Anatomy of this Outfit: Dress – Urban Outfitters | Hat: Urban Outfitters | Sandals – Aldo Shoes

love from  berlin bohemian fashion - taken by Johannes Husen

Anatomy of an Outfit is a series featuring my personal style as well as reflections on various subjects. The clothes and thoughts expressed in these posts do not have any particular relation to each other.

Traveling alone usually results in some really unexpected shit happening which will later make for excellent story telling material. Which is kind of awesome. Most of you know that I was away in Italy last week. For the first few days, I was with my business partner shooting a wedding in Tuscany. It also unfortunately coincided with an extremely nasty stomach flu that had me retiring early to sweat off a fever through the night. Extremely un-fun, but luckily it was only one of those 24 hour kind of things, so I was still able to drag my sick and tired ass to Florence for a 3 day trip of sightseeing. (Being the resourceful woman that I am, I had figured I would just tack on a few days to the end of my business trip, as my ticket was already comped so it would have been positively idiotic not to take advantage of the situation and go and see the sees in Florence. Much art very culture.)

love from berlin bohemian fashion - taken by Johannes Husen

Solo travel is an entirely different beast than traveling with others, be them family, friends, or a partner. Pro: No vicious family fights or public despute with your s.o. Con: No fighting with ANYONE because you are alone, which could get lonely. Pro: Being out of your comfort zone Con: getting lost and freaking the fuck out because you are alone Pro: Meeting new and interesting people you would have not met otherwise were you to already be in good company Con: That person turning out to be a murderer. Just kidding. I clearly watch way too many dateline mysteries. Which, in any case has made me realize that midwestern housewives are to be feared and that I am more likely to be killed in the US by a church deacon in a dangerous love triangle than I am by some scary man in Barcelona. Suffice it to say, solo travel brings with it its own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, but the strengths are so overwhelmingly positive, that if you are an independent person – or want to become one – solo travel is definitely an undertaking you should be well, taking.

love from berlin bohemian fashion - taken by Johannes Husen

Since I had already taken the solo-travel plunge for the first time when I traveled to Fuerteventura earlier this year for 6 days, I was pretty confident that I could anticipate the general climate of my 3 day solo-stint in Florence. I did battle feelings of loneliness during first solo trip, but also learned how relaxing it can be to have yourself for company. You don’t have to have lengthy discussions about which museums are worth seeing, have someone get mad at you for taking your precious time in the morning, or get mad at someone else for taking too long. You are on your own time clock, and the dictator of your own schedule. And this time, seeing as I would be in a large city that also doubled as a tourist hot spot, I would constantly be surrounded by people. So how was the trip? I had a blast, and left wishing I could have stayed longer, which is always how you should leave a place. I learned that the selfie stick industry is booming in the heart of Florence, confirmed that I really do get drunk off of 6 sips of wine, fell in love with the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and saw Michelangelo’s David in all its 5.17 meters.

love from berlin bohemian fashion - taken by Johannes Husen

And, I also came back with a hilarious story which I am now going to share with you here. (Mom, if you are reading this, don’t freak out and I’m sorry. Actually, I’m not quite sure what I am apologizing for, but they say saying sorry always makes things better.) On my last night in Florence, I decided to grab a small bite to eat at this restaurant/bar that I had walked past a few times during the previous days of my trip. Unfortunately, once I got there, all the outside seating was taken, and there was only a small place at the bar available. While debating whether or not to give up my quest to eat the lemon pasta I saw advertised the day before, a man sitting at a table for two motioned to the waiter that I could sit with him if I liked. The waiter mentioned that the guy was a sort of friend of his, so I thought, “Eh why the hell not? I doubt this waiter would suggest I sit next to an axe murderer.” And ordered my meal.

love from berlin bohemian fashion - taken by Johannes Husen

Not one to be rude, I did what most Americans would do in this situation and engaged in a favorite American past time: small talk. I found out that the man was a newly single 47 year old ex-military pediatrician and hobby photographer from Moscow who had moved to Florence to teach photography to Russians. Much of his photographic work was actually quite strong, and it was nice to chat with a fellow artist. At one point during the night, a man walked by selling roses. We both politely declined, but as he walked away, I looked at the man and said to him, with a dead pan expression on my face, “What you aren’t going to by me a rose?” He was a bit taken aback and I think his broken English only made the situation more confusing for him, but as soon as I told him I was kidding he burst out laughing. He then motioned to the man and said to me, “You want?” I shook my head and said no.

