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The Pink Spice by Rachele Abrusci | Solo Girl Traveler
My name is Rachele Abrusci, I am Italian and I was born in Bari, the capital of beautiful Puglia!
I lived in five different countries and eight cities; I traveled a lot as a child and I still do. I feel an unmeasurable love for ASIA, which has gradually blossomed since I moved to China. Yes, I left everything and everyone to move to China and since then, my life has been a rollercoaster, up and down at full speed.
I like to call myself a storyteller and traveling has definitely helped me develop this side of my personality but despite this, writing about me is definitely the hardest story I have ever written.
When did I start traveling?
I don’t remember exactly when because I have always traveled. I began traveling when I was very young with my parents, visiting over 50 countries, like Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Zanzibar, Canada, just to name a few. Then, when I grew up, I began traveling alone embarking in both study and work projects abroad.
Where have I been?
As I already mentioned, I visited over 50 countries including the United States, France, Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, Kenya, Seychelles, Maldives, and much more, but I visited the great majority of them when I was really young. My plan is to obviously revisit all the places where I have already been but which I have very vague memories of, and add many more to the list.
Here are a few pictures of me as a child traveling around the world with my parents:
Polynesia: My Parents’ Wedding
United States: Disneyland Los Angeles
Where did I live?
I lived in Italy, in Bari, where I was born, and in Rome, where I graduated from college with a degree in Economics.
I attended the last year of middle school in Lugano, Switzerland, which is one of the countries I absolutely want to visit again in the very near future.
I spent four months in the United States, in Boston, to study English.
Then I flew to Madrid, Spain after winning the ERASMUS scholarship, which is very well known in Europe. My stay in Madrid “only” lasted one academic year.
And then, unexpectedly, I ended up in China (the story of how I ended up there deserves an article all by itself, click here to read the story). The first Chinese city I lived in was Beijing where I initially studied Chinese for a year and then started working. After three years in Beijing, I made the difficult decision to embark on a new adventure and I moved to Shanghai, the city where I currently live, work, and update my blog.
What did I do before China and how did China change me?
Before ending up in China, I would have liked trying to live in Brazil, then maybe even in the United Arab Emirates, and finally why not, permanently move to New York.
For a long time, I cultivated my “American Dream”; there was nothing in the world I desired more. I really wanted to move to New York. With time, I realized that I had watched too many movies – definitely too many – and that the life I imagined probably didn’t even exist.
In a few words, I dreamed of living in a New York penthouse right on Fifth Avenue, wearing the kind of clothes as Carrie in Sex and the City wore, with an undetermined dream job, obviously well paid, and a pink limo waiting for me outside my building. Ah I almost forgot, of course in my dream, every morning I went for coffee – American coffee – at Starbucks (in all the movies I have seen, there is always a sophisticated, well-dressed woman who sips Starbucks coffee; you might have noticed too)! Who could have predicted that with the passing of time I would have turned into a “gipsy”, who doesn’t care as much about expensive designer clothes and instead prefers making new experiences rather than collecting things? Once this new life philosophy became part of who I am, the quality of my life definitely improved. Let me be clear, I still care and will always care about my femininity and my appearance, but I also think that I can still dress well while spending less and use what I would have spent in designer clothes for traveling and for my personal growth.
If I think about all the money I spent for clothes, purses, shoes, I feel a bit guilty; after using them for a while, I just wanted more and more. If instead, I think about my trips, whether I stayed in a hostel or in a luxury hotel, I have no regrets and I am actually happy to have spent my money this way, especially if this money was spent in less fortunate/advanced countries, such as Nepal or Myanmar. I like to think that an important resource like tourism might help the local population: this is why I adapt my travel style to the countries I visit. I was happy to stay in a simple Guest House in Nepal and to have the opportunity to give my contribution, as small as it might be, to the local economy. Likewise, it was a real fun experience to enjoy the absolutely breathtaking views from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.
What will come after?
China completely changed my plans, likes, tastes, psyche, and made me fall in love with itself first and then with the entire continent of ASIA. Therefore, if you are curious to find out where I will end up next… all you’ll have to do is keep following my adventures. Only one thing is certain: I know it is time to leave this country, but I still don’t have the slightest idea of where I want to move to. I have become so accustomed to the “different” that the real shock will be going back to “normality”, but even for this subject I would need an entire article.
Why the name “The Pink Spice”?
When I began thinking about my own blog, choosing a name costed me almost three months of thinking and debating, of calls, texts, and video chats with family and friends around the world. Initially, I wanted something related to traveling and to the color of my hair which I love so much – I am blonde inside and out – but that became a true ordeal. After carefully researching, I realized that there were already enough travel bloggers out there who had used the word “Blonde” in their name. The realization truly crippled me for a couple of weeks; I didn’t know what name to pick. I wanted a name that would represent who I am but I was totally lost.
