The Savvy Globe Trotter, Tatyana Leonov, talks changing looks while travelling.
Seeing different places and how people from various backgrounds live is always exhilarating for me. I return home inspired, refreshed and with a different mindset. I also usually start planning my next trip while still in the air. I have however occasionally returned home looking different too…
Like for many Aussies, Thailand was my first overseas destination, and I guess you could say I was impressionable. Within a few days of arriving I had quite the selection of fisherman pants – electric blue, deep purple, white. Some were angle-length, others three-quarters – fisherman pants became my wardrobe staple. At the time I had long black hair, and within a week I was convinced that it would look much better formed into miniscule plaits. My hair is very thin so it actually looked a lot worse (but I only realised this years later looking back at photos). Within two weeks I had a wooden earring pierced through my upper year. I stuck to my new look on the return flight home (fisherman pants are so annoying in those tiny economy toilets) and arrived in Sydney with a big ear infection. Not a good look at all.
I thought I knew how to eat and shop in Australia, but the USA opened up a whole new world for me. Everything was larger and I like to immerse myself in whatever a country has to offer. I’d come from Italy where I was indulging in single-scoop gelatos as a treat, but in the USA I began eating huge multiple-scoop ice creams with cream and fudge on top – daily. The pizza slices were bigger, the burgers greasier, and I stopped asking for skim lattes after a while (full cream just tasted so much creamier). I wanted to shop but had no space in my suitcase – so I threw out my joggers (and with that my exercise regime) and purchased jewelry, shoes (not the running type) and clothing. I came back home much heavier in every sense.
Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza… Spain was both manic and magical. Sangria, dancing all night and not sleeping anywhere near enough took its toll on me. My last port was Ibiza, and if you’ve ever stayed anywhere near where the parties happen, sleeping at night is not looked upon favourably. I followed the crowd, danced all night, and left Spain looking and feeling completely shattered. I arrived home still looking and feeling that way, and to be honest think it took me almost a month to recover.
I needed a haircut in Tokyo and decided Harajuku was the place to go. I choose a hairdresser where no staff members spoke any English and didn’t bring any photos of what I wanted. The hairdresser cut away while I tried to sign what I wanted with my hands. I walked out with a bowl cut – a very extreme bowl cut. I felt conscious for a little while and would try and tie what was left of my hair into a mini ponytail. I soon got used to my new do, and even kept the style up at home for a little while.
My (now) husband proposed to me in front of the Eiffel Tower, so I came back from France with a huge smile on my face and a big rock on my finger. This has got to be my favourite “change of appearance” trip – and I’m still wearing the smile and rock. I think this is a different look I’ll definitely keep.
About the Savvy Globe Trotter
Tatyana Leonov is a writer, editor, avid traveller and determined dreamer. She’s mastered (beginners’) yoga in Goa, partied with Russia’s elite in a Moscow club, sampled local delicacies all around the world (including a camel burger in Morocco and guinea pig in Peru), trekked to Nepal’s Annapurna Base Camp in Havaianas and had a short-lived career as a Bollywood star.