He then went on, “I get you all flowers, I kill him and get you all flowers. I have big knife and I’m crazy Russian.” To which I was like, “Yeah, actually you know what? I believe you.” I mean I’m like about 110% sure he was telling the truth. My new Russian buddy and I continued to talk for a while, with him saying every now and then that he was “happy man” and concluded with him paying for my meal. I insisted that he not, but I was pretty sure he was just a nice human being whose day I had made and wanted to do something nice. He also proceeded to tell me that he was “rich Russian man.” I shit you not, more ridiculously stereotypical this situation could not be. He also offered to let me stay with him should I ever visit Florence again. He was a regular at the restaurant and was the doctor of the waiter there so I was pretty sure I was not going to die, but then again, I wasn’t. Except I was but you know, I watch a lot of Dateline 48 hours.

love from berlin bohemian fashion - taken by Johannes Husen

So after the meal was paid, and we became freinds on instagram (which may or may not have been the wisest move), I realized I still had to get back to the B&B, that it was dark outside, and that is an ex military Russian man wanted to kill me, he probably could. So I politely noped the fuck out of the restaurant, took a detour through the busy square, and snuck back into my apartment, promptly locking the door and praying that I would not end up hacked to bits and on the news the next morning. (As you have probably gathered by now, I have an over-active imagination) Needless to say, I’m clearly still alive and will not be making the headline news anytime soon (knock on wood), but the experience did make me question the fact that I have so much of my life displayed on the internet for all to see and made me think a bit more about solo travel safety, despite already being a very safe and responsible women. So I will be posting some of the tips I have gathered based on my solo travels in the next post, because hey, better safe then dead right?

Photography: Johannes Husen

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Stay conscious, Rae


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Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • This is such a gorgeous location, it compliments your outfit perfectly! I really love what you’ve written about solo travel too, it’s an incredibly liberating experience but the moments of panic when you realise that you’re lost can definitely have you wishing for a travel partner! I hope you had a great time in Florence despite the illness and creepy Russian guy!

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

    • rae

      Thanks so much – it was actually just a bit of nature tucked away in the park in Berlin. SO glad you enjoyed the post as well!

  • oh man so glad you’re back safe & sound! sometimes we scare ourselves too much with mere imagination – but yes, better safe than dead :) love the photos Rae! x

    • rae

      Thanks so much Sharon! And yes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

  • Glad you safe!! Traveling solo can be rather lonely I don’t think I would ever

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

    • rae

      Thanks! And I really think you should definitely give it a shot!

    • rae

      Thanks, Jeanne!

  • glowyshoes

    i love your sense of humour…lol @Needless to say, I’m clearly still alive and will not be making the headline news anytime soon…love the sandals

    Glowyshoe blog

    • rae

      Thanks so much, glad you enjoyed it! And yes, so glad to still be alive!

  • Lool I would do the exact same! I watch too many lifetime movies to know where this is going haha. I love the idea of this series I am now going to binge read the ones I have missed.

    • rae

      Right? I guess it is natural though as a solo traveler who is also a women to have your guard up. Still, it is quite sad that it has to be that way! And great, I really hope you enjoy reading all the past posts!

  • how funny, i’m way too shy to have accepted his offer in the first place but at least you got a story out of it, like you said. looking awesome in these photos btw!

    • rae

      I am pretty friendly, so I wasn’t too bothered :) And thank you so much!

  • Harija Ravi

    Great post, love your blog!


    • rae

      Glad to hear it!

