Where to Find the Best Beaches in Algarve, Portugal

Imagine the Cliffs of Moher combined with a Mediterranean climate and sandy beaches, and you have the Algarve region of Portugal. This idyllic area is the Southern most post of Portugal and home to what I would consider Europe’s most scenic beaches.

You’ll find sandstone rock formations towering over spotless beaches and a rugged coastline scattered with grottos (caves) and coves. The Algarve is ideal if you’re looking to escape to a combination of nature and sea.

That’s why I’ve rounded up where to find the best beaches in the Algarve region. Read more

Annecy, France: A Photo Diary of the Venice of the Alps

Tucked away in the French Alps along Lake Annecy is perhaps one of the most charming small towns in all of Europe. Also know as “the Pearl” or “the Venice” of the Alps, Annecy, France is living proof that storybook towns still exist today.

I stumbled upon this gem while looking for day trips to take during my recent trip to Geneva, Switzerland. And not even a massive hangover from a weird night of karaoke, a friend with a forgotten passport, or a thunderstorm were going to stop me. Read more

5 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Croatia

(This article was originally published in Croatia Week Magazine.)

In a matter of a few years, Croatia has transformed from Europe’s hidden gem to Europe’s hottest holiday destination. With spotless beaches along the Adriatic, national parks full of waterfalls, and charming cobble-stoned cities, it’s unlikely that Croatia will fall off the radar anytime soon.

However, just like in any other popular destination, the rise in visitors is a ripe opportunity for some tourist traps to flourish. As an American who’s lived in Croatia for over a year, I’ve seen this first hand.

Here are 5 of the biggest tourist traps you’ll want to avoid for a more authentic Croatian holiday. Read more

Celebrating 1 Year of The Mindful Mermaid!

It began with the decision to take a leap of faith and live life by my own rules. What started as a process of self-discovery turned into digital storytelling. What started as a loose concept transformed into a brand.

One year ago, I passed the mic to my alter ego, and she ran with it. The Mindful Mermaid is a growing corner of the Internet about my journey, and a platform for being cultured, conscious, and cool.

So to celebrate her first birthday, let’s recap the highlights of this past year and reveal what’s coming next! Read more

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Dubrovnik

Drum roll please… I’m about the drop the ultimate knowledge bomb full of insider travel tips to one of the world’s trendiest destinations: Dubrovnik, Croatia. Trust me when I say you won’t find these tips in any Lonely Planet Guide or one of the various “36 hour travel guides” on Pinterest.

Why? Because I didn’t just visit Dubrovnik; I lived there. I first came to study abroad, then fell in love, literally, with a local. I then returned to live for another 6 months. I’m one of the lucky few Americans that actually were immersed in the culture and Dubrovnik mentality.

No tourist traps. No sponsorships. Only my genuine tips (and a few of my boyfriend’s recommendations too) about a destination that turned into my second home:

Read more