Custom Maps and Illustrations Q&A With Cornelia Carpenter

Artist, illustrator, and cartographer at Cornelia Carpenter Studio


Cherish your travels, trips, adventures and more with these hand-crafted, custom maps and illustrations. Each map is unique and individually designed based on your experiences.

This is a unique idea, how did you come up with it? What is the inspiration behind your company?


I have always loved maps. They are a wonderful way to explore the world, and for me evoke a sense of adventure and wonder. I created my first illustrated map while studying abroad in Nicaragua as an undergraduate student. I majored in Geography and Studio Art, so this was a natural blend of my two interests. Since then, I have created custom illustrated maps of countries around the world. The most rewarding part of my job is the excitement of my clients when they receive the final map documenting their special and unique adventures.


What are some of the biggest challenges when creating these products?


Getting my work out there! I have relied on word-of-mouth and social media to get my work out into the world, and I’m beginning to feel like my presence is growing. In addition, I am committed to accuracy and sometimes the research can be quite time-consuming. For example, I will spend hours studying a particular building or the cuisine of an area down to the traditional serveware and drinking glasses. I’m all about making my maps look and feel as authentic as possible!

What is your favorite step of the process when creating maps? 


I love working with people and learning about their adventures. When I create a personal map I ask for photos, personal stories, inside jokes, favorite foods, and random events that make each place special. Some of the trips are truly awesome and it’s quite fun to study exotic corners of the world that I otherwise would not know about.  


Please explain why your company stands out among others?


Maps are very “in” right now and there is a growing competitive market, but I strive on the details of my work. I make maps so my clients can revisit their favorite places. As a lifelong student of geography, accuracy is so important to me. Although my illustrated maps can’t always be physically exact, I always make sure landmarks, locations, and the topography are placed thoughtfully. The same goes for buildings, food, flora, fauna, activities, and the culture of each place. I like to think my maps have an extra bit of attention and love.


What kind of customers do you expect to buy your products?


I think everyone needs a custom map. Whether it’s of your neighborhood or far-away adventures, maps have the ability to spark conversation and evoke curiosity. I create mini-maps that are 5” x 5” to massive worldwide adventure maps. To me, maps are the perfect way to document the things that make life special and are worth remembering and smiling about. It doesn’t matter if it’s an everyday occurrence or a once-in-a-lifetime experience, maps are the perfect way to display life.


How is your business different from your original expectations?


Last year I decided to go all in, but before that creating maps were a side gig. Because my business is still so young, I’m not sure what to expect. Ultimately, I hope that people find joy in my work and they can relive their happy memories through these maps.


Do you have plans/hopes to expand your company?

Yes! If I could imagine the perfect job, it would be making maps every day, all day. I do offer custom illustrated wedding invitations (including maps), personalized travel maps, and other illustrated projects. Right now, I am focused on offering unique one-of-a-kind products.

Photos courtesy of Cornelia Carpenter Studio 2019. Find more at or on Instagram @CorneliaCarpenter_Studio 

Alexandra Jimenez at Women’s Travel Fest 2019. Photo by Melissa Holtz.

For avid globetrotters, one of the biggest hurdles is trying to fit all the essentials into suitcases and bags that are manageable to carry from place to place. After leaving the corporate landscape and catching the travel bug, Alexandra Jimenez, founder of the Travel Fashion Girl blog and Compass Rose Travel Accessories, found herself trekking to India in 2008 and has been traveling and blogging ever since. Living out of a single carry-on suitcase, Jimenez’s nomadic style of travel combines with her fashion/business background and has helped her shape her best tips and tricks to travel with just a carry-on — whether the trip lasts a week or a year. Below are several key points to remember when packing light.

Keep in mind possible specific details about the destination and time

These factors can range from an assortment of situations and questions. What will the weather be during the time you are traveling? Keep an eye on the forecast. Are there any local customs or traditions that are present in that part of the region? Perhaps the destination has a more conservative culture, so more lengthy and less transparent pieces are necessary. Will you have somewhere you can do laundry? Plan for that by bringing at least 1 week of clothing.


