I’m Carmen, a small town Iowa farm girl who moved to Chicago upon college graduation. After working for a few years and completing graduate school, I decided I did not want to wait for a travel partner anymore so I booked my first solo trip abroad. On that first trip, I visited eight European countries in a little over two weeks. I came home with so many great memories, lots of photos and the travel bug. I was officially hooked!

50 U.S. states (!!!), 20+ countries and 20 MLB ballparks later, my desire to travel and explore the world is stronger than ever. My favorite destination to date is Hawaii. I have been there three times. I also love Germany, Alaska, Italy, New York City, Belize and Australia, among many others.

This blog was born out of my love of writing and my desire to share my travel stories and lessons learned. My hope is that instead of living Vicariously Through Me, you will be inspired to set out and explore the world on your own after reading my posts.

What’s next?

I wouldn’t say I have a “bucket list” of travel destinations but there are many places I hope to visit and things I still want to do, including (in no particular order):

– Travel to Thailand

– Join an African safari

– Visit the Galapagos Islands

– Experience Machu Picchu

– Stay in an over-water bungalow in the Maldives or Bora Bora

– Complete a cruise to (and back from) Antarctica

– Take photos in Antelope Canyon in Arizona

– Attend the Masters’ golf tournament

– Explore Santa Fe, New Mexico

– See the Northern Lights in Iceland

– Commute on a clean, fresh-smelling red line CTA train car

– Ride in a hot air balloon.

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