TRAVELING: SURPRISES, DISAPPOINTMENTS AND LISTS

¿Vacaciones canceladas? Podemos aprovechar la oportunidad para hablar de viajes y calmar esas ganas de explorar. No soy la persona más viajera del mundo, aunque mi Instagram diga lo contrario, pero eso es porque se me da bien alargar mis vacaciones digitales. Eso sí, planear los dos o tres viajes que tengo en un año (así sean cortos, largos, lejanos o de proximidad) es algo que me alegra y es como una especie de recordatorio en mi día a día de que vale la pena esforzarse./ Cancelled holidays? We can take the opportunity to talk about traveling and calm those desire to explore. I’m not the most traveling person in the world, although my Instagram says otherwise, but that’s because I’m good at extending my digital vacation. Of course, planning the two or three trips I have in a year (whether they are short, long, distant or close) is something that makes me happy and is like a kind of reminder in my day to day that it is worth trying.

⛵️LEARNING WHILE TRAVELING ✈️

Poner la alarma muy temprano, tomarse ese café de precio inflado en el aeropuerto o en la estación, ir a los lugares más turísticos aunque muchos te digan que los evites (por algo tendrán esa fama y es mejor verlo con tus propios ojos, ¿no?) pero guardar un poco de tiempo para perderse e improvisar alguna experiencia mientras buscas un plato local o el spot que viste en Instagram (no mientas, tú también los buscas), etc… Yo disfruto de todas las etapas de un viaje./ Waking up very early, drink that overpriced price coffee at the airport or at the station, go to the most touristic places even if many tell you to avoid them (there’s a reason if they have a popularity and it is better to see it with your own eyes, right? ?) but save a little time to get lost and improvise some experience while looking for a local dish or the spot you saw on Instagram (don’t lie, you also look for that pink wall), etc… I enjoy all the stages of traveling.

Echando un vistazo a mi historial de viajes, creo que no he tenido ningún destino que me arrepienta de haber visitado, de todos los sitios me he traído una buena experiencia, aunque hay lugares en mi mapa de los que me ha acuerdo especialmente./ When I take a look at my traveling files, I think I haven’t had any trip that I regret, I have a good memory of every place I have visited, but some experiences are remarkable.

🔮 LOS INESPERADOS / THE UNEXPECTED 🔮

Las sorpresas y lo que se sale del itinerario es casi siempre lo mejor. En esta lista pondría LISBOA y otros sitios en Portugal que van a tener siempre un lugar en mi corazón. Había escuchado muchas cosas de Portugal como destino de moda, pero quería verlo con mis propios ojos. Lisboa, Sintra y Oporto tienen un encanto atípico y muy diferente al de otros destinos europeos, así como una efervescencia de varios proyectos culturales y gastronómicos que te dan una idea de lo creativos que se han puesto sus habitantes para rescatar al país de la crisis del 2008. Colores pastel, azulejos y la posibilidad de encontrar una postal perfecta en cada esquina./ Surprises and what goes out of the itinerary is most of the times, the best part. In this list I’d put LISBON and other sites in Portugal that will always have a place in my heart. I had heard many things about Portugal as a trendy destination, but I wanted to see it with my own eyes. Lisbon, Sintra and Porto have an atypical charm and very different from that of other European cities, as well as an effervescence of many cultural and gastronomic projects that give you an idea of how creative their inhabitants have become to rescue the country from the crisis of the 2008. Pastel colors, tiles and the possibility of finding a perfect postcard in every corner.

🤔 LAS DECEPCIONES / THE DISAPPOINTMENTS 🤔

Como dije no hay ningún destino que me arrepienta de haber visitado, pero hay algunos lugares que me han con el vaso medio lleno…. ¿o medio vacío?/ As I said there is no destination that I regret having visited, but there are some places that have me with a glass half full…. Or half empty?