  • I think this was an extremely intriguing post, and your little anecdote was such a fun read! I have never travelled solo before but I’m looking for an opportunity to; I usually function better without people so I think loneliness wouldn’t be an issue. It’s the getting robbed/cheated/lost/killed (I watch a lot of Castle lol) that’ll be the problem.

    I think it’s such a great idea to write about solo safety tips! I’ll be looking for ward to that, Rae, but for now, have a lovely rest of the week!

    May | THE MAYDEN | Bloglovin’

    • Also: These are AMAZING photos!

    • rae

      So glad you enjoyed the post, May! That is awesome – you shoudl totally travel alone then. I am sure you will really love it and get so much out of it. I posted the tips for solo travel today so be sure to check them out and thank you so much :) My friend Johannes Husen is an incredible photographer!

  • Love this total black outfit!

    Have a nice day


    Maggie D.

    Fashion Blog Maggie Dallospedale fashion diary

    • rae

      Thanks, Maggie!

  • I love the idea of solo traveling, but it terrifies me. Meeting great people and potential killers. It’s an adventure that I think everyone wants to do, at least once. I’d love to. I feel like it takes a lot of bravery, even if it doesn’t seem like much, to travel alone. I personally love being alone but my mom would be much happier if I was with someone else. Haha <3

    xx Bash | Hey Bash | bloglovin’

    • rae

      I totally agree – everyone needs to experience it just one – even if only to learn that it isn’t for them. And yes, moms always prefer that we travel with a buddy, but if you are safe, traveling alone is really no more dangerous than traveling with friends.

  • Sarah

    I think travelling solo must be a great experience but I wouldn’t be mentally strong enough I’m afraid…

    Sarah x

    • rae

      I am sure you could do it Sarah! The very first solo trip is intimidating, but after you have that under your belt, it’s a breeze!

  • I’ve always wanted to travel alone at least once however I’ve never had the courage to do it! It was fun to read the post and good to see that you’re still alive :) Also These photos are amazing!

    • rae

      I really hope that you get the opportunity to do so, Ela – it is such a worthwhile experience! And thank you – my good friend Johannes Husen is an incredible photographer.

  • sofia

    You’re so brave for travelling solo and being independent :) It must be amazing! Your outfit is so so nice and I wish I had your photography skills omg !!
    xx Sofia

    • rae

      Thanks, Sofia! The first time a travelled solo was a very intimidating experience, but now I really love it. I also still love visiting friends as well – which I am actually doing right now. We are going to be leaving for Bratislavia in a few hours as well :) And thank you, but these photos were shot by my dear friend Johannes Husen, his work is stunning isn’t it?

  • love this story lls. You made a friend! Who could possibly be a maniac BUT he paid for your food :D

    • rae

      So glad you enjoyed this crazy story :) And yes, that was very sweet of him!

  • Such nice shots – especially love your peace ring x

    Alexander @ Mr Essentialist

    • rae

      Thankss, Alexander! The ring was a gift from a friend for my birthday.

  • Emily

    I’m very happy your crazy russian friend didn’t kill you! I love that you are happy to travel alone and I WANT YOUR HAIR!

    Musings & More

    • rae

      Thanks, Emily and lol, yes I am also very happy to still be alive and breathing! :)

  • Beautiful photos! Love the outfit♥♥

    • rae

      Thanks, Summer!

  • Kelly M

    Wow first of all I love your blog!! Traveling alone is one of the most ethereal experiences and I appreciate your sharing yours! Your hair is also absolutely fantastic and very fitting for you.


    • rae

      Thanks so much, Kelly, so glad that you enjoy it, and yes, solo travel is a very unique experience.

  • Black color fits great with your blue tone hair,,, everything have Pros and Cons…

    Melange-Boutique Blog by Noe&Lolita

    • rae

      Thanks so much!

