It’s finally the last day of January! I don’t know about you but January felt like the length of the whole of 2017 to me.
So to celebrate the end of this dreary month, I wanted to talk to you about something amazing : traveling!
I am very lucky to have travelled quite a lot through school trips, family trips and work experience. Traveling shapes you in a special way, you get out of your comfort zone to explore and get lost in the beauties of the past and of the present. You forget about your routine, your habits, your everyday surrounding and get lost in a city you don’t know and wish to explore.
Today I decided I would share with you cities I have absolutely loved visiting, and others I haven’t been to myself but where my parents have been and loved that I want to visit myself.
Most of them (well except one) are in Europe as I haven’t travelled outside of it much but if you are planning a trip to Europe if you are not European, it can be great to visit several cities at the same time.
Barcelona / Roses / CadaquÃ¨s
We visited these three cities during the same trip. We got a hotel with my family in Barcelona and spent a day each visiting Roses and CadaquÃ¨s. Barcelona is so beautiful. The architecture is breathtaking, you get a city vibe mixed with a seaside relaxed mindset. The weather was amazing when we went there in April about 4 years ago and I remember feeling so relaxed there. Roses and CadaquÃ¨s were beautiful as well, especially as the latter has a very Greek architecture with all the white buildings and houses. It felt so chilled and tranquil there, as if we were locals.
Who hasn’t heard of Lisbon? Being one of the most tourist-y destination lately, I feel like everyone has been. Well, everyone but me. Having a 100% Portuguese family, it’s quite shameful to be honest. But when my parents went for a romantic getaway last April and went again with my sister whilst vacationing at our family house up North in July, I was on my internship. I really wish I could have went. The photos my mom sent me were so beautiful and the food always reminds me of my childhood and grandparents. The architecture is so pretty with all the colorful tiles, the gorgeous buildings and the air of freedom you feel when visiting a seaside city. (credits to my family for these photos)
I adored Rome. It felt like stepping in a different century. Everything is original, the cobblestone streets, the incredible monuments, the remains of centuries ago… And oh dear, the food. I still dream about the amazing pizza and pasta we ate there. It was unbelievable how different it tasted, like tasting something for the first time. I have some of the best memories there, I went as a school trip with a few classes and we were lucky that though it was February (oh gosh, seven years ago!) the weather was amazing. My mom went recently with one of her friend and she told me she definitely understood why I like Rome so much and wanted them to go there.
My mom visited Edinburgh about ten years ago. She was in a rough patch and decided to go visit one of her friend from college who now lives there with her husband and son. As soon as I saw the photos, I knew it would be on my bucket list. All this green in contrast with the authentic gorgeous architecture – and let’s not fool ourselves, the fact I feel like I am looking at the Harry Potter world – makes Edinburgh go top of my list right now.
When my high school organized a penpal exchange with a french-learning school in Brno, Czech Republic which would include a Eastern Europe countries’ visits, I knew I needed to be a part of it. We landed in Budapest and spent two days there. It was so strange not being able to read the street names nor understand anything. But the architecture made up for it. It was so different from anything I has seen before and the Thermal Baths where we spent an entire morning definitely made up for the lack of sleep.
We also went to visit Vienna for a day and I loved it. Seeing the castle reminded me of Sissi the Young Empress and it was dreamy. The streets were gorgeous and we even saw horse-drawn carriages.
Though I had already went there before, when I knew Prague was the last city where we would spend two days during this trip, it made the decision to go even clearer. I had loved Prague the first time I went but this time was special. We were only a group of about 20 so we were more free to visit as tourists rather than follow the lead. It was even better than I remembered. I am in love of the looks of this city, the bridge, castles, buildings and the Old Town. So since I tend to give my mom ideas, she is going in April with the same friend she went with to Rome (my dad is not much of a traveller).
Miami will forever hold a special place in my heart. In was the city to which I travelled for the first time entirely alone, thousand miles away from home for two months. I did an internship there in real estate (the dream there) with the best team you could imagine. Though the entire trip has its ups and down, everyday, I would look out of the bus, onto the ocean and tell myself I was so lucky for this experience. It was so different from everything I had ever seen before. The city vibe was different, lively, breezy, cultural. I loved the mix of culture, the different food and languages, the idea that there you can be and do anything. Even choosing these photos (I didn’t take many actually, I only had my phone back then and the quality was not great) was difficult. Everytime I look at them I feel like I’m back there, full of happiness from how much I was learning from amazing people, being in a host family who felt like a second family, surrounded by water, the ocean, tall buildings, the fresh sea air.
I had been wanting to visit Brighton for so long. When my mom decided she wanted to do a girls trip with my sister and I, we jumped on the occasion to offer to go to Brighton. And I wasn’t disappointed at all. I loved every minute of it. The lanes, the ocean front, the Pier, the Pavilion… all of it made it perfect. I love the fact it is not too big nor too small, it has a very fresh air vibe to it that made me relax instantly. I has some great eye-opening moments there, realizing what made me happy and were a ‘click’ moment. I really want to go back soon to experience all of it again. I have blogspot dedicated to Brighton here, here and here.
Which city is on your bucket list? Have you visited a place you think everyone should go there? Where are your 3 top destinations?