Rebecca Holland headshot

Hi! I’m Rebecca, and I’m a freelance travel and food writer based in Chicago.

I started Curiosity and a Carry On in 2015 to combine my love of travel, food, meeting new people, and storytelling. My favorite part of travel is what you learn along the way, usually through the people you meet. I think everyone has an interesting story to share, so in Curiosity you’ll find interviews with everyone from chefs to volunteers to local friends and innovators in the travel industry.

My other favorite part of travel is packing. Yes, really. Find out what’s #inmycarryon and how to pack for various destinations, from beach to mountains to city. Are you passionate about suitcases and travel-sized products like I am? Let me know what’s in your carry on to be featured on the blog! Reach out at curiosityandacarryon@gmail.com or on Instagram.

Working in restaurants for many years gave me a love and understanding of the industry, and I think food tells its own story about a place, so you’ll hear all about restaurant and other eating experiences both at home and abroad in the Food section. I’m also addicted to coffee and you’ll find my favorite recommendations every Monday to kick-start your week!

In addition to my blog, I write for USA Today, The Chicago Tribune, New City, The Huffington Post, Roads & Kingdoms, Fly Corporate, and other publications.

Just for fun, a few answers to questions I get asked often

  • Where are you from? I’m from Deerfield, Wisconsin, a tiny town outside of Madison, but I live in Chicago. Read my love letter to my hometown on the Huffington Post.
  • Favorite destination? So far, Jordan, Italy, and Cambodia.
  • Favorite dish? Cacio e pepe, an amazing Roman pasta dish made with pecorino cheese and black pepper, qabuli pulao, an Afghan dish of steamed rice, carrots, raisins, meat, and spices, and any really good Mexican food. (Luckily I live in Chicago, home to Rick Bayless and the best Mexican food outside of Mexico).
  • Can’t live without travel item? I am addicted to Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve. It’s a miracle worker for lips, nails, skin, even hair in a pinch.
  • Best bag for a weekend getaway? I love the Everlane Twill Weekender. Fits everything and comfortable on your shoulder, plus it’s stylish.
  • Who designed your logo? The amazing Michelle Neo. I love the logo, and working with Michelle was such a fun process. She’s so creative and talented–highly recommended!
  • Who takes your photos? I do! (Slowly learning about photography – if you have camera suggestions please let me know). And in the rare cases I don’t, they’re credited.

I love to hear from you! Reach out anytime at curiosityandacarryon@gmail.com with questions, suggestions, or just to say hi. Thank you for following along on my adventures around the world!

Though I am sometimes offered complimentary hotel stays or products, I only write about things if I genuinely enjoy them and think you will too. Any gifted products are listed as complimentary, so you’ll always know. If you’re a brand interested in partnering with Curiosity and a Carry On please contact me at curiosityandacarryon@gmail.com


  • Donovan Borg February 12, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I’m the maltese guy on whose photo you just commented on. Have you planned your trip over here? How long is your stay going to be? Need any help dont hesitate to contact me on the provided email.

    Enjoy it next weekend

  • pluning April 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    I can’t seem to find the contact form on here — perhaps it’s an iPad issue. But definitely shoot me a note if you’re looking for connections in Pakistan. Or if you have anyone in Kabul I should look up!

    Hope our paths cross somewhere in the world one day.

    • curiosityandacarryon April 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      No you’re right it wasn’t working – thanks! Fixed now 🙂 I will definitely contact you soon about Pakistan! In Kabul unfortunately I was working the whole time and didn’t get out much, but you should follow @thgobetweengoat on Instagram — she takes amazing photos and has been in Afghanistan for awhile I think.

      Looking forward to following your adventures!

  • Vasudha Aggarwal June 10, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Hello! I’ve really enjoyed exploring your blog and have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award – http://traveldefined.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/versatile-blogger-award/
    Happy Blogging!

  • Jennifer Claire September 18, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Love your profile photo!! The subject, the backdrop, the aesthetic eye…

  • Kelly Sedgwick February 8, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I suggest that you take a summer visit of Galena and check out more of the surrounding area. First of all, when you drive out there, get off of Highway 20 in Lena and take Stagecoach Trail to Galena. It’s 42 miles of winding through the hills and valleys with a few railroad towns in between. Warren is where I spent the first 18 years of my life. I lived and worked in Galena for the last 6 Summers. Stay at the DeSoto House in downtown Galena or in any of the many Victorian mansion guest houses. Another option is to drive to Dubuque, IA and stay at the Hotel Julien. Some places I recommend visiting are; The Ably House & Council Hill station. Shoot over the state line into Wisconsin and check out New Diggings, Gravity Hill outside of Shullsburg and the Potosi Brewery and National Brewery Museum in Potosi.

    Save travels,
    Kelly Sedgwick

    • curiosityandacarryon February 8, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Hi Kelly – I will definitely be visiting again in the summer! Thank you for all of your recommendations. Can’t wait to check them out! 🙂