Photos Courtesy of Mona Jones
Getting around for some of us might be a more difficult task than expected, depending on where you live. But perhaps you hate walking around Manhattan but don’t mind the subway; if your car breaks down on the Santa Monica Boulevard at least there’s thousands of Uber drivers whizzing around in wait of one request off your app. Or, maybe you’re living a more quiet life, in the breathtaking solitude of southern England where the cottages thrive among wild gardens and the hills roll into the Bristol Channel. In these hills, you just might find Maurice, the dark marsala-colored Morris Minor cruising along this serene terrain, with his trusty driver Mona Jones behind the wheel.
These adventures are beautifully documented in their Instagram Monalogue, and on the site monalogue.co.uk., where Mona Jones travels around England with friends and family in Maurice. From al fresco afternoons in a rose garden to the back street wanderings of sleepy medieval villages, the life Mona leads is something marvelous to witness, taking us away from big city centers for a more cozy and intimate feel of life that, excitedly, still exists in these modern times.
We got to talk with Mona about what it was that got her going on the road with Maurice (and also speaking on his befalf):
How did Maurice the Morris come to you?
I’ve wanted a classic car since I was about 7 years old. As I grew older I fell more in love with the idea of having a Morris, so the moment I graduated and started working I began saving – and they are surprisingly cheap to buy and look after. It was love at first sight when I saw Maurice listed online. His number plate says YUP which had to mean he was the one!
How did you start your Instagram/blog? What is the inspiration behind it?
Instagram progressed very naturally for me. I began in 2010, posting goofy photos of my family or my dog. It became more curated as I noticed better engagement on staged photos. Back then the caption limit was so small that starting a blog was necessary if you wanted to say more than a few sentences. I’m glad that happened, because it opened my eyes to a whole new world.
There are a number of Instagrammers and bloggers that inspire me. I like to take a bit of inspiration from each of them and build from that foundation. My favourite blogger is @wishwishwish – everything she makes is such high quality. I love @alicecatherine and @hayley.l.d’s vintage styles, and the elements of whimsy and fairytale in @georgiarosehardy’s photos. There are so many more too, I could go on all day!
Without Maurice, what adventures or places do you think you would have never experienced?
Because Maurice isn’t great on the motorway (50mph is his happiest fast speed), I have to take windy country roads to get to most places we visit. There’s nothing better than a warm summers day cruising around meandering roads with the windows down. Everything is at a slower pace, which is a refreshing break from the pace of modern life.
Your photos really highlight a romantic, and in a way patriotic sentiment of England that seems very genuine. Would your imagery be different were you had, say, a more modern car instead of a Morris Minor?
I used to think in order to be a successful Instagrammer or even young person, you had to travel far and wide. I followed some expats on Instagram who had come to England, and noticed they had the same outlook as me, but anchored from the other side of the globe. They were celebrating the little villages on my doorstep, and I saw a new beauty in those places that I’d not noticed before. Since then, I have little desire to go anywhere else! We do have a newer beetle for security on long road trips. Part of the fun with the Morris is not knowing when or why he will need a break, and my schedule doesn’t always allow for that.
You’ve ventured beyond Instagram into blogging and even YouTube videos! Is Instagram still your preferred medium? What do you feel like you’ve accomplished in your expansion?
I love Instagram, but sometimes it feels a bit repetitive. There is a large expectation to post similar images and stick rather religiously to a theme. YouTube and blogging have been a place to have more creative freedom. They’re just a bit of fun at the moment, but who knows? They may develop. I think Instagram will always be my favourite.
The best for last! Tell us a favorite memory about your travels!
In the Morris, my favourite memories are of blogger hotel stays, during which a few local bloggers bundle up into the car and we drive to various hotels for PR parties and overnight stays. There’s nothing quite so happy!
Stay on top of their story at monalogue.co.uk!