hi! I’m Char!

I’m so thrilled that you’re here!

Welcome to How She Loved the World – a blog for lovers of travel, world culture, photography, and art.


Through my work as a blogger, photographer and artist, I hope to inspire affordable, informed and meaningful travel to deepen our human experience with cross-cultural learning and connection.


Art, photography, and architecture are cultural gateway, outlets for expression of ideas, and a way to share ideas. They are languages that link humans from all walks of life and open doors to cross-cultural connections and learning.

Here you can find ways to tap into artistic expressions to better understand and experience world culture and travel.


Travel has given me perspective. It’s showed me that I am a tiny, tiny thread in an enormous and intricate global human tapestry. It has healed my deepest hurts and insecurities, and replaced it with excitement and love.
Travel has taught me that life isn’t something that can be planned, and rarely does got to plan. It has taught me patience, openness, and a willingness to embrace adventures, and the unexpected.
Travel has taught me that I have an infinite amount of things to learn from the world around me. It has taught me that despite our differences, we are more similar than dislike.
Travel has taught me that life is short, and that the things that mean most are human connection, greater perspective, and new experiences. 

You deserve a life full of enriching and memorable adventures. Tap into the experiences that the world has in store for you...


Me In Plaza Mayor
Me in my happy place - Madrid

I’m Charlena. A 23 year old architect/artist/photographer and graphic designer (depending on the time of day). I love wine, long soul-searching conversations, and speaking foreign languages. I speak Spanish and a bit of German, Italian, Portuguese and French.  I paint, I draw, I dance… I will never stop learning, exploring, and finding every opportunity to make things.

I’m seriously in love with our world. After making the life-changing decision to study abroad in Italy during my junior year of architecture school, traveling the world became my obsession.

It wasn’t always like that though. I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and apart from the yearly vacation my family took every year to places in the states, I had never left the little suburb I grew up in. I was laser focused on my grades, my studies in music and dance, and my love for fitness.

You  can imagine how drastically my life changed when I moved to Vicenza, Italy. Vicenza is a BEAUTIFUL little town in the Veneto region of Northern Italy. Read more about Vicenza in my post on my  Favorite Small Italian Towns!

 I found joy in every aspect of Italian life – the serenity of trekking through the quiet winding narrow streets of rustic hill towns, the buzz of life while enjoying aperitivo with my classmates in the bustling piazzas after class, or the thrill of watching the Tuscan countryside race by from a train car window seat.

Ever since my time in Italy, a desire to seek more of this immersion in culture, history, and new way of life has been my “why?” 

I have jumped at every opportunity to continuing discovering our big, beautiful world and am always going back for more.

After all – life is WAY too short to not experience all the incredible, people, places, and stories out there. I have floated in Peter Zumthor’s thermal baths in Vals, I have sunbathed on St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin, I have celebrated a Bastille Day watching fireworks from a bridge in Lyon, I have sped down the streets of Barcelona on the back of a moped, and I have wandered through Lisbon’s Bairro Alto at midnight.

Me - Lyon, France
Me in the beautiful French city of Lyon

Those are the moments in which I have felt such a deep love for our world - and I want to share everything I’ve experienced and learned with all of you - because I know first-hand how drastically travel can change our lives.

So – enough about me, let’s get into the good stuff. Need a good place to start? Read my post on Why You Need to Visit Lisbon, the European destination I hope to call my future home. See you over there!

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