Jun 1, 2022
2 min read
Sophia Li - Journalist & Film Director
Sophia Li is one of those friends who everyone goes to for advice – a nucleus, if you will. We witnessed this firsthand when Miranda Kerr messaged her via Snapchat to ask what to wear to an event (see, even the most stylish need help). She grew up between four US states and two countries before moving to NYC post college. There, she was able to create the dream job for herself as the Entertainment Media Editor at Vogue.com, where she worked on creating Vogue’s social and digital voice. She says timing was on her side, we credit her skill for storytelling.
Now, she’s a freelance film director and journalist, working with clients including CNN, Vogue, Refinery29, Theory, Maybelline, and lots more. And she’s as passionate about travel as she is about the environment, which is why she createdAll Of The Above
– a thought-provoking show with a sense of humor, answering today’s most pressing questions around climate change and social justice. Every episode plants 1,000 trees and invests in sustainability literacy. Go watch.
Read on for travel inspiration fromSophia Li
Name three of your favorite hotels?
Cottar’s 1920 Safari Camp
in Kenya. Besides being located in one of the most magical places in the world (hello birthplace to all humanity), the Maasai Mara, this place is dedicated to preserving and conserving wildlife. It’s also one of the most sustainable certified places in the world.
Marina Bay Sands
in Singapore. The sheer engineering behind this place is just mind-blowing. I spent the holidays here with my family, as we watched the sunrise overlooking the skyscrapers, while swimming in the largest and tallest infinity pool in the world. Pretty memorable, I must say.
in upstate NY. I go to this place at least once every year with chosen family. Every detail here is accommodated for – it’s a former equestrian training center and barn, renovated into a boutique hotel, meets idyllic B&B. Also, two words: biodynamic farming.
What is the most unique hotel amenity you’ve ever encountered?
“Bush baths” with champagne outside of your tent atCottar’s
, while wild apes roam about. Amazing.
What hotel room design element can you not live without?
Ideally, each hotel room would have a key card as a master key for electricity, so you’re minimizing how much energy used when you’re not in the room.
Where would you go for a digital detox or just generally to get off the grid?
Somewhere to surf, maybe the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii, Tamarindo in Costa Rica, or Puerto Escondido in Mexico.
You travel a lot for work, was this something you were seeking in a career? And how do you make it as relaxing and fun as possible?
I moved every three to four years while growing up and started going to China with my sister by ourselves when we were 11 and 14 respectively, so travel is very much in our veins. I usually tack two days on to a work trip to personally explore the place, so I feel more integrated and present, and less jet-lagged in the location.
What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?
A journal, a book (currently reading Julia Cameron’s
The Artist’s Way
), a silkLunya sleep-mask
, aKora Organics facial sculptor
,Tata Harper face mist
, and Beats headphones.
Have you or would you travel alone?
Yes, I travel alone all the time for work. I have also incorporated more solo personal travel in recent years, to get myself out of my comfort zone. I find I’m more open to talking to others, who I might not have if I were with friends. Most recently, I went on a solo surf camp retreat and then spent a few days in Porto, Portugal on my own, after a road trip with friends.
Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?
Intermittent fasting. Food makes you feel drowsy, so try and get on the local schedule while flying.
Is in-flight wifi a good idea?
Usually no, unless I’m on a work deadline. It’s the best time to disconnect and everyone understands why you’re offline!
Early check-in/ late check-out?
Favorite travel app?
, to find local water fountains, including at airports, so you don’t buy a plastic bottle every time you travel.
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