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A shift in priorities prompted Amy to embark on her August journey in December 2022

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“I remember walking in the front door of my home and just being overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement. I couldn’t believe it was mine.”

We are delighted to introduce you to Signature Collection homeowner, Amy. Following the pandemic, a shift in priorities encouraged Amy to spend more time travelling and investing in herself. A member of the community since December 2022, the 32-year-old New Yorker embarked on her August journey solo. In a recent interview, she shares her experiences visiting Mallorca and the Cotswolds with family and friends, and how August has changed her lifestyle for the better…

What originally appealed to you about August?

The ease of everything and the variety of locations instantly appealed to me. I was already interested in investing time and money abroad, but I was limited to one house and location. Aside from the places I'd already visited, I didn’t know the quirks of the specific towns or villages, so I was worried about picking. Having August’s destination knowledge was key here. 

I also knew that I didn't want to be in the business of managing a property. Living 7,000 miles away, I feared what would happen if the oven was broken or the roof was leaking…The turnkey solution August provided was a huge draw.

How would you explain August to your family and friends? What was their reaction when you joined?

Endearingly, they began calling me a ‘homes’ owner! But overall I think they were impressed with what I had achieved and the commitment I had made. I’m 32 and live on my own in New York, so I think they felt I had broken the mold. I liked being the person who was doing something a little bit different. Of course, they also loved the idea of having places in Europe that we could all travel to together.

What has been your most memorable stay so far?

My most memorable stay was my first. I had never been to Mallorca and loved the island immediately. I remember walking in the front door of my home and just being overwhelmed with gratitude and excitement. I couldn’t believe it was mine. I travelled solo for the first few days and then four of my friends joined me. 

It felt like such a retreat. The home is 10 minutes from the most beautiful beaches you've ever seen in your life. To discover this all for the first time was really special. It felt like the start of something. I joined August for a lifestyle change - to be able to travel more and spend more time overseas. I liked the idea of feeling settled in the locations I visited and finding my favourite bar or place to buy produce, so my first trip spent doing this was very affirming.  

When you travel to your homes, do you feel part of the local community?

I felt ingrained immediately. I think partly this is down to the way that the houses feel, which is like home. You aren’t staying in a rental that is designed for mass appeal. 

I also go back to the same cafes three or four times per stay. It’s the sense of having your own spots that you discover and can’t wait to go back to. Even when I look around at my kitchen at home I’m reminded of my stay because I bought back my favourite olive oil. I’m going again soon and can't wait to stock up. It’s cool to have the sense that you're bringing something back with you that isn’t just a souvenir from a place you once visited. Instead, it feels like a part of everyday life.

Were you drawn to a particular destination?

I was very drawn to Italy and that is how I stumbled upon August. It has a special place in my heart but I’m not an expert, so it would have been difficult for me to pick somewhere to buy and invest, especially from my base in New York. 

I also didn’t want to feel a sense of guilt if I didn’t use my home. In America, generally, there’s a lot of weight in homeownership. A feeling of obligation. So if I had bought a single holiday home and went on a vacation elsewhere, I would have felt guilty. I didn't want to feel like Italy was the only place I could ever visit again, so the opportunity to own five homes in five destinations was a game changer.

Do you feel like each location offers good variety?

Yes, definitely. For example, I don't think I would go to Chamonix for skiing, but I would love to be there in the summer to enjoy the mountains. I'm also not a huge fan of sitting on the beach for seven days, so in Majorca I love being able to go to the beach for a day but then spend time exploring the town, shopping, etcetera. 

You can also easily build trips around the locations. When I went to the Cotswolds, I visited London and spent a few days there. When I go to Tuscany I can fly into Rome or Milan and build a bigger trip around a stay in one or more of the homes. Having such a variety of options is wonderful.

Have you discovered any local gems on your travels so far?

There are so many places that I love and can't wait to go back to. From cute pubs in the Cotswolds to local beaches in Majorca. In most places we find that we are the only Americans and I love the feeling of cultural difference and being mostly surrounded by locals and Europeans. I have also obsessively used the ‘August Recommends' pages online. I trust the style and feel of August so much.

How would you describe the interior design of the homes in your collection?

They're beautifully designed and curated but never stuffy. You don't feel like you can't sit on the couch. It's very comfortable and meant to be lived in. I also really enjoy the different touches such as the fabrics, linens, artwork and glassware, much of which is sourced locally. It's very much to my style and taste so I can’t praise it enough.

Have your travel habits changed since becoming a homeowner? 

Definitely. My trips are now much longer. I either look at booking the houses back to back, incorporating other destinations, or going to a place where there's a longer block available and staying there for three weeks. As I now work remotely, part of the reason I was attracted to August is that I could work from the houses if I wanted to. All I need is Wi-Fi!

Have you managed to travel at the time that you've wanted so far?

So far, yes. I think the way that August manages who is in the groups is great. I like travelling more in the shoulder season which has been great for me as not everyone is looking for October dates. Some people have children in school, others have to be at work. So I've had great success booking the weeks I wanted.

When you travel, are there certain activities you like to do?

leisurely morning, going to explore a new town or beach and then having a big group lunch out. Then later, cooking dinner together or spending the evening catching up and drinking local wine. If I could do that every day, I would!

For what reasons would you recommend August?

I think first and foremost is the lifestyle change. There's always something to look forward to. You have this shiny thing in your pocket and if you're having a bad day, you can always log on to check if a week is available. For me, as a New Yorker, the pandemic changed everything. I was tied to my desk, but getting shaken out of that mentality and realising that there's so much more to life made me rethink my priorities and encouraged me to take advantage while I'm able-bodied. 

Something that I didn’t realise at first was that it’s a privilege to do this at a young age, meaning I’ll be able to enjoy it for many years to come. Who knows, after going to Majorca for ten years, maybe I’ll want to move there! I think from that perspective it has been really eye-opening.  

The other reason is the ease of it. You're not worried about mowing the lawn or other, smaller details. You’re not worried about how many hotel rooms you need, or what flights work for everyone. It brings people together with ease.

The August team also makes the experience so special. Everyone I've interacted with has been so helpful and smart with attention to detail so it never feels transactional.

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