Interviews

Interview with Jaclyn Norton of Cinnamon Street

I grew up in Seattle, amongst the evergreens and mountains and grey of the Pacific Northwest. My dad is a pilot and both my parents are from Pennsylvania, so traveling across country and spending the longest days in airports and terminals was my norm from a very early age. Most of my school holidays growing up were spent going somewhere, but traveling didn’t become something that I desired on a personal level until I was in college, when I studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain. I had no idea what I was getting into. I knew I wanted to live by the Mediterranean but arrived knowing nothing about the city. Being on my own and not knowing anything about the language or culture rocked me to my core. But I was on my own and forced to figure it out. There was so much rapid growth in that time which changed me on a massive level. When I graduated college and my internship ended, I knew I had to reconnect with myself in that way again before diving into the professional world. So I reached out to my girlfriend on Facebook one night who I always talked about travel with in a class we had at together University. Together we ended up moving to Australia, buying a van and traveling up the coast together. She is now my best friend slash sister, and traveling is and forever will be the most important part of my life. It’s the end goal in every life scenario.

My blog is called Cinnamon Street and I started it this summer when I returned home from Australia. It’s the first time I’ve really compiled all the thoughts and ideas and imagery from these past 16 months overseas. It’s really exciting to have everything that’s closest to me in one space. It’s about fashion and travel, but more than anything it’s about that feeling of showing up in a random place that you unexpectedly fall in love with. That street you walk down that’s got live music and cake shops and boutiques and is so full of life. It essentially captures the feeling I felt walking down Acland street (where I arrived in St. Kilda, Australia) for the first time, feeling in such a different world and so invigorated. Being so excited about everything that was about to happen to me – for me that’s the essence of travel.

When did you fall in love with travel?
I think I fell in love with that feeling of just getting away from a very young age. Trips out to the Ocean where I always vacationed in the Outer Banks of North Carolina gave me that feeling. I really fell in love with travel in Barcelona, though. That’s when I truly felt the impact of travel – the way it changes you and how you crave it when you don’t have it. Since then it’s always been on my mind, I can’t shake it.

We know this is a tough question but where is your favorite place in the whole wide world?
My mind flashes through so many places but comes back to Byron Bay. The people, the water, the music, the energy. I learned so much about myself and life here. It’s here I felt happiest and most free. It’s just so magical there – the place I always want to return, always want to have a home.

If you could pick up and go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? 1,2,3 quick!
Cuba! Vintage cars and cobblestone and Havana Nights.

How has a life of travel changed you?
Travel has changed everything about me. From the way I view myself and this world, to my habits and my routines, to ultimately my career and what I want to spend my life doing. I know it’s been said a million times but all my fundamental beliefs and desires are all a result of travel.

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What is your travel style?
I travel pretty cheap and gritty and a lot like a local. I guess I travel simple. An Anthony Bourdain is always in order wherever I’m going, so I can get a feel for the place and the food. I ask people a lot of questions and walk a ton. I’m all about finding the best corner spot to eat or best place to grab a coffee. This has worked against me in the past – especially in parts of Asia – but even still I wouldn’t ever change it. I like to travel on the ground floor and as much as possible. That being said roadtripping (when permitted) is my favorite way to get around, and I always, always take the scenic route.

What inspires you most about this beautiful, complex world we live in?
Gosh, so much. I think the ability to experience other ways of life in itself is so inspiring. Life can never feel dull when you see how many different ways it is lived. But, for me it always comes back to the open road. Nothing inspires me more than the on open road.

What’s your best advice for aspiring travelers out there?
Just go. You may feel completely mad and out of your mind and disconnected from yourself in the process. But if your heart and your mind is pulling you to go it’s for good reason. So plan what you need to plan, then close your eyes and leap and be entirely open to everything. If you feel that desire, you have to do it. The world is affordable and kind. Your intuition is your best friend. The world is waiting for you if you give yourself to it. Get out there.

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Follow more of Jaclyn’s adventures:
Instagram | Tumblr

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