About moi

Some people call me an adventurer, others a vagabond, a world traveler, a wanderer, a globetrotter or just desperately lost. Really what I am is a woman who’s fallen madly in love with beautiful Europe – and I want to make you love it too!

There’s more to Europe than London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome, and I want to share the beauty, elegance and oddities of Europe with you.

I dare you to fall in love with cities, parks, mountains, coasts, towns and countries you never even knew existed. It’s time to step off the beaten path, to try something new, to see the world just a little bit differently, to add new places to your travel itineraries. How about the spectacular Kreuzenstein Castle in Austria? Or the vivid facades of Poznan? Perhaps the romantically medieval streets of Tallinn will seduce you, or the like-a-painting alleys of Spain’s peublos blancos. Get off that tourist track and visit the flying golden domes of Kiev’s cathedrals or Gutenberg Castle of micro-country Liechtenstein.

Hopefully some of my photos taken during my ongoing European travels will inspire you to start your own journey – and perhaps one day you’ll visit them too! Please enjoy!

All photos are my own. Please respect copyrights. 

C’est Moi

My pen name is Alba, a translation of my real name which is actually Dawn. In fact, everywhere I go, I have a new name, the translation of “Dawn” into any language. In French, I am Aurore, in Polish I am Jutrzenka (pronounced “yoot-gzen-ka”), and in Italian, Aurora. In Russian, I am заря, pronounced “Zar-ee-ya”. And of course, in Spanish, I am called Alba.

While I’m originally from Washington DC, I’ve volunteered in Costa Rica (my first time abroad) as an English teacher. I’ve studied literature in England, I’ve taught English in Spain, I’ve worked at a bilingual preschool in Poland. In Lyon, France, I received my Master’s Degree in Tourism Marketing & Management – in French! As of 2017, I’m living in Ireland as the Marketing Executive for an Irish adventure travel operator. I’ve travelled to more than 30 countries and over 300 destinations within those countries, always accompanied by my trusty (though ageing…) Nikon D3000. Since 2014, I’ve made it my goal to explore Europe with my French husband. We met in Lyon, married in a medieval castle in his home region of Auvergne, and had the goal of moving abroad since Day One. Potential destinations included Ireland, Denmark, or Austria – but it was Ireland that won in the end!

I love Europe, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else! Follow this blog to see some of the most beautiful places my adopted continent has to offer, and maybe get a few ideas of where you want to go for your next holiday or vacation!

See my professional writing on Adventure Travel here

See my travel & tourism writing here

See my writing portfolio here

Where have I lived?

COSTA RICA: 5 weeks as a volunteer English teacher at an orphanage in SAN JOSE

ENGLAND: one semester in BATH, studying English literature…in England!

SPAIN: 1 month in BARCELONA (getting TEFL-certified),

and 1 semester in PUERTO DE SAGUNTO (near Valencia) working at an English academy

2 months in RONDA & SANTOÑA teaching English at summer camps

POLAND: 1 month working at a rural summer camp near ZALECZE WIELKIE

 1 year in WARSAW working as a preschool English teacher

FRANCE: 1 year in LYON as an au pair;

In September, a grape-picker on a French vineyard in the BEAUJOLAIS WINE REGION

6 months working for the tourism office in LYON

2 years in Lyon while obtaining a Master’s degree in Tourism Marketing & Management at INSEEC LYON


Living in SLIGO, IRELAND where I’m the Marketing Executive for Wilderness Ireland!


**All photos and texts are my original work…please respect copyrights!**

Favourites cities and towns…

//Lyon, France// Bath, England// Tallinn, Estonia// Prague, Czechia// London, England// St Petersburg, Russia// Copenhagen, Denmark// Wroclaw, Poland// Annecy, France// Vienna, Austria// Kiev, Ukraine//Vitré, France// Warsaw, Poland// Sacra San Michele, Italy// Bergen, Norway// Dresden, Germany// Dubrovnik, Croatia// Bruges, Belgium// Ronda, Spain// Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany// Kreuzenstein Castle, Austria// Gdansk, Poland// Pérouges, France// Peniscola, Spain// Ghent, Belgium// Dunnattor Castle, Scotland// Bunratty Castle, Ireland// Budapest, Hungary// Torino, Italy// Madrid, Spain// Donegal, Ireland// Riga, Latvia// Stockholm, Sweden// Strasbourg, France// Santillana del Mar, Spain// Liverpool, England// Split, Croatia// Dinan, France//Bilbao, Spain// Poznan, Poland// Mont Saint Michel, France// Ohrid, Macedonia// Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland// Largentière, France// Chateau de Chenonceau, France// Belfast, Northern Ireland// Torun, Poland// Sacra di San Michele, Italy// Sighisoara, Romania//Corvinus Castle, Romania//

Favourite Regions….

