About

Carly at Most beautiful Library at Admont Monestary in Austria
The ethereal baroque library in Admont, Austria.

I’m Carly, a writer, translator, and world traveler. I write personal essays, plan travel itineraries, and jot down all the best travel shortcuts 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 on my bedroom walls, traveling has been my passion. I was that kid whose favorite board game was called Geografacts. In college, I studied English, Spanish, and German, and wrote my thesis on National Geographic to explore different perspectives on travel writing and photography.

My interests always led me back to travel, and writing. I studied and taught in Cuba, Ecuador, and Mexico, and was a Fulbright teacher in Austria. I went back to the States briefly to study comparative and world literature at Cornell University, where I wrote about the spaces of hotels and the concept of home in Spanish, Japanese, and English novels.

In 2012, I moved to Germany, where I write, translate, and teach, and collect new German words every day. My German husband and I run a local business and travel the world (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 ridiculously picturesque village of 338 people and spend about a third of the year on the road.

I started this blog to share practical tips about traveling (under Itineraries and Shortcuts) 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, being almost tipped over by a pod of humpback whales in a glorified rowboat captained by a guy named Jesus, getting trapped in a sweltering elevator in Athens, and following a secret map to a perfect beach.

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 discovered.

You can always get in touch with me at carly.ottenbreit@gmail.com. Thank you for reading!

Carly Ottenbreit

hugging-a-baby-elephant in Thailand

2 thoughts on “About

  • Debrah Golden February 7, 2016 at 10:07 pm Reply

    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!

    • Carly February 10, 2016 at 7:31 am Reply

      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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