Carolyn is a freelance writer and editor now based in Reykjavik, Iceland (formerly based in Melbourne, Australia). She is passionate about travel, languages and food and has been writing guidebooks to various corners of the world for 17 years. Her work has also featured in a number of newspapers, magazines and websites.


Follow me on twitter: @carolyn_bain


A year spent living in Denmark as a teenager inadvertently set Carolyn on her career path: the year was 1989, when the Berlin Wall was breached and the Iron Curtain fell. Carolyn’s travels that year ignited a strong interest in 20th-century history, particularly that of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

Carolyn went on to study Russian, German, and European history and politics at Monash University in Melbourne before a two-year stint in London juggling various jobs (writing articles for a travel magazine start-up, proofreading documents for an international management consultancy, serving Princess Diana while working in retail…).

Travel writing

Upon her return to Australia from London (via the US, where she worked for six months), Carolyn began as an editor with Lonely Planet. In 2001 she started freelance work, and in her 17-year travel-writing career she has authored more than 50 Lonely Planet guidebooks to destinations including Iceland, Denmark, Slovenia, Greece, New England, Sweden, Estonia, New Zealand, Australia, Malta and the USA.

Food writing

Carolyn also has a huge interest in food, especially travel to food-focused destinations, and has been a regular contributor of cafe and restaurant reviews to guides published by Melbourne newspaper The Age.

Food explorations have entailed a search for the finest char-grilled octopus in the Greek islands and sampling whale, reindeer and cloudberries in Scandinavia. Recent culinary highlights include a stellar New Nordic meal and kitchen tour at Noma in Copenhagen, and marvelling at Heston Blumenthal’s mad-professor creativity at the Fat Duck in Bray, England.

Web content & editing

As well as writing guidebooks, Carolyn frequently edits them. When she is not travelling, Carolyn works as an editor and writer of web content, advising and collaborating with individuals and companies to ensure clear, effective and professional communication.