading time.

Tori: I did a little bit of everything, but mostly stuck to the ‘Tube’ (London’s underground public rapid transit system). It makes it so easy to get practically anywhere in London.

Grace scanning her options at the Ladies Market in Hong Kong.

Thank you for your advice! Both sound like great tools to use when navigating through London and Hong Kong. Yet, while venturing through each city, did either of you guys discover any ‘hidden gems’ that most people have not heard of?

Tori: Greenwich Palace is fairly popular, but if you’re into history like me, then it’s definitely a good place to stop. It holds a lot of history that I had no idea about.

GraceThe Ladies Market in Mong Kok is great for finding cheap items, and for a bargaining, too (although my friend I went with did most of that for me haha).

Both of those places sound interesting! Now- let’s talk about people. Did either of you meet an interesting person while traveling that you felt has positively impacted your life?

Grace: Yes, just recently I had a conversation with a new friend at dinner, while I was feeling a little homesick. I asked her if she ever felt that way, and she told me that while she does miss home, she uses those feelings to motivate her to go even further in her modeling because she knows that she’ll always be supported by her loved ones. This caused me to think about homesickness in a new way, and it also motivates me to work harder as I continue to model in HK, because I want my family to be proud of me when I return.

Tori taking the summer sunshine in while working in London.

I love that you shared this with our readers, as it broadens the perspective for those that fear that modeling would disconnect them from their loved ones (by traveling so frequently). Moving forward, what time of the year do you believe would be the best time to visit the city that you traveled to?

Grace: Probably in the fall. I arrived in August, and it’s been really humid and hot here so far. In the fall, it’s supposed to cool down and become less humid, so I’m definitely looking forward to that.

Tori: Visiting London in the Summer was the best decision. Since it tends to be rainy and cold (during a large portion of the year), it was nice being able to experience the city while the weather was still beautiful! However, I’ve heard London is stunning during the Christmas time too, so I’ll have to visit again soon.

Now, I’m sure while visiting these cities you two also had some pretty spectacular meals. If someone was planning to travel to the cities that you visited, what’s the one meal they shouldn’t miss?

Tori: If you visit Cologne, you have to visit Freddy Schilling! I’ve never had a better veggie burger in my life!

Grace: If you visit Hong Kong, Dim Sum! You order a bunch of small plates and it’s especially good for a weekend brunch.

Dim Sum, a famous meal local to Hong Kong, spread out in all it’s yummy glory.

Oh my- both of these dishes sound delicious. I am sure with all tasty options near by, it can be hard to focus on health. What do you do to stay healthy/fit while you travel?

Tori: I found that finding healthier vegan options in London was a lot easier than I would have imagined. I never had a problem finding something to stay within my dietary preferences.

Grace: There’s this unsweetened Jasmine Green Tea that’s sold in almost every convenience and grocery store that has been one of my go-to drinks. I’m going to miss it when I arrive back in the states.

Tori’s passport ready to embark on her adventure with her to London and Cologne.

Thank you both for sharing. Both sound like solid ways to stay fit while abroad. Now, in a more generalized sense, I am sure our readers would love to know: what was the most exciting thing about modeling abroad?

Tori: Traveling has always been a passion of mine, so having the opportunity at all is amazing! I love having the chance to meet different people that I maybe wouldn’t cross paths with back home.

Grace: Probably having the experience of living on my own for the first time, and being nearly halfway around the world from home too! Also getting to experience the culture and lifestyle of Hong Kong has been wonderful for me.

Did either of you find any differences between modeling in the United States VS. abroad?

Grace: Yes. In the US, I would do mostly editorial style modeling. But in HK and Asia in general, modeling is much more commercial, and I had to learn to adapt to this style (I didn’t have much experience with it prior to coming to Asia). But I feel that it has only helped me grow as a model,  because I’ve learned to be more familiar with this style.

Tori Bass working her magic for ASOS in London.

Tori: Yeah definitely. It’s hard to point out any single difference between working in the U.S. and U.K., but I really did love working for ASOS. They’re a massive company so there’s lots of going on/people on staff, but they still manage to put out a very relaxed, and easy going vibe to keep everyone motivated.

