If you were given a year to spend one month in a place you’ve visited before, which places would I choose? Tell me…
You see what I did. I challenged myself to think about this, and it’s hard, it’s not attainable and, well, nobody cares. But because my brain always needs to be entertained with something, I started to think about this. Yeah. Could even be an interesting post.
As a disclaimer, I was raised in Portugal, Leiria city, lived for three years in the academic city of Coimbra, Portugal lived for six months in Madrid and most of my twenties in London.
I’m not a seasoned traveller. Most of the places I’ve been to are in Europe. I do hope I can look back in five years time and see some new names down below. I didn’t choose the places below by their conditions of living, size, or anything technical like that. Only matters of heart came to this choice, and who can explain that? The heart wants what it wants.
I’ve also linked the articles I posted at the time about each one of these places. Some are really old, so excuse the poor quality!
Edinburgh, Scotland – visited in 2017
The first time I visited Scotland I was hooked. It almost felt I belong there, even though I did not. I can’t even understand what they say in some regions. But I can in Edinburgh. I absolutely adore the Scottish accent. I love how nice everyone is. So welcoming. And how can a real city feel so much like a world existing only in my imagination? Sometimes when I’m reading a book, I see the place that’s been so well described in those pages rising up around me. Like some elves are putting up the walls of a scenario. It feels so authentic. I enter a stage of complete abstraction of the real world. And Edinburgh does that for me.
I love the architecture, the cemeteries, the views. The galleries, the bookshops. The castle, the gardens. The cafes. Everything seems to have been made to suit my tastes.
Copenhagen, Denmark – visited in 2018
I developed a strong crush on Copenhagen. It is such a beautiful, vibrant city, full of beautiful people and beautiful streets. And may I just add… again – everyone is so damn beautiful. I’m sorry, but what do you eat for breakfast, you gorgeous Vikings? 🤗
I also liked how such a cosmopolitan city has such a slow rhythm to it. In London, the rush is in the air. You breathe it, and you walk to its swing. But in Copenhagen, the only thing that goes by really fast are the bikes. I learnt about Hygge. From my perspective, it is the warmest of the nordic cities I’ve been able to visit. With so much to do as well. Yup, I would live there for sure. And would visit the Tivoli often!
Prague, Czech Republic – visited 2017
Prague surprised me in such a way because it was not a place I thought I would like this much. It felt like a playground to an architecture lover like myself. Gothic, Baroque and Art Nouveau. Colourful and dark streets. History. Amazing food. I could imagine myself sitting on one of those cafes, feeling pretentious, reading Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being for the 50th time.
Florence, Italy – visited in 2017
The crib of Renaissance. I loved, loved Florence. I could definitely live there, if I’m honest, studying Art History while sipping cappuccinos in the morning and espressos for the rest of the day. I would spend hours in the galleries, studying the Medici’s, trying to uncover the juicy secrets of their history. What can I say, I do like history. And conspiration theories.
Dresden, Germany – visited in 2015
Oh, it’s been years. I went to Germany to visit a friend in Erasmus there. She was studying in Cottbus and took me to visit Berlin and this Dresden city I hadn’t heard much about at the time. And I love it so, so much. So beautiful, and sad at the same time. Again, I would be studying Arts here and the German language. From time to time I would visit Berlin. But my base would be Dresden for sure.
Sinaia, Romania – visited in 2019
This is a mountain resort and I don’t ski, so no, the ski isn’t the reason I wanted to spend a month year. I fell utterly in love with the houses in Sinaia. Again, similar to Edinburgh, they were designed for my taste. These Victorian mansions, make Sinaia feel like a haunted town, inhabited by witches and other magical, dark creatures. Oh, I would spend a month on those mountains, living alone in one of those mansions. I would take with me only a typewriter. No internet, no connection with the outside world. I would write, photograph, going for long walks. I feel such a shame of having spent not only an entire day here. If I had known, I would have spent so much more time in Sinaia.
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Mexico – visited in 2019
Un pueblo magico. I had never been in such a place like this, where tradition blends so well with newness. The buildings so traditional, preserving their colonial style. But then the markets belong to the indigenous people. And the streets… those belong to young people who have somehow created a safe place for artists to flourish, artists of any age, gender and ethnicity, from any part of the world. I loved its alternative styles, street art. It is beautiful, peaceful… and somehow it felt like a home to me.
Toledo, Spain – visited in 2012
I don’t know what it is about Toledo. Honestly, I can’t explain it. This is a small medieval town in the outskirts of Madrid that I fell in love with. I just felt I was in another time. I loved the town so much, that even though there really isn’t much to do, I would just stay there and write stories about the people who have lived there for generations.
Bruges, Belgium – visited in 2016
It’s just so gorgeous. A fairytale town and I would choose to live here in Autumn. The colours of Fall just go too well with this town. And here you can escape the modernity that so often becomes unbearable of daily life.
Amsterdam, Netherlands – visited in 2017
There are many reasons I’d love to live in Amsterdam. The main one for me is their philosophy. Live and let live. As long as you respect others, just be yourself. Responsibly. There is an environment of trust that is freeing. The bohemian atmosphere of the city certainly attracts me… and I can definitely see myself living here for much longer than a month.
Barcelona, Spain – visited in 2012
Living such a beautiful city, with such amazing art, with the warm Mediterranean just… there? Can you imagine anything better than this? I can’t. I definitely need to visit again! Dear Barcelona.
Bath, England – visited in 2016
For the love of English Classics, Bath had to be on this list. It’s a lovely little town, and I’d probably volunteer to work in Jane Austen’s museum. Unfortunately, the weather was dreadful when I did visit and I didn’t take my camera out too much. But it is indeed a beautiful place.
And this is it! It was hard going back to 2012 to remind myself of these places… and how young I was then.
I encourage you to do the same – from all the places you’ve visited before, tell me about the one (or several) you can definitely imagine living there, even if for only a month – comment down below!