Last week, it was finally time for our summer vacation, that we were gonna spend in Seville, Spain. I fell in love with this city with its amazing architecture, beautiful palaces and amazing summer weather. On our first day, we visited what would become one of the highlights of our trip, namely Parque Maria Luisa.
We were sitting on a bench, overlooking a line of people that wanted to visit the Real Alcazar. The line looped here and there, went behind a building and we couldn’t tell how far it would go. This was our last day in Seville and I had wanted to visit the Alcazar, since it’s one of the city’s highlights. The other days, we hadn’t been able to make it. On Monday, we were tired from our trip so we decided to have a quiet day in the Maria Luisa park. Later, we discovered the Alcazar was crowded in the morning, so then we wanted to go on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon, but it turned out we were too tired or rather wanted to spend an afternoon chilling at the pool. So, we set out Friday morning to visit it. But then we saw the line…
We were contemplating if we wanted to stand in it. The time we sat there, it didn’t move an inch. Was it worth it? It would probably be super crowded inside as well. We decided we could come back another time, and see a different palace this time. We ended up visiting Palacio de las Duenas. There wasn’t a line there, and only a handful of people were inside. And it was truly gorgeous, and quiet. I’m glad we made this decision.
We ended up not visiting the Alcazar on this trip, though I had really wanted to. But the line just wasn’t worth it.
I read an article about slow travel in Flow Magazine when we were sitting at the pool on Wednesday. About not running from highlight to highlight, but actually taking time to see the things you want to see. Not walking past painting after painting in a museum, but taking the time to closely study one you really like.
We always have the feeling we have to rush to tick off everything that’s on our list, instead of enjoying everything that is around us. On this trip, I know I will remember wandering through the park with my boyfriend, since it was so lovely and romantic. I’ll remember being happy, just relaxing and swimming a bit and I’ll remember the amazing quiet palace. But I probably won’t remember walking past a pretty building, taking a picture before moving over to the next. Traveling is about making memories and having new experiences, not about seeing what everybody wants to see and taking a quick picture.
Nature always finds a way to make me feel better. We live closely to the Veluwe, a beautiful piece of nature that can be found in the Netherlands. There’s a lush forest, some lakes and according to wikipedia, europe’s largest sand drifts. It offers some peace and quiet. The first time we went there, I was feeling down. I didn’t want to do anything. Boyfriend suggested we go to the Veluwe and bring our instruments. We had a lovely time, me playing the ukulele and him playing his ocarina. Such an amazing place to relax and not think about anything. Now, the Veluwe feels like my go to place whenever things get rough.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a little accident. I fell of my bicycle and I sprained my wrist. I felt miserable for the following days. I couldn’t do anything else besides lying on the coach all day and watch Netflix. Anway, when I was feeling a little bit better, we decided to visit the Veluwe again. It was the perfect time for a visit, because the heath was in full bloom. Lush fields of purple were to be seen everywhere and it was really pretty! The perfect way to cheer me up.
Some people say you have to step out of your comfort zone once in a while, do things that you’re afraid of, in order to truly live. Well, I’m scared of a lot of things. Lots of those fears I don’t want to face (somebody else can kill that spider, thank you very much) but when it comes to traveling, I do want to face them. I’m curious to meet new people, have new experiences, taking in new sceneries, and smell and taste things I’ve never tasted or smelled before. But also I’m a bit scared of the unknown. Traveling to places you’ve never been before means stepping out of said comfort zone and experience all those new things. Though it is scary, not knowing what you can expect.
So far, I’ve never traveled outside Europe. The first time on an airplane was scary (how is this thing able to fly?!), the first time being in a country where I didn’t know the language was scary, and going to a place where it was minus 25 degrees (celcius) and driving a snowscooter was absolutely terrifying. But I did all of those things and, apart from the snowscooter, I’m not afraid of them anymore.
I’m aching to see what’s out there, traveling to other continents than just Europe. But where to start? I feel free and confident in the western world. It’s where I grew up. Everything else is unfamiliar. New and exciting, but scary. Which continent do I want to travel next. America? Asia?
Next week I’ll be going to Seville, Spain and when I was planning for this trip, I was looking for daytours we could do. I saw some great trips, for example to Cadiz or to Granada. But then my eye caught something else. A daytour to Tangier, Morocco. A tour, with a group. Probably super touristic, but who cares. It’s a way to explore a new world, a new continent I haven’t gone to before. We decided to just go for it, not be afraid and take the leap. We got the passports and the shots (Yes I was afraid of the shots too). The first time outside Europe, even if it’s only for a day. I cannot wait!
Our first trip together was a blast. We went to London for two days. On our first day we had explored the city a bit and saw a play in Shakespeare’s theatre. On our second day we decided to visit all of London’s highlights and while doing that, we came across a delighful little squirrel…
I was letting my mind wander to all the glorious places I still want to visit and then I saw some pictures of London. It got me thinking; what would be a better place to spend Christmas? Now, I have some family obligations so actually celebrating the holidays abroad would be a no-go, but I’d love to spend a few days in december there, to get in the holiday spirit! All I have got to do now is convince the Boyfriend to go!
I’ve been to London once before, it was actually the first trip Boyfriend and I took together. We only spent one night there in a crappy hostel, but we did have a lovely time in the city where we saw all the highlights, went to a play and stood in line for over an hour to take a picture with a wall…
A while back, I discovered a little town called Giethoorn, also known as Little Venice or Dutch Venice. I never heard of it, but when I saw some pictures, I was sold. The place looked mesmerizing and I really wanted to go there. And just last month, we finally did!
Oh you guys I love this city. I love speaking French and people actually understanding me and I them. It’s amazing and there is so much to do and see! Time for an overview of our third day in Paris!
There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist and stopping for all the highlights when you’re in one of the worlds most famous capitals for the first time, is there? On our first day in Paris, we had seen the Sacre-Coeur, the Opera Garnier and the love wall. For our second day, however, it was time for even more famous highlights!
Ah, Paris! It’s been a couple of years since I first went there, on a small vacation trip with a friend. I hadn’t traveled much yet and Paris was one of the first cities that I got to explore. And boy, I loved it! Who wouldn’t, it’s Paris!