Every Thursday, A Dangerous Business will be shining the spotlight on a world nomad, travel blogger, armchair adventurer, or just someone really cool in the travel world. This week, the traveler is Caroline Eubanks of Caroline in the City. Caroline is a freelance writer and travel blogger currently saving up for her next trip. She is a Southern girl by birth and a city girl by choice. She enjoys Coca Cola for breakfast and waking up in a different time zone.
1. How do you define the word “traveler,” and why would you consider yourself one?
A traveler is someone who isn’t content to stay in one place. Who wants to see everything and everywhere because life is too short to hold still. I guess that makes me a traveler, but I have lots of moments where all I want is my own bed at home.
2. What has been your favorite travel experience thus far?
It’s hard to pick one favorite travel experience. I would probably say the most recent because it’s the freshest in my mind. My trip to Thailand was a big deal because it got me way out of my comfort zone. I was volunteering with Hiiltribe children and eating foods I had never tried and operating on someone else’s schedule. It was my favorite because it kept me from being so selfish when I travel and made me feel like I understood the culture more than I would have as a backpacker.
3. How about your proudest travel moment?
My proudest travel memory is tied between my trip to Thailand (above) and my first solo trip to Croatia. I signed up for a cruise, despite the fact that none of my friends or family wanted to go with me. I was afraid I wouldn’t meet anyone, but my the first night in Split, I already had a group of people to hang out with.
4. Have you had any travel mishaps or bad experiences? If so, have these influenced how you view the place where they happened? Would you go back?
I haven’t had any serious travel mishaps while traveling (knock on wood) like being robbed. I’ve gotten sick in Paris and lost my grandmother on the Tube in London, but neither kept me from going back. The only place I haven’t loved was Zadar, another city on the Dalmatian Coast. I was sad that all my friends left and almost everything was closed when I got there, since it was a Sunday. It was raining and I didn’t have an umbrella. It was the first time on the trip I felt completely alone. When I tried to get back to Split, they told me I missed my bus and had to wait for another (2 hours of waiting and a 2 hour bus ride). I probably wouldn’t go back there unless I was in the area.
5. Name one thing you can’t travel without.
It sounds high maintenance, but there are a lot of things I can’t travel without. I would prefer to travel with my camera. But if I was traveling with bare basics and had to leave my technology stuff behind, my top item would be ear plugs. Perfect for planes, trains, automobiles, and drunk hostelgoers.
6. Name one thing you wish you COULD travel without.
I can travel without makeup. Usually I just bring mascara and some sort of powder. I just don’t take the time to get fixed up when I’m traveling.
7. What do you think has been the biggest thing you’ve learned while traveling (about yourself, a destination, a culture, travel itself)?
I’ve learned the correct exchange rate for Croatian kuna to US dollars after paying way too much for a cab from the airport. I’ve learned that if someone offers you something to eat, take it. I’ve learned that traveling alone isn’t something to be scared of, but something to be cherished.
8. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Tough choice, but probably Mexico. Between the beaches, the food and the people, I’m set for life. I could have tacos and margaritas every day of my life.
9. Name one place you’d like to see or one experience you’d like to have before you die.
I read about the Trans-Siberian Railway between Moscow and Beijing and it sounds like the most badass trip of my life. I hope to do that one day.
10. If there was one thing you wish somebody would have told you before you started traveling, what would it be?
Traveling alone isn’t scary. It isn’t depressing. If anything, it’s really exciting. Your experiences are all your own, not shared by someone who might not appreciate them as much. You have your own time and can make your own decisions. And you will ABSOLUTELY meet people. Don’t let the myths fool you. It’s better to travel alone than to go with a friend or family member you’re not travel compatible with. You will end up hating each other.
Are you a travel blogger who has something to say on these topics? Do you know of somebody really interesting in the travel universe that you’d like to see interviewed? Speak up! The Thursday Traveler needs some interview subjects.