Consider your fabrics

The most important factor, Jimenez stresses, is choosing the right fabrics. Not only do the clothes you pack affect your outfit choices, they also affect what other essentials you’ll need based on their weight. She says to weigh each garment in your hands to determine if it will add unnecessary weight to your luggage. Not only that, but for organizational reasons it is good to fold and roll the garments beforehand to determine if they will be too bulging to pack effectively.

One fabric Jimenez raves about is merino wool, available in an assortment of styles and individual pieces. Not only is the fabric lightweight, it also wicks away moisture and helps you stay warm during cold weather.


Create your perfect capsule wardrobe

A great way to first get a grasp on exactly what to pack is to pick pieces that make a complete capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a sampling of outfits composed of between eight and 15 pieces, everything from tops and bottoms to dresses and pantsuits. These pieces should be interchangeable with each other, another key factor, in order to maximize your outfit options.


To help, Jimenez notes to choose a color story to stick to when planning outfits, pieces that are in similar or complementary shades.


Finalizing this capsule wardrobe also requires you to “choose pieces that you love and feel good about yourself,” Jimenez says. A fun way she recommends planning outfits is to take time beforehand to try on outfits and take pictures in front of a mirror. Not only does this help you plan outfits you love and decide what pieces will work together, but can also help you on trips on days when you don’t want to think about what to wear.


To further complete the perfect capsule wardrobe, key factors to keep in mind are your planned activities. This affects choices like which shoes to bring, what accessories to wear, etc. For shoes, she stresses to pick 3 types: comfort for activities like walking or sightseeing, function in case of more active adventuring, and a wild card for more formal or weather-permitting instances.

Image courtesy of G-RO.


Once everything is assembled, the best way to fit everything into a carry-on, Jimenez recommends, is using packing cubes. Not only do these essential make it easy to fit as much into one suitcase, they also help with organization. Jimenez’s travel accessory company features packing cubes to help travelers achieve carry-on status.

A new offering from one luxury travel company is inspiring clients to change the way they travel by transforming a standard journey into a game full of unexpected scenarios with strangers, intellectual puzzles and physical experiences.

By: Kelly Potts

Philippe Brown, founder of Brown + Hudson, knew that it was time to shake up the way people travel when a client came to his company and mentioned that their kids are more excited to play computer games at home than they are to experience new destinations. Enter The Great Game — a tailored journey that includes challenges, clues, puzzles and chance encounters to help you discover a location in a completely new and engaging way. “We started researching the particular games the kids were playing and the mechanics of how those games become utterly addictive and engaging,” Brown says. “We had to take everything that’s so messed up about these computer games and translate that to the real world, to include varying levels of challenge, prizes and a sense of competition.”


For this family, and many others, Brown notes that the issue wasn’t where they should travel, but rather how they should travel. The Great Game can range from physical stimulation to intellectual challenges, but every trip encourages clients to travel in a way they’ve never traveled before. “We turn it into a game and then the client has a better chance of seeing a place with new eyes or childlike wonder,” he says.


Where you play the game is totally up to you, though Brown does recommend you allow enough time in a destination that offers much to experience, such as Downtown Buenos Aires or Patagonia, for example. “Places that are more intense offer a richer palette,” he says. “To get the full benefit of the trip, it’s better to have it be longer than four days because then you really get into it.”


Before embarking on this unique getaway, there’s a planning process that Brown compares to working with an architect. “We get to know you, get a feeling of what you’re looking for and make sure we ask the right questions so we get the trip right,” he says. “We believe that before getting excited about places, the client is the destination.” The trip planning interview consists of questions that may seem random, but were crafted with the assistance of a therapist to really get to the heart of the person and understand their motivations, fears and goals for the trip. “Unless you ask the questions, there’s no point in talking about places,” he says.


