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40 Nelson Road
New Malden

My name is Rachel Carr and I started This Is Carrt in 2014 when my husband's job moved to Germany and I decided to give up my day job in the city and go with him on the adventure! I had always loved to travel and write, and was also passionate about photography so one day I sat down and mingled all three of them on this website and my Etsy page. I write about a wide range of things like how to cope with airline hand luggage allowances to what to wear to any destination wedding. However, when I write up a holiday destination, there are more often than not a few common themes linking what are otherwise very different places:

1) Food. I love to eat. It structures my day to day life as well as any trip that I go on. I think food is a great way to start to experience a new culture as well as meeting new people.

2) Value. I don't get swayed by places to be seen and clothing to be seen in for the sake of it. I hate being ripped off. Be that by a fiver or by hundreds of pounds. If an activity or an excursion I go on is expensive but an amazing experience, I will still highly recommend it, but won't recommend it simply because it is deemed luxury.

3) Beauty. I love looking at pretty things. They don't have to have a purpose!

Please do follow This Is Carrt on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

To Blog or Not To Blog

Our Blog - Dedicated to Travel, Food, Lifestyle and Fashion

With a love of travel and writing as well as a passion for photography, this blogsite and my Etsy page mingles all three.

To Blog or Not To Blog

Rachel Carr

One question I am consistently asked by my readers and clients, is what inspires me whilst I am writing my blog and producing my photographs. There is no short answer to this, even if I was good at being concise. One of the main reasons I started writing weekly and creating limited edition prints of my travels and findings, is because I want to remember everything that I have seen or been exposed to that has interested me in some way. However, whilst my immediate environment, wherever that may be, is obviously important to a fledgling photographer and travel blogger, a huge source of inspiration for me are other like minded bloggers, foodies, hoteliers and travel photography mavens. As such, I thought I would write this week about other blogs and the like that I follow religiously - often with thinly veiled green eyed envy, and an ever growing 'list of places to go' jotted down next to me.

I have listed these websites and social media accounts in no particular order. I use and follow all of them equally as they help inform my travel decisions and artistic leanings. They vary widely, from luxury travel instagrammers to backpacking bloggers, from modern art lovers to hyper realist devotee photographers, from style over substance interiors to function forward thinkers.

1) Lovepuffin.me

Hayley, aka the Lovepuffin, not only writes a great yarn about her continuing travels (she travels full time as her job the lucky thing), but also suggests destinations that are a little off the beaten track. She categorizes her stops and activities into an adventurous scale. Having marketed her blog as adventure for the non adventurous, she appeals to my nervous disposition, and then tells me to say a clear good bye to my comfort zone. A must read for anyone with itchy feet and stuck in a rut boredom.

2) Mr and Mrs Smith

A luxury hotel and destination website. Whilst Mr and Mrs Smith hotels err on the side of expensive to uber ridiculous prices, the company's curators do have a good eye for an excellent resort. When staying at one of their chosen locations, you can be promised high style and excellent service - which starts from the moment you book with them. They are knowledgeable about their large, but curated collection of holiday spots. They do have a smaller line of budget hotels, one of which, Alila Manggis in Bali, I have stayed at and could not fault. If I ever want for travel inspiration, or a 'treat' holiday, this is one of my first port of calls for research.

3) Small Luxury Hotels

I follow this account on Instagram and consistently screen shot my phone to send to my non instagramming husband to tell him of our next holiday destination. Though their hotels are, like Mr and Mrs Smith, expensive, my husband and I stayed at one of their hotels for our honeymoon and, again, I couldn't fault it, and did not begrudge any of the many pounds I parted with at Baros Maldives. Sigh. Take me back!

4) Sheerluxe

A lifestyle website for women that encapsulates tips on fashion, interior design, entertainment, food and travel. This is a one stop shop for me if I want quality guaranteed from whatever my latest interest or query is. Be that what should I have for supper tonight to where I should go on a long weekend away in the Autumn. It is a well collated and thorough site with a daily email full of things that I want to buy. want to see, or want to eat. It gives me bags of ideas that I try to remember for both my daily life and my photography and travel work!

5) Philippa Craddock   

Anyone who has read my Flower Power blog, will know that I am obsessed with flowers. As an aspiring photographer, I love their colour and structure, and so Philippa Craddock's instagram feed is right up my street. I have always loved her approach to flowers and arrangement design, and I find her use of colour both timeless and innovative. She features on many of mood boards when researching new products and pictures that I design, and I was miffed that she was fully booked to do the flowers at my wedding!

6) Juliet Lemon

A lovely lady, that I did manage to book for my wedding, was Juliet Lemon, a fabulous London based photographer. She has so much enthusiasm for what she does, and a natural talent that I envy every time she posts a picture to her Facebook or Instagram accounts. She photographs everything from motoracing to weddings, but it is her pictures of her Safari trips that I adore. Not only do the animal snaps inspire me for my photographs themselves, but the places she goes to take them often find their way on to my aforementioned 'places to go' list. 

7) Germany is Wunderbar

I would be lost without this website. Whilst living in Germany, I want to take advantage of all this country, that so often gets overlooked as a holiday destination in comparison to its European neighbours, has to offer. This website is my go to resource for things and places that should make my to go list and it sometimes makes me feel guilty that these places have not been on there before! It also includes some pretty awe inspiring photography of this beautiful country.

8) Rebecca Plotnick

This Paris obsessed, Chicago based blogger has a particular style that I am obsessed with. I could look at her photography of Paris all day and her blogs are always incredibly heartfelt. I use her work to inform my own whenever I can and I remember her life story too whenever I have a 'what am I doing' moment when it comes to my business. She used her redundancy money from her banking job after the financial crisis to move to Paris for three months to follow her dream of becoming a photographer. She is now a prolific seller on Etsy and her photography is also stocked in West Elm.

I'd love to hear any of my own followers' other favourite bloggers and instagrammers. Please do get in touch or subscribe to my weekly updates.

Rachel x

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