“An untravelled person – just like an unread person – is boring,” social media queen Jolie Nguyen shrugs. The 23-year-old Jolie hails from New South Wales, Australia but has traveled extensively. As we all gear up to travel again, domestically for now, we wondered what her travel secrets are…
Đọc bài viết bằng tiếng Việt
The 23-year-old first become known for winning the title of Miss Vietnam World Australia 2015. Even though that was never Jolie Nguyen’s plan.
The beauty pageant’s producer was browsing Instagram one evening when she came across 18-year-old Jolie Nguyen’s profile. She asked her to enter the pageant. And the rest is history.
“I never dreamed that I would win the whole thing,” Jolie says, immaculate eyebrows raised, “I just wanted an experience and to maybe make it into the Top 5.”
Unlike her fellow competitors, Jolie Nguyen had to go to work and to school. She couldn’t attend rehearsals and catwalk classes everyday. But she diligently practiced at home. So when Jolie Nguyen won, she was in disbelief. “I cried my heart out,” Jolie says, “My family and I were ecstatic.” Even though her mother was congratulatory, she made Jolie promise not to quit her studies to become a model.
Inevitably, she was drawn back in. One particular shot of Jolie Nguyen on sunbathing on a yacht published in The Daily Mail online brought her to the attention of model agents giving the name “Jolie Nguyen” a real boost in Vietnam’s fashion industry. Simultaneously, Jolie was making moves in the world of YouTube. “I wanted to educate people – especially the newer generation of girls – about my take on the latest trends!” Jolie Nguyen flashes her pearly whites, “Engaging with YouTube was a life-changing decision for me.”
Her YouTube channel started as a fashion channel. But recently Jolie has been trying new things. As of 3 years ago, she moved to vlogging about travel, food, and beauty. “I wanted my fans to know more about me!” she exclaims.
During this time, Jolie Nguyen was feeling a draw to her home country. She wanted to learn about her Vietnamese roots. So she booked a holiday…and fell in love with the country. Soon after, she set up camp here to continue expanding her reach as an influencer. And, having completed her studies, Jolie began modeling (without her mom’s disapproval).
But, according to Jolie, the acclaim isn’t always easy to handle. “There were times when I could only grab a few hours sleep before the next gameshow, TV show, photoshoot, or event,” the young influencer says shaking her head.
In some downtime from her crazy schedule, we asked her for her travel secrets and how she packs to stay YouTube- (and Instagram-) ready.
How would your best friends describe you?
Hardworking, supportive, and fun. But that I have a wonderful habit of always canceling on them at the last minute when we plan to hangout!
What do you love most about what you do? And the most challenging part?
Best. I love traveling and eating out. With this job, I can do it for free! Other things I love are networking and learning about the fashion and arts industry. And I love rewatching my old travel vlogs. They serve as modern-day scrapbooks that let me access old memories with a click of a button.
Worst. When I first came over to Vietnam, I had to be my own manager, assistant, and stylist. It was tough. But I got used to it. Now I have a team, and I can just focus on being the talent. Also, I still haven’t fully gotten used to life so far from home. I know this because I get pangs of heartache every so often missing my family. My mum, especially. At one point, I would FaceTime her everyday after work. Now, homesickness hits me the hardest when I’m actually physically sick. Then I miss my family and the comforts of home.
Where do you see your career going?
I don’t see modelling as a long term thing. As I get older, I will transition into modelling just for fun. I will be a businesswoman instead. I want to start my own company here and grow it into an international company. This is a stabler path. My newest project is Blvck, a Vietnam-based teeth-whitening product. I also currently have two new fashion brands in the works. They are poised to launch within the year.
Which are your most effective travel hacks?
Travel during the week. Cheaper tickets. And do the online check-in before heading to the airport just in case you get there late. Few things are more annoying than missing your flight.
What technology do you always take with you?
I can’t live without my DJI Osmo. I use this handy gadget to film my vlogs daily. It came with a handle and a camera gimbal. The camera connects to my iPhone through an app. Amazing. Technology these days…
What are you listening to or watching while you travel currently?
Becky G. Martinez. Billie Eilish. Super chill stuff.
What’s the secret to arriving at your destination looking fresh?
Take vitamins. Wear a mask.
Which is your favorite seat on an airplane?
