Pauline Chardin is a Paris-based freelance art director and trend consultant in fashion who looks to travel as a source of inspiration.
Here she speaks exclusively to HON about her favourite travel discoveries.
"I can’t believe I’m only finding out now how great Athens is. The city has a lot going for itself: sunshine almost all year round, mythical ruins, fragrant food, a vibrant art scene and that laid back Greek je ne sais quoi which makes everything seem a little better. I could easily picture myself living here; eating breakfast on my rooftop every morning with the mountains on one side and the sea on the other and, if by chance I might need a change of scenery, I am only a ferry ride away from a myriad of islands."
Maramures county, Romania
"Romania is way more modern than you’d imagine, but that doesn’t keep it from still having wonderful havens of tradition. If you venture to the north of the country, you’ll find yourself in a place that has all the ingredients of an old European fairy tale. For us, it started with a small road winding through silent woods before the landscape turned to rolling hills and fields decked with towering haystacks. Soon enough tiny villages started to appear and with them old wooden churches and impossibly tall sculpted portals. If you add to that the warm welcome and the crafts galore, it starts to look like my kind of paradise!"
Sao Miguel island, Azores, Portugal
"The Azores archipelago were my favourite discovery of 2017. Chances are you’d have a hard time placing them on the map, which is a good indication of what a hidden gem they are. On landing there, it takes time to realise you’re actually in the very middle of the Atlantic, halfway between Europe and America. The experience itself is very much about an unreal mix of influences. The islands and the culture are Portuguese but the setting varies from tropical scenes and volcanic colours to European pastures. The variety of landscapes on such a small island is a bit of a puzzle, albeit the good kind and you will soon find yourself on a quest for the best picnic spot. Just don’t forget your umbrella; rain plays a big part in making these hills so lush!"
Yakushima Island, Japan
"I’m pretty much in love with all of Japan, but there is definitely a special place in my heart for this volcanic island covered with ancient cedars. The magnetic energy there, coupled with the humbling beauty of nature are bound to leave lasting memories. Here, a typical day starts on the coast, with its sub-tropical climate of mango trees and multi-coloured spiders (they’re the island's protectors!) and often takes you to the misty forests of the mountains for incredible hikes that will end with a dip in the hot springs, leaving you enchanted, relaxed and rejuvenated."
Cultural Triangle, Sri Lanka
"Sri Lanka is quite a popular beach destination now, yet it is inland that I would urge you to go, deep into its green centre, which is also its cultural heart. I feel it’s where time finally ceases to exist, among the white-clad crowds in Kandy celebrating Vesak Poya, up in the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya, climbing the antique stairs leading to Sigiriya and feeling the hot stones of antique temples under your bare feet."