This weekend while we were in Porto, my friend Liz and I stumbled upon an outdoor book fair in a gorgeous park. There were hundreds of stalls selling every kind of book, from art history to fantasy. We both love to read, so we were immediately delighted and drawn in. (Never mind that all the books were in Portuguese! It was so serendipitous.)
As we walked further into the park, we came across outdoor cafes selling food and wine, a really good jazz band, people dancing, and the absolute perfect place to watch the sunset over the Douro river. It was one of those magical evenings. Everything had come together to put us in the right place at the right time with the right people and the right circumstances. We sipped our wine, watched the sun dip below the horizon and marveled at our good fortune.
“This,” I thought. “This is why I travel.”
Contrary to what it might look like on my Instagram feed, traveling can be a challenge. It’s pretty much never a series of magical moments strung together. But as long as every trip has a few, I’ll keep traveling.
A few of these moments from the past few months:
- Stepping into Prague’s main square for the first time. The architecture took my breath away and I had to stop in my tracks
- Watching an intense sunset over Prague after a crazy rain storm
- Discovering amazing (and poignant) street art in Belgrade
- Passing fields of perfect sunflowers on the way to a national park in Serbia
- Petting bumble bees in London (so soft!)
- Hiking through the beautiful English countryside (there were bunnies!)
- Eating amazing food at Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurants in London
- Seeing the other-worldly landscape of the Algarve in southern Portugal
- Eating fresh seafood by the ocean in Portugal
- Meeting wild ponies in northern Portugal
It’s true that I get frustrated sometimes, like when it takes an hour to pick up a rental car or when I can’t find anything resembling half and half at the grocery store. Some days, I miss American customer service and a world where toilet seats are standard in public bathrooms (They are optional here. Please don’t get me started.) But all in all, I’ll hold onto the magic moments and hopefully let the frustrations fade away.
I’d love to hear about your magic moments! Please tell me about them in the comments.