There was the option of “She Goes Alone”, which I didn’t mind but I wasn’t crazy about. Yes, it did represent me. I do Go Alone, I have always done everything on my own, but this name had a sort of sad, melancholic flavor to it and I wanted a name with a happy, fun, or extravagant tone. Then one day, I was at home eating hummus and wasting time watching YouTube, when I found an old video of the Spice Girls, and in a few seconds I realized that… there, I had the name I was looking for!
THE BLONDE SPICE!
Yes, there are no travel references.
Yes, I admit I couldn’t get the word “Blonde” out of my head. I wanted to use it at all cost! However, I loved the idea and I do love spices, hot and spicy food, and I therefore felt that the name would represent me well, also because I knew that part of my blog would be dealing with food, which in my opinion is a central part of any trip.
There was still however one more problem: the word “Blonde” was definitely overused. What else could represent me as well as blonde in one word?
To answer this question, I need to take one step back. The choice of the word “Blonde” was not only related to the color of my hair, but also to the opinion that people commonly have of blonde girls/women. I remember once in college, a girl trying to be insulting told me something like, “Yeah, you are blonde and everyone knows that blondes are stupid!” Obviously, her words didn’t hurt my feelings, they actually made me smile but they did stick in my head. In reality, there are way too many stereotypes about the combination blonde-stupid.
Setting this episode aside, I was always amused by the surprised look of people who listen to my travel stories. What I hear from them every time is, “What!?! You are traveling alone around the world with a backpack on your shoulders, sleeping in hostels? You are so pretty, so… blonde. You don’t seem the type of girl who would like this type of travel experience!”
That’s it, what represents me the most is contradiction. I know I look almost innocent, maybe a bit snob, a girl searching for comfort and luxury, but in reality I am wild inside, even somewhat of a hippie: always well-dressed but always longing for new adventures whether in Kazakhstan, or Antarctica, or Sudan.
This is what I have always been: a living contradiction between the way I appear and the way I really am. Contradiction has definitely been the main feature of my personality.
But let’s go back to the search for the perfect name. I loved the word “Spice” but I had to let go of the word “Blonde” and replace it with another word which would instinctively bring to mind something “superficial”. I wanted a fun name, a name that doesn’t carry too many expectations but that can surprise once you know the story behind it.
The word “Pink” arrived shortly after. It is my favorite color and it represents what I intended.
I had the name: THE PINK SPICE
As soon as I said it, I liked it immediately. It’s original, unique, easy to remember, and it represents me well. That’s it! I got my name! And that was the beginning or maybe not. Actually the true beginning dates back to the summer of 2016, a very unhappy period in my life due to the death of a family member, which caused me a severe depression. At that time, I began to compulsively posting my pictures on Instagram. Receiving likes and comments made me feel better, somehow helped me fill the emotional void. A few weeks later, my pictures were already obtaining a decent success, especially considering that I had never used Instagram before…
But this is also a story that would deserve one or even two separate articles.
For now, it’s enough information about The Pink Spice.
Visit this page to learn how we can work together and how you can contact me!
What Else Can I Say About Myself?
Solo Girl Traveler
- I am blonde inside
- I love pink but my world is not pink and from the stories of my travels, you will understand why
- Traveling is my passion not just my hobby
- I have a true obsession for off the beaten path destinations such as, for example, North Korea, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, etc…
- Lazy pole dancer
- I love hot and spicy food
- I am a backpacker and I enjoy staying in hostels
- However, I also love comfort and staying in five-star hotels
- I am scared of planes and of flying (I am fully aware of how contradictory that is)
- I am obsessively fearful, I am basically afraid of everything, and I have tons of phobias…
- … but despite it all, I am reckless
- I love art, especially contemporary art. Museums are in fact a central part of my trips
- I have a deep passion for languages – I currently speak English, Italian, French, and Spanish fluently and I have reached a decent level in Chinese – and I intend to learn 4 more in the next few years: Arabic, German, Portuguese (I have already studied these three languages in the past), and Russian (never studied before)
- I am a sympathizer of Buddhism but I also studied other religions/philosophies, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism
- I am a big fan of social media and of how they can be used to promote a business or an idea, or to raise awareness about important causes, such as poverty in certain areas of the world, AIDS, wars, etc.
- I already mentioned it but I am going to mention it again: I feel a deep love for Asia and for anything related to Asia, from food to religion, from natural landscapes to cities, I could go on forever…