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

Who Am I and what is Adventures of a Carry-on?

I’m a professional makeup artist with a bad case of wanderlust, an eye for detail, a WSET certification which means I’m a wine weirdo.  I started this blog as a place to share my adventures (intellectual and cultural) with you. Plus, I have a lifelong passion for travel photography, and the blog stands in as my portfolio. But, things evolved, as they do, and I became interested in wine and wine travel and decided I would set myself a goal to visit all of the major wine regions in the world. 


about adventures of a carryon

Italian vineyard


A curious person, I’m interested in learning, creating, self-discovery, connecting with people, having adventures, and discovering beauty. Because travel is about more than the destination, Adventures of a Carry-on is a metaphor for the experiences we bring back with us and the parts of ourselves we take with us. 

Today I still do makeup

I support my travels by writing part-time and I continue my career as a professional makeup artist. Occasionally the travel and makeup thing come together as when I taught a class in Naples, Italy, or when I worked with Phil Keoghan of the Amazing Race.

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

If you’re curious to know what it’s like to put makeup on famous faces like Brooke Shields, check out my freelance makeup artist site and blog here

It all began with Italy

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).


"Blondie"about the Roman Trattoria owner. from Adventures of a Carryon a travel and lifestyle blog

“Blondie” and the Roman Trattoria owner.


In 2013 I went on my first official blogger trip to Italy. I spent five crazy days in  Emilia Romagna starting in Bologna (not my first time there),  Forli, and Cesena (don’t miss the Maletesta Library). We visited vineyards, apple orchards, learned to make pasta, visited a violin maker and attended a very fancy dinner with a rock star chef.

A second trip to the old country, also in 2013, found me in Voghera (Napolean lived there for a while), Pavia, and Milan, in the Lombardia region. The day before departing I visited romantic Lago di Orta, only an hour from Milan but in the region of Piemonte. I never dreamed I’d go to 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 Europe, with a strong focus on wine regions. If I am in an area where there are no vineyards, I’ll find a good wine bar! 

I like to revisit destinations and new friends because it allows me to have a richer experience. I like to develop long term relationships with the places I visit and the people I meet.

What you’ll find on 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. But most of all, you will find me wandering through the streets and alleyways looking for the unseen, overlooked, hiding in plain sight, stories and connections, that make life exciting.

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 from About Adventures of a Carryon

Napa Valley Balloons

A favorite literary quote:

“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, just 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.

from, adventures of a carryon a travel bl0g

Italy Magazine Blogger

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


Travel Style on Johnny Jet 

travel style penny sadler on Johnny Jet


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

Travel Expert on Travel Awaits


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. 


All materials on this site © pennysadler 2012 – 2020. All Rights Reserved.


Barry Benton September 2, 2016 at 11:32 am

Very cool Penny! Keep up the awesome work!

Penny Sadler September 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

Thanks Barry!

89 Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Natural Sites on Earth December 2, 2015 at 10:29 am

[…] Adventures of a Carry On – Big Sur, California, U.S.A. […]

Elle in Andalucia September 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

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

CrazyGuyinThailand June 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Outstanding blog.

Penny Sadler June 3, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Thanks Crazy Guy in Thailand. 🙂

marthapfeil April 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I enjoy your blog and have nominated you for the Sunshine Award as described on my awards page:


The Secret To Looking Fantastic While Traveling | Select Italy Blog April 2, 2014 at 4:41 pm

[…]  Penny Sadler was born with a map of the world in her hand, Penny’s love of travel and curious mind take her far and wide as often as possible. Raised between California and Texas, her talent for creating beauty and confidence in everyone she works with comes naturally. Her interest in Italy has refined her personal travel style however, she has yet to try walking on cobblestones in a pair of high heels. […]

sankar bhadra May 2, 2013 at 5:24 am

It’s beautiful.

edmooneyphotography April 16, 2013 at 8:31 am

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

Penny April 16, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Same to you!

Generation Passport March 30, 2013 at 1:14 am


Island Traveler March 29, 2013 at 2:04 am

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

Penny May 6, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Thank you for the support my friend. 🙂

Mubarak February 10, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Nice blog..

photographymemoirs December 25, 2012 at 11:29 am

From Australia with love, Merry Christmas

photographymemoirs December 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm

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.

cindy knoke November 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

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

Penny November 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

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

Penny July 22, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Thanks you Dennis. Travel is IT for me.

diaryofdennis July 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

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


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