Por ejemplo, PRAGA (me parece por mucho una de las ciudades más bonitas que he visto, es como una postal de cuento de hadas, sin embargo fue uno de los sitios en los que tal vez pasé demasiado tiempo (5 días) y terminé aburriéndome y disfruté más de esos rincones menos “estéticos”, como la parte más soviética. En esta lista también pondría a MILÁN, a donde volvería por sus museos y tiendas, pero su diseño urbano es muy diferente a otros destinos italianos (Roma, Florencia, Venecia, etc.) y tal vez no es la mejor opción si es tu primera vez en Italia./ For example, PRAGUE seems to me by far one of the most beautiful cities I have seen, it is like a fairytale postcard, however it was one of the places where maybe I spent too much time (5 days) and I ended up getting bored and I enjoyed more of those less “aesthetic” corners, like the most Soviet part. In this list I would also put MILAN, where I would return for its museums and shops, but its urban design is very different from other Italian destinations (Rome, Florence, Venice, etc.) and perhaps it is not the best option if it is your first time in Italy.

¿A ti qué ciudades te han dejado con una sensación diferente a la que esperabas?/ What cities have left you with a different feeling than you expected to have?

✔️OTRO ROUND/ ANOTHER ROUND ✔️

¿A qué lugares volverías? Pueden llamarme básico, pero me encantaría poder tener un tercer round en PARÍS, en LONDRES  y también en COPENHAGUE. Son ciudades donde las opciones culturales son infinitas, pero sus precios tan elevados te descalabran y te dejan en la pobreza./ What places would you return to? You can call me basic, but I would love to have a third round in PARIS, LONDON and also COPENHAGEN. They are cities where the cultural options are endless, but their high prices crumble you and leave you in poverty.

También diría LOS ÁNGELES, que es odiada por muchas personas por las distancias kilométricas y los freeways laberínticos, pero siempre hay una tienda curiosa y una exposición que te deja los ojos como platos./ I would also say LOS ANGELES, which is hated by many people for the kilometer distances and the labyrinth freeways, but there is always a curious store and an exhibition that leaves your eyes wide open.

Ah y por siempre, CIUDAD DE MÉXICO, que como ciudad siempre va a guardarte una sorpresa en un envoltorio diferente. Viví ahí por casi dos años y nunca dejé de encontrar algo nuevo./ Oh and forever, MEXICO CITY, which as a city will always keep a surprise for you in a different package. I lived there for almost two years and I never stopped finding something new.

🍲 LA MEJOR COMIDA / THE BEST FOOD 🌮

Viajamos por muchas cosas pero la comida es una prioridad y barriga llena significa corazón contento. En esta categoría incluiría Bilbao y San Sebastián en el País Vasco, así como SEVILLA donde una croqueta más me hubiera dejado en coma, pero como lo disfruté. El SUR DE ITALIA para descubrir los orígenes de la pizza también es punto obligado antes de morir y así tener tu momento Julia Roberts en Eat, Pray & Love. Y aquí por supuesto se incluye, cualquier lugar de México./ Traveling for food is a priority and a full belly means a happy heart. In this category I would include Bilbao and San Sebastian in the Basque Country, as well as SEVILLE where one more croquette would have left me in a coma, but d*mn, I enjoyed it. SOUTHERN ITALY to discover the origins of pizza is also a must before you die and thus have your Julia Roberts moment at Eat, Pray & Love. And here, of course, any place in Mexico is included.

📰 EN LA LISTA / ON THE BUCKET LIST 📎

¿Qué destinos tienes pendientes por descubrir? Mi lista es infinita y mi presupuesto dice “chico, cálmate”, pero me muero por conocer ciudades asiáticas como Tokio y Seúl. En otra lista figuran como destinos de ensueño Buenos Aires, Ámsterdam, Marrakech, Berlín y muchos destinos de México. ¿Subirán o bajarán los precios después del corona virus?/ What destinations do you have on your bucket list? My list is endless and my budget says “boy, calm down”, but I’m dying to visit Asian cities like Tokyo and Seoul. In another list, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, Marrakech, Berlin and many places in Mexico appear as dream destinations. Will prices rise or fall after the virus crown? Traveling will be different for sure.

