NEW YORK – Katie McKnoulty, the jetsetter behind the popular travel website and Instagram account The Travelling Light, has turned her passion for globetrotting into a career. Originally from Brisbane, Australia, she moved to London in 2011 to work in marketing for an airline – only to begin "winging it around the world" full-time. We spoke with McKnoulty about her can't-miss museums, international architecture and picks from Wanderlust: Timed Online Auction, a sale of furniture and decorative arts dedicated to the life and spirit of the traveller.
MCKNOULTY IN PARIS. PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE TRAVELLING LIGHT.
What's some of the most beautiful architecture you’ve seen around the world?
Coming from Australia, we don’t have a lot of really old architecture here. It’s all very modern. So of course I love the architecture of Paris and Rome. I thought the architecture in Phnom Penh and Kep, Cambodia was very beautiful and interesting, too. Particularly with the terrible history of the Khmer Rouge regime, the buildings tell you so much about the country.
What are some of the best museums or art galleries you’ve visited in different countries?
I love the Orangerie in Paris – that place just lifts my heart right up. Another two favourites in Paris are the Musée des Arts Decoratifs and the Musée de la Vie Romantique – they're both unique and not too crowded. In New York, I love the Frick Collection.
Do you have a favourite souvenir you’ve brought back from a trip?
I think of the photos I take as souvenirs! I also collect print travel guides. When I was in Portland, Oregon, I picked up some 100-year-old travel guides from Powell’s Books.
Have you discovered any favourite shops during your travels?
I have one favourite in Brooklyn, Species by the Thousands, that I wrote about on my site. The owner, Erica Bradbury, takes the spirit world and translates it into very cool jewellery. There’s heaps of other cool stuff too, like crystals, candles, ritual objects, dreamcatchers, rugs and tarot cards.
ASCOLI PICENO, ITALY. PHOTO: COURTESY OF THE TRAVELLING LIGHT.
Have you ever stayed at a hotel where you wish you could live?
I actually did move into a hotel in Cambodia once. I was headed to Phnom Penh, and a friend told me that she was staying at this beautiful new boutique hotel there called The House Boutique Hotel. The rooms are light, modern and cool and they all look onto a great pool below. The hotel is a few steps from a local market, where we enjoyed authentic noodle soup for breakfast each morning. I slipped into a nice routine there for almost three weeks.
What is the next place on your travel bucket list?
India. I dream about it looking through other people’s incredible photos. I want to discover the spiritual side of the country. I have an avid interest in Transcendental Meditation and Ayurveda, which both originated there. And the food also excites me greatly. It’s a culture completely different than my own.
To see which objects from Wanderlust: Timed Online Auction caught McKnoulty's eye, click below.