A Moment With | Julia Ashwood
Julia Ashwood is founder of The Vista, a online destination dedicated to discovering unique traveling destinations around the globe. With a burning passion for travel and creating unique and memorable experiences for herself, her husband and daughter - the world is Julia's oyster and there is so very much to see and discover. Julia tells us about the wonder of finding new destinations, the joy of seeing the world through her daughter's eyes and tips for travelling with a toddler in tow.
Hi Julia, tell us a little about The Vista and the journey to where you are today? Well, it all started in NYC. I was living there on and off in my late twenties through to early thirties when blogs and Instagram were all very new. I just simply loved to travel and writing and sharing guides and information came naturally to me - so I started to make it a business. As they say 'you must create your own dream job!'
There is so much to admire about the way you travel the world with a small child in tow - when did you first decide to take the leap to do it so regularly? I began focussing on The Vista full time when I was in the second half of my pregnancy. I wanted to make sure I had a strong business plan so I could become a stay at home mum, and not have to be in the city for work. We moved back to my hometown in Byron, when Delilah was just 2 months old. Traveling with DeeDee comes naturally - of course there are testing times, but we're so lucky she's a trooper! She adores meeting new people - it's been wonderful to see the world through her eyes.
What’s the biggest lesson you've learned from your travels? Patience, planning & flexibility.
Have you always had a passion for travel? When did it first begin? I dated a pro surfer for ten years who was generous with his frequent flyer points! Brazil, Hawaii and Europe where annual destinations. Before this time I had grown up on a cattle property and never holidayed further than Brisbane!
What’s your greatest passion? I love helping people. I love connecting people and supplying information - I guess that's how the guides came about in the first place. Second to this I'm a nature lover. That's why I could never stay too long in the big cities.
Looking back, what has been your most memorable trip so far? To be honest they are all so different and wonderful in their own way, from Morocco to New Zealand and Nicaragua. Yet my girlfriends and I took off across America in an RV in 2008-2009 and headed to some incredible festivals along the way like Burning Man. Now those are amazing and crazy memories I can never replace and most likely will never tell my children about!
The best part about exploring a new destination? The unknown - it's a tingling sensation in your belly. I love heading somewhere for the first time - I recently travelled to Sri Lanka and had these feelings again, it was so exciting.
Can you tell us about your home in Byron Bay, what makes it so special? Byron is a transient place - it's always changing yet somehow always the same. Hippies, tourists, backpackers, surfers, a crazy hola hoop man and other colourful natives make Byron a busy little place all year round now. But it's the beaches and the hinterland areas just out of town that I adore. Here you'll find the weekly farmers markets, the artists and the foodies - there are so many talented folk here who are community-minded.
What’s your secret to travelling with a young child? Snacks! And David Attenborough documentaries - when travelling you become the master of distraction!
I usually wake up at: My daughter singing in her cot.
My perfect day would involve: The ocean, great coffee, a sunset walk with Delilah and Matty, dinner with friends and good wine.
I am inspired by: My friends & family.
Best advice I’ve ever received: Listen to your gut, it always knows best.
I couldn’t live without: My husbands cooking.
My favourite daily ritual: Meditation.
I recently discovered: Ethiopian pop music.
On my wish-list: Haggerstone Island.
I’m currently reading: Magic Beach, by Alison Lester - DeeDee's favourite!
My guilty pleasure: Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate.
My mantra is: Let's make it happen!
The Vista California Journal - the first edition of an all new interactive online travel guide where you can explore places to stay, eat, restore and much more.
What are you looking forward to in 2018? Evolving The Vista brand further through more guides experiences and unique stays, and making beautiful content with brands I love!
+ All images captured on film by Julia Ashwood's husband, Matt Rabbidge. Main image of Julia Ashwood at The Little Black Shack by Laura Goodall.