Carolina may be half-Italian and half-American, but there's no doubt that she's a full global citizen. She grew up in Italy and spent 8 years in the US before moving back to Milan last year to manage one of the busiest Burberry stores in Europe. She's traveled the world - mostly solo, and we ask her why she loves it.
What kind of traveller are you?
I never stay still. I’m a little crazy and super hyper, and want to always try to do as much as possible.
What are your favourite destinations to date and why?
My favorite trip is the one I took for 3 months around Asia: Japan, China, Thailand, Cambodia & Singapore.
Tokyo & Kyoto were super! They are so different from Europe or the US, both culturally and scenery-wise.
And I love Thailand! Bangkok grew on me by the 3rd time I went and now I love it! I also love Koh Panghan because of the full moon parties - where else can you go dancing all day and night on the beach?
Can you tell us where to eat, drink and party in your favuorite places?
I usually eat from small places that I stumble upon when walking around. I also never go to the same place twice because I like trying something new all the time. Also, going to the supermarket is always a good fall-back option.
You travel alone a lot - why?
One reason I started travelling alone was because of my job. I work in retail so I have to work on holidays and have days off that never matches anyone else's! Rather than waste years away trying to match schedules with travel mates, I figured I would go see the world on my own.
The second reason is that I actually love being on my own! I could spend days without interaction with another human being if not for the basic conversations like “Can I have a pad thai & a Singha beer."
Finally, and most importantly, it's that when you travel alone, you use all your 5 senses completely. This heightened awareness is what I love most about travelling alone in foreign countries.
Do you have any tips for people travelling solo?
Plan your trip as much as you can. Get informed, look online, buy books, read papers.
When you are there, try to make new local friends. This is the best way to learn something new and interesting about the place you are visiting. Insider insights are always the most rewarding.
I also write regular updates to my family, so they know I'm safe.
Do you have advice for staying safe when travelling alone as a female?
I’ve traveled to a lot of different places around the world, most of which I've travelled alone. Being a female solo traveller is not always easy and safe, but I guess it's true what they always say- just use common sense. Be careful, look around, think, and trust your instincts, but don't lose that amazing edge of craziness that makes you dare a little bit and try new things.
What is the craziest thing you've done on your travels?
I guess the craziest thing I did was taking a very local train (with 1 car and no windows nor doors) from a rural little town in Thailand back to Bangkok. There were no signs in English, and none of the passengers understood or spoke English either. I wasn't even sure if the train would bring me to Bangkok!
At some point the train stopped in the middle of nowhere because the tracks were under water due to the heavy monsoon rains. After many failed attempts by the train operator to start the train, I lost my patience and started walking, following the only other guy who seemed like he was headed to Bangkok. We eventually arrived at a river, and on the other side of it was a bigger town. I followed my gut instinct that told me this town would perhaps bring me closer to Bangkok, so I crossed the river by boat, along with 30 other people, 1 cow, 2 scooters, 15 live hens, 2 dead pigs and 4 bikes.
I arrived in the small town and finally found the next train - this time it had 3 cars with no windows but it had doors! After a 2.5 hour ride, I finally did arrive in Bangkok, so that was a huge relief!
You are in fashion - what are 5 of your fashion essentials when you travel?
I totally lose all my fashion sense when I travel. Perhaps it is because I have to wear fancy clothes all year round, that when I am traveling, I prefer the comfort of yoga pants and t-shirt.
But here are the 5 things that I always bring with me (to make me look as fashionable as possible when I all I really want is to stay in my sweat pants)
- A statement ring. I love jewellery so I always end up buying something as a souvenir from my travels.
- Cool sneakers that are fashionable and comfortable. Totally kills 2 birds with 1 stone.
- Nice jeans to take you from day to night.
- Small black purse (because you never know…)
What are some of your must do's when you travel?
See as much as I can.
Learn as much as I can.
Write a daily diary that I send via email to my parents & sister at the end of each day. This way they know I’m ok and I have something to go back and read if I want to relive those moments! Again, killing 2 birds with 1 stone here.
What kinds of alternative accommodations have you stayed in before?
I’ve stayed in a kibbutz and in a capsule hotel before. I am planning on doing getaways to Amsterdam and Berlin soon and I'm going to book apartments for these trips.
If you could choose a dream vacation home, where would it be, and what would it be like?
I’m not actually sure I would be satisfied with just one vacation home! As you probably can tell, I love travelling around and discovering new places, so multiple vacation homes would be great!
But if I did have to make a choice, it would be a place by the sea. Very deserted, with a wonderful blue, crystal clear water, white sand. Peace and silence, nothing other than the sounds of nature.
Stylish apartments in Berlin and Amsterdam for Carolina's next trip!
This minimalist apartment is in the Bergmann district, the most elegant and cosy part of Kreuzberg.
This beautiful apartment in Amsterdam exudes an atmosphere of artistry and coziness.