100+ Different Spaces in 16 Countries. Finding Inspiration for My Latest Assignment for Architectural Digest.

For 15 years, my husband and I owned a historic 1927 Tudor home. We painted every inch of wall, gutted and renovated the kitchen (by ourselves – hello, learning lessons), then hired pros to tackle bathroom renos. We landscaped, built decks, created gardens and created a home exactly to our liking…then, promptly sold it. To travel the world.

The day before house closing. Can you tell we are excited? #newchapter

Perhaps because of these experiences in home ownership, I now devote a stupid amount of time and energy searching for that “perfect” apartment or room in each new city. Whether for a few days or few months, I’ve learned that each space I occupy in this traveling life influences and impacts how I feel about a city itself.

What’s perfect? That answer is ever-evolving. Though we search for affordability, big windows and even a sliver of outdoor space, the style-ideal changes with city landscape and vibe. In central London, an ultra-modern flat with stark white walls, concrete flooring and minimal furnishings seemed to fit. Yet, in an Andalucian village, we found harmony in a closet-size studio loaded with Moorish style and decor.

Every year, we return to Rovinj, Croatia and, to be honest, I’m not sure if the town or the apartment calls us back. Three years ago, when we first crossed the threshold of this local rental, overlooking the outdoor vegetable market and harbor, it instantly felt like home. Clean lines, openness, soothing color palette, retro furnishings – and, of course, #seaviews and #killerlocation – appealed to us.


“I could live here,” I said no less than a dozen times a day (much to Matt’s annoyance, no doubt). And, now, through returning and renting this same sublime every spring since, I guess I do live here.

My connection with this space inspired my first piece for Architectural Digest.

Hope you will give it a read!

Use This Airbnb Hack to Decide Where to Move

So finding the perfect neighborhood IS possible
by Jess Simpson


I will never forget the look on the real estate agent’s face when I expressed interest in staying overnight in a house she was listing—before submitting an offer. “Why not? It’s empty,” I rationalized. Her facial expression was a mix between She must be crazy and, even worse, She must be a squatter. That was over a decade ago and long before the widespread use of home-lodging platforms for travel, which are now the next best thing to staying in a specific house before signing on the dotted line.

Continue reading…

The charming old town of Rovinj, Croatia.

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