  • Glad you’re okay :) I think I have a similar trust-worthy-nature with strangers but then with guys I’m definitely half thinking in my head this could end in some horrible death situation – also have a vivid imagination. How screwed up the World is that we even have to be worried about ended up chopped up into pieces though. I’m sad for victims and I’m sad for innocent guys having to carry this stigma but I’m most angry for those who created it!

    On a happier note, I really love solo travel :)

    • rae

      Thanks, Fee! And yes, it is honestly just a really sad reflection on society that we even have to have these kinds of fears! And yes! Solo travel is amazing :)

  • Lol, this story is hilarious! You can’t be too careful though because you never know what people have in mind.

    • rae

      Really glad that you enjoyed the story!

  • Your story was so interesting! I didn’t know what to expect, except I knew you were okay! I travel with my husband but you have to be cautious all the time. Love your green hair and hat girl. Looking forward to your tips

    • rae

      It was a pretty interesting evening and way to spend my last night in Florence, to say the least! It’s really good that you are cautious when you travel. It’s always better to be safe then sorry! And thank you so much – as far as the tips go, I just posted them today, so be sure to check them out!

  • Tracy

    Loved reading this story, you can never be too careful when travelling solo! Great pictures!

    • rae

      Glad you enjoyed the story, Tracy!

  • Stephanie Louise

    Oh no to getting sick Rae :( So happy it wasn’t long! It’s been wonderful following you in Snapchat. So many pros and cons of solo traveling, but I hope everyone tries it at least once! I think after that they will fall in love and can’t help but add a few solo trips here and there.

    • rae

      Oh so glad that you have been enjoying my snapchatting! It’s a really fun app cos it’s less curated than instagram or the blog and feels a lot more interactive. And yes, despite the the cons there are so many pros and it is just such a good experience to have had. I have certainly fallen in love with solo-travel myself!

  • Ah no, sorry to hear you got sick, that sounds super rough. Glad you still went to Florence though. Granted, I’ve only truly solo-travelled once, but I’m still undecided about it. I think I still enjoy myself more when there’s someone to share it with. But obviously solo is the way to go rather than waiting around for someone to decide they want to come with you!

    Oh gosh your story… I’m glad he didn’t kill you haha. I’m so awkward I’m not sure what I would’ve done in that situation!

    • rae

      I guess you can never really plan for these things in the end, can you? And yes, I am really happy I still went to Florence as well – it was such an amazing experience and I really fell in love with Italy in general during my trip. I hope you really give solo-traveling a real shot, it’s something everyone should do, even if you end up realizing it’s not for you, you can at least know for the future. I also love traveling with others too, don’t get me wrong! And yes, so glad I lived to tell this super weird tale ;)

  • I genuinely enjoyed reading the Russian man story. I mean, thankfully it all ended safely but I’m glad you’re okay and you have a fantastic story to share. See, these are things you won’t experience if you aren’t traveling solo. Staying safe is important but still, the adventure, the people you meet.. And I am loving all of these shots!

    N- Naomi in Wonderland

    • rae

      So glad you enjoyed the read, Naomi! That is the thing about solo traveling (and traveling in general actually). You always come away from it with some weird anecdote. And yes, safety is important but I also think it’s important to know the difference between being paranoid and safe. Being paranoid stops you from having great experiences, and being safe doesn’t.

  • Len Dela Peña Parent

    WOW!! Your photos are simply stunning!!!! Love your style!

    • rae

      Thanks :) Johannes Husen is really a superb photographer. You should definitely check out more of his work!

  • Oh wow, your story made me so nervous because I too watch way too many Dateline/48 Hours episodes! I’m so glad that nothing bad happened…it is definitely important to stay safe when traveling! My husband and I have encountered some weird situations on our road trips, so I definitely look forward to hearing your safety tips!

