Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Florida and then eventually moving to Toronto meant that I inevitably began to look for ways to escape the cold Canadian winters, so naturally my love of travel stemmed from setting off to anywhere with sunshine and a beach. Europe has always been a prominent influence in my life with both of my parents keeping their rooted traditions and culture alive in our family. Fast forward to many years later and I’m now living in Italy where I spend virtually all my free time exploring my surroundings whether that be hiking the Dolomites or taking a short flight over the Adriatic to Croatia or Greece, I’m always thinking of where to go next.
My never-ending passion for experiencing the local culture, cuisine, and capturing the beauty of each new landscape is what keeps me adding new countries to my ongoing list.
Q&A with Perian our Europe Specialist
What is your favorite childhood travel memory?
I grew up on Florida so my family and I didn’t need to travel far for a bit of paradise. We spent most weekends on the Gulf coast, or on my dad’s boat. I have many fond memories of weekends at the beach.
Your most annoying travelling habit?
My partner would agree that it’s my laidback way of leaving packing until the night before, or sometimes mere hours before a trip.
What 5 things do you always travel with?
Too many shoes, a luggage scale, a book that I inevitably forget to read, my DSLR/ drone, and a good playlist.
What is on your bucket list?
Jumping into the beautiful waters of Palawan, Philippines. I haven’t been to Asia yet, but it’s at the top of my list.
You are stranded on a desert island with two famous people, who are they?
My dog has 12,000 Instagram followers so I hope that counts as famous. If so, I’d bring my Corgi, Dudley. The second would be Rupi Kaur because I’m a lover of poetry.
My Favourite Destination
My favorite destination is the island of Mljet in Croatia, simply because it’s not your typical island. It has a lush, forested terrain and its Natural Park has you feeling like you’ve just stepped into unspoiled nature.
It is the perfect opportunity to escape the crowds for a day and enjoy one of Croatia’s best kept secrets by taking a dip in one of its two shimmering saltwater lakes or exploring the island’s tranquil coastline by foot, bike or kayak.
There is also an ancient monastery on a tiny island in the center of one of the lakes. It’s very peaceful and, these days, is home only to a couple of donkeys.
Throughout my travels there are some experiences and memories which stand out. I would like to share these recommendations with you for some travel inspiration..
Santorini could never get old for me. The authentic Cycladic styling, the dramatic cliffside hotels perched over the Aegean Sea, blue-domed roofs, and of course the sun setting over the incredible caldera. One thing that makes Santorini especially unique is its geology – with it once being a volcano, you will find an array of incredible terrains from black to red sand beaches. Once I experienced the island for myself, it was no longer a surprise to me why Santorini tops most bucket lists.
It’s definitely Borgo Santo Pietro in Palazzetto Tuscany. I stayed there a few years ago and it was the most magical experience. ‘Borgo’ in Italian translates to Village, and this property was just that and more. It’s set on 300 acres of rolling Tuscan hills, lined with cypress trees, an organic farm on-site, and Michelin starred dining. Each corner of the property is intricately thought out right down to the smallest details. It was the perfect mix of bespoke experiences with an unhurried atmosphere. There’s an expression often used by Italians, “Piano, Piano” which loosely translates to slowly, slowly – Because sometimes the best vacations are the ones where we relax and really appreciate our beautiful surroundings.
Even though I have more than one favourite city I’d have to say that Rome has always been at the top of my list. More than just the Colosseum or Vatican there are so many impressive facets of Rome. The fact that it is so full of rich culture and history is no surprise as it’s dubbed ‘The Eternal City’ – After living there for 6 months my routine would often consist of perusing the streets of the vibrant neighbourhood of Trastevere, an area brimming with lively locals & visitors alike, and irresistible food & drink, watching the sun cast it’s golden glow over the ancient city from ‘Giardino degli Aranci’ – a romantic orange garden overlooking the city, and lastly heading to Testaccio market on weekends for fresh pasta. The list truly goes on, which is why I’ll always return to Roma!
Seeing Croatia’s incredible coast line by small ship definitely tops my ever growing list of travel experiences. Waking up each day and jumping into the crystal blue Adriatic and swimming to secluded white sand beaches, forming new friendships while cruising around the medieval walls of Dubrovnik at sunset, strolling through picturesque fishing villages, and experiencing the local food & wine culture with a local family in Peljesac – It was an intimate experience and the perfect blend of relaxation and discovery.
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