Parisian at heart, recent Londoner, former New-Yorker and new father; Alex is a 29 year old Instagramer by day and passionate blogger and photographer the rest of the time. "I spend my days between organising my next travel adventure around the world and taking care of my 6 months old baby boy" says Alex. You know, just your average multi-cultural, multi-talented, bilingual, creative, globetrotting, entrepreneurial new father...
From staying productive when working from home, to his top tips for soon-to-be-fathers everywhere, we sat down with the Social Media Guru and A on the Road blogger to take a look around his relaxed and eclectic London flat.
How would you define your blog, and what does it mean to you?
"My blog, A on the Road, is the living diary of my travel adventures, food discoveries and the big joys (and sometimes little hassles!) of being a new dad."
How did the idea of A on the Road come to you?
"I have always enjoyed writing, I remember being only 6 or 7 and creating my own comic books, writing stories and drawing all the little characters. When I started traveling for my studies in China, eight years ago, it was natural for me to start a blog and share my daily discoveries with my family and friends, allowing them to follow me on this journey from the other side of the world. My blog evolved into a personal diary and followed me on my different adventures after that."
Let's start big! What do you think makes a house, a home?
"I moved quite a lot during the last ten years of my life. Beijing, Paris, New York, London. So I am used to moving abroad without bringing all my stuff with me. The only thing that I need to feel at home is my family and maybe a couple of travel notebooks and some pictures of the people I love."
What 3 items would you chose to describe your interior style?
"Only 3? Hard choice! I would say some frames because they represent all the travels we've been on, some books because they bring a warm feeling to a place and an iMac to bring some elegance."
How did you optimise the space that you have?
"We have always lived in really small spaces and always enjoyed it. We love the coziness of smaller apartments. But we are not heavy buyers, we really try to keep our things to a minimum so we are not overwhelmed by objects. It was still possible before having our boy but it's crazy how such a tiny person can rule a whole apartment!"
What would your home feel empty without?
"Definitely the couch and the coffee table. We never use the regular table to eat, we prefer to eat around the coffee table, sitting on our couch with some nibbles instead of a proper meal. It brings a lot more conviviality to a living room and a relaxed atmosphere."
What are your top tips for staying productive when working from home?
"I am still trying to work on that actually! I am too easily distracted by social media and my phone so I would say manage to have some time away from your phone and internet. But my best advice would be to find a space that you feel comfortable working in. I love to have a beautifully organised desk...but I never actually work there! I am more comfortable working from my bed or couch, with my laptop or iPad rather than from my Mac. Actually, I sometimes move the iMac from the desk to put it on the coffee table just to stay on the couch! So yeah, once you found your perfect space to work from, you will be way more productive."
This is a big one! How has becoming a father changed you?
"That's actually is a really big one! I don't really feel like becoming a father has made me someone different. I am still the same guy who enjoys spending time with his friends, traveling as much as he can, and goes out everyday to explore our beautiful city. The only big change in my life since my boy was born is that I made the decision to work from home to be able to spend as much time as I can with him. It's not easy everyday, but it's a challenge I was ready for. In some ways, having our son gave me the reason and motivation I needed to finally push myself to start working as a professional blogger. It's a choice I don't regret at all, I love the fact that my days are never the same and I can enjoy working from anywhere with him by my side!"
What does every father need in his home?
"I am tempted to say... a wife to help him dealing with the baby! But more seriously, I am not sure there is a specific object we absolutely need to stay alive. My best advice as a new father would be to try to get some help from your parents or friends - even for one hour. Sometimes it's just what we need to catch our breath and feel ready to survive until mommy comes back!"
What is your favourite room in your home, and why?
"My bedroom for sure. I could spend my whole day lying in bed! I like the beautiful chandelier that we have and the French accents of the room. We have a lovely view over the backyard and it's always warm and bright."
And finally, what advice would you give to all the soon-to-be 'dads in training' out there?
"I would tell them to get ready to start the journey of their lives. It's going to be the most incredible, tiresome and unforgettable one that they will ever embark on. It's not magic everyday, but once you see your child smiling for the first time, when you hear them laughing, waking up by your side, grabbing things for the first time, you forget about everything else! And from a practical sense...sleep while you still can!"