By Abigail Bassett
In our Sanctuaries series, creative leaders and achievers reveal the special places where they go to think, relax and be inspired.
Entrepreneur Meg He is a true global citizen. When she’s not in New York working with her ADAY co-founder, Nina Faulhaber, she’s jetting to London, Paris, even Oman and Namibia for both solo travels and work jaunts.
The co-founders were recently named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list of top entrepreneurs and innovators. Their company, ADAY, reinvents wardrobe staples with technical fabric to suit the jet-set community, making comfortable clothing that doubles as business and athletic attire.
It’s no wonder Meg chose Heathrow Airport as her sanctuary.
Q. Why is Heathrow Airport so important to you?
Meg: Growing up, I didn’t have the opportunity to travel much — we emigrated from Beijing to the U.K. Once we made that move, we stopped traveling.
When I finished college, wanderlust hit and I needed to see the world. I especially had a yearning for solo travel. I bought my first flight to Helsinki, and that’s where it all started. It’s been eight years since that first journey, and I am so grateful to have been to almost 80 different countries. My favorites have been Uzbekistan, Namibia and Oman.
London’s Heathrow Airport has been the hub of all of these adventures. In travel, I find inspiration, self-discovery and humility. It’s a great way to remind yourself of unconscious biases and reset your life by seeing what’s out there. Breathe and expand your horizon.
Q. What are some of the special objects or details at Heathrow that inspire you?
Meg: Despite the airport being a stressful place for many, I now find it pretty relaxing and have worked to make it a place of calm inspiration.
I’m inspired by and, in fact, I love people-watching. I love thinking about the operational logistics of airports and airlines and, no matter how much I travel, I never seem to lose the excitement of getting to that next destination.
I am lucky enough to have status on Star Alliance and Oneworld, which opens up a world of lounges. Airport lounges are crucial in making the travel experience positive.
The most important thing about Heathrow and really any airport, though, is that the airport exists almost in its own timeless bubble — away from the world. It’s just you waiting for the next step of your life — who knows what’s waiting for you when you land on the other side?
Q. When you get to Heathrow, what’s the first thing you do? Do you have a routine while you’re there?
Meg: Absolutely. I get through security (not that much fuss if you have your laptop out already), I find a lounge, I hydrate (sparkling water; I don’t drink alcohol) and eat a little, then I settle in for a good period of people-watching. I meditate, I work. I remember to breathe. I try hard to not miss my flight.
Q. Who else is welcome in the space?
Meg: Anyone — sanctuary is for all, and I’m a big believer in being global citizens and seeing as much of the world as possible.
Some of my favorite moments have been when I randomly bump into friends at airports. I remember bumping into a friend who wanted to know why my co-founder, Nina Faulhaber, and I were visiting New York. We told him the ADAY story and he became an investor. It wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t run into each other in the airport!
Q. When was the last time you were in Heathrow, and was there a particular reason you visited or spent time there?
Meg: I last flew through Heathrow in January and visited the newly revamped Cathay Pacific lounge in Terminal 3. It has noodles and dim sum!
That visit pushed me to think about branding and how brands are continuously improving their products for their customers. It also got me to thinking about self-competing rather than being reactive to the market. We’re big fans of Cathay Pacific as a brand. Nina and I shot a video with them and Equinox’s Furthermore digital magazine in Hong Kong and Thailand, talking about how we travel.
Q. What’s the biggest creative breakthrough you’ve had in Heathrow Airport?
Meg: Watching business travelers being so uncomfortable in their suits with briefcases at airports was part of what drove us to focus on daywear in our Technical Tailored clothing line at ADAY. We wanted to create a uniform that was as suitable for business as it was for travel. It also had to be incredibly comfortable for long-haul flights. It was really where the idea for ADAY started.
Editor’s note: This interview has been edited and condensed.
To see more spaces where creative leaders go to find inspiration, visit Sanctuaries.
Abigail Bassett is a freelance journalist and editor-in-chief of the lifestyle and luxury site c-ntrl.com. She lives in Austin, Texas.
360 image by Chris Floyd, hot spot images by Chris Floyd, ADAY and Meg He