CANDY WALTRIP + TRAVEL BLOGGER
Candy and I met years ago before she moved to LA. She was signed to Ford Models with a mutual friend in SF, and they decided to come visit and do a test shoot. I remember being really impressed and a tiny bit jealous (not gonna lie) about how much she has traveled. She's not only a international tourist, but she's also spent enough time in foreign countries to be considered a local. From the humid summers in Flordia where Candy went to school, to the brisk air of Norway, she's lived in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and more. Candy has defiantly earned some flight miles. Having traveled a bit myself over the majority of my 20s; there are certain things you just pick up from traveling. From how to navigate an airport in a foreign country to finding the best places to eat and drink in a one night turn-around. Traveling becomes a part of you, not just in a way that you make memories of the places you've seen, but that you learn a language. A language that only other people know from experiencing neck cramps from 10 hours on a plane attempting to sleep, or ordering an overpriced drink at 5:00am waiting for the next connecting flight. There's something unique in knowing what line is quickest through security checkpoints or how to have a conversation with customs officers as they flip the pages of your passport. One more stamp, and you're on your way. It's quite refreshing sharing these common experiences while reading Candy's blog; which she runs with her sister, but we'll get to that in a moment. The blog is truly a wealth of travel experience and knowledge. When you're ready to book that next flight, or hit the open road and visit somewhere new, make sure and jot down a few notes from Candy's blog before doing so. It'll change the way you travel.
Once again for the second installment on this series, I took an afternoon and hung out with Candy. This time we explored the streets and the rooftops of Downtown LA. I learned what it's like growing up on a military base in Japan, how Instagram changed the modeling world, and why Shrek makes the perfect prince. That's right. Shrek.
JOSH: Who you are, Where you’re from? Where do you live now? CANDY: I’m a half Japanese, half American girl that was born and raised in Japan. When I was 18, I moved to Florida with $800 to experience life in the States. I grew up in my mother’s native land, so when I graduated high school, I had an urge to venture out and experience my father’s side. Who knew $800 wasn’t going to be enough to live and go to school. Oh, the joys of being young and naive! It was tough working and going to school full-time, but I did it and graduated with a degree in International Studies. With my degree, my plan was to go back home to Japan and work at the American Embassy in Tokyo as a diplomat. Well, my plans took a turn and I ended up traveling and living in Norway, Singapore, and Hong Kong. I’m currently living in Los Angeles.
What do you do? Tell me about your blog. I spent some of my younger years working for a video production company as a video editor and then totally changed my career path and started modeling. I’m currently a full-time model and started a travel blog with my sister, Crystal. We both love traveling and have always shared our photos and experiences with friends and family. Instead of posting and sending emails, we finally decided to make an official blog. We're the travel agent that does not charge you.
How did you get to LA? I was modeling in Hong Kong before I moved to Los Angeles. I had been in Asia for about four years and wanted to head back to the States again.
What obstacles have you had to over come being in LA? Modeling in Los Angeles is quite different from modeling in Asia. I think one of the biggest obstacles for me has been the social media. I had Instagram and Facebook accounts when I was in Asia, but it was never something I used to publicly share my modeling work. It’s the complete opposite here in LA. It’s standard to have an Instagram or Facebook account to promote yourself. Clients look at this and ask for your Instagram account information at many auditions. I was quite hesitant at first to make my social media accounts public because I’ve always been a private person, but now I’ve gotten accustomed to it.
What was the worst/unusual job you ever had? I think the worst job I ever had was working at a call center for a financial institution. People are mean, rude, and condescending. I would constantly answer calls where people would just start yelling and I had to calm them down because I had no clue what they were trying to say with all the screaming.
Dive bar or the club? Dive bar. When I was in college, clubbing was fun but it’s out of my system now and I can’t stand it anymore. Funny how things change.
Sometimes LA can be so LA how do you cope? Hahahahah, I sometimes wonder myself if I know what being “so LA” means. I’ve only been here for a couple of years, but if being flaky, materialistic, and wanting to be on the list for the best parties is part of being “so LA” then I am not a part of it. Everyone has their own meaning of fun, but my idea of fun is to always surround myself with people who enjoy and appreciate the simple things in life. I like spending time with my friends and we don’t have to be out at the biggest parties or events.