3A. First one on business class. Here, I can be the first one to get off the plane.
Do you start or avoid conversations with your neighbor on the plane?
I’ll chat if they start a conversation with me. But I’ve got to get the chatting out of the way first so the neighbours don’t interrupt my ‘me’ time. I like to watch something and do a nice facial while flying.
What in-flight entertainment’s your favorite?
Movies, for sure. With my busy schedule, I never get to go to the cinema. Plane rides are my chance to catch up.
What’s the first thing you do once you’ve checked in?
Go on social media. I hunt for inspiration. See what photos people have posted in the place I’m visiting.
Imagine we fly you anywhere in the world. Where would you go and who would you bring?
Conrad Maldives. I want a room right on the water like you see in those Instagram videos. Plus, I want an underwater dining experience.
I want to go with my bestie. And not work at all during the trip.
1. Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is a hero of sorts. When I’m pressed for time or when I’m just plain lazy (both of which happen with decent frequency) I reach for my dry shampoo. I have long, thick hair. Washing all of it is time-consuming. Not to mention, it takes ages to dry. One quick spritz of my Batiste dry shampoo at the hair’s root, and we’re out the door. Plus, I got mine in an amazing floral and fruity scent called Blush. It even doubles as an all-day fragrance. Talk about efficiency!
2. Facial Mist
When painting, the first thing to procure is a quality canvas. When creating a makeup look, the first priority is the health of the skin. Facial spray is my skin’s secret weapon. My spray never leaves my side. More specifically, my “rosewater balancing mist toner” never leaves my side.
And don’t worry, this product won’t break the bank. You can even get one for cheap at your local convenience store or pharmacy. Moreover, if you travel like me, you must be wary of the effects of being in a plane cabin for an extended period of time. The airplane ventilation sucks the moisture out of the air in the cabins. Thus, it sucks moisture out of the skin. We need to replenish the moisture. Lest our skin get cracked and wrinkly!
3. Travel Bag
Containing a good book. My passport and cardholder. Skincare. Some yummy snacks. All this and more goes into my big, a roomy Louis Vuitton travel duffle. I am a self-admitted overpacker. I like to have extra looks on hand just in case.
As expected for someone in my line of work, I’m big on picture taking. Because I take so many pictures, I plan two outfits per day. Including the corresponding shoes! I generally pack almost double what the average traveller packs. Better safe than sorry, I say. This trusty bag has withstood me packing it to the fullest for five solid years. Still going strong.
Four years ago I met this darling little backpack. We fell in love. Since then, I’ve taken it with me to all the countries I’ve visited. And I’ve made countless memories with it. Everytime I look at it, I can relive all of them.
And whenever I travel, my Fujifilm camera lives in this backpack. This camera is so handy because it comes with a knickknack that connects it to my iPhone. Photos get transferred immediately. Editing and posting begins without a hitch. Of course, a lot of the photos feature this gorgeous LV backpack. Of all my purses and backpacks, this one has claimed the title of “Jolie’s Favourite”.
Behold! My Nike x G Dragon. This is not just any old pair of sneakers. No, these are limited edition ones that you won’t be able to find anywhere. I dare you to seek them out. Sold out everywhere and pulled from production. Even though a lot of folks think sneakers are inherently sporty, I wear my Nikes with a huge range of different outfits. Sporty. Girly. Dressy. You name it. It goes with these babies. I rely heavily on these for comfort while traveling.
While I love a good pair of heels, I hate the blisters that inevitably come if I wear them all day long. Tip from me: Always have comfy shoes on hand. It’s easy to get cranky when you’re physically uncomfortable. We want chins up and smiles on those faces, don’t we?
6. Makeup Bag
My face is the money maker. So, my makeup is my life. Whether you are a minimalist or a maximalist when it comes to your makeup looks, all you girls know what I’m talking about. But, unlike the average girl, I need to be ready for the camera at all times. Hashtag no days off. Hashtag flawless.
My makeup essentials all fit into this humble little carrying case. It’s even small enough to stick in my everyday purse or backpack for midday makeup look changes and touch-ups.
Multiple outfits per day might well mean multiple makeup looks. So I don’t really have a choice but to keep my makeup with me always. How else do I get all dolled up and picture-perfect?
Photos by Nam Tran Duy and Khooa Nguyen