I've always thought about Stockholm as a city where harmony, cooperation and order are imperative, where everything seems to be in its right place. Respectful and polite citizens, impeccable and quiet streets, stunning buildings and mesmerizing landscapes. Not to mention being a nation which presents an everlasting trust between the State and its population.
When exploring the Asian countries for the first time I think both our mind and heart can become really overwhelmed, not only because of their habits, culture and lifestyle but, especially, in my opinion, because of the everlasting spirituality. There's a spiritual vibe in Thailand's atmosphere that draws our attention that we simply cannot be oblivious to.
It's quite a long time since the day when my future aspirations would be shaped to become my life's biggest dream. Looking back 10 years ago, I can still picture myself on that airplane; my wanderlust was in search of an exciting new journey to lead to the unknown. That was March 2011 when I visited Amsterdam for the first time. It was love at first sight. Madly.
For me, Italy invokes the best feelings we can have in life: the pleasure of food, of a conversation among friends, of the union in a family, of the moment when our skin prickles when we first look at Santa Croce in Florence, of the streets full of clotheslines in Palermo, or the splendid color of the Lago di Como.
Austria is probably one of the richest cultures in the world, made up of many neighbours' influences and assembled by the unparalleled Austro-Hungarian Empire. The monarchy helped to shape a big deal of what we see until this day, which is immediately felt when we enter this wealthy country. It's glorious!
There's very little bitterness in Thailand. I think that only a few sentences describe so well the mood that hovers and sets the tone of this country. As Bangkok is the gateway to Thailand, this is what I instantly felt and saw when I arrived there: genuine smiles, kindness, generosity, lightness, all together in harmony with the almost absence of bitterness.
The convenience of being in a small country is the facility of moving around within a couple of hours. Cities are close enough and allow us to explore the surrounds whilst we bring joy to ourselves facing new landscapes and fresh environments. In the Netherlands this proves to be right. Plus, we can get it all: beaches, hills, forests, urban life, medieval villages, and much more.
Vienna is a city that sets the standard for elegance, prosperity and wealth. Given its aristocratic heritage, a hint of rigor can also be felt once you are breathing the Viennese atmosphere. For almost four centuries (1558 - 1918), Vienna was an imperial city, being the capital of the opulent Austro-Hungarian Empire.
A few hours after my arrival in Salzburg I knew this city would be completely mind-blowing. Right before saying goodbye I felt a mixture of joy and sadness. I would define this city as a laid-back version of Vienna. Its opulence and glory doesn't hit you in the face, but it does, however, have a sophisticated and low-profile atmosphere hand in hand with a swanky vibe.
The hospitality chain all over Asia is likely to be the most benchmarked in the world. The level of discreet sophistication and attention to details are premises of which they proudly master. Quality is always taken to the top and comes with a surprise touch: from wonderful and unexpected amenities to delicate although impactful decor or incomparable food flavours.
There's some certainties no one can deny about Napoli: they make the most authentic pizza in the world; they proudly showcase one of the richest street markets of Italy; they are blessed by being surrounded by a hypnotic turquoise sea coast and preserve their centuries old archeological sites and ancient ruins to make us dream about the past.
São Paulo is not a place for the faint hearted, it makes you grow a thick skin. And writing about it, where I lived half of my life, brings up deep and buried feelings that once made me so much want to be there and to be part of something special. As a result of living there, I also made friends who became family. Is blood really thicker than water? I wonder.
Tel Aviv is one of the most vibrant, cosmopolitan and beautiful cities I have ever visited. In Tel Aviv you can see one of the most unforgettable sunsets, the beach is one of the city’s main attractions, and during the winter, the temperature drops a little but the days remain mainly sunny.
Petra: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Even though only 13% of what it originally was is standing today - almost all of Petra was destroyed by wars and earthquakes - its beauty is as impressive as the energy emanating from its rocks, ruins and tombs. I suggest arriving early to make the most of it, as the walk is quite long.
This province (or beach) of Palermo is the refuge and meeting point for Palermitani, especially on sunny weekends and holidays. It is 11km away from the center of Palermo and easy to reach by car or bus. Its sea is an emerald green that fills your eyes and invites you to both go for a walk along its coast, as well as to spend hours in its fine white sandy beach.