Aubrey Daquinag Talks Love, Life and Travel

Written by: Carla De Guzman/Friday, Aug 10, 2018 07:22 AM

Ever wonder what it takes to be a professional wanderer? Take it from travel blogger, content creator, Instagram goddess and now author Aubrey Daquinag of the Love Assembly (follow her at @theloveassembly, you will not be disappointed!), it's not easy. But with a whole world to see and nothing to lose, it was hard to resist. 

She started in 2012 with The Love Assembly, a website where she gathered friends and creatives, telling the stories of how they turned the things they had into things they loved. There must have been something to those stories, because as she continued, it became clear to Aubrey that her passion lay in travel. It was through the blog that she shared travel tips, curated guides, and where she posted collaborations with Tourism boards and other companies. 

Fast forward to 2018 with the release of Wander Love--a gorgeous travel book filled with Aubrey's top tips in her favorite destiantions, packing guides, market guides, and full of gorgeous photographs. We highly reccomend that every traveler should have this book on hand when planning a trip! She also recently moved to London, and life has never been more exciting. We get the chance to pick Aubrey's brain, and see what it takes to live a life of curious wandering. 

What was the first destination you visited solo? What do you remember most about it? 
My travel photography work and blog has lead me to discovering many different destinations solo with brands but what I consider my 'first official solo trip' was my trip to South America for two months - Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Chile. I remember learning Spanish and impressing my teacher (I already know Tagalog and alot of the words are very similar) - the first Spanish words I learnt from her was 'la vida es bonita' meaning 'life is beautiful'. I remember being scared for my life while wandering some streets in Colombia but also feeling the ultimate feeling of bliss just dancing and dancing some more while in Cartagena.
 

What was your biggest fear about travelling solo, and how did you get over that? 
My biggest fear was being alone/not knowing how I will be navigating to new places and making my way around foreign languages that I didn't yet speak or understand, I guess you can just bundle it up to 'the unknown' I consider myself a fast learner and do this best by observation.

I quickly got over this by just taking the leap and diving head first into solo travel with the only plans of having no plans (literally no plans! Not even accommodation booked until I arrived) There was a written note I left on my last day spent in Melbourne before my solo trip, it was at The School Of Life, one of my favourite cafes. I was working from there and there was a notebook free for people to write in. I wrote about my situation and thoughts (to anyone who would pick it up and read it) and signed off with "Feel the fear, do it anyway. Ax"

 

A post shared by Aubrey Daquinag (@theloveassembly) on

 

I love the eye for detail you have on Wander Love, and on your Instagram! It’s beautiful. Is there anything, in particular, you’re always looking for when you’re in a new place? I usually end up collecting the same things from the places I visit—postcards and tickets, or looking for bookstores and coffee shops. Is it the same for you? 

Aw thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so glad you love it :)

Yes! The number one thing I always look for are the markets - from farmers to vintage fashion and bric-a-brac. I love a good market and feel that you really get an all-encompassing experience of a destination through a local market. I have a whole chapter in my book dedicated to Market Love including must-visit markets around the world, practical and fun travel tips on How to Barter Like A Boss, and photos whilst treasure hunting.

I also always look for cute cafes with good coffee (and wifi, i have to work a lot of the time) bookstores, galleries and museums, and a mix of beautiful and unusual scenery to photograph.

Is there anything you wished people knew about travelling?  
Some people still think that you have to be rich to travel when it really isn't the case so I wish that this was a little more well-known as it's more about ones lifestyle habits eg. valuing more experiences rather than material goods. And that solo travel is the best way to discover more parts of the world while discovering more parts of ourselves.

Random question: if you would go anywhere in the world for the best coffee, where would you go
Melbourne, hands down! I lived there for two years before my current hometown of London and it's a destination that holds a very dear place in my heart - it's creative, open-minded, and you'll be spoilt with an abundance of aesthetically pleasing cafes. A great cup of coffee is not hard to find in Melbourne!

 

If you could visit any place in the Philippines, where would you go and why? 
I have travelled a fair few places in the Philippines from both Coron and El Nido in Palawan, to the mountains of Baguio and province of Olongapo and Zambales. I'd love to visit Siargao Island. A few weeks or months living the island life with surfing, yoga, the sun, sand and coconuts all on the agenda sounds like a good time. Plus, I've never been before.
 

What’s next for The Love Assembly?
At the moment I'm concentrating on the launch of my book WANDER LOVE, and all the promotional activities that come along with it. I just moved to London to live a few weeks ago and came back from a trip to Paris. Seeing it physically on the shelves in bookshops and my dream stores like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters is such a dream come true, and still feels super surreal.  

I've had a lot of interest in the techniques behind how I work creatively and so I have companies that have approached me from travel agencies and camera houses to partner in talks and travel photography and blogging workshops.

I've just started the @wanderloveclub, a private community that is catered for wanderers and creative entrepreneurs to be able to connect, learn and inspire. I didn't start The Love Assembly to be all about me, rather what a creative 20-something-year-old girl can achieve if she sets her mind to accomplishing her dreams in travel and creative living. I feel that a collaborative space is a great space to learn and evolve so I want to connect people that are like-minded to lift each other up and be inspired, first online and then hopefully offline.

Send me a message if you're interested!

Wander Love is available in Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters stores, and bookstores worldwide.

 

About Carla De Guzman
Carla de Guzman is the author of self-published books Cities, Marry Me Charlotte B! and We Go Together. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family by day. By night, she’s writer and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk. Follow her on Instagram (@somemidnights) for more!
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