  • Andalucia, Spain
  • Aosta Valley, Italy
  • Ardeche, France
  • Auvernge, France
  • Beskids, Poland
  • Bretagne (Brittany), France
  • Cantabria, Spain
  • Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
  • Cevennes Mountains, France
  • Cotswolds, England
  • Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
  • Dolomites, Italy
  • Donegal, Ireland
  • Gauja River Gorge, Latvia
  • Hebrides, Scotland
  • Hunedoara, Romania
  • Lake District, England
  • Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
  • Sligo, Ireland
  • Sognefjord, Norway
  • Transylvania, Romania
  • Yorkshire Dales, England

34 thoughts on “About moi

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through your wonderful biography, and I fully understand your sentiments. Europe is very dear and close to my heart for its amazing, rich and diverse geography, history and cultural traditions.

  2. I’ve been enjoying your photos and accompanying narratives for several months now. I recently discovered a relatively new tool in Photoshop called Perspective Warp, and I’ve been playing with it on some of my architectural shots, sometimes with good results. Here is link to that new Adobe feature: http://youtu.be/Dwdg0y7STjo

    When I saw your image of the fountain in Antwerp, this tool immediately came to mind. I played with your image and uploaded the result to a private spot, just to show you.

    I don’t expect you to make this post public, and I’m certainly not implying that my version is better than your original, just different. Best wishes and keep those great shots coming – jw

    • Wow thanks!! Yeah, I had noticed before that the buildings were a bit off-kilter and it annoyed me a little, but I couldn’t really fix it. Aligning everything definitely improves it!

      I don’t have photoshop yet, but I’ve considered buying it several times. With so many free tools out there, do you think it’s worth it? Photoshop is really that much better? I haven’t used it for a few years so I’m sure it’s changed a lot! If so, which program (just the traditional photoshop)?

      • Well, Photoshop is certainly a challenge to learn, and there are otter less expensive tools. OTOH, Adobe offers a Creative Cloud license for PS and Lightroom 5 together for $20/month, $10/month first year trial. If you feel up to the challenge of a learning curve, I’d go for it. If not, PS Elements is pretty darn good and much more reasonable, but the learning curve is almost as steep.

  3. Thanks for your comment on my blog. Not only nice to hear from a former Washington DC person, but it also led me here. By the way, I notice in the comments above a discussion of various photo processing software. If you are considering Photoshop, Lightroom, or Photoshop Elements, I’d suggest Lightroom. It has great power but among those three is the easiest to learn. (And you can add “learn Lightroom basics” to that very long list of your goals 😉 Anyway, I look forward to seeing more of your posts and images.

    • Yeah it is! Don’t know if I’ll ever live in DC again, but I still feel those strong ties to the city where I grew up! (well actually I was in the suburbs but I spent a lot of time in the city). Thanks for the advice–haven’t made any decisions yet, but I’ll definitely consider lightroom when I do finally decide to buy!

  4. Pingback: The World is My Accessory nominated for Liebster Award | The World is My Accessory

  5. You are just an amaizing person. Very smart and very beautiful in all kinds of way. I am gald to meet you here. Greetings from north of Romania 🙂

  6. Hey Alba Marie, enjoyed your post on Stockholm, home of my paternal ancestors. As we’ve discussed, your shooting is great but many shots could be improved with a little post processing. For example, the Stockholm shot could be imposed by correcting the wide angle keystoning, erasing distracting telephone wires and TV antennas, and evening out the exposure. http://thewinterfamily.net/_alba/AlbaStockholm.jpg

    Perhaps we could collaborate. You are taking all these great shots but haven’t yet found time to learn post-processing. I have some of those PP skills, but health problems have sidelined me from doing much shooting. You could send me some of your shots, I could fuss with them, send them back and you could publish the results. I desire no credit whatsoever, just the fun of doing the work is reward enough.

    You can reply at Jack@JackWinterPhoto.com, and feel free to delete this post.

  7. “There’s more to Europe than London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome “….. So true Alba.
    Nice posts and awesome lifestyle! hope to keep coming 🙂

    • Thank you! I’ll be sure to continue posting!

      No I do not have a twitter handle at the moment, but it’s my project for the holidays as soon as I get some free time!

  8. Alba Marie – Your photos are so beautiful and inspiring! I am in Warsaw for the next month and am fascinated/obsessed with the abandoned buildings in the city. I feel they each have a story to tell. While I may never learn their story, I want to photograph them and give them new life. They will all be gone soon.

  9. Hi Dawn! I can’t believe I’m just now (finally) checking out your blog. It’s amazing! And you are such a beautiful writer and your photography is spectacular. I’m so proud of my fabulous niece! I know you’re busy getting ready for the wedding. Wish we could have joined you, but I will be looking forward to seeing photos and can pretend we were there. All the best
    Your San Diego aunt.

  10. There is also Finland – the lesser known country in Europe where sun never sets in mid-summer, where reindeer rides are popular, where you can meet Santa even in summer, where Samba Carnivals surprises visitors, where you can visit to the world’s biggest snow castle, where you can hike among freely roaming reindeers, where you can walk on frozen lakes or where to make lake cruises on board of historic steam ships and much more.

    Happy and safe travels!

    • A friend and his family just got back from Finland yesterday where they “met” Santa and got to see reindeer and huskies, and they loved it! I’ve heard about the snow castle, it sounds very intriguing! All of the rest sounds amazing too!!! Perhaps one day 🙂

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