Today, we’re so excited to be flipping the perspective and sharing another face of the Dame Traveler community! Say hello to Carmen Huter, a photographer, world traveler, writer, speaker and overall inspiring, adventurous woman. Carmen’s travels have captured our imaginations and we’re so thrilled to learn more about her story, the memories she’s collected around the world and her insider tips as a woman traveling the world. Here’s Carmen!
Hi Carmen! Could you tell us a little bit about yourself!
Sure thing! My name is Carmen Huter, I am 24 years old and I was born and raised in small mountain town in Austria.
We know you’ve traveled far and wide, but for new readers… could you tell us where have you traveled to thus far?
Wow, I hardly ever think about all the countries, so here goes: Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Switzerland, Croatia, Tunisia, Morocco, the UK, Scotland (same same but different haha), New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Canada, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, China, Vietnam, Hong Kong, France, the UAE. Okay, I should really stop now! That might not be all the places, but it sure is more than enough!
What has been your most memorable travel moment so far?
I can’t choose! But driving ourselves (my boyfriend and I) across East Africa in a beaten up landrover and experiencing all the highs and lows imaginable together (from malaria to trekking with mountain gorillas), was one of the most special times of my life to date.
Where is your favorite place in the world?
That is such a tricky question. I guess it really depends on how I am feeling. But The Dolomites in South Tyrol, Italy are quite literally never a bad idea.
We’re curious… when and how did you fall in love with travel? Was there a specific trip that started it all?
Far far away from home, in the land of the long white cloud (New Zealand), I truly realised for the first time in my life how much there is to see in-between my little Austria and equally tiny Aotearoa on the other side of the world. I originally came to study English in New Zealand. Travelling wasn’t a thing I thought I could do (sounds strange, but that’s what it felt like). I soon spent every weekend in the outdoors, exploring as much as I could. And slowly but surely, the travel bug was all over me.
What inspires you most when you travel?
The people I meet along the way and the landscapes I get to experience every day.
Why do you travel? What do you seek each time you hop on a plane?
The opportunity to learn, explore and grow. I truly enjoy the privilege of getting to know more about different ways of life, languages, traditions, myself, the world, just about everything. Curiosity drives me.
If you could pick up and go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? 1,2,3 quick!
The miserable winter weather here in Wellington has me daydreaming about the Pacific Islands right now.
If you could summarize your personality as a country, which one would you be and why?
This is such a cool question! I feel at home in Italy, there is something about their appreciation of the little things, the handmade pasta, the way they talk to each other and carry themselves I deeply relate to. I am passionate, my personal history is rather eventful (well, nowhere near Julius Caesar’s level, but you know what I mean haha), climbing mountains and jumping into freezing cold lakes is something I could do every day and, great food and community is everything and being by the beach feels like one big exhale to me.
What is the best meal you’ve had while traveling?
How could I ever decide! Most recently, it would have to either be homemade sauerkraut with fresh bread in an Austrian mountain hut last December or a surprise feast of fresh Chinese veggies with the best spices ever in March this year.
How has a life of travel changed you?
It has made me a more accepting, curious and wellrounded person.
What is your “hidden gem” you’d only want other Dame Travelers to know about?
Come travel with me and I’ll show you!
What has been your biggest travel “high” and what has been your biggest travel “low”?
There have been so many! One of the highs would be watching the sun rise over the unrestored part of the Great Wall in China many years ago and one of the lows would be learning about the very personal stories about human trafficking that goes on between Vietnam and China, it breaks my heart to even think about it.
How do you pack your bags before you go on an adventure?
Packing cubes for the win! Natural fibres go a long way as well. I prefer organic cotton and merino wool over synthetic fibres.
What is your travel style? What would we typically see you wearing while out and about?
What is your “must pack” travel item… the one thing you simply cannot travel without?
Aside from the essentials, I love to bring noise cancelling headphones for when I need some quiet time in a not so quiet place.
Do you have any travel beauty tips?
Don’t forget to sleep. Drink lots of water, use natural skincare and beauty products (your skin is your biggest organ), and slow down. It’s good for the soul and your skin prefers not to be stressed.
Do you have any travel insight on staying healthy and sane while on the road?
Bring your own snacks. I often bring oats to have for breakfasts (especially when I go hiking or travel in Asian countries). Mindfulness is a big one, too. Again, slow down, take time to called your loved ones, meditate or journal. It can do wonders and looking after yourself means you can experience your travels in a more beautiful way.
If you could give some advice or tips for women going on their first trip abroad, what would you tell them?
Visualise yourself exploring on your own. Don’t let fear guide you. Stay in female dorm rooms in hostels and reach out to your roommates. Learn to listen and observe. Trust your gut feeling. If something feels off, chances are it is. Utilise social media and reach out to creators or explorers in your area. Soon, you will have friends all across the world.
Do you have a blog? If so, what is it about and when did you start it? Where else can we find you online?
I sure do! I started in 3 years ago while I was still at university! www.carmenhuter.com is about travel and photography. There’s also a book list and a directory of my favourite eco friendly labels. Other than that, see you on Instagram or Facebook! @carmenhuter