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Travel Stories with Caro

You moved to London solo - alone - completely alone. No jobs, no Friends, no money??? Tell us about this? What was your biggest struggle? Were there times you felt like coming home? How long did it take you to set up and what's your biggest tip for setting up in London alone easily?

Yes! It was so exciting and so terrifying. I had a rough plan of what I wanted to do for work, but didn’t have anything lined up for when I landed in London! I think my biggest struggle would have been making friends. I found a full-time job as a nanny after three days, so that wasn’t something I needed to worry about. But the friends were hard to make! I had to put myself in awkward and uncomfortable situations and basically force friendships until they developed into something real. There were definitely times I wanted to move home just to be able to be near my friends and family. London can be a very lonely city without friends. So, my biggest tip for setting up in London is to put yourself out there! You won’t make friends by sitting at home on a Friday night. It can be uncomfortable at first, but it will be worth it in the long run.

The goal of your blog is to listen to peoples stories and tell them. Why is this so important to you?

While I was brainstorming ideas for a blog, I realized that the majority of travel blogs out there talk about themselves and their own personal travels. I felt selfish only writing about my own stories when there were so many other incredible and inspirational tales out there! For me, one of the most important things about traveling is connecting to those around you. And that’s what I wanted to do for my blog! I want to remind others to listen and connect during their travels!

What would you say your moto is of life? What's the thing you live for?

It’s so cheesy, but I really live by “You Only Live Once”! When I remind myself that this is it, this is the one chance I have, it really fuels me to embrace everything I can. On those days that I’m lazy and regret planning a day trip or an early morning flight, I remind myself that this may be the only chance I get. I just have to suck it up and YOLO, and I never regret it.

I can totally see the vision of what you want to create with your blog and I think it’s amazing. What is the biggest challenge with this?

The biggest challenge, so far, is having enough money to travel everywhere I want to go! I am currently working about 60 hours a week, so finding time for travel and writing can be tough. Managing a blog is hard work! And finding time to do everything I need to send it off in the right direction can be challenging.

Who is the most interesting local/traveller you have met and can you tell us a story that isn’t on your blog.

There are too many to only choose one! The most recent story I can share with you happened this past weekend. A few of my girlfriends and I were at a local pub in Camden Town and having a catch up. This German guy sort of weasled his way into our conversation and asked us if we wanted to do Irish Car Bombs with him. I was a bit annoyed at first because

1.  We were in the middle of a conversation and

2. I don’t do Irish Car Bombs! (The "Irish" in the name refers to the drink's Irish ingredients; typically Guinness stout, Baileys IrishCream, and Jameson Irish Whiskey. The term "car bomb" combines reference to its "bomb shot" style as well as the noted car bombings of Northern Ireland's Troubles.) - Source Wikipedia

But this guy would not get the hint, so I decided to see what he had to say and give him a listen. This guy had clearly been drinking for a few days now, but that led to a great story about his grandmother! Apparently, she was a women warrior in World War II. He talked to us about how she birthed his father close to the battle field and carried the baby on her journey to keep him safe. He said his family still talks about her daily and he has her birthday tattooed on his back. This guy then tried to take his shirt off and show us the tattoo. That’s when we politely lied and said we saw an open table way across the bar!

It seems you have managed to make friends in London and good quality friends. How do you go about collecting friends 😀

Honestly, making friends in London is hard! When I first moved to London, I lived in a hostel for about a week. I met a few of the travelers that were working there and decided they were cool enough to try and befriend. From there, I literally kept showing up and leaching onto their plans. I was so desperate for real friendships! We laugh about it now, but these friends turned out to be my best friends here in London. Other than that, I’ve been pretty successful on Bumble BFF and Facebook Meetups...again, you have to put yourself out there no matter how uncomfortable it makes you feel!

You were recently in Bratislava, what kind of stories did you get from Bratislava?

Yes! My Bratislava experience was a horrible one. The only story that I recieved from Bratislava was my own due to a very intense flu...You can read about it here: 

You seem to be someone who pushes herself out of her comfort zone. Yet we all still have comfort zones (some spacier than others). What is something you still really want to do that would mean steeping over that comfort zone line?

Yes! I do love pushing myself out of my comfort zone. One thing that I’d love to work on would be asking for what I want. It sounds silly, but sometimes it is difficult! I’m used to letting others come to me to tell me their stories. I tend to hold back when it comes to seeing someone I think is interesting and wishing they would talk to me. I’d like to be more confident and be able to march right up to them and start the conversation!

