In conversation with the Brazilian solo traveler Debbie Corrano on her travel style. Debbie, who is behind the Instagram account @debbiecorrano, has been traveling the world with her four-legged friend Lisa. Let’s get to know her better!
Thanks for taking the time to have this conversation with us, Debbie! Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers (as well as your mutt, Lisa)?
Thank you for inviting me, guys! I’m Debbie Corrano. I’m originally from Brazil but I’ve been travelling the world full time for over seven years with my dog Lisa. I’m a writer and digital strategist working as a freelancer for companies all over the world. That makes it possible for me to live anywhere in the world I want! I’ve lived in over 23 countries over the past 7 years and at the moment I’m in Berlin, Germany.
I found Lisa abandoned in the streets of São Paulo 13 years ago and we’ve been living a happy life ever since. She’s a stray dog that probably was born in the streets since we unfortunately still have many abandoned animals in my country, but we managed to find each other. She was lucky, but I was even luckier to find her.
What destinations would you recommend for those about to head out on their first solo trip?
As a woman, one of my biggest concerns is about my safety, so I always try to choose countries that women can walk around without worrying about their safety. My first solo trip was to Argentina, as soon as I got my first vacation from my first job, and it was eye-opening. I had this idea about traveling somewhere close to my home country in case something would go wrong. I still assume this is probably the safest bet if you’re concerned. Wherever you are, your first solo trip will be mind-blowing regardless of the place, so choose something that will make you comfortable and prepare you to take on bigger adventures.
What’s something you wish more people knew about traveling with pets?
I wish people would know that it is POSSIBLE. I heard so many horror stories of people who abandoned their pets because of a trip or because they were moving countries and I can’t imagine how someone could do this to such loyal and incredible companions. When I decided to start travelling the world, I had Lisa and my other adopted dog too, Luca. I knew I could do it, but I would only go if they would be able to go with me. It was hard finding out everything about travelling with pets at first, but I never considered going anywhere without them both. Together, the three of us went to over 20 countries. I love being the example that travelling with pets might sound hard, but it’s definitely not impossible.
Best three tips from your experiences for solo travel?
- Stay in a hostel! Even if you’re not a fan of the idea of sharing rooms with other people, they also have private rooms and you can still join their events, parties, tours and everything that happens there. It was the best way for me to have fun, meet people and do different things back when I was travelling solo before I started working remotely.
- Travel slow. I know it’s tempting to try to go to as many countries as you can, but you’ll end up not really getting to know anywhere.
- Be open to find new parts of yourself you have never experienced before. Don’t let the idea of “this is not for me” take over even before you try something new. That’s the beauty of travelling solo: finding things about yourself without any bias from other people – stay open!
We’d love to hear a bit about your best pet-friendly experiences.
Travelling by train in Europe is the best thing when you have pets. You can reach lots of countries without any hassle, go straight to the centre of the city, and a lot of times trains are amazing and very comfortable. European countries tend to be quite pet friendly so it’s really fun, without a lot of issues I would obviously face in other countries. That’s the reason why I spend so much time around here – it’s amazing for Lisa!
What does the perfect itinerary look like to you?
I’m a big fan of exploring more of the same country instead of hopping around every few days. The perfect itinerary for me is usually around the same city, sometimes exploring different neighbourhoods, meeting new people, finding bookstores, small local stores and coffee shops I can spend a long time people watching. At night, I love to try different craft beers and bar hop around a busy neighbourhood!
And your next destination is…?
Travelling is still quite a challenge because of all the variants, so I’m not planning so much for now. During the pandemic outbreak, I couldn’t see my family for a long time, so I hope to be heading to Brazil soon now that everyone is vaccinated!
Let’s talk about sustainable travel. What’s the biggest way travelers can make a difference?
Respecting the culture of a place and understanding why people do what they do is probably the most important thing you can do as a traveler. You’re in their place, so learn their manners. The thing I do the most when I arrive in a new country is observing so I can adapt to their own way of life without disrupting anything. When it comes to sustainability, I always try to make smart choices: I don’t fly lots, and when I do I tend to spend months in just a single region, traveling around the same place, to not get unnecessary planes. We tend to undervalue traveling without a plane nowadays due to the low-cost airlines but honestly, they’re always the most incredible and surprising ones, and I try to stick in a region for longer periods of time because of that.