2018 Travel Blogging Summary! Year end review of my travels, Goth fashion blog outfits, Japan TV shows.

touring bird, area 120 google travel, touringbird travel tips, city guides activities, google travel guide website, travel writer touring bird

Yikes, where did the year go? Can’t believe it is the end of 2018 already! I’ve recently been swallowed up by work, so my apologies for the lack of blog updates – but we have a lot of exciting travels in store for you soon.

Right now, I’m having fun revisiting adventures for my new travel writing job for Touring Bird, a site by Google Area 120! I’m the insider expert for Tokyo, Hong Kong, and over a dozen other cities in Asia. I’ve been writing insider travel tips and city guides, of course with a focus on offbeat, hidden, alternative, and cute attractions — like the Tokyo Trick Art Museum above. Can’t wait to share more with you once my Touring Bird cities launch.

bangkok golden buddha temple statue, off beaten path hidden secret temples bangkok thailand, travel bloggers press trip bangkok thai

I have a lot to catch up on in the new year, including blogging about my recent adventures in Bangkok, Tokyo, Naoshima, and Hiroshima. And you can look forward to fabulous new travel stories soon… as Yukiro and I have a huge trip ahead in early 2019. Hint, cunning queens and cat worship! I’ll be hitting two other countries as well. Announcements soon, and you can always catch up on my daily life on Instagram @lacarmina.

dark manor inn, vancouver bc haunted manor restaurant, dark manor bar shameful tiki room, vancouver goth bars gothic restaurants

Let’s do a quick review of the past year, as we always do. I’ll also share some photos that hadn’t made it onto the blog.

Here are some snaps from an eerie new restaurant and bar that opened in Vancouver BC. Enclosed in a space with no windows, The Dark Manor fully immerses you into its haunted mansion theme. The upscale Victorian decor includes old ghostly portraits with eyes that follow you, and skulls and candles on a fireplace mantle.

This bar specializes in whiskey, and the craft cocktails have names like The Tight-Lipped Butler, The Baron’s End, and Danse Macabre. Each comes with a theatrical garnish: a “poisonous” vial, a cup of pills, a haunted house silhouette on egg white foam. The menu also has old-fashioned victuals like deviled eggs and pork medallions. If you have a Gothic disposition, you’ll love spending an evening here. (Wearing a lace bodysuit by UK Lingerie.)

laurence and chico cafe vancouver, octopus chairs fashion cafe downtown vancouver, laurence chico theme restaurant

I also descended under the sea to Vancouver’s Laurence and Chico Cafe. With fluffy hooded octopus chairs, this is one surreal place to grab an almond milk latte! You can also browse the couture on display, and munch on delicate pastries.

aurora winter festival vancouver, aurora winter fest christmas lights, xmas holiday markets vancouver bc

During Festivus season, my friends and I checked out the new Aurora Winter Festival in Vancouver. It’s a delight to drink hot mulled wine and pose amidst the Xmas lights displays.

vancouver ferris wheel, aurora festival, vancouver winter festivals christmas markets xmas holiday events

I’m keeping warm thanks to my slim white puffer coat by Snowman New York, and leather leopard print gloves by Moschino.

You can see more outfits and images like these on my Instagram @lacarmina, as I now frequently update there with OOTDs.

travel blogger caribbean press trip, dominican republic casa de campo, tropical travel fashion blogger travels

Now, let’s go back in time to the year that was! I’m grateful I was able to travel with various close friends this year. (Click the links to each destination to see all the images and stories.)

I started out January 2018 in the Dominican Republic, as a guest of the exquisite Casa de Campo resort. Still dreaming of the tropical food and white sand beach.

travel blogger panama city, panama skyline waterfront buildings, fashion blogger panama

I did a quick stopover in Panama City, where I marveled at the futuristic skyline….

havana cuba street musicians urban hip hop stars, dancers, cuban band, street style fashion havana

… before getting immersed in the retro culture of Havana, Cuba. I wrote about my Cuban travels for Movato Home, a national print magazine found in newsstands all over Canada. I’ve been writing regularly for them, so look for my stories there in each issue.

clift hotel starck chairs, san francisco design art hotels

In the spring, I revisited San Francisco, CA with my “ghoul gang.” We shopped for Satanic statues, headbanged to synthwave, descended into Gothic clubs… just the usual shenanigans!

rio sugarloaf mountain, travel blogger brazil press trip fam trips

Next up, I fulfilled my goal to see South America. In a dream project with LATAM Airlines, I spent time in several major cities — incuding Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil. (Here I am atop Sugarloaf Mountain.)

 buenos aires obelisk, fashion blogger argentina, Argentinian street style fashion blog outfit

Don’t cry for me, Argentina… Buenos Aires was a blast. The culture and food lived up to their high reputation.

buenos aires graveyard, recoleta cemetery, unique vintage dress, retro vintage fashion blogger

I haunted Recoleta Cemetery as the “woman in white,” and went to an Eva Peron (Evita) themed restaurant, among other explorations in BA.

model posing valparaiso, murals art chile, rainbow stairs valparaiso valpo

Then, I flew on LATAM to Chile for the first time. I took a quick jaunt to Valparaiso, a wonderland of street art and a place you must visit.

post punk t-shirt japanese, katakana post punk underground england shoes fashion

I also explored Santiago, Chile – especially the hip LaStarria district. Random note: I get so many kind comments when I wear my Japanese post punk t-shirt!

