How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road

Three women chat balancing life with careers on the go.

Photographed by Ana Kamin for Lonny.

Life on the road isn't for everyone. While most people love going on vacation, there's a difference between a getaway with friends and family and heading out of town for days, weeks, or even months at a time for work. In some careers, constant traveling is just part of the job description. How can people get by living entirely out of a suitcase? With a well-packed bag and a mindset that it's possible to create a home when you're on the road.

Women are traveling more for work than ever before. In fact, they now make up nearly half of all business travelers. With more women getting involved in the travel industry, it's no wonder so many travel brands are stepping up their game with stylish suitcases and accessories for folks on the go.

Since we're always intrigued at how people are able to balance life at home and on the road, we decided to ask a few cool ladies to share their experiences. Not only did we have them give us a peek into their suitcases, we asked them to share what it's like to be away from their families, tricks to making hotels a little cozier, and what home means to them. Whether they work in tech, travel, or music, each has a different approach to keeping their cool while trekking across the globe. Read ahead to see each of their unique stories.

How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road
Photographed by Ana Kamin for Lonny.

Dulci Edge

Dulci Edge is a S.F.-based art director, stylist, mom, and writer who creates incredible travel guides for her site The Far & Near.

Lonny: What do you love most about your home?

Dulci Edge: I love that our home gets so much natural light. We keep all the windows wide open and it makes the entire house feel bright and happy. I also love our view! We live across the street from a beautiful old church built in 1928. It feels very European and I just love the architecture.

How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road
Photographed by Ana Kamin for Lonny.

Are there things you love about traveling a lot? Are there any negatives?

DE: I love pretty much everything about traveling. I've always loved exploring new places and I feel the most at home when I'm away from home, if that makes sense.

Of course, there are always some negatives to traveling: jet lag, missing my son when I travel for work, delayed flights... But the good usually outweighs the bad!

What are your packing essentials when you’ll be away for a while?

DE: I almost never check a bag, so it's always a fun challenge getting everything into my carry-on. I try to approach packing like I'm curating a capsule wardrobe. I usually stick to a color story so things can easily be mixed and matched, and I almost always favor neutrals.

My grey cashmere Vince sweater comes with me no matter where I'm going — somewhere tropical or somewhere below zero. It's a staple. Otherwise, I think accessories are a great way to make a huge impact when traveling. They take up almost no space but can completely change the tone of your look. 

Are there any sentimental or useful items that you always bring along with you to help you settle into a new location?

DE: I’ve gotten used to sleeping with a little white noise, so I use the app Noisili to make hotel rooms feel like home and block any outside noise. That and my favorite pair of pajamas by Eberjey help me settle in. 

Do you think it’s possible to create a home away from home?

How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road
Photographed by Ana Kamin for Lonny.

DE: Absolutely! I do it all the time. I think home is more a mentality for me, and less about things and space. That perspective allows me to enjoy wherever I am at any given time, and appreciate the time I'm physically home with family and friends.

What does home mean to you?

DE: Home means comfort, family, and friends. But it also means a place where you feel the most like yourself, and for me, I feel the most like myself when I'm traveling.

How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road
Photographed by Winnie Au for Lonny.

Enid Hwang

Enid Hwang is Pinterest's internal communcations manager and helps develop and carry out culture across the company. Based in NYC, Hwang constantly makes trips out to San Francisco and offices around the world.

Lonny: What do you love most about your home?

Enid Hwang: In order of importance: it’s got my cat, my dude, and it’s in New York. In all seriousness though: I’ve moved around more than a few times, so I love being home; what’s in it is far less important—I can make do with almost any kind of bed or pillow at this point.

Are there things you love about traveling a lot? Are there any negatives?

EH: I love traveling in general. Any opportunity to explore a new place, even if it’s just for a day, is a gift. I feel doing it routinely helps break the tech/Brooklyn/American, etc. bubble I live in, at least a little bit. It certainly makes me feel really grateful too, since my job was what enabled me to go to France, Germany, and Brazil for the first time. 

How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road
Photographed by Winnie Au for Lonny.

That said, work travel can be exhausting. It means abbreviated weekends, eating dinner by yourself in airports, rallying for long days while jet-lagged. and inevitably getting sick after a long red-eye. 

What are your packing essentials when you’ll be away for a while?