How long have you been blogging? My sister and I started our blog in October 2015.
You run this blog with your sister, but you live on opposite sides of the country. Is that a challenge? It crossed our minds that this might be a challenge, but it’s been working out great. We communicate daily and work very well together. We both have a great work ethic, so we don’t want to let each other down and make sure we have content lined up weeks in advance. We also meet up every two months to travel to a new place together.
Tell me about your sister. She’s the best big sister! When we were younger, we didn’t get along and we fought all the time! Now, it’s the complete opposite and we’re best friends. Crystal has always been in the creative world. She has been a video editor for over twenty years. She’s always had a passion for video and photography and it’s awesome to have that creative mind in the family.
You grew up in Japan, and Florida. You’ve basically been traveling your whole life. Name one place that’s your favorite to visit, and one city you could see yourself growing old in? This is such a difficult question. Japan will always be my home and favorite place to visit, since my family lives there. I haven’t thought about where I want to grow old yet. There is still so much I want to see and do, so maybe I’ll be able to answer that when I get all the traveling out of my system.
Do you collect anything? Photos. I move so much that it’s hard to collect things without having to leave them behind. I have stacks of photo albums, but now that we live in the digital world, I don’t have to worry about moving additional photo albums around. I was so thankful when the digital camera came out. I bought my first digital camera in 2012 and was so excited that I could store my photos on a little hard drive.
How do you decide where to travel to next? When it’s for work, I really don’t have a choice. For the blog, my sister and I discuss places we want to visit and pretty much go from there.
You’re more than just a travel blog, you’re also a bit of a fashion and beauty blog. Does being a model influence the blog in that direction a bit? I wanted to add fashion and beauty to the blog because it’s part of the fun of traveling for me. I love packing my outfits and deciding what I’m going to wear on my travels. I know I’m going to be taking a ton of pictures, so I want to wear clothes that look great for those photo ops. I also enjoy finding those cute travel size beauty products for my trips. I do think modeling has influenced the fashion part of the blog. On shoots, I get styled by professional stylists and take note of the way they dress me. It’s interesting to see how they put outfits together depending on what the shoot is for. A lot of times, I wear clothing on shoots that I would have never thought of wearing myself.
In N Out or Five Guys? In N Out. I went to Five Guys and the fries were drenched in oil and the burgers just weren’t as juicy!
Tell me one amazing gym story. Living in LA, there are a ton of gym stories! I saw this guy one time wearing these teeny tiny short shorts. It was so tiny that half of his a** crack was showing. He also had on a crop top and wore a cap backwards. I wasn’t hating on his outfit. I was actually impressed at how confident he was. I mean he was walking around the gym like he was walking in a fashion show.
Someone claimed the power ball, but if you won, what would you do? I’ve always wanted to buy a beautiful island or community where all my neighbors would be friends and family. I don’t know where I want to grow old, but I do know that I want to grow old with my closest friends and family.
All expense paid, where would you go? Anywhere in the world to blog about it? Free trip? I want to visit all of the national parks in the US. This year is the 100th anniversary and I have seen so little of it. My sister has visited quite a few of the national parks and I’m so jealous!
Any regrets? Career wise or personally? I wouldn’t be the person I am if it wasn’t for the choices I made throughout the years. I don’t have any regrets with the choices I have made, but I do miss my family in Japan. I only get to see them once a year, so that has definitely been tough throughout the years.
Any amazing trips or gigs that are coming up you can share some secrets about? Iceland is on our list, so I’m pretty excited about that.
If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be? I would love to have dinner with my Japanese grandmother. When she fell ill with Alzheimer’s at such a young age, her mind basically was gone and I was not able to have coherent conversations with her. I lived with my grandmother and went through her photo albums and would hear stories from family members and she seemed like such an interesting person.
Who is your favorite Disney Prince? I'm attracted to men who work outside. It's kinda hard to explain, but cutting wood, riding a tractor, building stuff. Shrek! He's a prince right? My kinda man kinda sounds like Shrek!
What does 2016 hold for you? More travels with my sister. We already have trips booked, so I’m looking forward to that and sharing it with everyone on our blog.
Awesome hanging out and kickin it as usual. Super pumped for the blog and what’s in store for your future travels.
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all photographs and interview questions by joshua caine