TRAVEL | DOWN TO A SCIENCE

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I love to travel when I can, and have been lucky enough to go on some pretty amazing trips for work. On one particularly wild occasion, I spontaneously hopped on a plane at LAX (Miley ref!) to head to New Zealand for three days. I don’t recommend flying that long for such a short time as a regular practice, but in this case, it was worth it. I hope I make it back for a longer stay some day.

The last big trip I took purely for pleasure was a particularly magical one. A group of friends and I went to Finland to see the Northern Lights in February. We did a few days in Helsinki, where we jumped into the (freezing) Baltic sea and then ate salmon soup and cinnamon rolls at the Löyly Sauna (Hernesaarenranta 4, 00150 Helsinki; +358 9 61286550), and stayed at this gorgeous hotel which also had a delightful spa (Yrjönkatu 13 C, 00120 Helsinki; +358 9 42460011). I love the sauna culture in Scandinavia and wish we did more of that here in the States! We spent one day in Estonia, taking a ferry ride over and back to check out the more Russian-inspired architecture — and have one of the best meals of the trip at Rataskaevu (Rataskaevu 16, 10123 Tallinn, Estonia; +372 642 4025). The grande finale was heading to Lapland to hunt for Aurora. We stayed in a glass-roofed cabin at the Star Arctic Hotel (Ylämajantie 1, 99830 Saariselkä, Finland; +358 44 4194000) and lucked out because we had an amazing view of the lights two out of the three nights we were there. My best friend Elisa kept making us listen to Kacey Musgraves’ “Oh What a World” because the first line is about the Northern Lights, and it really captured how we felt seeing something special we’d never seen before. I’m tearing up just remembering it.


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Whether it’s for business or fun, I’ve gotten pretty good at having my packing routine down to a science. I haven’t used anything but a carry-on suitcase in years (including those 10 days in Finland, which was a real feat considering how many I brought a full-length puffer, two pairs of boots, several chunky sweaters, and all the Uniqlo heattech I could fit in there. I have both sizes of Away carry-ons, and I find them to be incredibly spacious. (The trick is to put all the clothes on the non-zipper side and really use the compression straps to pull everything in there as tightly as you can. Don’t roll! It actually takes us more space and wrinkles your clothes more.) For a long flight especially, my personal item bag is the most important thing in not losing my mind on the flight. I use a Herschel tote that’s roomy enough to fit a ton of stuff but still can fit under the seat in front of me. I never travel without face wipes for my face but also to wipe everything around me, because planes are so germy and gross, a good serum (this one is a splurge but smells luxe enough to make you feel pampered even in a cramped airplane seat), and a lightweight scarf in case I get cold . And at least three snacks.