In Your Element is a photo series and open dialogue with experts, community and thought leaders that truly practice what they preach.
This month we sat down with industry creatives to talk about seasonal transitions, get tips on how to adapt their home to the changing weather and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
We chat to Nathalia Ramos, actor, writer and political scientist, about her isolation life at a hemp farm in Nevada and how she finds comfort in summer.
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
I started my career as a film and TV actress and studied political science in college. For the last few years I have been thinking about ways to merge my passions for film and politics. I work at The Berggruen Institute, which is a remarkable, forward thinking research institute that is addressing some of the biggest challenges facing humanity today. I also have various side projects that center around creating and producing socially and politically minded digital content.
What does comfort mean to you?
To me, comfort is being home, eating ice cream in bed while watching a great film or reading a book. As much as I love being around family and friends, I find that I also need some alone time to recharge. Cuddly, my bear, is always part of my alone time though. I’ve had him since the day I was born. He has travelled all around the world with me and always brings me comfort and makes me feel at home wherever I am.
Do you make any changes at home to welcome the warmer weather?
I have always lived in warm climates – from Madrid to Melbourne to Miami and LA – so the heat is nothing new to me. Madrid is the only place I have lived with real seasons, but I have little recollection of living there as I was so young. However, since quarantine started I have been spending most of my time at my boyfriends’ family’s hemp farm in Nevada and the weather here is definitely intense, with lots of harsh highs and lows. As soon as the summer heat hit many of the vegetables we planted in the fall sprouted so I’ve been learning to cook with them. I also started making a big pitcher of ice cold lemonade with mint from our garden each day which has been such a refreshing, personal touch for the summer.
Who are you isolating with at home and what are your favourite pastimes?
I am fortunate that I can work from anywhere, my boyfriend and I have been staying at the farm. We are about as isolated as you can get, the nearest supermarket is an hour away! What has surprised me most is how little I actually miss the big city life. I’ve been learning how to garden which is something I never imagined I would do, much less enjoy. But my favorite isolation activity has definitely been weekly trivia games with my family.
What is your favourite room or nook at home and why?
Here at the farm I love our bedroom. Our bed is special because we made it ourselves (well, my boyfriend did but I helped him carry the pieces up the stairs!). It fits perfectly underneath the slanted ceiling of the bedroom and is just the coziest, brightest, most peaceful little nook and I fill the room with different flowers from our garden every week.
Is there a creative thread or common thread you keep returning to in your work?
Acting was my first love and my primary focus in life ever since I was a child. It wasn’t until I went to college that I discovered politics and fell equally in love with it. Yet, I still couldn’t figure out how to reconcile my two passions. For a few years I kept my worlds completely separate, spending a few months on set and then heading right back into the office to my political world. Only recently have I felt like I’ve really begun to find my path and purpose and it always leads back to education. I want to share knowledge and I want to make learning fun and sexy. I think my experience in the political world along with my background in film puts me in a unique position to do just that.
Can you share your top tips on living a more considered and sustainable lifestyle?
I have to say, gardening has been the most wonderful addition to my life. There is nothing purer than eating what you’ve grown yourself and seeing how much work and time it takes has offered me a new perspective and appreciation for our planet. I also am absolutely obsessed with my Final Straw – it makes every drink feel so luxurious and I never use plastic straws anymore. Plastic is one of their earths biggest pollutants, yet perhaps the easiest one to avoid. I actually did a video for them a few months ago and the founder, Emma, shared tons more information on how to live sustainably.