Hi there, I'm Carly.

I'm a writer, translator, and world traveler.

I write long-form travel essays, plan travel itineraries, and jot down all the best travel tips I’ve uncovered during my travels to over 50 countries on 6 continents.

Ever since I was a kid growing up in Michigan with maps of Africa plastered across my bedroom walls, traveling the world was my dream, and now it’s my passion.

My interests have always led me to travel, and writing, and I’ve been working to combine the two at every turn. In college, I studied English, Spanish, and German, and wrote my thesis on National Geographic to explore different perspectives on travel writing and photography. I studied and taught in Cuba, Ecuador, and Mexico, was a Fulbright teacher in Austria, and worked as a freelance writer and translator from wherever my travels took me. I went back to the States briefly to study comparative and world literature at Cornell, where I wrote about the space of the hotel and the concept of home in Spanish, Japanese, and English novels.

In 2012, my wanderlust and my now-husband convinced me to make a permanent move to Germany, where I write, translate, and teach, and collect absurdly long German words every day. We now run a local business and travel the world together, sometimes for work but mostly for pleasure. Many years ago, we fell in love on a two-month motorcycle trip to Armenia and back, through 14 countries and one self-proclaimed autonomous republic. We live in a picturesque village (pop. 300) in the German countryside outside of Frankfurt and spend about a quarter of the year on the road.

I started this travel blog to share practical tips, but also to tell you all my stories about the best parts of authentic traveling: the thrill of making it from Germany to Mt. Ararat on a motorcycle without a map, hallucinatory food poisoning in Turkey, almost getting tipped over by a pod of humpback whales in a glorified rowboat captained by a Panamanian named Jesus, getting trapped in a sweltering elevator in Athens, and following a secret map to a perfect beach in Thailand.

I hope this blog helps you plan adventures of your own. Even though the world has already been mapped, it’s still there to be explored.

Please leave a comment on the site to let me know what you think, and you can always get in touch with me at carly.ottenbreit@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!

Carly Ottenbreit


Where I've been

I've visited 50 out of 195 countries worldwide

The Fine Print

All reviews and opinions expressed here are my own – there is no paid or sponsored content on this site. I love my day job and don’t earn my living as a travel blogger. Not that there’s anything wrong with travel blogging as a profession (it seems like a pretty cool job!), but that’s just not my goal. I want this to be a free and creative space to develop ideas and work on my writing without having to worry about customer demands, monetizing a brand, or optimizing my content for SEO.

I write on my own terms in the spirit of sharing and spreading information that all good travelers live by, and I hope the information here will help you plan grand adventures of your own!

2 thoughts on “About

  1. So nice to find your site. Your mom told me of your travels, your web site is lovely. I’ve bookmarked it and will keep up with your travels. I couldn’t get the article about the Thai elephants to come up, I’ll check back later. Thanks for such a nice Sunday afternoon!

    1. Hi Debrah, thank you for your kind words! I will post about the elephants soon, I promise! Hugging that 3-month old baby was such a special moment in my life.

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