By Contikivacations | March 1, 2013
Are you subscribed to the FAWN Network? If you aren't, head over there and start subscribing because Contiki and FAWN partnered on their Wanderlust: Central Europe series featuring YouTube beauty gurus Theodore Leaf and Rachel Talbott - where they have been traveling with Contiki and exploring all the beauty and fashion of three amazing cities: Berlin, Prague, and soon Vienna!
We asked 10 Contiki Questions of the traveling beauty duo on their favorite travel rituals, destinations they dream of going, and which cities they enjoyed best on Contiki's Berlin, Prague, & Vienna tour!
Tell us a bit of your background, how you became a FAWN beauty guru, and why you were excited to participate in Wanderlust.
Theodore: I’m a celebrity hair stylist and I started working with FAWN after appearing on their talk show Close Up and Personal. FAWN then asked me to be a part of them so I started making more videos with them and more videos on my own channel, youtube.com/theodoreleaf. It’s so much fun to have a community to interact with. I was excited to be on Wanderlust because I love to travel and have been going to Europe for a few years now. So I was excited to go to places I wouldn’t have normally gone to. When I met Rachel I knew we would have so much fun!
Rachel: I started making YouTube videos a year and a half ago and I used to watch Wanderlust when I started and I dreamed about one day being a part of the show. I saw AndreasChoice and Michelle on the Italian Wanderlust series and was so excited for the show and it really made me want to travel. They were doing travel and beauty in one show and I really wanted to do that. Everything I was doing on YouTube lead me to meeting with FAWN and when I heard there was an opportunity to be a part of Wanderlust I couldn’t wait to be a part of it!
For FAWN’s Wanderlust: Central Europe, you traveled on Contiki’s “Berlin, Prague, Plus Vienna” tour. What was your favorite city out of the three, and why?
Theodore: My favorite city out of the three was Prague because it was small, but still do a lot without having to get into a cab or dealing with public transit. You can just run around and have fun. It is so incredibly beautiful and Rachel and I had such a blast.
Rachel: My favorite city was Prague. Although every city was beautiful, Prague was very romantic and story book looking. It felt very magical and I loved the energy in Prague.
What do you get most excited about when discovering new beauty trends and fashion ideas on your travels?
Theodore: What’s really exciting about traveling is that beauty is different every place you go. If you go to Berlin it’s super funky. Prague is a different style you just wouldn’t expect. You realize makeup from the states is so special to people living in Berlin and vice versa. It’s a whole convergence of different styles coming together.
Rachel: I am a curious person in general and finding out what other cultures consider beautiful or use to become beautiful is fascinating to me. I just find beauty culture in general fascinating, which is why I do what I do. Traveling just adds to that experience.
What are some of your favorite travel destinations that you’ve gone to and why?
Theodore: My favorite city I have visited is Paris because I am really comfortable there and it’s so beautiful. Every meal I have ever had in Paris is fantastic. I’m a big foodie and so food is really important to me. I love shopping in Paris and I love just sitting down in a café watching the people around me.
Rachel: I really loved Bali because it was tropical and full of culture. It was a very different culture than anything I have known. Norway was also really beautiful, fresh and clean.
You traveled together on Contiki’s Berlin, Vienna, Prague. Do you prefer to travel alone or with a travel partner? What are the benefits of each?
Theodore: I prefer to travel with a partner. I am lazy about planning things so the Contiki format really worked well for me. It was very flexible. You could do what you want when you want to. You could join or not join different activities. It was fun because the people on the tour were my age. It was fun running around with a bunch of twenty-somethings who are trying to figure life out. It was just so much fun to jump in and learn things, but also stay up late and hang out with new people.
Rachel: I never want to travel alone. I think it can be scary to travel so it is nice to be with people when I am in a foreign place. It’s nice to have someone with you. You bounce ideas off of that person and you come up with places you want to see together. I think that’s more about my personality than anything else.
What was your funniest or most memorable story from the Wanderlust trip?
Theodore: My most memorable time on the Wanderlust trip is the night Rachel and I went out in Prague, we went dancing and had so much fun with the group. It was like summer camp 2.0. Everyone became friends and looked out for each other. It was so just so much fun and a memory I will have forever. Also one of the girls from Australia gave me a bracelet from Croatia that she got from an earlier Contiki tour and it was really special.
Rachel: The whole trip was great and there were so many things I got to see that I never saw before and learned that I never knew before. In Prague Theodore and I got invited to a series of dance clubs. I am not really into clubs, but I wanted to check it out. It was different than Los Angeles and we got to hang out and spend time with the Conitki group. That night we all really explored the city and got to listen to different music. Theodore and I danced all night with our new friends and we had a blast.
Why do you think it is important for young people to travel – especially young women looking for beauty and fashion?
Theodore: It’s really important for young people to travel because you have to create a perspective. You need to get outside of your comfort zone and seeing something new and realizing there is a whole world out there beyond your neck of the woods. You can be so inspired by everything, color trends, fabrics, outfits, hair all that good stuff just by being out and about. When you come back from being abroad you look at style differently. When I was in Paris and came back I wouldn’t leave my house without a scarf. Putting yourself together in different ways based on being inspired by what’s on the street in different parts of the world.
Rachel: In general when you travel you inherently learn more and that is what I like about traveling. Whether it’s learning about the history of a place or a new product. It exposes you to new things and when you are young and figuring out your life, it’s important to experience different cultures. As far as beauty, the option to try different things that don’t exist in your country is pretty great. So again trying and learning new things is why traveling when you're young is important.
What are the must-have items that you pack with you every time you take a trip?
Theodore: My must have items are a travel candle because I’m really funny about smells. I like to be in glamour all the time. I love scented oils, they are really important. Noise cancelling earphones are also an absolute must!
Rachel: Deodorant, my passport, lip-gloss, concealer, good pair of jeans, and vitamins and my laptop and sunglasses
What are your favorite travel rituals?
Theodore: When I’m traveling I always love to jump on mass transit wherever I am. I’m a huge advocate for mass transit and when I go to NY I have my metro card. I use the train the entire time. I did the same thing in Berlin and did the same thing in Vienna. Everyone on the trip kept asking, “Are you going to be ok? Are you going to be this and that…” I am just going to read the sign, use the map from the hotel and just find my way.
Rachel: I have to go to a different beauty store that I have never been to. I want to see what they have there in that country. I have to eat a cuisine unique to the country I am in. I bring things form home so I can do a spa night in the hotel. Sometimes you experience so much that you feel homesick so I bring products that I love and sometimes movies that make me think of home
If you could go anywhere in the world right now with Contiki, where would you go?
Theodore: If I could go anywhere in the world right now with Contiki, I would definitely want to go to Asia because I think it will be so different than any other country I have ever visited. I am really excited to immerse myself in the culture and obviously go shopping!
Rachel: If I could go anywhere in the world with Contiki, I would love to go see Paris. I also want to see Asia. I definitely am open to anywhere in Asia because I am ready to go explore. I would love to go to Japan. There is a sushi restaurant there and I want to go to a restaurant. I learned about it in a documentary I watched called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. I heard Japan was so beautiful. My father has been there and said it was the most beautiful country he has ever seen.
Great answers Theodore & Rachel! We hope to see you travel with Contiki very soon!