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Monique Pastor

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Monique Pastor
BANANATIME takes you into the world of travel together with their friends. 
 This month we share with you the story of Model and Travel storyteller Monique Pastor - @mon_travelogue
Please can you share your story how you started your career as a model?
 I started modeling when I was scouted as a model at 18-year-olds, at the time I was still studying in Amsterdam. I could never have imagined this was the beginning of a long career as a full time fashion model. It has been my full time job since the last 30 years and it still keeps me busy. This freelance profession turned into a very special lifestyle. At a young age you learn to be a world traveller, to be independent, professional, disciplined, flexible, speak different languages, take responsibilities as a freelancer and be a wise financial investor. Very useful life & human knowledge.
Did your modeling career changed your life path?
 Sometimes one step in a certain unexpected direction can change your whole life. After I was scouted I walked into the model agency in Amsterdam and my life path changed completely after that moment. It happened to be the place where my career started and haven’t stopped after 30 years. And more importantly it was the place where I met my husband Marcus who is a model as well. We travelled around the world together for our jobs. Based ourselves in London, Paris & New York before we started a family. We feel lucky to have 3 beautiful children, two daughters and a son. As a family we always travelled a lot, also work related. We lived as a family for longer periods of time in Miami & CapeTown. The children went to school there, that was the best experience. Traveling with a family takes a lot of good preparation, organisation & effort but it is worth every second. The lifestyle abroad made us very close as a family and taught us all important life lessons. You can't learn these life lessons in a classroom, but travel is an excellent teacher. Traveling makes you rich in adventures, cultures, food, scenery, languages & foreign friends all over the world. 
Do you enjoy to be a world traveller? 
As a model I work with a huge variety of different clients all over the world. One day I’m shooting a fashion story for a magazine in Amsterdam , the next day I’m booked for a fashion brochure in London and the day after I have to pack my suitcase to fly to the other side of the world for a fashion/cosmetic client or a tv commercial. Sometimes we get booked with our own family to beautiful locations for fashion & family lifestyle shoots, clients love to work with real families so the chemistry between them & results always looks real. We always feel grateful to travel with our family and create worldwide memories. The variety of this job is always a great adventure. 
How does travelling inspire you? 
Travelling has always been the biggest part of my job and I love it!! I realized from the beginning of my career how fortunate I was to travel to the most beautiful locations all over the world. To capture all that world beauty, the different cultures & people I met along the way I started my own travel photography. In the analog days I kept travel dairies with polaroids, photographs & travel stories. Nowadays I use my instagram account as my visual travel diary. I love to share photographs in combination with travel tips. Working in front of the camera as a model and behind the camera as a photographer gives me a lot of inspiration, creativity, joy & freedom. 
What makes Amsterdam such a special place for you and can you describe a perfect 24 hour day in this city? 
Traveling around the world for the last 30 years & visiting beautiful countries, I realize even more how special Holland is. A city like Amsterdam got everything! It has culture, romance, excitement, beauty, history, modern architecture, artist, galleries, best museums, clubs, theater, music, good restaurants, bicycles & friendly people. And it has the beach in just 30 minutes away where we have our little beach house & spent our family summers. 
A perfect 24 hour day in Amsterdam for me is to go for an early coffee in my favorite area “De 9 Straatjes”. Enjoying the variety of pretty boutiques in that same area. Cycling around on the canals makes me happy in every four seasons. Meeting friends for lunch. Visiting a nice photo gallery or museum in the afternoon. Often I plan my cycling route through the museum quarter. If I have time between meetings I have a quick visit to the Van Gogh Museum, Rijks Museum or Stedelijk Museum. My annual museum card is the best gift I buy myself every year! In this way you don’t have to spend hours in one particular museum. 
The best time of the day is going out for dinner in one of the many great restaurants that Amsterdam has to offer.
To make this 24 hour day complete I love to see a theater play, a movie or a concert. Enough culture every day of the week in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam by night is very romantic, walking back home on the Canals is pure joy. Dutch people don’t often close their curtains so you can have a glimpse into the beautiful living rooms of the historic Canal houses. You can see my favorite places on my instagram stories.
Is there any city you love to travel to the most?
 Its difficult to name only 1 city. Therefor I’ll name 4 cities for 4 different reasons. 
-Paris for romance
-NYC for the buzzing energy and excitement
-Capetown for its beauty of mother nature, excellent food & wine
-Marrakech for a fairy tale of 1001 nights 
What has been your most memorable vacation? What made it so special for you?
 When I think about the most memorable vacation I instantly think about our family holidays to South Africa. That country has so much to offer! Capetown in particular is our favorite place. Mother nature did her very best there. The magical Table Mountain, the two oceans merging together, beaches, landscape, vineyards, garden route & safari only a short distance away. 
When you travel, what are the top four items you must have with you?
 My top four items when I travel are my cashmere scarf, camera, Bio Oil & my iPhone. And number five not to be forgotten, my eye sleep mask for long distance flights and to avoid mosquito bites on my eyes when Im working. 
Do you have a favorite BANANATIME style to take on your travels?
 I love my BANANATIME items, because I can wear them during the day as a casual look & also style them for an evening look. The pure silk feels so nice on the skin & it gives a luxury look. The garments are lightweight so it’s perfect when I travel with hand luggage! I love to wear them on my working trips and my holidays.