tI would like to celebrate with you my travels (and yours):
The first 20 people who comment on this post will receive a promo code for Full Version of one GPSmyCity, one of the popular iOS and Android apps that feature self-guided city walks in over 470 cities around the world allowing you to explore on foot the best of the city at your own pace.
There are those places where you go, no matter if for some months, some years or some days, and you’ll miss them like home forever.
This aspect is not related to the fact that those cities are ‘beautiful’, but to the peculiar energy they can, for some reason, give you.
There are places able to make you feel a part of them, like if you’ve lived there for a while or forever in a previous existence.
I’ll tell you something about some of this kind of places, where I was lucky enough to live for a while, or where I just had an intense travel experience that was worth more than a period of life.
I’ll try to go over my personal experience as far as I can. When I can’t, please bear with me! “Nothing personal” is definitely not my motto.
I just hope that, after I tell you something about the magic of these places, you’ll go there and feel a bit inspired too, more eager to perceive what can go far beyond architecture, bars and cafès, museums and discos.
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I lived in this Maltese area for some months, when the island was still a bit different than today, a little farther from Europe (no Euro yet but Maltese Lira, still old cars and the old public transport system etc…).
Walking along the coastline from Sliema to Saint Julien (where some friend of mine lived) was a time consuming and tiring activity. Every time I started walking I forgot how far it was.
It was tiring also because of the strong sea wind!
But that wind gets into your veins time after time and you won’t forget it anymore.
I also walked from Sliema to Valletta: the absolute, absurd beauty of the promenade made me forget it was about 5-6 km and that it takes about an hour if you are a fast and hard walker!
I said to myself everytime I wouldn’t do it again… and everytime I failed in this purpose.
Another thing that really slowed down my pace of life (if you live in Malta you can’t help doing that) was working in Birkirkara and going there by bus. At that time it took 30 minutes and it was amazing just staying there and looking out the bus windows. But ‘once upon a time’ (2007) I didn’t have a smartphone and so it was easier (read compulsory) to keep your head up and watch out.
Hard worker in Milan
Can you imagine a more strange life passage than going from the Maltese slow pace of life to the fast and furious Milan? I don’t. Well, maybe NYC or London would be more extreme, but believe me, once you are in Milan you must run.
Run after trams, run after buses, run after time.
But Milan by tram, at night, can be so quite and so still, like-Falling-in-Love-Björk.
If you can, walk and tram around Milan at night. It will surprise you! It will calm you down. It will be a constant companion of some (many, in my case) sleepless nights.
Prague and love
If I could choose where to fall in love, I’d choose Prague. If you walk along Karlův Most at dawn/sunset you can’t go back and live like you used to.
Your idea of beauty, of walking, of sunset and dawn, of observing won’t be the same anymore.
Try, and then tell me.
I did it with the snow, alone. In the sun, in good company. At sunset, alone. At dawn, in good company.
Even my idea of walking alone and walking in company has changed in Prague.
Antibes and my novel
Have you ever heard of Antibes? Well, after I first bumped into that small city in the French Riviera, I wrote a (still unpublished) novel, called Antibes.
One day, maybe, I’ll try to send it to some publisher as I did with my third novel but for now this is just a city that I wanted to be a part of my life. As everybody knows, writing stories is the best way I have to take something into my life and, at the same time, to get free from them.
Over than its intrinsic beauty, Antibes is a place where you rest and live in peace.
London and my first solo travel
I have to go to London at least once every 5 years.
Despite the rain.
Despite the costs.
Despite my reasonably wise attitude to spend what remains of my money after I pay the loan and taxes to visit a new country or at least a new city.
I do that because London taught me to be independent, to travel solo like Aphra Behn, the VERY FIRST woman who earned a living by what she wrote (popular theatre comedies and the very first novel of the history [yes, before Defoe’s bourgeois Robinson and Richardson’s boring but virtuous Pamela]. She wrote Oroonooko, an ANTISLAVERY novel, describing a woman TRAVELLING SOLO TO SURINAME – Aphra herself -. Aphra Behn’s women were all but boring and virtuous, they were free! So she was boycotted by the postumous male and puritan critics, who wanted to erase her from history even if, while alive, she was as famous as Shakespeare.
What do I do when I go to London? I go to the theatre, I pay my visit to the National Gallery, I go to the grave of Aphra Behn and lay a flower on her stone as Virginia Woolf once recommended me (and all women who write for living and live for writing).
As if I was a timeless londoner woman who lived the history of theatre, of feminism and literature.
Every woman who studied theatre and literature and every feminist can’t help being a londoner.
NYC and Sandy
Do I miss New York? Well… I miss the feeling I had the very first time I was there. I miss Sandy, my hurricane friend who taught me much about life, the sense of waiting for things to come (back) such as light, power, normal life, love, water, electricity, sleep, happiness.
If you go to NYC, well, wait for a Hurricane. And then you’ll tell me if after some years you won’t miss all this, even the fear of tornadoes.
Lecce and Salento, because peripheries matters
Have you got any idea of what it feels when you live in the ‘outskirts’ (south Italy, south Europe, South Puglia, South of the world) like Lecce? You feel that the ‘center’ of the world is highly overrated.
You understand that peripheries are more than you need to be happy and self sufficient. Such an amazing periphery teaches you that there’s only one way of being at the center of the universe: being the center of the universe yourself. Be the absolute protagonist of your life, of your way of making things turn all around you because your happiness is what matters.
Peripheries rock! Even more so… if they are close to an amazing sea and winter lasts for no more that a couple of months.
Barccelona and its patchwork mood
I miss Barcelona every spring time. I miss this city in mid seasons, when I start missing summer but I’m eager to live Xmas period, when Winter is almost over and I don’t want to stop lighting my fireplace and, meanwhile, I can’t wait for summer to be back.
I miss Barca everytime my patchwork mood is back. When it’s too early for tomorrow and too late for yesterday and you stay there just a place in between a well defined color.
If you ever live a patchwork mood, Barcelona is the right place to be.
You can also enjoy: 4 ways Barcellona can change your life
+1: Melbourne and my family
Well, for me Melbourne is not just a matter of travels.I have part of my family there, at the very other side of the world. That’s why when I had the opportunity to go Downunder I wasn’t that interested in ‘visiting as many places and regions as possible because who knows when you’ll have the chance to go there again’. The only thing that mattered was to spend as much time and share as many possible moments and memories with them, my family.
Maybe this gave me the opportunity to live Melbourne as a local, with locals, and that’s why I miss it like home.
By the way, you can also learn more about my Top 6 Wild and interesting things to do in the state of Victoria, Australia
Now it’s your turn: which city/place do you miss more?
The first 20 comments will receive a code to download for free the Full Version of GPSmyCity
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