We feature some of the brightest Instagram storytellers in the Passion Passport community through our Instagram Spotlight series. This week, Ruby Peng (@wanderlustruby) tells us the stories behind some of her favorite travels.

THE JURASSIC COAST, ENGLAND

I wanted to visit the Jurassic Coast before I even moved to the U.K., and I still can’t believe it took me that long to make the journey there. I guess sometimes it’s the places that are nearest to you that you often miss out on. My mum was visiting from China at the time, and as we had spent her previous visit to the U.K. in London, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to hike the trails of the Jurassic coastline and see the incredible rock formations of Durdle Door and Old Harry Rocks with our own eyes.

Although the journey from London is only a few hours, it leads you through historic lands, which is a separate experience in and of itself. The magical stretch of coast is situated in Dorset, in the southwest of England, and is home to castles, coves, cliffs, and classic British seaside towns.

There is no phone reception, the pubs don’t have WiFi, there are countless sheep and cows to befriend, and there’s a genuine feeling in the air that you’re walking in the footsteps of dinosaurs. And, to top it off, the hiking trails provide a perfect place to unplug and let your mind wander further than your feet.

When you reach the cliff tops around Durdle Door, you can’t help but have your breath taken away by the natural beauty of the impressive rock arch and the fresh sea breeze. It’s not hard to see why the Jurassic Coast was the first location in England to be given Natural World Heritage status. Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back and continue the journey along this 96-mile stretch of true English beauty.

 

PARIS, FRANCE

Even though I’ve been to Paris a handful of times, I still remember the childlike wonder and excitement I felt the first time I visited back in 2014. As a self-professed Francophile who watched every single French film I could possibly get my hands on growing up, it was an absolute dream come true.

This particular trip was a little different, though, because it was my mum’s first trip to Paris. We spent almost two weeks in the city, which gave us the time to immerse ourselves in the Parisian way of living. We spent hours wandering through packed streets and side alleys, visiting iconic monuments and hole-in-the-wall patisseries — I showed my mum the Paris I first fell in love with and, together, we explored new neighborhoods and street-corner cafés. It’s such a luxury to be able to explore and wander without the need to rush to the next destination and to experience the lifestyle I’ve always admired.

I would say that my observations and interactions in Paris are greatly influenced by French cinema, and I hope that cinematographic vibe clearly translates onto my photographs.

 

FEZ, MOROCCO

This was my second trip to Morocco — a year prior, I visited Marrakech and got a taste for the country’s customs, culture, and history. I fell in love and was eager to go back.

Fez felt much smaller in scale than Marrakech. To me, everything felt a little less polished, like I was looking at Morocco through a raw and unfiltered lens. The country’s traditional customs are prevalent there, which makes it feel reasonably untouched by Western influence.

One experience that stood out to me was the walk from the old medina to the Jewish quarter. I made my way through colorful residential neighborhoods, saw locals hang their laundry out to dry, and witnessed school children play in the alleyways. That was when I realized what I wanted to captured on the trip: everyday life.

 

SANTORINI, GREECE

We’ve all seen photos of the iconic white towns with blue domes, but there is so much more to this magical volcanic island beyond watching the sun set in Oia. Since I had dreamt of visiting Santorini for quite some time, I was determined to discover the nooks and crannies hidden across the island.

I hiked along striking volcanic trails, explored ancient ruins, and visited a handful of incredible towns. I traversed the cobbled streets and made my way through mazes of white walls, saw the shop owners with their donkeys carrying their goods uphill, and watched as children ran through footpaths carrying fresh bread home to their nonnas. Time seemed to stand still on this Greek island.

 

PUGLIA, ITALY

Italy is probably my favorite country in Europe. Between its rich history, architecture, food, and promise of la dolce vita, Italy’s charm is endless.

Puglia has always been a popular summer holiday destination for Italians, and during recent years, it has even started to gain international attention thanks to the Trulli houses in Alberobello. However, Puglia is such a dynamic region, you’d need at least a couple of weeks to experience all the beauty the area has to offer.

These photos were taken during a road trip down Puglia’s eastern coastline as I passed through Polignano a Mare, Monopoli, Martina Franca, Ostuni, and Lecce.

I visited around the end of February, as I wanted to escape to somewhere warmer than London. The weather was perfect, and since it was off-season, every beautiful piece of coastline was mine for the taking.

Italians are known for their way of enjoying the simple pleasures in life, but Puglia takes simple pleasure to a whole new level.

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Ruby is a London-based lifestyle and travel influencer. After backpacking across Europe, Asia, and everywhere in between for 18 months, she now lives in London with her Instagram husband @pjkspencer. Follow her latest travel adventures on Instagram @wanderlustruby.