Tess Leopold, our resident photographer, recently found herself “a world away from home”, aimlessly wandering the palm-lined streets of Santa Monica, California. One afternoon, she caught up with model, blogger and “clean cooker”, Natascha Elisa to get an insider’s guide to this city of angels and snapping some beautiful pictures in the process.
How did you find your feet in LA?
NE: Walking to get to places definitely helped me to learn my surroundings and discover little markets and cafes along the way.
Having great friends here to show me around is also a major bonus! It’s all about saying yes to new things, exploring and being open minded.
Ultimate destination for food and shopping?
Café Gratitude is my all-time favourite place in LA to eat. The best shopping experience so far was vintage shopping in the Yucca Valley.
You use various avenues to express different aspects of yourself; clean cooking, a fashion blog and modelling. How do you balance them all?
I am definitely passionate about all of them! I actually find it really hard to focus on just one avenue.
I love different things about each and I bounce between them. I also love photography and painting, which I wish I had more time for! I think that having different passions that keep you inspired and motivated makes for a happy life.
Can you tell us about an unusual experience you’ve enjoyed in your travels?
Hiking in the Himalayas in Nepal was incredible. I do love Runyon Canyon [in LA], but trekking through the Annapurna [Nepal] was a life changing experience. I would absolutely love to do it again; there is so much of the world to see!
Most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
“Decide every morning that you are in a good mood.”
Where did your love for travelling the world start?
I can’t pin point a time as my parents had me on a plane at 6 months of age for a trip to Europe. I had been to over 30 countries by the time I was 15, so I guess it’s always been a part of me. I did my first solo trip at 15 and have managed to go somewhere new every year since. Every time I save some money it goes straight to a plane ticket!
Life takes us in numerous directions, any advice or defining moments that have helped you stay grounded and true to yourself?
Family. Being close to my parents is very important to me. They are really supportive and are always there for me, and I look up to them a lot. They remind me of who I am and encourage me to continue to learn and grow.
What’s next for you and what are we going to be seeing more of?
A lot more content on nataschaelisa.com, I have also been working on some very exciting projects, including a clean cooking cookbook and healthy travel guide. Stay tuned.