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Suitcase Series

Suitcase Series: Nigora Tokhtabayeva Of Tabayer

Nigora Tokhtabayeva founded her jewellery line Tabayer with the aim of creating a brand that celebrates the multifaceted lives of women.

Nigora’s love of jewellery and family traditions stems from Uzbekistan, where she was born and spent her early years before growing up in the United States. Today, she calls Florida home. Her work is influenced by American Sculpture and rooted in symbolism, offering a modern-day interpretation of the amulet. Her contemporary minimalist designs are not only powerful objets d’art, but improve people’s livelihoods and protect the planet for future generations. All Tabayer jewellery is set in Fairmined-certified gold and the brand often collaborates with charities to support women.

Here, she tells us about the trip that left a mark on her, the sculptor she would most like to sit next to on a plane, and where’s next on her summer travel plans.

What is the first trip you remember taking?

The earliest trip I remember was when I was a teenager. I travelled from Central Asia to New York. The experience was unforgettable. I recall the awe I felt seeing the towering skyscrapers, and the bustling streets filled with people from all walks of life. The city’s energy was electrifying, and every corner seemed to hold a new adventure. It was a captivating introduction to the world beyond my home.



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A post shared by Scott Bakken (@scottcbakken)

What’s been your most memorable trip and why?

My most memorable trip is my recent trip to Colombia. I explored the Chede Mine in Cauca Valley and connected with the local community. It was incredible to witness the fusion of indigenous traditions and contemporary mining techniques shaping gold first hand. Tabayer is dedicated to crafting jewellery exclusively from Fairmined gold, procured through collaborations with small-scale and artisanal mining groups. Our commitment to sustainability is extremely important to me. 

Where or what is your escape?

An ocean escape is always soul-nourishing. For me, the Maldives – a tranquil paradise of turquoise waters and pristine white-sand beaches – is my ultimate escape. Whether relaxing in a hammock over the water or snorkelling among vibrant coral reefs, every moment there feels like a dream.



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A post shared by Four Seasons Resorts Maldives (@fsmaldives)

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from your travels?

Embrace the present moment. Engaging fully with diverse cultures, cuisines and experiences has taught me to appreciate the unique energy exchange that comes with each new encounter. 

How would you spend your ideal afternoon in your home city?

My ideal afternoon would involve quality time with my kids. We might either bake together at home in Florida filling the kitchen with warmth and sweet aromas, or head to the beach for some sun, sandcastle building, and laughter-filled moments.

If I could go anywhere tomorrow I’d go to:

The Chenot Palace Weggis wellness retreat in Switzerland. They offer medical spa services, including advanced diagnostics and personalised treatments; paired with Swiss hospitality it promises a rejuvenating experience.



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A post shared by Chenot Palace Weggis, CH (@chenotpalaceweggis)

What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?

A luxury holiday, for me, is staying at a top-tier resort with impeccable service, enjoying gourmet dining experiences, indulging in spa treatments, and exploring beautiful destinations with personalised guided tours or immersive cultural experiences. It’s about unwinding, relaxation, and creating unforgettable memories. 

Where do you get your holiday inspiration?

I draw holiday inspiration from a myriad of sources – literature, films, cultural traditions and personal experiences all contribute. Additionally, I keep up with current trends and events to stay relevant and provide the best recommendations. 

If you could sit next to anyone on a flight – dead or alive – who would it be?

It would be Isamu Noguchi or Barbara Hepworth, two of my favourite sculptors. Their artistic vision and creative process fascinate me. I take much of my inspiration from sculptures and I would relish the opportunity to speak with them about their craft and inspirations. I often visit Bayfront Park in Miami where you can see Isamu Noguchi’s Slide Mantra piece.



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A post shared by The Noguchi Museum (@noguchimuseum)

How do you recover from jet lag?

I find that hydrating with an IV drip not only helps with hydration but also leaves me feeling rejuvenated and renewed.

What’s your in-flight beauty routine?

I make sure to stay hydrated, so I drink lots of water. I also moisturise my skin and use a hydrating facial mist to combat dryness. And of course, I try to get some rest to keep my skin looking fresh.

Your flight’s delayed an hour and your phone’s out of battery. How do you pass the time?

I always have my computer with me, so I would probably work!

Favourite hotel? 

There are so many to choose from. It really depends on the city I’m in. 

Favourite airline? 

Emirates. They have the best in-flight experience and I always feel relaxed and rested when I fly with them.

What’s on your travel playlist?

Minimalist, classical music.

Where next?

Lake Como with my husband and kids for summer vacation.



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A post shared by Grand Hotel Tremezzo (@ghtlakecomo)


Hand-luggage essential?


Packing: roll or fold?


Inflight book or inflight film?


Music or podcasts?


Time killer on a long-haul flight?


Holiday tipple of choice?

White wine or champagne.

Bucket list top destination?


Beach or city?


Best shopping gem found abroad?

Antique markets.

An ultimate holiday treat?

Anything sweet!

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