Intrepid traveler and AFAR Ambassador Caroline Eubanks has a healthy appreciation for home, which is perhaps why she’s so grounded while living an adventuresome life. Caroline took the time to answer our questionnaire below, giving us a much appreciated window into her wanderings. You can (try to) keep up with Caroline on her blog, Caroline in the City, and through her Highlights & Wanderlists on AFAR, like her insider’s guide to her home town, Offbeat Atlanta—yes, it’s more than just an airport!
See more of Caroline’s Wanderlists, including “Home Sweet Charleston.”
Right now I’m back home in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA.
Though I would much prefer to be in Sydney enjoying a Sunday session with my friends, sipping champagne and watching the sunrise over Coogee Beach.
Occupation: writer, blogger, bartender.
My next trip is to Charleston, my former home, for a wedding.
My last trip took me to New Orleans.
First international trip—when and where? I visited Paris at 14 years old on a family vacation. I spent most of the trip sick in my hotel room.
Jewelry is my most treasured travel souvenir. My grandmother brings me items from all her travels as well.
Favorite hotel: I’m more of a hostel gal, but The Edition Waikiki was my best experience. I don’t think it exists anymore, but they also have a property in Istanbul.
Favorite restaurant: Too many to name, but probably Bowen’s Island Restaurant in Charleston. It’s right on the water so your seafood comes straight to your plate. It’s been around longer than I’ve been alive.
Favorite shopping destination: King Street in Charleston.
Favorite local style/most stylish place: Berlin. The locals are fashionable without even trying.
iPhone or DSLR? Both.
Backpack, wheelie, or trunk? Backpack usually, unless I’m trying to look professional.
Plugged-in or unplugged? Plugged-in.
Public transportation, cab, or bike? Public transportation or on foot.
If you’re in London don’t miss Marylebone. Stop by Golden Hind for the city’s best fish and chips and peruse Daunt Books, which has a huge travel section.
Preparation: guidebook, online research, or seat of your pants? A combination of the above. I try to research specifics like getting into town from the airport, but wing it for things like meals and activities.
CouchSurfing is the best way/place to connect with locals.
Five things you can’t travel without: Moleskine notebook, a pen, camera, melatonin, and a good book.
Jet lag: Nap, power through, pills, or herbal remedies? All of the above. I initially try to power through and take herbal remedies. I last until around 2 pm when I end up napping until 7 pm.
Favorite airport and why? I have a love-hate relationship with my home airport, ATL, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Not only is it a mouthful and the world’s busiest airport, you never know who you’re going to run into. And the recently refurbished international gate has fine dining restaurants so you can experience the best of the city even if you’re just on a layover.
Three travel apps you can’t live without: Kayak, Skype, and WhatsApp.
What’s the one hometown place you miss most while traveling? I miss my local Mexican joint that my family has frequented since before I was born.
First thing you do when you get home: Stop for Mexican or Chik-fil-a, depending on what time my flight got in. Followed immediately by sleep.
Where do you always take out-of-town friends? Shopping and lunch in Little Five Points, Atlanta’s bohemian neighborhood.
Favorite travel book: In a Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson. It still makes me laugh.
Fly solo or travel with family/friends/tour group? I typically travel solo since I prefer to travel more often and to places not everyone wants to visit. But I’m always glad to have companions!
Best memory of a trip with kids—either from your own childhood or with your own kids: Despite no longer being a child, I still go on family vacations. Three years ago my whole family piled into the car, Grizzwold-style, and drove from our home in Georgia to Acadia National Park in Maine and back. It was a lot of forced family fun, but I honestly enjoyed the trip.
Most out-of-character travel experience? Something that you would never have done at home: I was staying in Germany with a friend I met in Australia. She offered to take me on a pub crawl with her fellow medical students and I couldn’t turn it down. I spent the whole night pretending to be a German med student, not knowing a single word of the language.
Biggest travel mistake? Not budgeting enough money. I always get ahead of myself and book a trip before I’ve saved up enough money to take it comfortably.
If I had a whole month to travel, I would go to Greece.
If I had a whole year to travel, I would go to back to Australia, where I spent a year already. I still didn’t see everything!
Favorite foreign word or phrase: In boca di lupo. In Italian, it literally means “in the mouth of the wolf,” but is used to say good luck. Being in a wolf’s mouth doesn’t sound too lucky to me.
Favorite foreign tradition: The siesta. After a morning of walking around and seeing the sights, I take a much-needed snooze around 3pm, as did everyone else in my hostel in Portugal. Clearly the tradition has spread.
Travel has taught me independence. While supporting myself seems like an impossible task back home, I somehow manage while traveling.
Photo courtesy of Caroline Eubanks