AN HONEST CONVERSATION ABOUT TRAVEL, DECORATION AND MOTHERHOOD WITH CHRISTINA (MY TRAVEL ATELIER)
My Travel Atelier – written by Christina Rovira- is one of my favorite travel blogs. I love Christina’s honest and personal writing, her exquisite style and her passion for slow travel.
2 years ago we asked Christina to share with World Kids her experience road tripping Cuba (you can read here her complete travel guide). Today we travel to Denmark and meet Christina again in an honest conversation about motherhood, the best-kept secrets of Copenhagen for families and her dream travel destinations. I am really grateful that Christina accepted to share her time with World Kids. Thanks, Christina!
Christina, can you tell us a little bit of your background and why you decided to create My Travel Atelier?
I am half Spanish and half Danish. I grew up in Denmark and visited Barcelona and my family there at least once a year all my childhood. When I graduated from High School at 18, I moved to Barcelona to study for a year but ended up staying almost 3 years. I worked as a Flight Attendant and I loved it. I moved back to Denmark at 21 as I was recruited by Scandinavian Airlines and I’ve lived in Copenhagen ever since.
I’ve (obviously) always loved traveling and sharing my experiences with friends and family. At a point, I thought it would be more useful to collect all my tips in one spot rather than send a tip here and there by e-mail. At the same time, I really wanted to improve my English writing skills. And then I decided to challenge myself to create a blog/website from scratch. And that’s how My Travel Atelier was born 🙂
Which has been your favorite travel destination and why?
I was very surprised by Marrakech. We stayed for a week and had a very interesting itinerary including the medina, a cooking class and three days in the desert. We felt very welcome everywhere and it was more authentic than I had expected.
Lake Como is also a favorite. We were invited there with my family and I had no real expectations. But it was amazing. Nature, the small villages along the coastline, the fresh water, the food… It was Italian charm, but Swiss organization and we loved it!
But an all-time favorite is La Costa Brava (north of Barcelona). I love the rocky coastline, clear waters, and villages. Begur and Cadaqués (photos below) are amazing. And Calella de Palafrugell, where we always have lunch at restaurant Tragamar. If I ever win the lottery, I want a little house there!
Where do you plan to travel next?
This summer we will visit my husband’s family on the Danish island Bornholm for a week and then my family in Barcelona for a week. And then we’ll have a week at home in Copenhagen, where we will explore our own city, which we almost never do. We are planning a trip to Lebanon in fall, which I am very excited about!
You live in Copenhagen and love good coffee… I was wondering if perhaps you could share with World Kids your favorite coffee shops in your city.
Right in front of my home is Il Bucu , where they serve the best croissants in town. It is an old warehouse with a lot of charm and a place you would never find if you weren’t told. On Christianshavn I really like Parterre, which is a little café on a quiet corner in front of the canals. For a great view, I recommend Original Coffee in the shopping mall Illum. It’s located on the 3rd floor and from their terrace you have a fantastic view of the busy city center. The coffee and pastries are delicious.
Are there any other places (parks, Museums, restaurants…) that you would also like to recommend to those families traveling to Copenhagen?
I have always liked to get to know a new city by having a bird’s eye view of the place. It gives a perfect overview. So I always recommend visitors here to visit Rundetårn (The Round Tower). It is a tower in central Copenhagen where you will have to walk up, but it’s a ramp, so it’s easy for kids. The ramp was made so that the King at that time could access in his horse carriage.
Secondly, I would recommend families to spend time in our beautiful parks. We have The King’s Garden and The Botanical Garden both right in the city center. Then we have Frederiksberg Garden where you can sail on the lake and see the animals in Copenhagen ZOO next to the park. I’m not that fond of ZOOs in general, but I must admit that the one we have in Copenhagen is really worth visiting with kids. They have a huge playground and lots of space for playing around.
I also recommend spending a day exploring the neighborhood Christianshavn, where most of the canals are. There is always a good atmosphere around that area. For a good bite, I recommend visiting Torvehallerne (a huge food marked). There are food stalls, florists, fruit vendors etc. A lot for the kids to look at. If it is rainy (which is very likely in Copenhagen!) I recommend families to visit Den Blå Planet, which is our new aquarium.
You have such a great taste. Your approach to design mixes perfectly the Mediterranean inspiration with the Scandinavian aesthetics. Which are your favorite design shops in Denmark?
Haha, thank you! I really like interior design and I am lucky that my husband loves it too, so we can share our hobby and redecorate our home from time to time.
Many of our things are bought on travels. But if I should recommend some interior design shops in Denmark it would be Rue Verte (extremely expensive, but great for inspiration), Stilleben for vases and other accessories and Aiayu for their pillows and blankets.
I also love how your home reflects your passion for travel. Where do you find the inspiration to decorate your home?
Instagram is an important inspiration source, if not the most important. I follow various hotels and get a lot of inspiration here. For example El Fenn (Marrakech, photo below), Margot House (Barcelona), Casa Bonay (Barcelona) and The Hoxton (London, Amsterdam & Paris).
How has motherhood changed you? What has surprised you most? How has motherhood changed the way you travel?
I don’t know if becoming a mom has changed me that much. I still see the same friends, go to the gym, travel… It’s just in another way now. I’m lucky that many of our friends also have kids, so it’s natural for us to meet up for dinner at 6 p.m. with the kids instead of at 8 p.m.
What has surprised me the most is the growing love you feel for your child. I didn’t experience this immediate love explosion at birth as others do. I was happy of course, but the love for my son had to grow on me. And now that he’s almost a year, my love for him grows bigger and bigger every day. Getting to know this little funny guy is amazing!
The biggest change in our travels after having Julian has been the eating part. Going out for fine dining is a no-go. And these delicious meals with three courses are not that fun either.
But it’s all about finding the places you feel comfortable with a child. Overall I feel very comfortable going out in Spain with him as people are very tolerant and caring for children there. In Denmark, children are not that easily accepted in restaurants. But here you also pay the triple price for the food when you go out, so people don’t want to be bothered by yelling children 🙂
Do you have a dream destination you would like to visit with your family?
I dream of visiting the entire world with my family!! But if I have to to be a bit more specific I would really like to travel through Latin America and visit old friends from Barcelona who lives there now. Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia are on my wishlist. And to travel along the coast of Australia in a motorhome for a couple of months.
And oh, Ibiza! I have never been to Ibiza and I really would like to go there and swim in the crystal clear waters and take the ferry to Formentera for a day.