We spoke with model and dancer Stacy Collado-Tabares (@stacycollado) about her recent trip to upstate New York, eating while traveling and how friends become family.
Window, Middle or Aisle? Aisle! I always think I want the window seat to look at the earth and sky passing by, but ultimately it makes me feel claustrophobic. I like that I have an easier escape route when sitting in the aisle seat, and there’s something about it that makes me feel like I’ve got more space to work with even though I don’t. Even better if my husband is sitting in the middle seat next to me so I can have a shoulder to rest my head on if I need a nap!
"I just love beautiful things and being with my people, so it’s a perfect vacation if I can manage doing just that."
Where’s the last place you traveled? The last place I traveled to was Ithaca, NY which is not as glamorous as I wanted to sound but it’s the truth.
I went for a long weekend to work on a dance project with a small group of women. The performance we’re preparing for is in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the Spring of 2023, but we had the opportunity to hunker down together for a few days and really work on it. Running around the city for rehearsals in between other types of work and life is what preparing for a show usually looks like for me, but there’s something really special about getting away for a truly immersive rehearsal process when given the opportunity. Especially in nature, and especially in peak Fall!
It’s rare so I’m really grateful we were able to share that time and space together. It was funny; we were coincidentally all menstruating at the same time, spending every waking minute together stuck between a studio and a house, talking about and making art. A lot came up.
What does travel mean to you? For me, traveling is about experiencing as much as possible. Trying weird and new things. Being curious. Eating food, so much food. A little bit of rest and relaxation, I guess, if it’s vacation; I do like to relax. But I think, in the context of traveling for vacation, the mere idea that I don’t necessarily have to be anywhere or do anything, that I have the freedom to do whatever/be wherever, is enough.
Sometimes travel is for work, though, and so that’s kind of its own thing but kind of not. Even when I’m working while traveling, I’m wanting to explore and experience and be stimulated.
"To this day, my mother always says she doesn’t like having friends. She would always say to me, “you can only really trust your family.”
What’s your idea of a perfect vacation? I love the country and the mountains and I love a good beach moment, but when I’m planning a vacation, I tend to gravitate toward cities - places that are rich with a lot of art and culture.
My husband and friends and I are always dreaming about going places together so a perfect vacation definitely involves a good little group of people. This is particularly key because 75% of a vacation, for me, surrounds food and drink experiences; I want to be able to try the entire menu which is best enjoyed in a group of 4 or 6.
I want to learn new things when I’m on vacation, so some sort of educational component is a must for me whether that’s talking to locals or going to museums or taking some sort of class. When my husband and I went to Mexico City, we took a day trip to Teotihuacán to learn about how they make tequila and mezcal there and climbed the pyramids. Things like that.
I like to collect vintage from places I’ve been, so a perfect vacation also involves lots of shopping around. I’m always researching boutiques to visit in advance before I travel literally anywhere, but it’s also fun to wander around and see what I find. I just love beautiful things and being with my people, so it’s a perfect vacation if I can manage doing just that.
What do you most value in your friendships? To this day, my mother always says she doesn’t like having friends. She would always say to me, “you can only really trust your family.” I think it comes from her village mentality; she grew up in the countryside of the Dominican Republic and the community that she had was her family. She dropped out of school after 8th grade and did housework alongside her sisters all day long, and then they’d run around climbing trees together after their day of cooking and cleaning.
I had a completely different experience, obviously; my friends are my family. I love going out and connecting with people, setting up plans to get drinks with new friends. I enjoy having lots of acquaintances here and there and I do need a small dose of those sort of light, low-stakes relationships. But my core few - I take those relationships very seriously and I honestly have high expectations. I really value loyalty and trust in those friendships. I also need to feel free to speak openly and deeply, so I really value getting that in return.
All of my favorite friends are always down for doing anything and going anywhere. I love that. We can’t be friends if I can’t call you and be like, “what are you doing right NOW?” Support in bad AND good times, compassion, good listening skills, mutual appreciation of art and places and things, dependability, and the ability to disagree and have conversations about that amicably are also really important to me in friendships.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we’ve got to be able to laugh.
What (or Who) currently inspires you? I am a hugely nostalgic person who is addicted to old stuff. I am always looking to vintage clothing/photos/music/movies/magazines for inspiration.
Old stuff makes me emotional. New Yorkers, too. There is nothing like taking an afternoon to walk around New York City and enjoy the people. I take photos of strangers’ outfits for my own reference, sometimes.
"There is nothing like taking an afternoon to walk around New York City and enjoy the people."
What is your self-care routine when traveling? I’m really bad at this, to be honest! It’s very easy for me to forget about myself a little bit when traveling. I am the person who wants to get up at the crack of dawn and I have a list of every restaurant I want to try, shops I want to check out, museums I want to go to, neighborhoods I want to walk through. I need to squeeze in as much as possible, and then I need to be the last one awake, fighting sleepy eyes while enjoying a night cap with friends at 1am.
But I think that’s okay. I have a pretty tight self-care routine when I’m home, but for me, traveling isn’t about maintaining that. It’s about shaking it up. So maybe instead of having a well-balanced and nutritious meal, I’m having a spritz and something fried for breakfast. So what. And maybe instead of getting a yoga class in, I’m walking 30,000 steps in a city I’ve never seen before.
With all of that said, I do like to make sure I’m getting a little bit of me-time when traveling, particularly if I’m with a group of friends. Even if that’s just having my morning tea outside alone for a few minutes, just a little peace and quiet can really energize me.
Holy grail of your beauty routine? Oh, this is hard. Right now, I am obsessed with Dieux Instant Angel Moisturizer. My skin is on the drier side, so a moisturizer in general is definitely what I’d take with me if I were stranded on an island. This one from Dieux is really rich but leaves no sticky residue and just has a gorgeous, glowy finish.
What are you manifesting in your life right now? So many things. I am in a deep manifestation period of my life. There is a lot in transition which is exciting! But I am certainly keeping my head down and doing lots of manifesting. Abundance, stability, clarity, and my purpose. In the vaguest way possible, I think that covers it
Follow Stacy on Instagram at @stacycollado.