Brown + Hudson currently has three Great Game trips in the works and one that occurred in India last year. One trip the company is planning to Costa Rica includes a challenge with zip lining. “When people come to us and say we want the kids to build up confidence, zip lining was the perfect way to build physical confidence,” says Brown. 


Of the game that took place in India, Brown says, “This particular story was really interesting because they came to us with their great aunt’s diary. We realized, we can integrate this between what this family does and what the great aunt did to make the story richer and more connected.” One aspect of this trip involved a young boy, a complete stranger to the family, taking their hand and leading them to the entrance of Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, Rajasthan after closing hours to enjoy time alone with the director of the fort museum.


If a meaningful or insightful journey is on your agenda, Brown + Hudson can certainly incorporate these aspects into the game. “If the family wants to learn about important issues of a particular area, part of the game might be meeting refugees,” he says. There’s also the chance to have a trip full of physical adventures and activities, a vacation that offers intellectual challenges and puzzles or a voyage offering interaction with strangers and family alike. Brown says, “There isn’t one recipe, it changes for each client.”


During this journey, clients can choose to have the help of a ‘guardian,’ a local guide who understands the game and the family’s needs, and ensures that the family is enjoying the game and moving through it in a timely manner. They can offer as much or as little assistance as the client wants, while also helping to ensure that everything the family hopes to get out of the trip is accomplished. “We want them to achieve their objective, so we control what happens to a certain extent,” says Brown. “Sometimes the guardian needs to be there to help them see the big picture.”


While The Great Game was not inspired by the traditional escape rooms that have been gaining popularity around the world, Brown notes that they have much in common. “The parallels are there — going into an unfamiliar environment, not knowing the rules, having someone guide you.” Just like an escape room, Brown notes that the loss of control is what sparks interest in The Great Game. “People realize that it’s a return to child’s play… how many adults get to play and think ‘it’ll be fun to not worry about anything and let myself be guided through this game’? It’s utterly relaxing,” he says.


The Great Game can be enjoyed by families, couples or individuals of all ages and backgrounds — and each client will gain something different from the experience, whether it’s solving a problem they’re facing, learning more about themselves, or just have a unique and unforgettable trip that opened their eyes to a new way of travel.

Of the game that took place in India, Brown says, “This particular story was really interesting because they came to us with their great aunt’s diary. We realized, we can integrate this between what this family does and what the great aunt did to make the story richer and more connected.”

One trip the company is currently planning to Costa Rica includes a challenge with zip lining. “When people come to us and say we want the kids to build up confidence, zip lining was the perfect way to build physical confidence,”
says Brown.

During this journey, clients can choose to have the help of a ‘guardian,’ a local guide who understands the game and the family’s needs, and ensures that the family is enjoying the game and moving through it in a timely manner.

“The Great Game is suitable for anyone who is willing to question how and why they’ve traveled in a specific way,” Brown says. “It’s perfect for someone who wants to get more out of their time abroad and someone who’s got an appetite to devour a place.”


While the pricing of The Great Game does vary from trip to trip, figure on a minimum of $25,000 per person (Brown + Hudson recommends a minimum of one week), in addition to a retainer fee of $4,000 for the planning and creation of the game (including the involvement of specialist experience and game designers). Brown does have some advice for those playing the game — “Trust, use your brain, expose yourself and the answer could be in something random.”


His hope for The Great Game is that it will awaken clients to realize that they deserve more from their travels. “If you could leave yourself behind and be a completely blank canvas everywhere you went, then your experiences would be much richer, more memorable and actually have therapeutic effects,” he says. “That’s what our approach does.” 

Photos courtesy of BrownandHudson and

TV Producer Rachael Jerahian plans to visit all 50 U.S. states along with every sovereign nation, and that is just the beginning.

