For Kathryn Romeyn, Life Is All About Freedom
Kathryn Romeyn is the type of person who hears the words, “I wish I had your job” nearly every day—and for good reason. Based in Los Angeles’ Mid-City District, she is a freelance writer who pens articles on travel, fashion and beauty for publications such as AFAR, Elle Australia, and The Hollywood Reporter.
This envy-worthy life has been hard-fought: After earning a journalism degree from Northeastern University in Boston, she spent time on staff at Los Angeles Confidential and Foam Magazine, has worked as a freelance writer for the Los Angeles Times, and ran Beauty Bender, an editorial site focused on all things beauty. She’s done everything from interview celebrities to test out beauty products to travel to far-flung locations, all in the name of her career.
While she lives in L.A. right now, she’s also spent significant chunks of time in places like Australia and Bali. We recently caught up with Romeyn a few days before she boarded a plane for a three-week trip to Africa—to visit her sister who lives there and works as a refugee aid worker—to learn more about her fabulous life.
Let’s start with a deep topic. Who are some women that you admire?
The women in my family are incredibly inspiring. My mom, for starters. She is someone who craves knowledge. She grew up in rural Arkansas, but ended up traveling the world as an art history professor and now takes groups of senior citizens to Europe as part of educational enrichment trips.
My grandma, who passed when I was in high school, was amazing. She grew up in Queens, boarded a ship to Paris when she was just 20 years old, lived there for six months, and then moved to Buenos Aires to be a copywriter. Mind you, this was the 1930s—no one was doing anything like that.
Wow, it sounds like a love for travel runs in your family. What advice can you offer someone who wants to start traveling, but might be too nervous fly halfway across the globe?
I think it all comes down to research. Look beyond just the hotels where you will be staying—do research on the culture. Read about other people’s experiences. It can seem scary to travel if you’ve never been anywhere super foreign, but fear isn’t the right response—it is better to be aware, so you don’t feel like a fish out of water. Learn a few key phrases like “thank you” and “hello.” Just knowing those things will get you far, and people will appreciate the effort.
How do you stay healthy on the road?
It can be challenging. If I can go to a yoga class, great, but in most places I rely on walking a lot. I also love to try the local food when I’m traveling, and will eat healthy as long as it is aligned with the culture. In Bali, for instance, I might buy a coconut, drink the water inside, scoop out the rest and eat it.
OK, a few rapid-fire questions. What is your go-to outfit right now?
Lately I’ve been wearing a pair of cut-offs and a button down or T-shirt. I’ll wear a pair of black, slip-on Vans and then a bunch of jewelry. I wear several bracelets that I never take off and I like to collect cool necklaces when I travel.
What is the one beauty product you can’t live without?
I love the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. I’m a huge fan of the sun and this serum is brightening, but it keeps me from having terrible pigmentation spots.
What is your cocktail of choice?
I usually go with gin, and I like the London Buck, which is basically a Moscow Mule made with gin.
How do you de-stress?
I love to read because it feels like an escape, but lately I’ve gotten into playing the drums when I’m home. I take lessons and it is honestly one of my favorite things to do. I’m working towards being in a band. I want to play ‘70s and ‘90s covers. I’m a huge fan of Led Zeppelin and just learned how to play D’yer Maker. I’m also learning I Sat by the Ocean by Queens of the Stone Age.
One more question: How do you feel about what Cora is doing?
I think it is wonderful, especially that for every month’s supply of Cora products purchased, they give a month’s supply of pads to a girl in a developing country. I’m familiar with the fact that there are places in the world where girls cannot go to school on their period simply because they don’t have supplies. The fact that they are missing out on education is a huge problem, so anything we can do to help equalize that and allow them to learn along with their peers is a great thing.