Jonathan was your first story brought on by your sign. How did that make you feel when someone walked up to you and just told you their story?

It was incredible! The anxiety and anticipation of wanting this blog so badly and waiting for someone to finally tell me a story had completely taken over before. When Jonathan came up to me and agreed to tell me a story, I could not stop smiling. I was terrified that others were going to think my idea was dumb. Maybe some do, but I know that it’s something I’m passionate about. I remember thinking, “I can do this,” and from that story onward I’ve had a new level of confidence in my blog!

How do you record your stories? Are you writing them down or voice recording etc?

I always ask the person beforehand if they don’t mind that I voice record the story. It’s definitely easier for when I need to actually write the blog posts. But some have said they prefer not to be recorded at all. In those cases, I will start recording myself retelling the story after they’ve left just so I can remember all of the details!

If someone wanted to tell you a story, how could they find you in London? (in brackets can they email you etc).?

I love it when people reach out with a story! I’m more than happy to set up a time and place to meet around London. You can email me at caroliemola@gmail.com or reach out via the blog! I am also working out a few dates that I will be around the city with my Tell Me a Story Please sign. I will have updates on my Instagram, so follow along at @talesoftravelersblog!

What are some of the biggest lessons you have come across from this experience if getting peoples stories etc?

One of the biggest lessons that I have come across has been that I am braver then I think. I often have an idea and chicken out before I can make it happen. But with this blog, I’ve pushed myself farther than I thought! Also, I’ve learned that people will always surprise you ☺

What is your hope and goals for tales of travelers?

My hope for Tales of Travelers is that it becomes read around the world! I hope to travel to every continent (even Antarctica!) with my sign and hear more inspirational tales. The goal is to keep going and spread the word!

You love true crime…. What's your favourite reads?

I was obsessed with the Ted Bundy case for a very long time, so The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule is a top read for sure! I love a good Fiction book, so a few of my crime favorites would be The Silent Patient, The Marriage Lie, and Invisible Monsters. I’m also very much into podcasts and my absolute favorite is My Favorite Murder!

Tell us your experience working as a nanny. Upsides, downsides, how you got into it etc?

I’ve worked as a nanny for almost three years now! I went to university to become a teacher, and then realized it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue at the time. That’s when I moved abroad to London. Nannying was one of the jobs I had applied for through an agency since I had worked with children previously. I was hired straight away and from there have continued the career! The upsides are I get to work with amazing families and travel with them. The family I am working for now is absolutely incredible. I love the kids and love watching them grow as individuals. Another upside would be that I get to wear leggings to work everyday. I know others don’t have that luxury! I think the downside would be the amount of hours that I work. Some weeks I can work about 65 hours and I usually don’t have much of a personal life during the weekdays!

Tell us your experience working as a nanny. Upsides, downsides, how you got into it etc?

I’ve worked as a nanny for almost three years now! I went to university to become a teacher, and then realized it wasn’t something I wanted to pursue at the time. That’s when I moved abroad to London. Nannying was one of the jobs I had applied for through an agency since I had worked with children previously. I was hired straight away and from there have continued the career! The upsides are I get to work with amazing families and travel with them. The family I am working for now is absolutely incredible. I love the kids and love watching them grow as individuals. Another upside would be that I get to wear leggings to work everyday. I know others don’t have that luxury! I think the downside would be the amount of hours that I work. Some weeks I can work about 65 hours and I usually don’t have much of a personal life during the weekdays!

Which story is your most inspiring? (feel free to provide a link to your blog and just explain a summary of the story and why its inspiring)?

I may be a bit biased, but the most inspiring story for me is the one that my mom told. It’s a story about her returning to Italy to discover her ancestry. My mom has been my inspiration throughout my entire life, and to see her with such an adventurous spirit really resonates with me! She was so excited to be featured. When she finally read the final product, she called me crying. It was emotional!

 

Tell us one of YOUR stories. If you saw me with that sign, what story would you tell me?

I am starting a new series on my blog soon that will be sharing a few of my own personal travel stories! It’s in the works now and some of the stories include a terrifying hostel stay in Brugge and the time I thought I was going to be arrested at the Macedonia border. These are some of my craziest travel stories so far, and I’m so excited to share them with everyone. You can keep updated on the Tales of Travelers blog by subscribing on my homepage!

 

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travel stories with Caro

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