Regardless of sex or financial status, Rachael Jerahian wants everyone to overcome their inhibitions and, “embrace exploration:” desire to tour the world and expand horizons without fear of being alone. Being alone is what initially gave Jerahian the strength to begin her travels, and she hasn’t looked back since. “Overcoming tragedy is something everyone faces,” said Jerahian. “Perhaps, it’s because to experience great highs, we have to know how to conquer terrifying lows.”

Acclaimed producer, Jerahian recently announced her intention to complete the first all-inclusive world travel expedition in history. She began her quest in June, and now plans to stop in all 50 U.S. states, travel to each of the 195 sovereign countries of the world, climb each of the seven continents’ highest peaks, and ski the last degree in both the North and South Poles, all while giving back to the many lives she encounters along her way.  

Jerahian, though no stranger to traveling, is embarking on this trip knowing it is to be the most significant one of her life thus far. After suffering the loss of both her parents to cancer by age 30, Jerahian now embraces the cliche to, “live life to the fullest,” and vows not to let life pass her by. Her path across the globe is her way of doing so. Yearning to be a reporter, Jerahian’s story begins in New York City, where she tried her hand in broadcast, until she finally fell in love with production behind the scenes. She now works as a prominent TV producer for multiple networks, including CNN, Food Network, Travel, Discovery, Viceland, PBS, Spike and A&E. After losing her mother to cancer in 2014, Jerahian and her sister planned a trip to clear their minds to Mexico. Jerahian caught the travel bug, returning to the states just to plan out a list of where to go next.

Her global expedition begins in the U.S., in which she plans to drive to all 50 U.S. states, and admits on her blog that this was easier planned than executed. “Soas I began the (daunting) process of mapping out the driving route of the lower 48 states, it quickly became apparent just how difficult this trip was going to be. I knew this would be A LOT of driving for one thing!” She will first head to Alaska, then to her hometown of Los Angeles, then the rest of the states starting in July 2018 and ending tentatively in February 2019. Traveling outside the country comes next, with the first stops being the Middle East and Africa for Jerahian. This leg of the journey is to start in early 2019, according to her blog. When Jerahian will tackle the seven summits and the North and South Pole are still to be decided.

“Splitters,” those who choose to divide their time between a primary residence and a second home, are changing the definition of home away from home.

As life grows busier and busier, a new generation of homebuyers is emerging. Due to their busy schedules, splitters are prioritizing residences that provide access to daily direct flights, advances in technology and virtual workspaces.
Two locations in Barbados — St. Peter’s Bay and Port Ferdinand — have recognized the presence of splitters and believe they provide the ideal resort destinations for splitters to make their second home.
With its turquoise waters and white sand beaches, Barbados is the ideal spot for a beautiful and relaxing second home. In addition to the stunning views and endless beaches, these resorts are among the most advanced in their region with superior telecommunications and utility systems, stable political system and well-educated work force. Plus, due to direct flights from NYC (and Newark), Miami and Toronto, residents can enjoy easy access to major cities.
“For those seeking luxury and refinement in all things, alongside exceptional service, sumptuous dining and unlimited recreation, this is an idyllic island home away from home,” says Tristan Blades, Head of Sales for Port Ferdinand and Saint Peter’s Bay. “Villa residents of Port Ferdinand and Saint Peter’s Bay enjoy an array of duty-free benefits with homeownership as well as personal home management, 24-hour security, housekeeping and maintenance, direct access to some of the island’s finest golf courses, along with access to all resort amenities and beach facilities.”

Port Ferdinand Marina & Luxury Residences

Average Listing Price: $2.3 million
Situated on the most eastern end of the marina, Port Ferdinand offers a stunning selection of 1- to 3-bedroom residences.

Photos courtesy Port Ferdinand

St. Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort & Residences

Average Listing Price: $2.1 million
Including a collection of stunning 2- to 5-bedroom beachfront residences, St. Peter’s Bay offers beautiful beaches, a welcoming culture and rich history.

Photos courtesy Saint Peter’s Bay


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