Are there any social norms or practices that you’ve encountered on your travels that you wish were more common in the USA?

Grace: I’ve noticed that people who are sick tend to wear face masks. I wish that was a thing in the US, especially at schools, because I feel that fewer people would catch colds here.

Do you have any additional advice for others that wish to travel to this city?:

Tori: When it comes to traveling around London, be sure to visit as many markets as you can! I loved seeing all the different types of foods, crafts, and clothes that all of them had to offer.

Grace: Be prepared for the humidity and high temperatures! It does get cooler in late September (as I’ve been told). Also, living space is much smaller in HK than it is in the US, so don’t overpack.

 Love what you see so far? Check out this video of Grace opening FFIXXED STUDIOS‘ SS18 Runway show!:

View Grace’s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

& also, take a peek at Tori working her magic in London during a shoot by Shonay:

View Tori’s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Oh yes, Summer has finally arrived! That means it is time to purchase a tube of sun block, whip out your passport, and start globe trotting. But, before jumping into your next adventure, our Nous ladies (Megan, KJ, Camryn, and Alyena) have offered some advice that they would like to share from their recent travels.

Peep their interview below to become the jet-setting pro that you were destined to become!:


1. Hi ladies! A little birdie told me that you have recently had the opportunity to travel. Where did you travel to?

KJ in Havana, Cuba

KJ:  Hey! So after my trip to Governor’s Ball in New York with Juicy Couture, I had the impromptu decision to join my friends in Cuba, but I was only there for a total of 32 hours! I was in Havana, Cuba and we stayed at the Four Points Hotel which was a great central location for the city and beach.

Megan Martin in Bogota, Columbia

Megan: Over the past couple of years, I have been so blessed to have traveled a lot during  my modeling career.  I have been fortunate enough to book a lot of travel jobs outside of the country :).  THIS is one of my absolute favorite parts of the job.  I have been to France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Colombia, Mexico (many times), the Bahamas (many many times), & so many more.  These are just a few of my favorite & most memorable locations.

Camryn in London, England

Camryn:  I signed to Nous when I was 15, which then lead to me signing in New York City when I was 16-years-old (which I had never been) and then last year in London at (age) 17. Everything in Europe is so close, so I’ve been able to take holidays to Paris and Amsterdam. I hope to go explore more if I can.

Alyena in London, England

Alyena: Since joining Nous I have gone to London, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Amsterdam! I was stoked to go to these places because it was sort of a post-High School adventure!

2. If you had to choose, which place stuck out the most?

Alyena: My favorite place so far has probably been Amsterdam because of the youth culture as well as the art scene.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Megan: If I haaad to choose… I would probably choose the Exumas in the Bahamas.  I was there this past May & fell in love.  I am a beach girl, & the Exumas had the most remote & beautiful beaches with the most clear & blue water I have ever seen!  I was in awe. The Exumas is made up of 365 islands.  Most are all close together so it is easy to “island hop.” It is the most serene place I have ever been.

Megan Martin in the Exumas, Bahamas.

Camryn: New York City is my favorite city in the world so far. London, Paris, and Amsterdam were so beautiful but NY will always have a special place in my heart and has inspired me to keep pushing for what I want. I’m actually moving there in August!

Press play to follow Camryn’s adventures in NYC:


KJ enjoying a day at the beach in Cuba

3. What are some of your key/favorite brands that you wore around while traveling?

KJ: While i was there (Cuba), I wore an adorable two piece skirt/top set by XIX Palms, some swim and cover up pieces by Bamba swim, and the rest was my own vintage stuff.

Alyena: Local stuff. Paris had the best fashion it was incredible! There were so many boutiques with so many different types of looks the main difficulty was trying to fit everything in my suitcase.

 

Alyena in Paris, France.

 

4. What’s something you pack that’s not absolutely essential, but you like having it?

Alyena: One thing that was essential for my trip was headphones. In long train rides and on the plane I couldn’t imagine not having them.

