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July 8, 2017
sustainable spiritual wellness retreat in Italy

Meet Tara Nolan, Founder of The Conscious Connoisseur


Hi! I’m Tara –  a Brooklyn based advertising executive with an untamed curiosity, former Italy expat (with a minor sailing obsession), and a sustainable lifestyle advocate.

This was my very first post about why I began The Conscious Connoisseur way back when. Have a read for the inspo and details behind my brand and what’s kept me going.

This post was published in the summer of 2017 

As I embarked on another mini world tour in July of 2017,  I decided to launch The Conscious Connoisseur –  a sustainable travel and lifestyle brand for travelers who respect the planet and seek to discover unique and meaningful experiences with comfort and splendor.














From trip ideas, accommodation reviews, wellness tips, innovations in the sustainability arena and more, this space has been created to share the things that I love and believe are worth spreading the word about!

“Traveling” for me has always meant much more than just hopping on a plane and visiting a new place.  I turned 9 years old on a ship in Barcelona during the Olympic Games, I completed a semester abroad in Australia, lived on a remote Caribbean island for a month, and studied for my MBA in Europe where I lived for 3.5 years.

Tourism is one of the most fast-paced, socio-economic growth sectors of our time, and practicing sustainable travel and living has never been more important. The more we experience, share, and talk about the good things we do – the greater the potential is to bring global awareness to some of the issues our planet faces. As a native New Yorker, I’ve always been accustomed to living a fast-paced lifestyle, but have learned through my years that slowing down, self-care, and appreciation for the earth are essential to a balanced lifestyle and overall well-being. The greater respect and treatment we have towards one another and our planet are some of the most important behaviors we can learn to adopt in life.

My decade-long career has involved running business development and marketing for esteemed global media and advertising agencies. I’m also a Board Member for Witti (Women in Travel and Tourism International), a member of the Impact Travel Alliance, and co-authoring a white paper produced by the Global Tourism Sustainability Council in support of the United Nations sustainable development goals. A former Italy expat, I now spend my time between my home of New York City and around the world in my pursuit of cultural immersions and adventures.

For a deeper dive about me, keep reading…

I grew up on Long Island, NY near the beach. Summer was always epic, and going out to Montauk as a kid was just what we did. I worked at Uns0und Surf shop in high school though college, and that was loads of fun. I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the ocean and beach given my upbringing, and I always will.

I was lucky enough to spend over three years living in Europe (mostly Italy), moving there not knowing a soul nor speaking the language. At first, I hated it. But I went there to pursue my MBA in International Business, and then ended being ‘adopted’ by a lovely Italian family who owned a beautiful 65-foot Canadian Ketch sailboat. My love for sailing grew, and I even started a yacht-sharing business with my friend which was based around the collaborative consumption concept. I lived a life of traveling the Mediterranean by sea, and that lifestyle inherently warranted environmental awareness – from the obvious use of wind power to water conservation on-board, and the importance of giving back to where you are.

The yacht that started it all

My European years significantly impacted my passions and worldview, and I love wrapping my head around cultural nuances, adapting brands to service new markets and consumers, and nurturing ideas that push the boundaries of possibility. This ‘manifesto’ has influenced my professional development, as I’ve held roles in the advertising and media business in various markets worldwide leading organizational growth and development.

The more I see others from around the world exploring their own nomadic desires, I’ve realized that there’s a lot of room to share knowledge – from ways we can collectively sustain and attempt to improve our world as we travel to how we live our lives day to day.

Instead of just enjoying what our world can offer, my hope is for all to give back just as much as it gives us.

Everything I contribute here is shared with purpose, so I hope you enjoy it!




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