Truthfully, my heart belongs to the world.
As John Green so eloquently put it: “I’m in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.”
I often find myself torn between the comfortable familiarity of home and the longing need for adventure. It’s no question that in only 22 years on this earth, I am extremely lucky to have traveled to so many places. Yet, I will always crave more. I will never be satisfied.
Experiencing the wonders of the world puts my life into perspective; it makes me proud of where I come from, and eager to learn.
For now, I call the extraordinarily diverse European continent home. Each and every country is more intriguing than the last. With every new city I visit, I leave a piece of me behind and in return I carry home an invaluable lesson.
New York and Madrid will always hold an exceptionally special place in my heart, but I’d like to think there’s enough love to go around. Here are five European destinations that have latched on to a particularly big piece of me!
When most people hear “Germany”, the first cities that come to mind are Berlin and Munich. They think of strong beer, quality automobiles, blonde women, wiener schnitzel and bratwurst sausage. Well, I’ve been to Germany three times now and while I’ll admit that each of these places and things added to my experience, none are the reason that Germany stole my heart.
After experiencing Oktoberfest festivities in Munich, the alternative life of Berlin, and even the unique beauty of Lübeck, the city of Hamburg still utterly swept me away. In my opinion Hamburg is such an underrated city. Not only is it Germany’s second largest city, but Hamburg is not the dreary industrial seafaring port that many believe it to be. Downtown Hamburg is an inviting, elegant place filled with friendly charismatic people, an abundance of greenery, exquisite lakes and canals and luxurious architecture.
I had been dreaming of visiting Hamburg since I was a little girl and for so long I had an idealized image of the city in my head. When I finally visited this past summer, it was even more than I could have imagined. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be returning to my beloved Hamburg. I could even see myself living here one day…
Oh Venice! The most enchanting city in all the world. Many people criticize you for your tendency to attract the starry-eyed masses, but I’d like to think there is a reason that heaps of hopeless romantics flock to you each year. Even though I’m not one for clichés, I can’t deny your unmistakable charm. You may burst from the seams with love, which is a bit nauseating, but extremely captivating all the same. I fell for you Venice. I fell hard. I’ll see you soon my friend.
Lisbon and I meshed instantly. Let’s just say it was a sort of “love at first taste.” That’s right; I ate my way to a deep-rooted devotion to Lisbon. Decadent pastries, juicy meats, fish fresh off the boat and with beaches so close by, what’s not to love. While I’m curious to see what the rest of Portugal has to offer, I’m sure my never-ending appetite will lead me to Lisbon once more.
In only three short days San Sebastián quickly pushed its way to the top of my favorite cities in Spain. It was far too easy to fall head over heels for this glamorous coastal city. Everything about San Sebastián begs me to make a second appearance. With a combination of all of my favorite things: incredible shopping, scrumptious eating, a “small city” feel with a big city vibe, and lots and lots of green, how could I stay away? Did I forget to mention that the city center curves around a glorious sandy beach? I don’t know how it could get much better.
I’ve thought about it many times, but still find my connection with Amsterdam difficult to explain. Sure the city’s alternative thrift stores, friendly Dutch population, famous coffee shops and colorful flower markets have something to do with it, but there’s something else drawing me back to this city that I can’t quite put my finger on. I’ve visited Amsterdam twice now and can honestly say that I’d happily return for a third, fourth and even fifth visit. I’m eager to solve the mystery of this intriguing mystical city.
This post has been written in response to a nomination I received from Courtney of Cartas de Courtney for Booked.net – Top Destinations to Go There. I love the idea of travel bloggers sharing their top destinations! I’d like to pass the torch to Courtney of Adelante, Jess of Curiosity Travels, Jen of Food, Love, & Life, Kate of Oh hello, Spain and Amy of Restless Fork! Looking forward to reading!
Happy blogging! 🙂