EH: My absolute essentials for flights are a good book, headphones, my water bottle, and a few of my skincare favorites for the rest of the trip. Other than that, every city has a pharmacy and if I bring an umbrella, I’ll just lose it anyway.

As for clothes, a capsule wardrobe has worked out really well for me. I can do month-long trips with only a carry-on, but it probably helps that I started wearing all black about seven years ago. Everything goes with everything. I just have to ask myself what the weather is to figure out the rest.

Are there any sentimental or useful items that you always bring along with you to help you settle into a new location?

EH: I always sneak an item of my husband’s clothes to wear while I’m away, whether it’s an old t-shirt to sleep in or a coat. But this is pretty standard practice when I’m at home too… I think he’s close to getting a lock for his closet.

Do you think it’s possible to create a home away from home?

How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road
Photographed by Winnie Au for Lonny.

EH: I think so. I go between New York and San Francisco almost every other month and it’s great to catch up with friends in S.F. each time. To me, that's comforting. I get to see familiar faces or even return to places I love, so it’s not "traveling" while I'm there. 

What does home mean to you?

EH: Well, as a kid whose family moved cross-country a few times, home is simply where you’re loved. And possibly where your barber reserves touch-up time every two weeks.

Lia Ices

Lia Ices is a singer-songwriter living in Sonoma, California. She balances heading out on tour with spending time at home with her daughter and husband, who runs Scribe Winery.

How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road
Photographed by Vanessa Mona Hellmann for Lonny.

What do you love most about your home?

Lia Ices: Our home is nestled under three giant live Oak trees. They are immense and sprawling and have so much personality. They almost feel like they are part of the family, like guardians. We also have a big garden with heirloom roses, plums, apples, pears, and grapevines. Living amidst such abundant beauty is a daily gift, especially as I watch my daughter discover it and find her own fascination with the plants and animals that surround us.

Are there things you love about traveling a lot? Are there any negatives?

LI: I find that getting out of routine and ritual is always good for my mind. Physical space always allows for fresh perspective — especially for my creative work which is so necessary! The negatives would be being away from my daughter and husband.

What are your packing essentials when you’ll be away for a while? Do you do a capsule wardrobe?

How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road
Photographed by Vanessa Mona Hellmann for Lonny.

LI: Brock Collection jeans and vintage Levis are staples because I can dress one up and be mellow in the other. I almost always bring some sort of embroidered blouse, and always stripes in some form. Recently I've been loving to layer a feminine cardigan over a t-shirt or with a dress. I also find it helpful to bring accessories, because I like to have options even while I'm away. So I always bring a hat (a crochet cotton sun hat for spring and summer or a felted wide brim hat for winter) and three pairs of sunglasses minimum.

Are there any sentimental or useful items that you always bring along with you to help you settle into a new location?

LI: I always bring palo santo spray or wood to burn. There’s something so enlivening and grounding about the smell. I usually pack a far-out astrology or metaphysical book that I’ve been waiting to dive into, or can imagine will give me inspiration during a trip. I always bring a film camera; either a polaroid or 35mm. It’s my favorite way to document. And I've been traveling with a couple cans of our rosé, Una Lou. It’s great to give as gifts or to have a glass by myself to wind down at night and remind me of home. 

Do you think it’s possible to create a home away from home?

How I Create A Home When I’m Always On The Road
Photographed by Vanessa Mona Hellmann for Lonny.

LI: I do think that we are intrinsically adaptable and creative creatures. So if we must be away from our nests, I do think it’s possible to find rituals and ways and comforts in new places. 

Amazingly, even when I’m on tour traveling in a van from city to city, I get used to it and kind of settle in. Once there’s a pattern, you can find comfort in expecting what’s to come. It really is about your state of mind. We are with ourselves wherever we are. 

What does home mean to you?

LI: In its highest form, home is a sacred sanctuary. It is a place where we have the freedom to create the way we want to live,  how we want to raise our family, the tone we want to set in our daily lives. It is sacred in both its privacy and its community. Also, since I write and work from home, it is a place where I dig deep and create — entirely spiritual.

I am Lonny's Senior Associate Editor. You can find me writing about interior tips, scouting out the coolest new spots, and rallying behind amazing female entrepreneurs. You can reach me at shelby.wax@livingly.com or on Instagram @shelbywax.
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