The Interview: Rosa Park Editor of Cereal Magazine

If there’s anyone who knows how to travel, it’s Rosa Park - founder of the contemporary travel magazine Cereal. Alongside her partner Rich Stapleton (Cereal’s creative director) the pair have created an international following renowned for their clean and refined approach to photography, travel and print.

We first met Rosa before THE-ACEY had launched last year (2014), as expected and similarly to the magazine she was cool, confident and a modest wealth of start up stories. Challenging the norm by diving into an industry supposedly on the decline - we saw Rosa as a true Acey woman on a mission to re define and re inspire the perception of travel & print publications.

Nearly a year later and amidst summer vacation time we sat down with Rosa to talk stepping outside the city, monotone dressing and not taking a 'holiday' for 3 years.

Photography: by the impeccably talented Rich Stapleton, shot at a few of Rosa's favourite places in her hometown of Bath

Styling: Rosa's own from the-acey.com

What to Pack

Do you have essentials that you always travel with to improve your journey?

I always travel with at least 4 books - I get so much reading done in transit. I know that I should probably start using a Kindle because books get rather heavy, but I haven’t made the switch just yet! I also swear by my cashmere eye mask; it makes a world of a difference to your sleep on flights. Last but not least, my iPhone is always up to date with my latest playlists, sometimes I make one specifically for certain trips.

When it comes to clothing what qualities do you look for and value?

What I look for in clothing at this stage in my life is simplicity and quality. I’m drawn to classic, timeless pieces in a neutral colour palette. I tend to purchase the same kind of pieces over and over again; it’s like I’ve prescribed myself a uniform. I’m dressed quite similarly on most days when I’m at the office - usually a white shirt with slim, dark trousers. I think I own 50 white button down shirts in various iterations! when you open my closet, it’s akin to that of a cartoon character - a row of white shirts and black trousers!

Learnings from life on the road

How do you get the most out of a place?

Always venture outside the capital. That’s where you begin to understand a country’s culture.

We’re all prone to finding travel a little stressful at times, how do you manage this?

Travelling can get quite stressful, and sometimes feeling that way is inevitable. To try to make things run as seamlessly as possible, I plan everything to a T in advance, with back up options in place!

Have you come across any impressive sustainable processes in the hospitality industry?

I was recently at a place called Belle Mont Farm at Kittitian Hill in St Kitts. It’s an incredible project that incorporates an eco farm and the world’s first edible golf course (for sustainability) alongside the property. It is a special destination that I’d recommend to everyone.

How do you adjust back into reality after weeks on the road?

I love to spend a day unpacking and getting settled back into the flat and my routine. Really basic things like going to pick up groceries for the week, picking up the newspaper and sitting at home reading while drinking tea - suddenly these routine activities seem like such a luxury after being on the road for however many weeks.

"Always venture outside the capital. That’s where you begin to understand a country’s culture."

What to Post?
Everywhere I go the conversation of a picture perfect image for social media seems to come up, Cereal has an incredible following which has evolved orgnaically - do you ever feel the pressure to post?

Our social media content is created very organically as we travel, so we don’t necessarily feel much pressure in that regard. We're lucky in that we are often seeing and experiencing some extraordinary places so that translates well to interesting social media content. Rich, our creative director, is responsible for overseeing most of our social media, and he has fun with it!

What do you personally enjoy photographing?
Natural landscapes without a doubt. Though interiors photography is creeping up as a contender as of late.

What sort of Instagram accounts do you draw most pleasure and inspiration from?

I personally enjoy following my close friends on Instagram the most; their feeds are the ones that make me laugh, inside jokes and all. But from a photographic standpoint, I love following Alice Gao (@alice_gao), Peggy Wong (@bluepoolroad) and Titus Chan (@norrstudio). Their images all have a wonderful emotive quality to them that I’m drawn to. My favourite brand to follow is The Row (@therow).

Holiday Defined

What does a ‘holiday’ mean to you?

Time to go off the grid and relax.

What do you look for in a holiday?

This is varied. What I seek differs based on the destination. For example, if I’m going to a major city, convenience is key for me. The hotel must be centrally located with all the creature comforts I need alongside impeccable service. And it must be close to the kind of shops and cafes I want to frequent. And the places I visit need to be styled in my sense of aesthetics or it doesn’t interest me. However, if I’m keen for something a bit more escapist, then I want to be out of my comfort zone. I want to come face to face with things, people, food and culture that make me hesitate before trying because it feels so foreign. I love that sense of stretching my boundaries and perspective. So the dichotomy of these two types of experiences govern where I go and how I decide to go about it.

Do you find the time to take a holiday besides traveling with work?

I haven’t actually been on a personal holiday since starting Cereal. I travel so much for work that it hasn’t left much time for me to go on a holiday! Maybe next year...

Do you have a go to holiday destination?

This is a tough question as my answer is constantly changing. At the moment, I’d love to take a holiday in Lake Como in Italy.

Rosa wears a top by Svilu: Creme Crinkle Shirt
Rosa wears trousers by Svilu: Black Organic Cotton Culottes
Rosa wears shoes by Sydney Brown: Dark Slate Cork Open Heel

Rosa's Instagram: @rosaliapark
Cereal Instagram: @cerealmag
Cereal Magazine: Cereal Magazine
Cereal travel book series: Guided by Cereal