Tara Whiteman is sure to have left you in a case of serious wanderlust with her booming Instagram account, @taramilktea. She dishes some travel secrets and how to live the dream on this month’s ‘Why Don’t You…” series.
… experience the world through a microlens?
I just came back from seeing the tulips in the Netherlands, and that’s been on my list for quite some time. The Keukenhof gardens, although incredibly crowded, has to be seen; I recommend going in the early morning. There’s something about visiting a new city in itself, but when there are small windows in the year to visit something truly spectacular—cherry blossoms in Japan, lavender fields in Tokyo, the Netherlands on King’s Day. It just feels that bit more special to have caught a place showing off its rare beauty.
… take visual inspiration from a remarkable artist?
The last exhibition I visited was at the National Gallery of Victoria when Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit made it to Melbourne. I’ve seen Kusama’s work in five cities now, genuinely by pure luck of it showing in the country I’m visiting. And although I’ve seen her work so many times, it feels brand new with every visit. Every exhibit I’ve seen has been so bold, unique, and highly visual, yet has such a deep inner meaning, which I feel like I can relate too, with my way of curating my content.
… devise a personal formula for immortalising memories?
Three key components to capturing the perfect moment while travelling would be shooting in the right light, which leads to getting up early (for light and to avoid crowds), and also planning your outfits. I love trying to match/blend or perfectly contrast with a city, so I’ll do a little research before going somewhere to see what outfits would work best for the photos.
… compile a list of constants in your favourite city? See Tokyo Tower at night! I’ve walked to Tokyo Tower from our hotel during several visits to Tokyo, and the way it shines at night is simply gorgeous. The exhibits change every season, so each visit means a new experience. Shinjuku Gyoen is best to visit during the cherry blossom season, but I celebrated my birthday here once with my dearest friends on the most perfect summer afternoon. People will always tell you not to visit Japan in the summer because the other seasons are more beautiful, but I disagree. The city is so charming all year round.
… attempt a digital detox? I love leaving our hotel without our phones, and then wander off into the unknown. As we work online so much, it’s too easy to see a place simply through a camera lens, and we always try to make sure we get a little lost in places that offer so much more than just picturesque Instagram photos.
… see the beauty in everyday occurences? Topping my list this year, so far, would be Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO world heritage site in Gifu, Japan. We were invited to visit the city during winter, which we were told sees only three or four days of blue skies during the season. We were lucky enough to witness one of the clearest, bluest skies on one of those days. Knowing that it was such a rarity made me appreciate the sun more than I ever had before, and it also made the town so incredibly stunning. @taramilktea