easter island signs, statues wearing hats, funny cute moai easter island weird

Words fail me when I recall my time on Easter Island, land of the stone-faced moai! Rapa Nui has been my ultimate bucket list destination since I was a kid. Still can’t believe I got to see the mysterious icons for myself, thanks to LATAM.

halter swimsuit gold black, easter island hotel luxury resort

The island is one of the most remote in the world, and the landscapes are fascinating. If aliens ever came to Earth, I’m sure they landed on Easter Island.

park hotel tokyo girl looking out window, tokyo tower view , lost in translation

After, my pirate Naomi and I plunged into working on a new travel TV show, with me as host. We shot it this fall in Tokyo, Japan – I’ll never grow tired of this city. It’s interesting how life has changed since launching La Carmina Blog, but Tokyo subcultures remain at the heart of everything.

japanese tv show host, tokyo japan tv host, travel tv host weird japan subcultures

The travel television episode (Joko und Klaas, Duel around the World) aired in late fall. We were chuffed to hear your reactions to the crazy challenge and mascots! Read about it here and see TV clips if you missed it.

hiroshima gate, miyajima red torii, hiroshima red orange temple gate

After finishing up the TV job, I traveled for the first time to Hiroshima with friends. Loved seeing Miyajima, the red gate, and visiting the Peace Memorial Museum.

luang prabang laos luxury resorts, hotels, 5 star hotels laos

We then hopped over to Bangkok (tons of stories to come), and Laos. The tranquil Luang Prabang charmed us with its warmth and food. 

That’s 12 countries this year, if you count US and Canada – not bad! As I mentioned, there’s a massive trip coming up in February… so stay tuned for exciting visuals and stories.

long clothing hexagon geometric skirt, nu goth fashion, goth girl pink purple hair

I’ll end with some outfit snaps from the past year. I’m wearing a Morph8ne top and Long Clothing skirt, while lounging on my Crate and Barrel love seat (you know I love mid century modern design). My pink shoes are for sale on my Depop if you’d like to snatch them up.

silver irregular choice ankle boots, black bat wing top, batwing shirt

I had pink hair for the first half of 2018. Wearing a batwing top similar to this, an Erbert Chong bag and silver Irregular Choice ankle boots.

bunny ears goth hairstyle, skull overalls, la carmina apartment home decor, interior design mid century modern, fashion bloggers apartments

For my birthday party, I wore Print All Over Me skull black overalls and a Chinti & Parket striped top. (If you want to see more images from my minimalist mid-century modern apartment, click here.)

fashion blogger long legs, three quarter length thigh high tights, morph8ne sweater

Time for a hair change! I’m going to stick with longer and darker for a while. My shoes are Jeffrey Campbell, similar to these boots. My three quarter length are floral Oroblu thigh highs from UK Tights.

pentagram dress, killstar pentagram satanic dresses, pentagram straps star dress lacarmina depop

Goth fashion, always. Wearing a faux fur coat and bone barrettes with a Killstar dress. It’s similar to this to this pentagram star straps dress.

I’m still selling my wardrobe on Depop @lacarmina – where I’m now a verified official seller! If you’d like anything from my personal collection of Goth / alt fashion and accessories, I’d be glad to send you a package. Simply see what I have listed here on Depop and contact me (gothiccarmina att gmail dotcom).

la carmina easter island, fashion travel blogger easter island statues, tongariki sunrise model girl modeling

Leaving you with a final pic from Easter Island, wearing a House of Holland dress. Feeling gratitude for being able to see places like this with my own eyes.

Farewell, 2018 — here’s to a fulfilling and peaceful 2019! Happy New Year, everyone!


Filed Under Fashion, J-News


  1. Tani Schwarz
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Wow what a year! Looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2019!

  2. Discount C
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    These places are truly amazing. I am thinking of taking my wife on a trip, on our anniversary, to Tokyo and show here all the places you have mentioned here. Anyway, thanks a lot for providing me inspiration for a perfect anniversary gift.. haha

  3. Aishwarya Rai
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    WOW this is great for your memory so I am glad to that and your pic and the Japan fashion is so great so thank you for share you memory

  4. Bella willson
    Posted February 20, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Theme of picture is amazing thanks for sharing

  5. appslure
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing such a great blog… I am impressed with you taking time to post a nice info.

  6. Man and van
    Posted February 21, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I love traveling. I’m going on Mauritius next month and I wish I visit Dominican Republic this year but we will see because there is one sure Santorini trip coming this year for me so my extra ordinary life might can’t handle it ;P Good luck with all your plans :)

  7. Fashionlly
    Posted March 5, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi Carmina, What a fantastic post! This is so chock full of useful information.

  8. Gary Bassett
    Posted March 9, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Great travel tips. This tips is very useful. Thank you so much for sharing this tips. Keep posting.

  9. Shobha Tour
    Posted May 3, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Thanks For Sharing Really Nice Blog I’m Impressed With your post to Keep Posting.

  10. Tracey Jones
    Posted May 22, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this amazing blog, Esp. These images you have used <3

  11. angolia skyfa
    Posted December 24, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Yah currently I am working in a Kids fashion store in Australia and next month my family planing for the family tour so this information will guide us regarding fashion trends and new dress up ideas thank you for sharing this information Keep Posting…

  12. john mike
    Posted January 10, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I look forward more from you, dress color is sharp and looks great, Looking forward to seeing what you get up to in 2020! you looks gorgeous by the way.

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