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Celebrity Travel: Go away with Jessie Baylin and Nathan Followill

Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

For solo artist Jessie Baylin and Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill, this is an especially busy period for the married couple. In May, the Grammy Award-winning Kings of Leon released their latest album “Can We Please Have Fun.” And Baylin’s May 31 re-release of her critically acclaimed 2018 album “Strawberry Wind” – “Strawberry Wind (Deluxe Edition)” – also includes new tracks. But with two young children, the musicians are mindful of making sure that one of them is at home with the kids. “As of right now, I am not going to tour while the Kings are out,” Baylin said. “That could change, but I think right now the balance of having one of us home doing the routine with the kids is best.” Baylin and Followill did this interview from their Nashville home. You may follow them on Instagram (@jezziebaylin and @thenathanfollowill) and X (@doctorfollowill). This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Q: Do you work on your material at home or on the road or both?

Jessie: All the original material on “Strawberry Wind” was written in Nashville over the course of a month – during the strawberry season. The new songs on the deluxe edition were also written while in town this past fall. I think I work best when I’m in the stillness of our home, though.

Q: Jessie, can you share some of your memories of touring with Stevie Nicks?

Jessie: Opening for Stevie has been at the top of my mountain of dreams. It has been surreal. The crowds have been kind to me and have really taken in the music and I just love being in her vortex. She truly is one of the most generous of spirit people I have ever known. I love her very much.

Q: When you’re not touring, do you prefer to stay at home or take another trip?

Nathan: I’m a bit of a homebody. But I also live on a golf course, so I’m happy anywhere that I can get out and chase the little white ball around.

Q: What are some travel memories you’d like to share?

Jessie: My parents are wanderlust people, so traveling was a part of my childhood. It wasn’t often fancy, but we explored whenever we could. Growing up in New Jersey, the whole eastern coastline was our playground. We would spend time down at the Jersey Shore. Our favorite spot to spend a week every summer was Block Island, Rhode Island. My mom loves the Southwest and her life goal has always been to visit every national park. Right after Nathan and I met, I told him that I was leaving on a three-week family hiking trip through southern Utah. I was very difficult to get in touch with during that time. I think that is when he really fell for me! Nathan and I love exploring the Caribbean together. Our power move is tagging on a bonus holiday at the tail end of a big European tour before heading home.

Q: Where have you traveled to for work that you went back to on a personal trip?

Nathan: We played the BottleRock Napa Valley [festival] and unfortunately had to fly in and out, but I always knew that I would go back and explore at some point. My wife and I were fortunate enough to make that happen with an amazing adults-only trip for her birthday.

Q: Nathan, do you recall how you felt watching one of Jessie’s shows?

Nathan: One of my favorite memories was running 10 blocks across Austin in high-heel boots after my set at SXSW so I could catch her set, and all I could think was, “I hope I don’t stink when I hug her after.” She was a ball of expression and freedom that seemed like she didn’t have a care in the world. I immediately gave her an“I’m with the drummer” T-shirt.

Q: Are your children good travelers?

Jessie: Violet is a pro, Oliver is less so. [Laughs] He is a pandemic baby, so still a bit feral. But this past year, he’s gotten the hang of it.

Nathan: As long as there is Wi-Fi, but, yes, they do enjoy it. We are blessed with very curious kids who are adaptive to Mommy and Daddy’s lifestyle. Violet has more passport stamps than both my parents combined.

Q: Which of you is the more efficient packer?

Jessie: One hundred percent me. I outfit plan and very rarely overpack.

Nathan: I’m a gypsy. My nickname is Piles, but I somehow always know where everything is.

Q: What untapped destination should people know about?

Jessie: I’m very hesitant to share it because it is our paradise, but we love the Dominican Republic. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is rich with experiences. I love everything about it.

Nathan: Mine would be Copenhagen and Denmark, because every time you visit, you can have a totally different experience based on how basic or adventurous you want to be, especially with food.

Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?

Jessie: This is difficult, but I have to say Italy. It is just such a beautiful country, and each region holds such magic and is different from the next.

Nathan: Dominican Republic. The people, the beaches, the golf and seeing how much joy it brings my kids.


Q: What was a trip you took as a child that stands out?

Jessie: Santa Fe. I remember it vividly – the smell of piñon wood, going to White Sands, the sound of the bats in the caverns, coyotes howling, eating fry bread from a stand in the middle of the desert. I totally fell for the Southwest forever on that trip. I was five.

Nathan: Our family reunion every year in the Tater Hills of Oklahoma where for one weekend a year, mosquito bites were currency.

Q: What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?

Jessie: Have your doctor call in a “god forbid” pack of medications.

Nathan: Always pack at least two outfits and your basics in your carry-on, and travel in something you could wear to dinner in a pinch.

Q: If you could only pick one place to eat, would you prefer a food truck or fine dining?

Jessie: I love a food truck, but I don’t love eating standing up or sitting on the curb. I prefer to enjoy a long thoughtful meal, though it doesn’t have to necessarily be fancy. I’m going with fine dining.

Nathan: Give me a Frito pie and root beer from a truck and I’m one happy camper.

Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

Jessie: It would be a tie between Birmingham, Alabama, and Highlands, North Carolina.

Nathan: Charleston is 90 minutes door-to-door flight time and my dearest friends Luke and Lauren live there and are always down to show us where the locals like to eat.

Q: What are your five favorite cities?

Jessie: Copenhagen, Zurich, London, Barcelona and Rio.

Nathan: Milan, Barcelona, Sydney, London and Singapore.

Q: When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

Jessie: Curling iron, journal and travel steamer.

Nathan: Golf clubs, peanut M&M’s and a Tide pen.

Q: What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?

Nathan: Best vacation memory is any summer I get to spend with my family on tour in fun cities. Worst vacation memory is getting sunburned so bad in Australia that my skin came off when I took off my socks.


(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at You may also follow “Go Away With…” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)

©2024 Jae-Ha Kim. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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