THE GIRL GONE WILD
2018 was a tough year for me personally, lots of moves + changes, questions, packing and unpacking and plenty of uncertainty. It was a year of major transformation and many people I speak to seem to agree. It was a year many of us faced ourselves, questioned our future and took action. Whether it was a career change, a new city, or a more in depth physical, emotional and spiritual perspective on personal well being, relationships, etc. So that said, I am really interested in sharing these stories, of extraordinary ladies who are taking this time for transformation, and one that’s really inspired me with her lust for life attitude, travel stories and adventures is Emilie Ghilaga.
Born and raised in New York City, Emilie began her career at The Gem Place in Jaipur. She created her own clothing line produced in India and was a buyer at Moda Operandi. She consulted for brands such as Edie Parker, Hayward and Di Pasquale Guthmann. Despite all the success and experience in the fashion world, she felt she’d reached a point in her life when everything collapsed into itself.
I was not on the right path and sometimes, if you are lucky certain situations reveal themselves and you are forced to see how you are unhappy and what needs to change. It is about intuition and strength.
So she decided to create a formula of all her passions as well as a solution. Nature + Fashion + Travel = The Girl Gone Wild . She travelled to 23 countries in 12 months from May of 2017, kept journals of all her adventures and sought out the off beaten paths. In each of her amazing journeys you’’ll find her personal itineraries, photos, notes on where to stay, eat, explore, shop and what to do.
Your greatest inspirations or influences?
I have two.
Nature is my greatest inspiration, if you follow nature in any form you can see patterns of perfection and patterns of chaos and how to move through both forms is invaluable guidance to life.
My second are people who are earnest and eager to help others while simultaneously being unabashedly themselves. If you find someone entitled, they are often ingenuine.
Both of these things give me a quiet confidence and light a fire in me to follow my dreams.
What are some of the highlights since you became “ THE GIRL GONE WILD”?
The voyage to Skellig Michael off the coast of Ireland.
Eating in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Moving to Costa Rica and building my dream home in Nosara
How much of your travel adventures are carefully planned or spontaneous and how do you come across these hidden artisanal gems you share on your site?
It is a bit of both – the genesis of the each trip involves a lot of google searches and 50 open tabs (which is why I started The Girl Gone Wild because who wants 50 tabs open on the their computer?? So I had to consolidate my findings, but the whole part of adventure is the trust it. So I like an equal balance of planning and then spontaneous action. The path can only lead you so far and then you come upon funny characters in the story or a plot twist. You trust your gut (and always be careful obviously) and these things lead you to insider secrets, artisans, restaurants, local hang outs.
Is there one place you dream of going you haven't been to yet?
Ago Bay in Ise Shima, Japan a fishing village where a clan of all-female divers, called Ama have dived there for pearls and shellfish since the 60’s and are considered the mermaids of Japan. The Mikimoto pearl museum is close by to the village. Unfortunately, their craft is dying out as their daughters do not want to follow in the footsteps of their mothers. This is the issue with many artisans. Additionally, commercial fishing is depleting their supply.
Was it hard for you to leave your dream job?
I left my dream job, to move onto my next dream job. Sometimes it just happens like that.
Someone once told me that when you get tired of something, it is because you have outgrown it. So, if you feel yourself growing impatient, consider it and then maybe you need to finally say to it, -It’s not you it’s me.
What do you most love about your free spirited lifestyle so far?
That I am sitting at a surf club by the Pacific Ocean writing this article because it has become my new office in Costa Rica. That I do not know what will happen next, but my values have changed drastically. What I felt I needed in my life or had to hold onto, I do not now. I let it go.
I look and feel younger than ever, and simultaneously my mind and heart feel older and wiser.
I leapt blindly into this and ironically, has helped me to look before I leap in life. I don’t know if that makes sense, but that is exactly how it is. Its like being considerate but wild at the same time.
I’m very traditional with my creatives..
Authors/Philosophers: Colette, Ralph Waldo Emerson, DH Lawrence, Mary Oliver John Steinbeck, Goethe, Jane Austen, Plato, Descartes
Artists: Salvador Dali, Bruce Weber, Joan Miro, Alexander Calder, Irving Penn, Henri Matisse, Rene Magritte, Inez and Vinoodh, Constantin Brancusi
Architects: Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminister Fuller
Designers: Eres Bathing Suits, Castaner Espadrilles, Sleeper for Slip Dresses, Inis Meain sweaters
Craftsmen: Bordallo Pinheiro in Portugal, Mario Milana Furniture in NY and Italy , Faincee Bondil in France, Hataman in Japan ,Emanuele Pantanella in Italy, Passart Di Scardala Adriano & Co in Italy
Favourite websites or social media handles?
Follow Emilie on instagram: @girlgonewild
All photos Daisy Johnson Photography