Carmen Huter is an adventurer, photographer and sun-chaser. The Austrian-born and now New Zealand based traveller finds grounding in getting lost. Carmen shares some of her travel stories and tips with us..
What are the three things you never travel without?
Noise cancelling headphones, my camera, and a reusable water bottle.
What has been your most eye-opening travel experience?
It is almost impossible for me to pin down one sole moment. Most recently, I loved getting lost in very remote villages in China, learning about Masai culture in Tanzania, spending time with a charity in Uganda (where a life below the poverty line is far too common), as well as volunteering in one of the world's biggest slums (favelas) in Rio de Janeiro. All of these and many more experiences I was so fortunate to be a part of have taught me that no matter what, love, community and real, human connection is far more important than our society likes to portray.
What is it that you love about travelling? Have you noticed a change within yourself or do you see the world differently since you've been exploring it?
I change all the time, and I am sure travel is a, albeit not the sole, reason for this. Stepping outside my comfort zone, whether that is here in my new home in Wellington or somewhere far off the grid in East Africa teaches me to trust myself, be grateful, have an open heart, carry less prejudice and work hard every day. Long story short, travel exhilarates and humbles all at the same time.
Was there a particular catalyst that pushed you towards a life of wandering, or have you always had itchy feet?
I grew up in a home where love was not always the first answer and the older I got, the more I itched to change my physical surroundings and explore. Coming to New Zealand aged 18 opened a whole new world for me.
What's your favourite place you've ever travelled, and why?
Oh man, this is impossible to answer! Almost every place I had the chance to explore was beautiful in its way. Other than my one day in Paraguay, that is! There was a lot of mafia, and it got dangerous way too quickly haha. New Zealand, China, Scotland, Peru, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Tanzania, the Dolomites and the Whitsundays are all up there.
Best piece of advice you would give to another traveller?
Pack less, don't rush and smile more.
Where to next?
Canada, Europe and Nepal!
To see more of Carmen's adventures, head to @carmenhuter