Inspiration

The Beauty of Travel
with Nataly & Murad Osmann

Like many of us, Murad and Nataly Osmann love to travel. But thanks to one spontaneous photograph on their first trip together, traveling the world is now their full-time job, snapping, sharing, and posting about their journeys to 6 million followers worldwide.

Here’s what happened: They were in Barcelona, a city Murad loved and wanted to show Nataly. Naturally, being a photographer, he would take so many pictures of her, that she got embarrassed, grabbed his hand, and turned away to move him along. He took a snap of that grasp, and #FollowMeTo was born. “That first picture was an accident. We loved the concept and it turned into our favorite hobby for many years. It’s hard to believe that so many projects came out of one romantic shot,” says Murad. Now they’ve launched a website, Follow Me To Travel, which shares their unrivaled knowledge about planning a dream trip, and a television series and YouTube channel about their journeys to the edges of the world are in the works.

We caught up with the Insta-famous globetrotters in New York City at the Gansevoort Hotel in the meatpacking district. We talked travel tips, packing strategies and, of course, about Nataly’s on-the-go beauty routine.

Murad on the success of #FollowMeTo…
“We didn't expect such popularity. It was just a project that inspired us to travel more and share the world with others. I think our followers are attracted to the #FollowMeTo philosophy—beauty, love, amazing views, different cultures. We always stay sincere and honest with the audience and get huge feedback.”

Murad on finding the most breathtaking shot…
“It really needs time! We always say, that the most magnificent things in any country are the people who live there. We ask local people for advice, as we plan a detailed route before a journey and surf the Internet for interesting locations. We have a lot of adventures in the pursuit of a good picture—we climb monuments, rooftops, and forbidden places, wake up at 5 a.m. to catch the sunrise. You never know where your best picture will be taken!”

Murad on the most breathtaking place he has photographed…
“My favorite shot is of the Taj Mahal. Actually, all of India is magical. Everything there is so different from our culture, but at the same time you can see how much people have in common—they are kind, helpful, open-minded. India is full of contrasts, colors, legends, and deep traditions. That's why so many #FollowMeTo photos were taken there, and why we shot our first video there.”

Murad, on the most challenging photo they’ve ever taken… 
“I will never forget our helicopter trip above the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. We asked the pilot to take off the doors and we didn't have any insurance! We had only 3 minutes to take the picture. Nataly's left foot was in the air, and half of my body as well. There was a strong wind, the noise of engines was very loud, but the view was great. It was crazy, but totally worth it!”

Nataly on packing and her inspiring #FollowMeTo dresses…
“Only local designers can truly reflect the culture and the history of their country, but I will mix it with modern trends. A dress on #FollowMeTo is not just a dress. It's one of the ways to highlight the culture and beauty of wherever we are.”

Nataly on packing and her fashion must-haves…
“It’s my never-ending argument with Murad. He says that I take too much clothing, and I say, that he takes too much equipment. But, joking aside, there are usually only two suitcases for the two of us. For me, it's as important to feel comfortable, as it is to look elegant and feminine. I love casual and urban boho styles, especially denim, overalls, oversize sweaters, and silk camisole dresses with lace. To take an outfit from day to night, I may add a bag with feathers or a vintage clutch, a huge cocktail ring or statement oriental earrings.”

Nataly on maintaining beautiful skin, despite the hazards of traveling…
“We almost live on airplanes, so I have an army of beauty secrets, that help me to survive long haul flights and changing climates. I even launched a beauty blog to share my favorite tips. For example, removing your makeup before takeoff because a high altitude is already stressful for your skin, it’s better to keep it clean and moisturized in the plane. I also love facial masks, eye patches, eucalyptus lip balm, and light facial sprays.”

Nataly on her makeup must-haves for travel…
"A lot of shimmery lipsticks and a good concealer to hide dark circles under my eyes! And, of course, I have my favorites from Clinique: Chubby Stick Cheek Colour Balm and Chubby in the Nude Foundation Stick are so easy for travel because they are cream sticks that won’t leak or crush, and the textures are very easy to blend."

Nataly on beauty secrets she’s learned along her travels…
“Argon oil in Morocco, bathhouse and herbal recipes in Siberia, rice water in China, avocado oil and cane sugar peelings in Brazil…but a happy smile, good sleep, and endless love remain to be the best beauty secrets in the whole universe!”

Nataly and Murad on working and traveling the world together…
“We live the most beautiful moments together, share our feelings and impressions, support each other, and nothing can tear us apart.”

Photos: Ben Ritter | Words: Rachel Hayes