Camryn: I (really my mother) will pack bags of Tea and Emergen-C, so as soon as I land, I’ll be able to make my go-to drink!

Megan: A sound machine.  When traveling to a new place, you never know what your surroundings are like… & you NEED that beauty sleep.  I also use it to help me sleep & deal with time changes.

5.  Speaking of beauty sleep, what’s the best way to sleep on a plane?

Camryn: I always end up watching movies on the plane because I rarely go to the movie theater and catch up on all the new movies.. so no sleep!!

6. Was there anything that came up while you were traveling that you did not expect?

Alyena: One food I plan to never have again is veal. In Germany I got tricked into eating it because they brought out the wrong meal and it was quite a shock.

KJ sitting down for a meal in Havana, Cuba

7. Oh no! I am so sorry. Well, this brings onto our next topic: Where and/or what did you eat? Any unusual secret gems that you can’t wait to bring back home?

KJ: Our favorite restaurant to eat lunch at was called El Dandy. They had meat and cheese plates, carnitas tacos (😍😍  my fav), and the best mangos I’ve ever had! Everything there is really cheap, taxi’s were 10-20 pesos to get anywhere, and every meal was around 15 pesos a person including drinks. Both nights I was there, we ate this adorable rooftop restaurant called El Cocinero. The ambiance and food was amazing.

Megan: Bogota, Colombia has the best fried Yuca. It  is similar to french fries, but better ;).

AlyenaIf you go to Italy the one thing that I practically lived on was gelato. It’s a culture where gelato is considered acceptable with every meal!

A Spread of Italian Gelato

Megan enjoying the view in Amboise, France

8. That all sounds so good! I’m sure one of you found a familiar plate while traveling. What is one food you could now never eat in your home country again because you’ve tasted the original version in its country of origin and you’ve been forever spoiled?

Megan: Fresh pasta from Italy!

9. Now, in terms of location, did you girls get to experience/discover some local secret gems? 

Camryn: If you travel to London, I’m sure you will hear of the Shoreditch House. It’s really a hip venue in a culturally rich area and they have the best roof top pool. Oh! And Brick Lane in Shoreditch has some really great thrift shops!

KJ: One night, we went to a rooftop salsa bar called Roma and it had the best vibe. I met some of the most down to earth people.On my second day in Cuba, I went to the AMAZING beach called Tarara, which is i a private beach club. It only costs 5 pesos to get in, and you feel like you’re on a deserted tropical island. Only locals really know about it so there are no people and it’s really clean. The water is super clear.

Camryn in London, England in front of the Big Ben.

10. Are there any social norms or practices you’ve encountered on your travels that you wish were more common in the USA?

Camryn: Saying English phrases like “que up” (assembling in a line) or when you are asking where bathroom is, you refer to the restroom as “the toilet.” Also, everyone says “proper” in numerous casual conversations and it is very versatile. Like, “she’s proper posh,” would be that girl is really elegant/upperclass/stylish!

11. What is the craziest/funniest thing that happened to you while traveling?

Megan: I was in Tulum shooting for a swimwear brand, and some locals approached us while shooting and proceeded to take their shirts off and get in the water & “pose” with me………..

Megan striking a pose in St. Barths wearing a swimsuit by Stone Cold Fox

12. Haha! That is hilarous. Now, has anyone done anything super creative to save money during their travels?

KJ: When traveling, always bring twice as much cash as you think you need. This is especially important in Cuba because American credit cards don’t work over there. With extra cash, if something goes wrong, you then have plenty of cushioning.

Camryn: I once took a 10 hour bus ride from Amsterdam to London because I had a job the next day and had to go home without my friends! It was actually really cool because I got to drive through Holland and Belgium.

13. Sounds like a memory for the books! So, let’s get a little personal. Do any of you ladies have an irrational fear that your travels have helped you overcome?

Megan: Traveling is such a beautiful thing. However, there is a lot of inevitable things you cannot control— like flight delays, weather, language barriers in different countries, misinterpreting cultures, & etc… You truly have to go into traveling with an open mind & ready for almost anything to happen.

