Veronica Li (@vnikali)
Describe who you are and what you do.
A fashion stylist and the creator of vnikali. com. I started my blog as a platform to share what I love and my styling tips.
The blog and Instagram supported my styling portfolio; somehow my photos drew attention, and I also become a tastemaker in fashion and lifestyle. This has allowed me to have a balance of styling and creative content with A-list brands and media. Now and then, I get to travel with brands to experience their aesthetics. This has opened my eyes to see the world from a different perspective.
If time and money were no issue, where would you go and why?
I would travel across the South of France and just enjoy life there with no worries – a glass of wine whenever I want to celebrate life. The best way to travel is not look at the time; your heart knows when it's ready to go to the next destination, instead of planning everything ahead.
What are five things you couldn’t travel without?
• Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Brightening & Perfecting UV Protector SPF50/PA+++
• 24K Gold Ion Energy Beauty Bar Sauna Massage Magic Wand Massager • Chinese medicine
If you were stuck on an island and could choose one person there, who would you want with you and why?
My husband Lucas, of course! Because he makes every day happy for me and without him, I think life would be boring.
What has been your most memorable or unique travel experience?
Finland was the most unique trip, since I got engaged under the Northern Lights with the shooting stars over Santa Claus Village. It was so cold in the igloo hotels.
What’s your favourite travel photo ever?
In Finland, the first engagement photo we took at minus-15 degrees, wearing a Hugo Boss nightgown. It was freezing cold and I was wearing Christian Louboutin.
Any tips or secrets for taking a great travel photo?
Have the perfect scenery and lighting. I always wake up one to two hours early to catch the sunrise light. It makes the photos extra-magical and you can enjoy the sunrise, too. I love the peaceful morning.
What’s the best thing you’ve bought on your travels?
My Hermès Kelly bag! It's all about luck and on my last trip to Paris, I was so lucky.
Skydiving – yes or no?
Yes! Yes! Yes! But I still haven't had the chance to do it.
What books and blogs would you recommend to aspiring travellers?
TN Experiences City Guides – I randomly came across this blog and I find it to be pretty nice!
What advice do you have for people who want to travel but feel financially stuck?
Look for good fanfare deals and try to go as a group so you can share the accommodation fee. Start from going to places that you can hike or just go sight-seeing without spending a fortune. I tend to stay away from the tourist spots because it's a guaranteed rip-off around the area.
How do you choose your next location?
Usually I don't get to pick the next location, since most of the time I travel for work. There are times I stay behind and explore cities around the area. As for our travel wish list, it's really random, but there are always a few faraway places we want to go every year. Bolivia is always at the top of our minds.
How many suitcases do you bring?
Usually two big ones.
What are your secrets for packing light? Or do you pack heavy?
Super-heavy – my luggage is always around 30kg! Half of it is my skincare and beauty goods. I end up packing so much, I forget to leave extra space for shopping. I know it's a problem, but I don't intend to solve it.
Is there an activity you always do when you go somewhere?
I always need to watch the sunrise (which means waking up at 5.30am), cycle and hike.
What has been your scariest travel experience?
We couldn't land three times and had to do an emergency landing at a military base. And when I thought I was safe to travel by bus back to Bangkok, there was a huge thunderstorm in the middle of the highway; the bus just stopped for 20 minutes without moving since the thunder and rain was so heavy. In my mind, I was thinking – on air and on land, I was still in danger.
What’s the most interesting mode of transport you’ve taken on a trip?
A donkey sled in Harbin to the mountains.
What’s your typical airport attire?
Trench coat, duffle bag and gym wear.
Where are you heading next?
After finishing this interview, I'm actually heading to the airport to go to Yangshuo to explore the beauty of China.
What is one thing you hate about travelling?
My skin gets very sensitive and dry. Also there are places that only have squat toilets; this I cannot handle.
What’s the longest you’ve spent without internet access?
I tried it for three days and it was amazing!
How many countries have you been to? Can you list them?
21: Australia, Austria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the UK, the USA and Vietnam.
From that list, if you could choose one to stay in for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
Switzerland, because it's so close to Paris and the UK. I would have a super-relaxing life there, but on the weekends I could take the train to Paris or the UK for city life. The food and weather is amazing there, so I could sit in the spa all day looking at the mountains and lakes. In the winter, I could go snowboarding and have cheese fondue! #lifeisgoodthere
If there’s one thing travelling has taught you, what is it?
The world is so big, so always stay humble and learn from others. Observe the culture and lifestyle to enhance your own. This is how you make your life unique and inspiring.