TRAVEL with Carlotta Cisternas

Today I'm thrilled to share a short interview featuring Carlotta. God led Carlotta to an au pair opportunity in Nairobi and she has been there for the past 5 months; she heads home in less than a month.  From travelling essentials, trying moments, trusting God, and encouraging lessons (alongside her beautiful photographs!) Carlotta shares her journey and her heart. 

In terms of makeup, clothing, food, and books, what are your travelling essentials this year?  
Less is more. When you travel for 6 months, you naturally simplify. I've been using coconut oil religiously on my face and have simplified my makeup routine to just eyeliner and mascara. My wardrobe consists of basic pieces that I can mix and match. I didn't bring any books other than my Bible with me because space was tight, but you can almost always purchase inexpensive paperbacks at your destination. I would also recommend bringing some sort of protein/energy bars when traveling! Traveling is exhausting but there isn't always time or opportunity to eat.

Was moving to Kenya harder or easier than you expected? 
Both. I underestimated the homesickness that would hit me in the gut almost immediately, but adjusting to living in Kenya was easier than I'd anticipated. When you first move a foreign country, you have to live day to day, otherwise it will be too overwhelming. And as far as culture shock goes, I've had it easier because I live in Nairobi, which is the most developed and metropolitan city in East Africa. There are good days and bad days, though, and they come in waves.

What tips would you share to someone travelling overseas alone for the first time?
It can be scary, but don't let yourself think about all that could go wrong. Enjoy it! Traveling alone teaches you a lot about yourself and it's fascinating. The hardest part is leaving, and once you get past that, you'll be alright. You are stronger and can withstand a lot more than you think. 

What has God been teaching you having lived and flown ‘solo’ for a while? 
He's been teaching me the importance of community. He's made me more relaxed and easy going, allowed me not to sweat the small stuff. He's taught me about home. Most importantly, though, he's taught me about himself.

Is there a particular memory or life-lesson that you be taking home from your journey to Kenya?
It's hard to say what will stand out until I'm back home, but God has made me a stronger person in Kenya. He's smoothed out some of my rough edges and has built my faith to be stronger than ever. I never knew what it was like to fully trust in Jesus until I was sitting in my apartment sobbing because I felt so weary and lost and sad. He's tenderly picked me up over and over and given me grace day after day. I suppose I've truly learned that even when I'm alone physically, I'm never without his strength and guidance. 

Where to next?  Has this journey made you want to travel even more? 
I'm not sure where life will take me next! I don't think I'll ever lose the travel bug, but I've also realized how important coming home is.

Assuming this trip required a lot of bravery, courage, and trust in God, how would you recommend building that sense of bravery and trust?  
Well first off, I'm not brave or courageous. My strength is 100% from God and he has worked wondrouslymiraculously in me. If you follow where God leads, he won't let you down. There's a wonderful quote by C.S. Lewis in which he says, "I know the words ‘leave it to God’ can be misunderstood, but they must stay for the moment. The sense in which a Christian leaves it to God is that he puts all his trust in Christ: trusts that Christ will somehow share with him the perfect human obedience which He carried out from His birth to His crucifixion: that Christ will make the man more like Himself and, in a sense, make good his deficiencies. In Christian language, He will share His ‘sonship’ with us, will make us, like Himself, ‘Sons of God’." 

all photographs taken by carlotta 

Thanks, Carlotta, for the opportunity to interview you! 

Where have you travelled?

Acacia TTRAVELComment