KJ having some fun in the sun in Havana, Cuba

14. Love that advice! To wrap it up, does anyone have any further advice for other wanderlusters?

KJ: Knowing foreign languages is a plus, as locals may try to take advantage of you and tell you things are more money than they are. But for the most part, come with no expectations and have a great time!

Megan: Do not take traveling for granted (I sure do sometimes).  It is such a gift.  Try and be as present as possible & take any given opportunity to immerse yourself in another countries culture.

Alyena: Be a collector! One thing I try to collect in every city is a cool key chain, as well as a post card from either a museum I visited or from a street vendor.

….and that’s a wrap! Now that you’re a jet-setting pro, get inspired by checking out some more awesome photos from the girls’ past travels below:

Check out Alyena‘s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Check out Megan‘s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Check out KJ‘s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

Check out Camryn‘s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.

 

 

 

 

Imagine that you have two weeks in Europe to spare, where would you go? What would you see? Well, our girl Alex G. has had the privilege of leaping over the big puddle that is the Atlantic Ocean, and has provided us with a little travel guide in the form of a questionnaire! She has become a true jet-setting queen this past month – take a peek below to discover more from her trip!:

Hi Alex! Welcome home! Where did you travel to?

We visited Paris, Brussels, Florence, Rome, Santorini, and London. Each place was uniquely beautiful. The way they live and eat in Europe is truly something I’ll be dreaming about forever!

Ok, we all know that Europe is known for their amazing meals! What did you eat?

Breakfast in Paris, France

Being the foodie girl that I am, I was in absolute heaven! I mean, European food is on another level! In each place, the food was a bit different than the other, yet all were insanely delicious. There’s a ridiculous overload of the yummiest croissants, cheese and baguette in Paris. 

If you are a beer lover, than Brussels Belgium beer is for you. Florence and Rome’s pizza, pasta, and pretty much any carb you can think of actually changed my life with how delicious they were (And okay we may have also had gelato every single day….way too good for words!)

Santorini had the freshest most amazing fish, because they catch everything locally around the Greek islands. And how could we not be cliché and have lots of tea and sweet treats in London?

There is something so beautiful about how the people of these places take such pride and put so much love into the food they eat. And you really can taste it.

For all the fashionistas out there, what was in your luggage?!

Alex G in Paris, France wearing All-Saints

For what I wore, it was fun to pack cute things that made me feel like I fit in with the fun European fashion! Because in Paris, Brussels, and London, the weather was colder so we had to dress a bit warmer. Brands like All-Saints, Rag & Bone, Zara, John Elliott, Paige, and Levi‘s were all perfect to stay bundled up and comfortable, while still feeling edgy/stylish while exploring.

In Santorini and Italy, the sun was shining so much that is was way easier to run around in sundresses and sandals. I wore brands like Faithful The Brand, Free People, For Love and Lemons, Ulla Johnson, Rèalisation Par, Givenchy, and Madewell. Basically anything that felt fun and flowy was perfect to wear. Each one of these places hold such a big place in my heart.

Alex G in Santorini, Greece rocking her Yasmine Eslami one piece swim suit

All of these places sound amazing, but one had to stand out among the rest. What was your favorite spot that you visited?

If I had to choose my favorite place that we visited, it would probably be Santorini. Greece is unlike anywhere I have ever been. It’s almost like a different world. To see such a beautiful island surrounded by the bluest water was insane! The blues and whites are something you can only dream of seeing. I truly felt so lucky to be able to wake up to such a magical place and experience it for a few days.

For all those out there that are looking to make the journey to Europe, do you have any advice for your fellow wanderlusters? 

Europe is a dream! If you have the opportunity to visit these places, I highly recommend that you do. Traveling offers a new view of the world and of other individuals that is truly so special. The new type of views, people, food, and culture that you will meet will and hold close to your heart forever.

I will definitely be going to visit again soon to experience such wanderlust again!

Sounds like an amazing trip, right? Scroll below to see more photos from her adventure!:

Check out Alex G‘s portfolio and follow her on Instagram.