“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”Gustave Flaubert
Yes, I’m going to be one of those hopelessly optimistic people because that’s how I’ve been dealing with the pandemic and being indoors most of the time. While I believe it will be a while, possibly sometime in the late fall or early 2022, before we can all move freely, I’d still thought it would be nice to dream a bit about destinations I am running to once lockdown is lifted and it is safe to travel again.
I had planned to go to Portugal three years ago, and things didn’t work as intended. Last year I almost made it out in March, but I had this unsettling feeling and decided not to go. Now I am CRAVING a trip to Portugal and not just because I want to find a flat in Lisbon. I want to explore the entire country, starting in Faro. Although I’ve been learning both Brazilian and European Portuguese, it makes sense to go to the language motherland first and then Brazil. Being indoors means that I’ve watched probably every documentary out there right now. There’s one about Lisbon that just made me swoon.
Yes, I already went to Belgium, but I wasn’t there long enough. I liked Belgium more than I liked France. Now mind you, I’ve only been to Paris and Giverny, so I yet to discover the rest of l’hexagone. Still, I just found my vibe matched Brussels better. In some ways, it reminded me of Montréal: cheap eats and friendly people. I spent three days there, and I was already planning the next trip. Aside from Bruges, I want to hit up Antwerp. I haven’t had fries, chocolate, mussels, beer, or coffee here in the States that could even come close to what Belgium is offering. I’m ready to go back to a place where it’s perfectly acceptable to walk around with a large box of frites. Oh, and may I add, better internet speeds, too. Suck it, Orange!
I need to visit a Scandinavian country. It’s also home to the cinnamon roll and not the one slathered with all kinds of frosting. On my way to Berlin, I was stuck in Copenhagen for a few hours. I remember seeing all of the signs pointing to Malmö. Of course, by the time I decided to go, they announced boarding—Hygge, candles, and coffee. Sign me up!
I love train travel, so it is only fitting that I must go to Japan. My brother-in-law went a few years ago, and I have been super jealous ever since. It would make my dreams come true if I could go into one of the sushi stalls at the Narita Fish Market. A show called Somewhere Street by NHK World transports you to different travel locations, not just in Japan. I can get lost in Japan's streets, even if it only to dream for a few.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to see Australia, but I’m more intrigued by New Zealand. I don’t know much about New Zealand, and I want to learn by soaking up the culture (specifically Māori) by being there.
A few years ago, I went down the YouTube rabbit hole and found a mesmerizing live feed of the Willemstad carnival followed by the Flag Day celebrations. Surprisingly, Curaçao showed up later in the week as a late-night travel show. Wait a minute. A place that speaks Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, Papiamento, AND looks like Amsterdam but with a brighter color palette? Ja en ja!
My Mom went to Spain a few years ago and made the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage. Her travel pictures alone were enough to get thinking about possibly setting up my second home base there. Of course, I turned the tables on her and asked her all the questions my friends and family usually ask me when I return from a trip.
How was the food?
Did you like the weather?
How did you get around? Was it easy? Cheap?
Now, if you know my Mom, she either loves something or hates it, and despite having to walk everywhere and take transit (something she would never even think of doing here in the States), she loved the country, its people, food, and the pace of life. She even said she could see herself living there.
“People are just happy here.”
That was more than enough for me.
Where would I move to, though?
I have three cities in mind: Málaga, Barcelona, and Madrid. In that order.
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