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Who Am I?

I’m a professional makeup artist with a bad case of wanderlust, an eye for detail, a WSET certified wino, and yes, I’m addicted to Italy.

A curious person, I’m interested in learning, creating, self discovery, connecting with people, having adventures, and discovering beauty. Travel writing and photography are just a way for me to express myself.


I say “yes” to most any opportunity for travel that comes along, so…

My first trip across the pond, I went to London.  I was invited to work with a high profile session hairdresser at the World Hair Olympics. (Yes, there is such a thing. It’s a big deal!) Of course I said yes.

And then I spied a castle in the distance…

I was driving through the English countryside between Oxford and Westchester with friends, and in the distance I spotted this castle. I’d never seen anything like it before and insisted on seeing it up close. It probably wasn’t a castle, more like some huge old estate a la Downton Abbey, and my friends laughed their heads off as they watched me run around snapping pictures with my throw-away camera.  To me it may as well have been Neuschwanstein, I’d never seen anything like it before.
That energy of excitement, discovery and spontaneity, that’s my travel adventure. That’s what I live for.

"Blondie"about the Roman Trattoria owner.

“Blondie” and the Roman Trattoria owner.

What you will find at Adventures of a Carry-on

You might find me stomping through vineyards in the Italian countryside, or flying over Napa Valley wineries in a hot air balloon.

I will share first-hand accounts of the places I’m traveling to including; intimate details of tours, wineries, restaurants, hotels and more. Travel lightly, experience deeply is the way I like to roll.


Flying High Over Napa Valley with Calistoga Balloons


How it all began…

In 2008 I visited Rome for the first time and fell madly in love.  Four trips later, I decided it was time to expand my horizons and explore more of the country that had captured my heart.

In 2012 I went to  Panzano, a tiny town in Chianti famous for the butcher Dario Cechini;  the ancient walled city of Lucca, also in Tuscany and Rome (because no trip to Italy is complete without a stop in Rome). 2013 found me in the region of Emilia Romagna where I visited Forli, Bologna, and Cesena (don’t miss the Maletesta Library). On a second trip in 2013 I went to Voghera (Napolean lived there for a while), Pavia and Milan, in the Lombardia region. Just before the end of that trip I visited romantic Lago di Orta, only an hour from Milan but in the region of Piemonte. I never dreamed I’d go any of these places, but once I made up my mind to explore Italy, opportunities magically appeared.

Today I travel mainly in the USA and Italy, with a strong focus on California and my home state (Texas), adding new destinations as I go. I often visit the same cities and venues because it allows me to have a richer experience. I’m not a serial dater. I like to develop long term relationships with the places I visit and the people I meet.



“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or find it not.” Ralph Waldo Emerson


Adventures of a Carry-on is a place I’ve created to fill with all the things I find  beautiful and inspiring – art, architecture, culture, people, food and wine and of course, travel!

“If adventures not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” Jane Austen

I’d love to hear from you. Contact me here. Also if you see a photograph you love and would like a copy let me know.


For the second year in a row one of my articles made the shortlist in the Italy Magazine Blogger Awards. This year the article Bernini: Sculpting in Clay, was nominated in the category Best Post Art and Culture.

Italy Magazine Blogger Awards 2014

Last year the article,
How To Make An Italian Neighborhood Your Own, was nominated in the category, Best Single Post Living in Italy. Great article if you’re traveling to Rome and need some tips on restaurants, cafes, and more in Trastevere.

Italy Mag Blogger Awards banner 2013


Savoring Italy
Podcast in which I talk about traveling solo, local and seasonal foods in Venice and Rome, and how to find accommodations.

about adventures of a carryon

Travel Tips From Solo Travelers – Travel and Escape

Tips for Solo Travelers on Travel and escape
#WorkAbroad Because It’s An Invaluable Life Experience – Wandering Educators

Camera Ready Makeup class in Naples, Italy, ©PennySadler 2012

Tripper of the Week on


I am the travel and style editor for Wandering Educators  and have written for various beauty and spa industry publication such as: Modern Salon, American Salon, Salon Today, Today’s Diet and Nutrition.
I have also appeared on numerous broadcasts as a brand ambassador speaking on topics from skin cancer to packing for an international trip. With over 10 years working in television and video production, I have cultivated a broad skill set that can be tapped to suit your specific needs.

What I Do In My Day Job…

Want to know what it’s like to put makeup on famous faces like Brooke Shields? Read more about my life as a freelance makeup artist on my blog,

All materials on this site ©pennysadler 2012 – 2016. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Having been chatting socially to you for some time now, I thought I knew you pretty well.

    I have now sashayed onto your “About” page and learned something different. Who knew?!

    Love, as always, from Spain (currently not sunny…)

    Elle xxx

  2. Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog and the follow, looking forward to seeing more of your work,

  3. Beautiful and inspiring. A blog that makes you smile and feel great from within. So much adventures and creativity. Thanks.

    • Thank you for the support my friend. 🙂

  4. Greetings from Australia Penny. Keep up the great work and share your passion with those around you, so that you may inspire others to do the same. Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  5. This is such a cool, creative blog! Happy too.

    • Hey Cindy, I’m just not getting on line for the day and leaving a comment on your blog. LOL. Timing!
      Thank you!

  6. Thanks you Dennis. Travel is IT for me.

  7. I stay tuned for your upcoming photos and storys. Seems that you visit a lot of places 🙂


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