Ally Carey has curated Substance since 2013 as a public diary into her life of travel, fashion and fitness. Working side-by-side with her photographer, Jonathan Hayward, who has more recently become her husband, Carey has developed a site with arresting imagery and game-changing lifestyle hacks. Substance delivers its readers some of the best tricks on how to dress well, eat well and live well; not to mention you can track travel tips as Carey crosses the globe.

SUITCASE MAGAZINE: Who or what inspired you to start Substance?

ALLY CAREY: Substance began in 2013 – I really wanted a place where I could share my interests, document my life (for myself to look back on) and work on creative content with my now husband. A lot of my friends would always ask where I bought things from and I thought an easy way for them to find this information was by having a blog.

SM: What are your three packing tips you live by?

AC: Make sure all your items can be paired with each other in your suitcase. Take a powerboard to charge all your electronics – it’s a lifesaver. This one is an age-old one, but, fold your clothes. It creates more space and you won’t need to iron them at the other end.

SM: What is your travel philosophy?

AC: Go the path less travelled. I love going to the countryside of places I travel instead of spending too much time in a city. I like seeing how a culture actually lives.

SM: Do you think that blogging has a lifespan or is it here to stay?

AC: I think that like anything you need to evolve and keep all of your skills current. I don’t think blogging has a shelf life – it will adapt as technology and audiences change.

SM: What is one thing you cannot travel without?

AC: Camera, or four!

SM: What would you pack in your suitcase? 

AC: Sunday Somewhere Sunglasses, Bose Headphones, Adidas sneakers, Mac Lady Danger Lipstick, Lancôme moisturiser, YSL Perfume, J Brand Jeans, Life With Bird Trench, Bassike T-shirts and a leather jacket I have had for 5 years I picked up from General Pants.

SM: Favourite travel apps?

AC: Tripadvisor is great! And I honestly read travel blogs more than I use apps!

SM: Where has been the most inspiring place you have travelled to and what lessons did you learn from that place?

AC: We travelled to a little fishing island in Thailand called Koh Panyi. The population is made up of 360 families and their houses are built on stilts within the protection of the island’s bay. They have no power and they were so happy. It was a big eye-opener and a humbling experience.


SM: Where do you think will be the next fashion capital and why?

AC: I watched a documentary on Indonesia recently and their growing fashion community. It will be interesting to see how far they come in the next few years.

SM: You’re about to have your last meal on earth. Where do you go and what do you order?

AC: Today is the worst day to be asking me this! I am currently on a juice cleanse, so right now anything and everything is looking tasty! Anything Mexican or a good crispy base pizza.

SM: The best piece of advice you have ever been given?

AC: Nothing will ever be handed to you. Get out there and make it happen.

SM: Top three things on your bucket list?

AC: European Summer New York Mexico

SM: Craziest travel experience?

AC: Driving around with no Wifi and no map but finding our way back! It may not seem that crazy but when you’re in a foreign country and you don’t speak the language it is quite scary.

SM: What is your greatest extravagance?

AC: Always pay a little extra for flights that get you somewhere earlier. If you pay for the cheap ones you’ll end up wishing you hadn’t.

SM: Which other travel/fashion bloggers do you admire?

AC: There are so many! I love seeing people creating their own path and doing the things they’re passionate about.


Where has been your favourite city to travel to?


Favourite place to shop?

Book shop in Berlin called do you read me?

Favourite place to go out?

I never really go “out” when traveling. I more like to adventure during the day, eat at yummy restaurants etc.

Favourite place to stay?

I loved staying in Nürnberg in Germany. It was beautiful and built within a castle.

Melbourne or Sydney?

I just moved to Sydney. So I am going to say Sydney!

Black or White?

White – Fresh!

Checked bag or carry-on?


Red-eye or day flight?

Red Eye – get me there quick.

Silver or gold?


Laptop or tablet?


Feminine or masculine?

My style is a mix of both.

Call or text?

Email or Call. I never text these days.

Early bird or night owl?

Night Owl.

Nora MaloneyComment