Growing Before 18: The Story of Golden Girl, Carolyn
(San Diego Portrait Photography). Not every girl in her fluorescent teenage years decides to uproot her entire life and move to a new land across the globe. Carolyn, however, proves to be an exception. Hailing from the city of Rome, Italy, she made the big choice to embark on a new experience, embrace a new culture, and encounter new people on completely strange soil—all before she turned the remarkable age of 18.
It was in the hot summer of 2015 when Carolyn plunged into this new life and settle in San Diego, California. She lives with an extended family in Solana Beach and is bound to complete her final year in high school that year. With big dreams to chase, Carolyn was ecstatic about moving to the west coast and soaking in her newfound independence.
The transition wasn’t smooth. In Italy, Carolyn had all the stability she needed to go through her life. There, everything was comfortable and certain. She could easily get in touch with people dear to her: her family and friends, her first love, as well as an active ice skating team.
In California, however, she had to source opportunities by herself and build things up again. It’s not to say that she didn’t have the foresight of how difficult moving to a new continent was going to be. Young as she is, Carolyn knew that it was part of the package to learn how to survive on her own.
And survive Carolyn did.
One year after the move, just shy of her 18th birthday, Carolyn modelled with professional photographer Rochelle Cheever in a photoshoot. Sauntering along the vast Californian beach, she told Rochelle about finishing high school and the job she’s been proudly handling at the same time at Napizza. Carolyn has gone to Italian schools her entire life, with the exception of senior year. One could only imagine the challenges—but the look in Carolyn eyes says she’s open to take on all of them.
Carolyn’s feet dug into the soft sand with each step as they further strolled along. The San Diego sunset bathed everything in pink, thus creating a rosy reflection of Carolyn on the waters—waters that have brought thousands of people to new lands, and waters that could lead Carolyn to discover more.
At one point, she approached the line where the waters kissed the shore. With an energy that pulsated as restlessly as the wind, Carolyn made a twirl, releasing the inner figure skater in her.
While she’s made of brave fiber and dauntingly big ambitions, she doesn’t forget her roots. In fact, she takes her sweet Italian charm and culture everywhere she goes.
For her golden birthday, she returned to Italy to celebrate with close friends and family. It was held at Luxury Art Hotel, which is nestled in the heart of Rome. Carolyn particularly chose the rooftop terrace of the hotel for her special event, as this boasts breathtaking views of the eternal city. Her dress is nothing less than a golden gown, and her footwear a pair of traditional Roman sandals. Carolyn had all her 18th birthday plans mapped out on a journal that she brought to the photoshoot.
At such a tender age, Carolyn has dived into the unknown and supported herself throughout. There was no easy challenge or elegant transition when she moved to California, but she was able to strengthen her character and grow through it. She wants to travel the world and explore various cultures, she shares with Rochelle. San Diego may just be the starting point. Surely, wherever she decides to go on later in life, the girl will bring this magic along with her.