Jessica Manley was born consumed with wanderlust. Traveling the world and working with early stage start-ups in both NYC and London, she is now living back in New Orleans and is focused on her own ventures as the cofounder of both The Soulcation Retreats and El Merchante. Jessica is a perfect example of someone living authentically in terms of balancing sustainability within her own unique lifestyle choices. We caught up with her a couple of weeks ago to find out about The Soulcation, but there were a few more things we wanted to know. So, grab a drink, kick-back and read part 2 of that interview…
For me, sustainability is all about minimizing my impact on my surroundings. I try to be very conscientious of everything I purchase for myself or others and almost always take into consideration how products were made. I look for pieces that I can give a second life. In fact, vintage is a little bit of an obsession for me. – Jessica
Favorite holiday destination? It’s so hard to choose, but most recent favorites include Havana, Oaxaca, Sydney and Istanbul. Anywhere that takes me off the grid and has a strong sense of culture so I feel like I’m actually escaping my world.
Apple Music or Spotify? Spotify.
What’s on your playlist? I have music ADD, from bossa nova to old school hip-hop, my musical selection is all over the place. Each month I make a playlist of what I’m currently digging, and believe me, it’s quite a mix. A few favorites: Paul Simon, Sam Cooke, Flight Facilities, Edward Sharpe, Van Morrison and Astrud Gilberto.
Favorite jet-lag remedy? Sparkling water, a face mask and a cappuccino. Once I’ve done that, I throw on a hat with a dab of eye serum and I’m out the door! It’s essential to stick to local time if you want to quickly adapt so I always make a point to head out once I arrive at my destination and I stay out until bedtime.
Five items you never travel without? Hat, scarf, eye mask, journal and $2 bills.(*Why $2 bills? We asked her that! She uses them for tipping. People get a thrill from receiving the uncommonly used $2 bill.)
Favorite App? I switch between Spotify and Podcasts. You’ll rarely find me without earphones in my ears, so these two are a must if I’m not out with friends.
What are you currently reading? I’m a historic fiction addict. I just finished All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which I highly recommend, and now I am in the thrust of a list of books on entrepreneurship, which include Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin and Delivering Happiness by Tony Hseih. I try to fluctuate between novels and books focused on health, wellness, spirituality or entrepreneurship.
Early bird or night owl? Depends what the day calls for and where I find myself. Generally, I prefer mornings where I have time to slowly go through my morning routine of meditation, coffee, a green smoothie, and a daily reading from Journey to the Heart. That morning hour is such a precious time to set the tone for the rest of day and I love to make that my time for myself. However, I do enjoy occasional nights on the town dancing the evening away with friends.
Favorite cuisine? As an Arizona native, I have a weak spot for Mexican. I adore everything from huevos rancheros for breakfast to tamales for dinner. If it’s authentic Mexican, then I’m all in.
Who or what inspires you? Just as it’s hard to pinpoint my favorite city, this is an equally daunting question. I find inspiration from so much, and as a result, can be easily distracted. But, I will say travel is my favorite form of inspiration. I also love to cultivate a group of friends who have strong passions of all shapes. I am such a curious cat and love being surrounded by people who are inspired themselves. It’s truly contagious!