It's been just a few days since I've been back from Portugal and Spain, and it feels like a dream. My family and I have been to enough places in the US to crave for trips abroad now, so we took the plunge and decided to visit Europe.
As cliche as I'll sound, there is just one word to sum up the trip - beautiful. The architecture, food presentation, people, product designs, history, fashion...everything. Perhaps it's because everything is new to me, but honestly, nearly everything that I prefer is not what the typical American market caters to, and so I definitely felt very comfortable and happy in my new surroundings. (An example - what's served in restaurants in the US is always too salty or sweet for my tastes, but in Portugal and Spain, they really knew how to cook and bake.) Because this was our first time traveling to somewhere new on our own, it didn't come without problems of its own - finding parking, language barrier, cultural differences, running low on cash, driving directions, running behind our pre-planned schedule, and more. But what is all that when you arrive to the destination and find joy in everything there? It's been a long time since I've lived in the present, and with the trip, I found that I live more and feel more when I do so. By being off the grid and having limited WiFi opportunities, there is much more to experience in life than having my eyes constantly glued to a screen and pondering over what notifications I recieved.
I'd also like to point out that Portugal and Spain has some very kind strangers. Even those who knew little to no English what-so-ever tried their best to help my family when we were lost or confused. But of course, some things wouldn't have been possible without knowing some Spanish. Thankfully my sister and I still remembered some of what we learned in high school. But after the trip, I'm excited to try learning Spanish again. I know there were stories from locals that I missed out on because English was not their first language, so one day when I return, I want to speak with them in their mother tongue.
The 9 cities we visited
There was so much that I loved about being in another country. All five of my senses were engaged and always pleasantly surprised. With that being said, there are many photos and video footage I will be sharing here, along with stories and travel and photography tips. Much has been planned for this summer, and I'm very excited for what's in store! Stay tuned for what's ahead!