Making a Custom Globe-Trotter with... Christina Norton

17 May 24

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Making a Custom Globe-Trotter with... Christina Norton - GLOBE-TROTTER

In the second instalment of our custom luggage series, where we task a friend of Globe-Trotter with designing their own custom suitcase, we asked the Director of Content and Social Media at the prestigious Maybourne Hotel Group to show off her creative talents – and share some travel stories.

Can you talk us through your inspirations for your Custom Globe-Trotter?

We moved around a lot as a family, but the biggest transition was moving from Washington DC to Bali when I was 11. It was the pre-internet era, with no Google images to refer to. My parents had given me a guidebook, which I must have read a thousand times. I’d memorise all the pictures and maps for comfort before we got there.

I’ll never forget the smell of frangipani and the daily visits to the temples. Spirituality and nature are integral parts of everyday life for the Balinese. Learning about their beliefs and, most importantly, their traditions was one of the greatest life experiences. As a family, we’ve preserved a lot of their core values in our everyday lives.

So, when it came to the custom cases, I wanted to create a Globe-Trotter suitcase that encapsulated all those wonderful Balinese colours and found inspiration in the bold and beautiful paintings of Dutch-Indonesian artist Arie Smit, who was known for his expressive depictions of Bali’s tropical landscapes.

Why did you travel so much as a child?

My mother's French and my parents moved to the United States shortly after they married. My father worked in the hotel industry so every three or four years we would move. I got to see so many different places and cities around the world. I remember weekends were spent in hotels, which was brilliant, but you had to dress up and entertain guests.

You're there representing your family and manners were very important. After a couple of years in Bali I went to boarding school in Singapore. It was a much bigger school and that's where I was introduced to the UK system. When I graduated, I moved to London and studied at Central Saint Martins, and I've been here ever since. London was the perfect city for me because it was English-speaking and it was in Europe, which I had never lived in before. I liked the idea of choosing my own place and making a new home for myself.

You’ve designed two custom Globe-Trotter suitcases, a Carry-On for your daughter and a Large Check-In for yourself. Can you tell us about how it came together?

I visited the Globe-Trotter London Flagship and Charlotte [Seddon, Globe-Trotter designer] was amazing at narrowing things down and looking at so many options. I was drawn to blue for my case at first but when I saw the ivory it was suddenly – wow! I’ve gone for a blue case with orange “pumpkin” leather details for my daughter, Penelope, who is seven now.

The blue brings it back to my moodboard and Pumpkin was our nickname for my daughter when I was pregnant because I found out I was expecting in October. I think the idea of having pops of colour is really nice, especially because I don't wear a lot of bright colours, so wearing them through accessories is fun.

What do you like about Globe-Trotter?

What I love about Globe-Trotter luggage is that it remains as influential today as it was when it was founded in 1897. Globe-Trotter stands out from the crowd with its focus on craft and tradition. It brings with it a touch of nostalgia and maintains a consistent brand identity. It’s luggage that will last you a lifetime.

You are Director of Content and Social Media for the Maybourne Hotel Group, which includes Claridge’s and The Berkeley. What do you like about your job and what are the biggest challenges?

I love that I get to be a storyteller. Each post is about expressing an emotion, a level of fantasy, romance, a dream and an escape into the wonderful world of Maybourne Hotel Group which we get to communicate directly with the world. We get to put a focus on the team’s extraordinary talent, whose daily goal is to create magical moments for every guest that walks through our doors.

Content is like quicksand. It never stops and we take great pride in capturing and sharing content “in the moment”. The challenge is to keep on delivering original content and being at the right place at the right time.

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Do you have any tips for people visiting the capital for the first time?

First and foremost, wear your best walking shoes. London is best explored on foot. Make the most of all the free museums and be sure to visit Regent’s Park, Little Venice, Hampstead Heath, Columbia Road Flower Market and Primrose Hill.

What is your packing style?

I’m a nervous traveller – I’m one of those people who likes to get to the airport three hours before their flight – so I organise as much as possible before I travel to ease my anxiety. I follow strict packing rules of: no more than three pairs of shoes; pack outfits, not pieces; invest in a jewellery case and plan my travel outfit.

What do you never travel without?

My camera.

How do you manage long-haul flights?

I always plan my travel outfit in advance. I’ll wear natural, breathable fabrics, like cotton and wool. I also make sure to wear something with pockets and bring a large scarf or travel blanket and a silk sleep mask. I tend to fall asleep as soon as the aeroplane has reached cruising altitude. If I have trouble sleeping, I’ll watch a show like Friends – something short and sweet – as it’s the one chance I get to limit my screen time.

What are some of your favourite cities to visit?

I love Amsterdam: everyone is friendly, you can bike anywhere and the canals are charming. It’s a city that has a rich history and a great place to find Dutch art and culture. Aix-en-Provence in the south of France, also known as the “City of a thousand fountains”, is famous for its outdoor markets and pedestrian lanes. It’s also the city where we as a family re-group for summer and Christmas. We all live far away from each other, so it’s the one place in the world we get to call home, together.


What’s on your travel bucket list?

Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona, and an African safari to explore the incredible wildlife and wilderness.

What’s the best meal you’ve had abroad?

I’ve had some extraordinary meals abroad, but some of my greatest food memories come from visiting Singapore’s hawker centres. I became a boarder there when I was 13. Since we didn’t live with our families, we all built a strong bond and we would often visit these open-air food courts over the weekend. It wasn’t expensive, everything was freshly prepared, the stalls were all side-by-side and you were surrounded by incredible smells and kitchen theatre. I got to discover such a wide variety of cuisine.

What city or country has surprised you the most?

I used to get nervous when visiting a new country. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to release any fears or preconceived ideas. I really believe that, in doing so, everything opens up and you get to find yourself in the most amazing situations with incredible people. Lisbon is a city that truly took my breath away.

Christina Norton used Globe-Trotter’s online custom luggage tool to personalise and create her dream luggage set which were then handcrafted at our factory in Hertfordshire, England.

Create your own Custom Globe-Trotter online or visit the Globe-Trotter Los Angeles Flagship on Melrose Place to talk to a dedicated member of our retail team about creating your dream luggage.

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