    • rae

      Haha, Valerie you have no idea. I have literally watched all the Dateline 48 hours episodes to the point where when I click on one on youtube I have generally already seen it or listened to it while at work. Very glad nothing bad happened as well! Would love to hear some of your tales from your road trips with your husband. And yes, take a look, I just posted the tips today :D

  • First of, your photos are stunning in this post!
    Now that we’ve established that I must say, what a crazy fun story, it’s amazing what situations you can end up in when you’re solo travelling!
    I don’t think I would ever invite a stranger to my table, but I think I would probably sit down id I was myself like you. I never really think of myself as a typical Norwegian person as I talk a lot, gesture a lot and is generally quite outgoing, but when I read stories like this or meet people from other countries on vacation I understand how Norwegian I really am, and it’s kind of sad. We never ever speak to anyone who is a stranger, we don’t even make eye contact with other people on the street! Therefore I love meeting people from other cultures, because they talk to new people so easily, and I always catch myself on being too conscious doing this myself on vacation!

    • rae

      Thank you so much, Elise! I’m really glad you enjoyed the story, and that is the thing about solo travel – you always come back with at least one crazy tale to tell. I think it is a very European thing (well certain for certain European countries – manly nordic and germanic countries) to not really converse with strangers. It’s the same in Berlin which is sometimes a bit of a bummer. I miss this aspect of American culture. And yes, that is why it is so fun to meet other people from different places who are more open. But I think in general when you travel a lot of the people you meet, no matter where they are from, are going to be more extroverted because they want to see new things and make new experiences.

  • heygoodtimes

    Love your style,so charming,hot,sunshine

    • rae

      Thanks so much!

  • heygoodtimes

    you are a sunshine girl and charming,good day

    • rae

      Aw thanks so much for the sweet message!

  • Oh my god that story, I would be pretty terrified. I do want to solo Travel (I mean I live in Wales and just want to travel up to the islands around Scotland on my own atm) but my mother is point blank refusing. Hopefully I can when I’m older because I do like having some time to myself. Love the photos and the look too! <3

    The Quirky Queer

    • rae

      Lol, yea it was funny in retrospect, but for a moment I was pretty scared. And I really hope you get to do some solo travel around the Island. And I have always wanted to visit Wales! A friend of mine in Berlin is from there and we actually might make a small trip there soon. Maybe you could take baby steps to get your mom on board starting with a small day trip somewhere near by?

  • Oh my gosh, that story made me laugh but also a little wary haha! I love the idea of meeting new people in foreign places, but like you, I’m almost paralyzed with fear at the idea that they might be messed up and try to murder me!

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin’

    • rae

      Oh definitely – there is such a thin line between funny and scary.

  • Lauren Letizio

    OMG your hair is just too adorable! The hat just gives the outfit that extra oomph! Love this outfit!!


    Blame It On Barneys

    • rae

      Thanks Lauren!

  • Your are SO pretty and your hair is #goals! That story is really creepy, especially since he was a doctor and military trained!!

    Pop over to my blog!


    • rae

      Thank you so much, Sarah, you are too kind. Lol yes it could actually have been the start to a really good horror film. In the end though, he was just a very nice man.

  • Nice look! Thanks for the comment!

  • Beautiful photos! You look amazing :) xx

  • Amazing photos. I only just discovered your blog and I love your writing and your outfits!

    / O.R.R. – Life & Style Journal

  • I’m glad you’re safe and enjoyed your solo travel experience. We have all started talking to a stranger and felt uncomfortable at one time or another, so I hope you’re experience ended up being one where you can communicate with and make a new friend. Deciding whether or not you trust people can be tricky, but it sounds like you trusted your instincts and you can never go wrong with that.

  • That story is hilarious! Hahaha, I’m glad you enjoyed your travels! Your hair is STUNNING!

  • Ahh Rae! Your photos are absolutely stunning – as always!

    Sophie xx

    • rae

      Thank you so much, Sophie!

  • Hahaha oh my gosh Rae, that story! I am glad it all ended up safe and well, I definitely laughed a whole lot when you were just like “Nope, I’m out of here” at the end, haha. At least you got a really good conversation out of it all! :P


    • rae

      I did! And I guess that is the crazy part of solo travel! You always come back with some weird or funny story!