Rana Good is the founder of Naïra NYC. A writer for publications such as Forbes, Travel + Leisure, Coveteur, Mens Journal and others, she created her own platform celebrating women of color.
Even on the dreariest of days, Christine Tran Ferguson a.k.a. Tour de Lust’s colorful feed will put a smile on your face. Whether she’s traveling the world or shooting in NYC (her home base) the travel influencer and blogger always shares beautiful locations, delectable food and fun videos. I spoke to Tran Ferguson about how she always gets the perfect shot (hint: there’s advance planning involved) and how she transitioned from working in corporate America into creating her own path.
How did you turn travel into your fulltime job?
Christine Tran Ferguson: I’ve always loved to travel. When I was working fulltime at Macy’s, I only had ten vacation days and would force my now-husband to travel with me over long weekends and holidays. For a long weekend, we would go as far as Dubai since that was the only time I had. I would just add a day or two to a holiday weekend and go to places like Barcelona, always taking pictures along the way. I was also really into food and reviews, and become a Yelp Elite member along the way.
When we moved to San Francisco for a short period of time, I was bored and didn’t really know anyone so I decided to make a blog and used all of the photos as I had. We also started taking road trips where I would take lots of photos. I started to really enjoy blogging and it took off from there. I started blogging four years ago and quit my job one year after.
What’s your unique take on travel?
I love showcasing destinations and what they’re all about. My feed is bright and airy, and I’m always smiling in my photos showcasing positivity. I also love to shoot food from around the world.
You get really creative with your photos; can you walk me through some of your shoots?
I just did one yesterday. A company sent me roses and I had seen a lot of posts in which people had turned flowers into a top, like a tube top including the stems. I put on a cute tulle dress and put the roses into my skirt to make it look like a top. I love how it turned out!
A lot of times I have in my head what I want to do and the photos just come about. I have props with me in my apartment or hotel, and I plan outfits accordingly just to add to the image. It’s always better to have more than less for a good photo.
What are some of the favorite places you’ve visited and why?
Turkey — I didn’t know what to expect when I went and absolutely fell in love with the country. The people are super nice and the food was amazing. Sometimes I just ate bread all day because it was so good there. Cappadocia — how does that place even exist? I had an amazing experience and stayed in a cave with a rooftop and hot air balloons. You can’t experience that anywhere else.
Italy will always be a favorite of mine. There are so many places you can visit; Venice, Florence, Sicily or the Amalfi Coast. I got married in Positano, so it’s always going to have a special place in my heart.
For third place, I would say Kenya because we went there for our honeymoon. I loved seeing the animals and going on safaris. I also loved meeting the people. It was a very humbling experience. I loved meeting the different tribes and learning about their way of life. I would definitely go back there.
What’s your #1 place to eat in the world?
I read about Tickets Bar in Spain in a “Top 50 Restaurants in the World” article. We were going to travel to Madrid and Barcelona so two to three months in advance I tried to get a reservation for this place. I went online every single day and eventually got a reservation. The theme is a circus and it’s really fun. It’s all tapas but on a high gastronomic level. They served an olive that was actually made of jelly and when you bit into it, it tasted just like an olive. At the end of your meal they take you to a dessert room that’s very Willy Wonka whimsical, you can make your own ice cream there. Even better, the meal is relatively cheap for what you get.
Where would you recommend going on a romantic vacation?
I would recommend the Maldives. The water is incredible! You have to stay in an overwater bungalow for the experience – you get privacy, a five-star experience and it’s so relaxing. The staff is really friendly and help fulfill any requests. We stayed at Coco Collection and both of the Four Seasons properties. I especially loved Four Seasons Landaa Giravaru.
What kind of beauty/wellness products do you bring?
I just bring whatever I have at home in travel size. I do always carry Estee Lauder Night Repair Serum — it feels great on my skin and I’ve been using it for so long.
How has COVID-19 affected travel for you?
My travels have definitely been affected, no one has been traveling and there are fewer campaigns for me to work. I think it’s a good time to take care of yourself. Hopefully when things reopen there will be more work. I haven’t made any plans, I will stay in NYC this summer and I want to promote local businesses here. If possible later this year I would love to go to Bali and Singapore, and maybe Italy for our anniversary.
What’s your best photography advice?
It’s always so busy in popular destinations, so I try to wake up for sunrise to get all of my photos. It has the best lighting and fewer people. I already know ahead of time what angles I want and what images I’m looking to shoot to make things easier and quicker.