Meet Award-Winning Photographer & Professional Traveler: Jill Paider
Jill Paider is one of the biggest professional travelers and all-around multi-hyphenates we know. As an award-winning photographer and creative director, she’s visited over 100 countries all over the world and is infamous for traveling with just a carry-on (which happens to be CALPAK). Her unique eye for photography helps her capture the most beautiful pieces of architecture, the finest cuisines and life around the world. That being said, she’s published 15 books on travel, architecture, design and gastronomy. While she currently resides in Los Angeles, California, she has woven travel into her life so seamlessly that her expertise is one you can be inspired by.
Launching on September 24th, her highly anticipated podcast, Travel In Style, will be a series of discussions, travel tips and more about various cities and countries she’s visited over the years that will inspire you to book a trip for your next getaway ASAP. We’re honored to announce that Jill will be a guest writer on Destination CALPAK, where she’ll share her photographs and insights on some of her favorite destinations.
Get to know more about Jill below!
How do you physically prepare before a long trip?
I make a really good checklist. First, I let my bank know and they’re pretty used to me calling to let them know I’m going out of the country. I pay all my bills, turn off my heat and prepare my house to be empty while I’m gone. I let all my clients know I’ll be out of the country as well. Then, comes my long packing list of clothes, specialty items I’ll need per country and any extra travel accessories.
Do you ever have any inner fears or doubts before going somewhere you've never been before?
Even though I travel so much, I always get fearful and have anxiety before I travel to a new place that I haven’t been to. Every time you go somewhere new, you don’t know what the transportation is going to be like, how safe it is, what type of food you’re going to eat, how to pack — I still have all those fears even after traveling to more than 100 countries. I do as much research as I can, I talk to people who’ve been there, but I also give myself 3 or 4 days in advance to mentally prepare myself. Also, you have to let go of the perfection around traveling or the need to know exactly what it’s going to be like and that’s when the fun starts.
How do you budget for your personal trips?
I spend all my disposable income on travel or I’ll put aside money for a research and development project like a new book. It’s my passion and it’s what fuels all my work so it’s a justifiable expense. I’m always looking online for flights, hotel stay and new destinations so I have an idea of how much the trip will cost. Also, one of my favorite sites for international travel is Momundo.
What are your top 5 favorite places in the world?
South Africa, Namibia, New Zealand, Chile and Fiji
How has traveling changed your love for photography?
My main source of inspiration for photography comes from travel. Being in a different place, having a new perspective on things and being grateful that I’m in a position to have a creative career, especially as a single female.
We know that you've traveled around the world with just a CALPAK carry-on. What does the idea of "luggage" mean to you?
My preference is to travel carry-on only and I’ve been fortunate enough to have found CALPAK early on in my travel career. I had a CALPAK carry-on for about 10 years that had probably been through 90 countries on dirt roads, gravel roads, brick roads, everything. I’m a minimalist by nature so for me, it’s important to travel like that as well. There’s a freedom that comes with not carrying all your baggage with you; both literally and figuratively.
Traveling is a huge "trend" right now. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to adventure around the world without any experience in frequent travel?
For new travelers, I recommend traveling in more travel-friendly countries and then working your way up to countries that are less touristy. The most important thing is to have fun and choose a place that inspires you. There’s no right or wrong way to travel, whether you’re more comfortable in 5-Star hotels or more comfortable in hostels or whatever you’re preferences are, it’s just figuring out what works best for you and going for it. Two mistakes that people often make are packing too much and fitting too much into a trip. There should be a balance between seeing the touristy spots and also hanging out and getting to know the culture and relax.
What is something that's still on your bucket list as far as visiting a new place or a goal you wish to meet in the near future?
I’m currently looking at trip to Antarctica because it’s a different type of expedition. Then there’s a lot of countries that I want to travel to that are a little more difficult to get to; they’re a little more expensive and a lot more dangerous. If it’s on the U.S. Department Do Not Fly list, I’d like to go there.
My goal in the future is to bring the travel that I do to other people and hopefully inspire them to go to places they haven’t thought of or have always wanted to go.