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Interview by:

New Norm Magazine

Photography

Country

Sydney, Australia

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My name is Lilian Tran and I am the founder of ISĒ, a sustainable destination for organic Royal quality bed linen and leather throws.

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Where are you from / call home?

I am from Sydney, Australia.

What are some simple pleasures that you’ve rediscovered during the coronavirus pandemic?

I have really enjoyed spending countless days with my partner. He is usually the cook between us, but the tables have turned and I am trying my hand at cooking, which is surprisingly edible. I have also taken advantage of sleep-ins and started a self-care routine which feel like little luxuries right now. My office window faces the street and I have enjoyed being able to take moments to watch the outside world, slow down and reflect.

Reflect

Embracing slower living

How have you and your creative process changed?

It is surprising how unexpected situations can change your process for the better. I find myself inspired by physical places and objects, as I am drawn to the sensory experience. My creative process usually begins by going to libraries, art galleries, and events for inspiration, however, the situation has me re-visiting old books in my home and turning to the digital world for inspiration, which has been refreshing.

What are some of the things that have changed in your country as a result of the pandemic? What is the new normal?

It is hard to say what the long-lasting changes will be as things are continuing to change day-to-day. Like most of the world, video has been the new way to communicate with others, our homes have become our offices, people are staying in more and spending time with their loved ones. Considering how devastating this has been for the world, I also think it is a great time to reach out to friends and family far and wide to re-connect, say hi to our neighbours who we rarely see, and reflect on what is important and how we plan to move forward with a different outlook.

Sahara Desert & Chefchaouen

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Travel from home

What was your favourite destination and why?

Morocco - specifically the ancient city Chefchaouen. I was there in 2014 and it was like no other city I had visited before. They call it the Blue city because the walls and the view, as far as the eye can see, is a palette of mesmerising blue hues. I have fond memories here.

What are some of your most memorable moments during the trip?

In Chefchaouen, wandering through the labyrinth of blue hued alleyways - you never knew what was around the corner. I also rode a camel in the Sahara desert and camped for a night under the stars.

What does travel give you that everyday life doesn’t?

I love traveling for the cultural aspect. I enjoy visiting museums, galleries, eating local food, engaging in conversations with people, and immersing myself in the day-to-day of a particular city. There is something magical about traveling and meeting people who you share a bond with for that moment in time.

You have an unlimited travel budget for 24 hours, where would you go?

Bhutan is probably one of the most untouched parts of the world and I would love to visit Taksang monastery in Paro valley, also known as the Tiger’s Nest. It is a 17th century Himalayan Buddhist site set into the cliff. Legend has it that the Buddhist master Padmasambhava, is said to have brought Buddhism to Bhutan, meditating on a cave high on the mountain for four months to subdue local demons.

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