Digital Nomad// Q & A with Brooke Hyden from Travel on the Styled Side

Brooke and I have been friends for years and I always love keeping up with her travels. She spent so much time in France a few years ago and believe me when I tell you I was stalking her like a mad woman. I was living vicariously through her. She returned home to Tulsa a few years ago which has been amazing for us to bounce ideas back and fourth. And we both have big moves planned this year where we are going to embrace a digital nomad lifestyle.

With the internet becoming more and more accessible, a larger number of people are traveling around the globe, earning money as they go. And everyone who is doing it successfully is doing it a little bit different. So excited for you to meet this expert traveler. She has given me so many helpful tips and was even the one who gave me everything I needed to know to get my dogs certified as ESA animals so they did not have to travel to Spain sedated in the luggage cargo area underneath the plane. Grab that morning coffee and take in some Tuesday inspiration traveling along with Brooke.

Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Costa Rica (shot by Brooke)

Manuel Antonio, Quepos, Costa Rica (shot by Brooke)

-When did you first fall in love with travel? 

I think I’ve always been in love with it.  I’ve just always felt the pull of wanderlust since I was very young!  I remember when I was little seeing trains and just wanting to jump on and let it take me wherever it was going!

-Fave way to get through a long flight?

Xanax.  Lol!  I mean that’s partly true…as much as I LOVE travel, I’m terrified to fly!  Go figure! I spent 5 years grounded because I was so nervous…that meant I logged a LOT of miles on road trips! For a long flight I think preparation is key.  Bring your favorite comfy stuff!  I love that you can download movies and shows now from Netflix and Amazon Prime to your tablets!  I also have a “Flying” playlist that is super chill to keep me calm and drown out any crying babies.  ;)

 -Your most unique memory of your time in France?  

Definitely hiking the Sentier Littoral.  Napoleon dedicated a trail along the entire coast of France to preserve its beauty and you can walk/hike/bike the entire thing!  I only did a quarter of the southern coast, which took 10 days, but It was one of the most memorable trips of my life! I highly recommend it! You just see and take in SO much more beauty when you are walking than driving!  Even though I covered a lot less ground, I experienced so much more! I can’t wait to do the other 3/4!  Lol!  With much better gear this time!

- 1 week in Paris...lay it out for me darling!

First day I love doing a bike tour!  Cheezy, I know, but it is SUCH a great way to make sure you hit all the major sites so you can check them off your list and decide which ones you want to come back to!  And there’s really nothing like riding through the streets of Paris!  Then spend a day just getting lost and wandering!  Wherever your feet take you.  Don’t miss Montmartre and Scare Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, and of course Notre Dame.  Some other really cool places I love that aren’t as well known are Les Berges (cool container district on the banks of the Seine) and the Quai in the 19eme arrondissement (cool restaurants and bars on a canal)!  My favorite moments in Paris are the simple ones…getting a bottle of wine, a baguette and cheese and having a picnic in the park…

 -Top 3 top essential traveling items that you cannot live without?  

I mean, these days I think we could survive as long as we have our iPhones, right?  ;)  Also scarves!  They are so incredibly versatile…pop of color, blanket, even a shirt if you’re crafty!  And last but definitely not least, my Love.  Truly, enjoying travel with him makes it infinitely more enjoyable!!

 -What drives your instinct to keep traveling and be a digital nomad? 

I get bored very easily.  And there is a feeling I get when I’m in another country, slightly out of my element, experiencing new things that’s a bit of a high, actually.  I don’t want to ever wake up and wonder where the last 5 years went while I was sitting in a cubicle.  I want to experience life, not just live it!!

-Can you offer three tips for prospective long-term or RTW (round-the -world) Travelers?  

1.  Just do it. If you keep putting it off until…, you’ll never get there.  2.  Plan.  I know this seems to go against #1, but do your work to set yourself up with a nomadic business before you go!  3.  Be flexible!  Some of the best experiences are not the ones you plan or expect!

-Any airports you avoid at all costs? 

Chicago in the winter!

-Specific airlines you recommend? 

I love Air France and British Airways.  The European airlines are so much nicer than the US ones!

- Your favorite camera to shoot with and why? 

Well, I loved my Canon 5D, but it was just too big for me and for travel!  I’m about to switch to a mirrorless, specifically the Sony a6300!  I chose it for it’s size, weather resistance, and video capabilities.  I can’t wait to really use it!  But as always, the best camera is the one you have with you!  :)

-What is your travel style?  

I really like to look cute, but I HAVE to be comfortable!!  I’m never going to be the girl who’s wearing heels on a flight.  i like to feel like I’m in pjs when I fly!  Once I get to a destination, it's a different story.  But I like exploring on foot so much that I still have to wear comfy shoes!  I think a cute jacket or hat can truly make you look cute in any situation.  And in the summer, accessories!  They are so small and travel so well!!

 -Where are you headed next? And why? 

Our plans are to head down to Costa Rica for a couple of months.  I’ve lived there on and off, and traveled there every year for the last 14 years, and I just absolutely love the way of life. Their motto is Pura Vida, which means pure life, but it’s so much more than that.  It’s a respect and appreciation for living life and respecting nature and mother earth.  It’s about ENJOYING life!  It’s also a very peaceful country which sounds really great to these two Americans right about now!  It’s rustic, yes, but it also has a fairly good infrastructure so that we can work via internet very easily. We’re bringing the pups with us this time which should be interesting!  We can’t wait for all the great blog posts and videos we’ll be able to share with people once we’re down there!

 -So you have a travel blog..what's different about your blog and what can readers find there? 

We like to take our look at traveling through the eyes of style. Not fashion, really, but style, which is certainly subjective.  We want the experience to be easy, and aesthetically pleasing while still giving excellent tips, recommendations and reviews of destinations.  We are excited to bring out the local style of our location whether it be clothing, restaurants, dishes, or lodging.  Taking a walk on the Styled Side is a stylish adventure.

 -What are three juicy things on your bucket list? 

See the very last question for #1.  2.  The pig island in the Bahamas.  3. Staying in one of those luxury huts in Fiji with a see through floor!

 What's next for Brooke ?  

I’m hell bent on spending 2018 traveling around Europe by campervan!  So stay tuned!!

I promise you will want to come along ...

Travel with Brooke and Eric on the blog here. They have currently teamed up with the gorgeous Costa Verde hotel and you can grab a free night of lodging there. 

And you will surely want to follow along on instagram.

It's one of my favorite travel inspiration go-to's. 

Could you see yourself embracing a digital nomad lifestyle?!