17 Nov Meg Nolan Van Reesema – Mother, World Traveler, Writer & Consultant!
What do you love to do with your children? How old are they? And what is your greatest wish for them?
I love going on bike rides with my boys. Though both young, the oldest is four and the youngest is just 8 months, and unable to actually ride bikes themselves, we all pile in the Dutch Box bike and head for the beach – no matter the season. I love that my kids are learning to use a bike as their everyday transportation and it coincides perfectly with my greatest wish for them: to lead healthy, active lives.
When and where are you the happiest?
Italy. Even the Autogrills (the gas station stops on the highway) make me happy – fabulously efficient and oftentimes, have fresh prosciutto. But as an annual spot, I love late summer/early fall on Nantucket, when the skies are clear, air is crisp, the water is still warm enough to swim in and the nights are chilly enough for fleece.
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Aha. This question is one I’m quite familiar with, though, I’d like you to tack on “now” to the end of the question, please. See, as a travel writer, luxury hotel and trip consultant and published author of a series of books on small hotels and villas around the world, I’ve got a lengthy bucket list of spots, and it changes its order practically daily. With each story I research, hotel I visit and trip I plan, I’m inspired to go somewhere new, re-order my list of where next and why, and often revisit favorites to stay current and knowledgeable. So, having just researched and planned a family trip to Utah and the Grand Canyon, I’m inclined to bump up my “Hiking in Zion meets Lounging at an Aman” trip higher on the list, while my recent travels to Croatia remind me that there is so much romance and intrigue in Eastern Europe, and to Sonoma that, people are doing incredibly impressive and authentic things off-the-radar.
Who has had the biggest influence upon you? And what quality do you most admire in a mother?
I’d have to say my mother. Although my dad is the one I strive to impress, it’s my mom, and her most commendable attributes, that I strive to emulate both personally and professionally.
I think the most admirable quality in a mother is patience. I have very little, but had even less before I was a mother. And so, I’m grateful to my children, who have taught me to slow down, breathe more deeply and appreciate the beauty in letting things evolve at their own pace.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to Paddleboard (SUP). It’s easily one of my favorite forms of exercise, mainly because you have no clue you’re working as hard as you are, especially if you’re paddling around areas where the scenery is particularly captivating.
What is one of your favorite books? Movies?
Toss up between the Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng and Michael Cunningham’s Flesh and Blood. Both are so very different, but both totally engrossing. My movie tastes run the gamut, from The Birdcage (Nathan Lane and Robin Williams are comic genius) to The Goonies (who can resist?) to Bridget Jones (don’t judge, it’s shockingly reaffirming) and Out of Africa (the soundtrack alone, swoon.)
Besides motherhood, what other careers/opportunities have you enjoyed? What are your strongest qualities?
Beyond being a Mom, clearly the most important opportunity I’ll ever have, I’ve had the fortune of enjoying a multi-faceted career in media. I’ve done everything from television with MSNBC to newspaper writing for the International Herald Tribune in Italy to being part of the editorial staff on magazines like Vanity Fair in New York and most recently digital content consulting for online travel agencies. I currently run my own travel consulting business crafting original content for websites and print and designing trips for discerning clients.
I would have to say my strongest quality is that I am brutally forthright. What you see is what you get (and will hear) with me. As my best friend once memorably toasted, “Meg’s no bullsh*t.”
What is your favorite type of food and what do you love to cook?
I love Mexican. I can make yummy guacamole and these chicken chimichangas that are instant crowd pleasers, even if my epicurean husband (read: Euro food snob) has dubbed them “poblano food”.
What is your favorite time of the day and why?
I like from 9-11am. I love to indulge a long morning with a huge cup of coffee, reading online, writing emails, researching travel, and if I can squeeze in another ten minutes, then allowing myself to fall down the rabbit hole of the internet, click by click, image by image – it’s remarkable where you can end up.
Where is your favorite place to Party with Moms and what’s your favorite drink?
I love a good Tod’s Point beach picnic. Of course, the chillier weather sends us indoors, and more often than not, to good ol’ Louie’s in Cos Cob. My favorite drink is a Moscow Mule (ginger beer, Vodka and lime served in a copper mug) but I rarely say no to a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m also currently studying to become a Master of Wine and earn my certification in the Court of Master Sommeliers, so I’m eager to refine my palette, and become an expert in the world of wine and spirits, and wine travel, of course.
Meg Nolan Van Reesema is a published author, travel writer and luxury hotel & travel consultant.