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Q&A: Doranne @themerriedlife

Doranne is an Instagram influencer @themerrriedlife who shares beautiful and heart-warming travel stories of places she’s been with her husband Charles and baby son Lucas. Every photo and feed is beautifully captured and shows the colours and flavours of the destination, which includes our own sunny island of Singapore. This COVID-19 circuit breaker period, the Tropika Club did a virtual Q&A with Doranne to find out more about her Instagram, her passion as an influencer and what lies ahead.

Q: Your Instagram basically features your “married life” including your kid Lucas, of course. How did you get inspired to start this?

A: Charles and I started travelling a lot five years ago when we first met, and we were taking pictures which just didn’t do justice to the places we went to. @themerriedlife is our little project we embarked on since we got married, to capture our story of chasing beautiful moments around the world. (Hence, the “merried” life… it is meant to be how merry our married life is, but most people just took it as the married life!) Then one year ago… Lucas came along 🙂

Q: Your Instagram @themerriedlife have photos that are well-shot and lovely to look at. Can you share with us your thought process in what goes behind each Instagram shot as well as its corresponding description.

A: That is really kind of you! We usually shoot our pictures first, then I will come up with the caption when I am posting the image. When we are travelling, I usually know where are the places I like to go to shoot, but our poses are mostly impromptu based on what we are feeling at the moment when we are actually there. Having said that, we do sometimes pull over while driving when we come across something we think is worth stopping for. For pictures we shoot at home, I will come up with the idea first and discuss it with Charles before we execute the idea. I do get lots of inspiration from other creatives and our everyday life.

Q: Has the COVID-19 affected your role as an influencer?

A: It stopped us from travelling which is essentially, our life! We had to shelf all our travel plans and #stayhome. Plus the focus of our account shifted from travel and lifestyle to home living and parenting. I had to adjust to shooting content at home which is pretty new to me and I took it as a challenge to get my creative juice flowing.

Q: You have travelled to many far-flung cities. Which one was your most memorable one, and why?

A: Iceland, but we may be biased as we went there right after we took our wedding vows in Bali! The landscapes are so out of this world and standing in front of the massive glaciers and lava fields really blew our minds. It is just so completely different from what we have seen before. We really enjoyed the solitude too. Most of the trip it was just two of us and even at touristy places, there weren’t that many people around. Also, we both got to witness the Northern Lights dancing for the very first time. The whole experience of waiting for the lights in our car, surrounded by nothing but another car and pitch black darkness, in subzero temperature with very strong winds… then when it finally happened, it was so crazy beautiful! 

Q: Was it difficult to travel with your son Lucas? How do you manage it and still look amazing at the same time?

A: Aww thank you! It is definitely a challenge to travel with Lucas! Well, the secret is to have an amazing hands-on husband, plan ahead and basically to take it easy. Travelling with Lucas takes up a lot more time, so Charles and I split the work while we are travelling. To be fair, he takes on a bigger share of the work when we are travelling! I usually plan my outfits before the trips so I don’t waste time on that and we keep our itinerary simple so we have lots of free time in between. That way, I have time to be a mom and still have time to get dressed up!

Q: You have decided to leave your full-time job about seven months ago. How has that changed the way you live?

A: I could travel as freely as I please! I literally went on a US trip on two hours notice because Charles got called to fly to San Fran while he was on standby for work. We travelled every month for a while and it has definitely been a good break from the 9-5! 

Besides having more personal time, one of the reason I left my full-time job is because I wanted to set up my own business and this is finally taking form at www.littlehappyhaus.com .

Leaving my full-time job was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone and losing a very stable source of income. I do get to sleep in more these days but I have to think twice about spending money too.

I always wash, tone and moisturise my face. I apply a leave-on face mask every night and I have been using sunblock for more than a decade

Q: How are you taking care of yourself during this COVID-19 period?

A: Mental health is my priority. Being lifestyle people who is always out and about, staying home has been very hard for us. We have also never spent so much time together with Lucas before… he keeps us entertained but he also does tip us over! I alternate between caring for Lucas with Charles and our helper so we all have our “me time”. I started a routine to watch TV and have some wine before we sleep every night after Lucas sleeps, just so we have something to look forward to every day. 

Q: What’s your beauty and grooming regime? How do you take care of your skin?

A: To be honest, I inherited my mother’s good skin. I do things really simply – I always wash, tone and moisturise my face. I apply a leave-on face mask every night and I have been using sunblock for more than a decade. I drink lots of water, because I get thirsty really easily but I believe it helps with my clear skin. To speed up my make-up, I do regularly get my eyelashes done as well.

Find out more about Doranne at her Instagram

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Terence is Tropika Club Magazine's deputy editor who loves learning about animals and their behavior. He is also an anthropologist, so he is very interested in how different cultures interact with animals. He has worked in the publishing industry for over 10 years, and have been lucky enough to work with some amazing authors and editors.

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