Woman of the Week: Carina

I met Carina online through the blogging world and was immediately inspired by her blog, The Undiscovered Journey. Nearly everything she writes resonates with me and I’m inspired by her bold celebration of women and the adventures she’s created for herself. Carina is just beginning another ambitious adventure and I’m excited to share her work with you all now as she’s getting started – I think you’ll understand why I’m so looking forward to reading her new writings in upcoming months and I’m certain you’ll want to join me in following her unfolding story. To see her blog, or to follow her on Instagram or Facebook (she posts some stunning photography as you’ll see soon…) go to the links below:

Connect with Carina:    BLOG   INSTAGRAM   FACEBOOK

Carina dancing in a field of small white flowers

1. Tell us about yourself?

Elizabeth Gilbert has this great video where she divides people into two categories— jackhammers and hummingbirds. She says that jackhammers are born knowing what they want to do, and are super effective on just drilling down on that one thing and accomplishing a great deal. Whereas hummingbirds kind of drift from thing to thing, driven by curiosity, and as a result they provide a kind of cross pollination between realms and ideas. Until a few years ago I thought I was a jackhammer, but I’ve discovered that I am, in fact, a hummingbird. 

My whole life I thought I was meant to be an actress, and I moved to LA after college to be just that. It took me a long time to admit to myself that I wasn’t who I thought I was and didn’t want what I thought I wanted. The only thing I knew to do with this knowledge was to sell all my belongings and travel to India by myself for five months to find out what I was made of. It wound up being a really magical, empowering, and profound journey and I’m currently writing a book about it.

It’s been almost 4 years since then, and my partner Anthony and I just recently up and sold all our belongings (again!) to travel around the world for the next 2 years, which I’m also blogging about in addition to finishing the book. 

Carina and her boyfriend Anthony

2. Why do you travel?

I travel because it’s the single fastest route to personal growth I know of, because it inspires and fulfills me, and because it’s important to me to make the most of my life. 

About 9 months before I left to travel through India I got a tattoo of my favorite Sartre quote “Tu n’est rien d’autre que ta vie,” which translates to “You are nothing but your life.” It’s a constant reminder to myself to make the most of my life, and to actually do the things I dream of doing so that I can look back on my life without regrets. 

Carina dancing in the desert

3. How do you balance work and travel?

I think the best part of being a millennial is that while we left school with a lot less job security than the generation before us, it’s meant that we get to make our own rules. I think more and more people, especially the younger generation, are trying to design careers that they can do from anywhere. 

To that end, I’m a writer and currently traveling full time. It’s been a really interesting challenge finding that work/life balance on the road. What’s worked best for me for the most part is writing in the mornings and sightseeing in the afternoons. Or when that’s not possible, I’ll follow a few busy days of travel with a few down days focusing on writing. 

It’s takes a lot of discipline, flexibility, and self forgiveness, but I’ve found that overall I’m the most productive I’ve ever been in my life. 

Carina sailing down the Ganges river

4. What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your travels?

I think travel is such an amazing teacher for so many different things, but I think the best lesson for me has been learning how to trust myself and the process— to just take it one step at a time and trust that I will get where I’m meant to be going. 

I used to be such an anxious worrier (and many days I still am) but travel has taught me a kind of equanimity and mindfulness that has served me so well whether I’m trying to find my way from point A to B in a foreign country, or trying to find my way in my own life. 

It’s taught me that the unknown isn’t as scary as I thought it was, and that the best things in life happen when we take a leap of faith. 

Carina doing yoga on a rock by the water

5. Share one of your favorite travel memories.

I think my favorite travel memory would have to be meeting the love of my life— a fun loving and kind hearted Welshman named Anthony, on a beach in Goa. On our first “date” we found ourselves sitting on the beach at 1am, talking about what we’d learned about ourselves in past relationships and what are dreams were for the future. And at that precise moment there was a shooting star. 

We come from pretty different backgrounds, but we both found ourselves on that beach in Goa because we’d decided to change our lives, which made two very different people, who previously probably wouldn’t have made any sense, perfect for each other. 

It’s been over 3.5 years and now we’re traveling around the world together, fulfilling those same dreams for the future we spoke of on the beach that fateful night.

Carina on trolltunga rock

6. If you could share one travel tip with other women, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to travel alone. Patriarchal society conspires to control women by making the world both seem and be a scary and dangerous place for a woman alone, and as a feminist I think it’s really important for women to go out and travel by themselves anyway. I think as long as women are scared out of moving through the world as freely as any man would, we will never truly be equal. 

A lot of people tried to scare me out of going to India by myself, and of course bad things can happen, but statistically speaking a woman is more likely to be assaulted by someone she knows than by a stranger. Don’t let society or fear keep you from the magical and empowering experience of going out into the world alone and learning to rely on yourself.

Thanks for reading! Want more travel tips from Carina and women like her?

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