Molly Perkins
Molly Perkins
Molly Perkins
Meet the Curator

Molly Perkins

"Anthony Bourdain once said, travel isn't always pretty. It isn't always comfortable. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind."

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Molly spent the majority of her formative years living as an expat in Malaysia, Germany, Thailand, Singapore, and England. Despite having these experiences when she was young, living internationally has had a lasting impact on her. The region of Asia has naturally become very dear to her heart and enjoyed revisiting old homes as an adult, as well as adding new countries to her travel bank. As the daughter of a hospitality industry executive, it seemed inevitable that Molly would follow in her dad’s footsteps and build a career in travel.

My mom, sister, and I in Bangkok, 1994.

What sparked your passion for travel and how did it become your career?

My passion for travel naturally stems from my childhood as an expat, but I would be lying if I said I always wanted a career in the industry. I worked retail and numerous sales jobs before my first travel job found me. It was a sort of “ah ha!” moment and I couldn’t believe I had never thought about pursuing this type of career. The rest, as they say, is history. 

How many countries have you visited? What were your top 3 and why?

I have been to 24 countries, with some of them more than once. My top 3 would have to be the following.

  1. Thailand is one of my all time favorite countries for numerous reasons. Having lived there as a small child, it has left a huge impression on me. The food, the people, the landscapes, and the ease of accessibility, all play a part in why. The biggest factor, however, is that my older sister was adopted from Thailand, so Thai culture has been an important part of my family for my entire life. We fully embrace the destination not only as a great place to visit, but also as a huge part of who my sister is. 

  2. Indonesia is so much more than just Bali. Don’t get me wrong, Bali is beautiful and is always an amazing trip, but if you have the time I strongly recommend adding in other destinations around the country to get the full experience. There is so much culture to explore, and wildlife to witness, that you would be doing a disservice by not branching out. Indonesian Borneo is fantastic for orangutan experiences, and Komodo is home to the iconic Komodo dragon. Spending time on Java is also a must, so you can get the contrast of its Muslim influence in comparison to the Hinduism of Bali.

  3. While it may seem like such a simple destination, England has so much to offer. The history, food, as well as ease of getting around, make it a top destination – equally familiar and exciting for travelers. Plus, the flight times are so reasonable!

Hiking in Tayrona National Park, Colombia

A perfect cappuccino at Hacienda Bambusa

An almost completely empty Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand

What’s the place you most want to visit that you haven’t been to yet?

Picking just one is hard! Bhutan is at the top of my list, but followed closely by Jordan, Antarctica, Iceland, Norway, and Scotland.

Why is it important for travel to make a positive impact?

Travel isn’t just about getting the most likes, collecting the most countries, or getting the best pictures. Travel is a luxury that a lot of people are not afforded and for those of us lucky to have the ability, we need to make sure we are doing it in a way that respects the destinations. We are visitors there and it is important that we aren’t just checking places off a list, but truly learning and understanding the local people and cultures.

How can you promote positive change when traveling?

I think there are a few different ways, and firstly it’s going with the full intention of wanting to learn and be pushed out of your comfort zone. You should also attempt to learn about the local cultures ahead of going. There is no point in traveling if you are going to stay in an “orb” that provides you the same comforts at home, just in a different destination. Along the same lines, be thoughtful of what hotels you are giving your money to. Are they local boutique properties that directly impact the cities you are in, or is it a large brand that further lines the pockets of people back west? Are the properties you stay at hiring local people from the community? Do your best to be a smart traveler and understand where your money is going.

What’s the most surreal travel experience you’ve had?

Visiting Thailand for a month as the pandemic was winding down through their “Sandbox Initiative” was unreal. Places that were normally mobbed with tourists were seemingly empty. Having the Grand Palace almost entirely to ourselves, as well as visiting beaches and islands in Krabi and Phuket without tons of longtail boats full of tourists was truly something special and not something most people will have the opportunity to experience.

Which was the most memorable property you've ever stayed at? Why?

Hacienda Bambusa, located in the Coffee Region of Colombia, was one of the most picturesque places I have ever been. ​It is Surrounded by the Central Andes Mountain, has lush gardens and farms, and many birds to enjoy watching. The property is small with only 8 rooms and that the time my husband and I were there we ended up being the only guests at the property. The food was absolutely incredible, not to mention the coffee was out of this world. On our last night they hosted a special BBQ for us that was truly special.

What item can you not travel without?

Wet wipes. For those long flights to Asia, nothing helps you hit the ground running faster than having the ability to freshen up in the airplane bathroom before you land.

Pick one of your favorite photos from your travels and explain why.

Enjoying an empty Hong Island, Thailand

This is a picture of me walking along the sand at Hong Beach, which is in Krabi, Thailand. Normally this beach would be full of tourists and long tail boats waiting to drop more people off, but when the pandemic was winding down we had the opportunity to be the only people on the beach one morning during our day trip.

Sunrise on Kinabatangan River, Malaysian Borneo

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