AND A REMINDER*

Vivo en Barcelona, una de las ciudades más turísticas de Europa, así que no olvides de ser un buen turista la próxima vez que viajes: puedes llevar sandalias con calcetines y pararte a hacer fotos, pero siempre teniendo en cuenta que estás de visita en un lugar habitado por personas reales. Visita las atracciones populares, pero no te olvides de tomarte un café o una copa en el comercio local, de adecuarte al protocolo de comportamiento aunque se aleje de tu código cultural y a respetar el descanso de los vecinos./ I live in Barcelona, one of the most touristic cities in Europe, so don’t forget to be a good tourist the next time you’re traveling: you can wear sandals with socks and stop to take photos, but always keeping in mind that you are visiting a place inhabited by real people. Visit popular attractions, but don’t forget to have a coffee or a drink at the local business, stick to the behavioral protocol even if it departs from your cultural code and respect the rest of the neighbors.

¿Y a ti, te gusta viajar? ¿Cuál es ese destino al que volverías sin pensarlo dos veces? ¿Qué ciudades te han decepcionado y cuáles te han sorprendido? ¿A dónde quieres ir en el futuro?/ What about you? Do you like traveling? What is that destination you would return to without thinking twice? Which cities have disappointed you and which ones have surprised you? Where do you want to go in the future?

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  • Uff. ¿Qué te digo?

    Yo siempre he pensado que encuentro belleza en los lugares más inesperados, así que generalmente soy de los que evitan los sitios turísticos. Hace unos meses decidí darle oportunidad a uno y… casi lavo platos para poder irme. Jajaja.

    Y sí, me cancelaron las vacaciones este año. Quería ir a ciudad de México. Tengo una visión perfecta de mi en algún barecito con terraza viendo el atardecer de ese monstruo metropolitano. Pero pues, maldito Covid, me adelantaron mis vacaciones en el trabajo y pues veo difícil incluso poder hacerlo el año que viene. No viajo mucho y nunca he salido de mi país, pero si me gustaría. Mi lista es:

    Los Angeles.
    Medellín.
    Jaipur.
    CDMX.

    Que bueno leerte. 🙂

    • Ay muchísimas gracias por pasarte a verme, Alejandro 🙂

      Jajajaja, la verdad es que los sitios turísticos no son para todo el mundo, a mi me gustan pero debo reconocer que me agobio rápidamente, por lo que siempre intento balancear y buscar una opción B…. siempre hay un callejoncito o algo donde encuentras algo inesperado.

      Y también quiero conocer Medellín!

  • Such a great post Pablo! I hope you’ll visit some of my towns or countries (I have to use a plural because …) when I’m there so I can show you around. I don’t have an opportunity to travel abroad but I make the most out of local travel.
    I loved reading about your experiences. From European cities I visited, I would love to revisit Barcelona, Verona and Rome.

    • to answer you questions what cities were different than I expected…Ljubljana was more beautiful than I imagined and so green, full of parks. I didn’t expect the capital of Slovenia to be so serene and so green. Rome was also even bigger than I expected. Taormina and Palermo. surprised me with their beauty but there was also much liter in the street. There were also some European cities that have surprised me in a negative way in the sense there were many religious fanatics ,with women walking around completely covered and so on but I don’t want to name them because I’m not sure has the situation changed and I don’t want for it to look like I’m pushing my views. There were also some places I visited where I didn’t feel completely safe and comfortable but since then the political situation has changed so again I don’t want to name them.

      • Beautuful art and collages btw. To answer your comment about my bucket list, I’d love to visit South America, Mexico, Argentina, Cile and Cuba. I’d also love to visit Scandinavian countries and Russia. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us.

      • Thanks for all your beautiful words Ivana!

        Making the best out of local travel is also pretty valuable, actually it is way too interesting to discover that one same country has a lot of faces to show you different points of view of the same culture right?

        By the way hope you can come back to Barcelona soon, would like to show you around 🙂

  • Hi again Pablo!
    I really love this post and this resonates so much since I love travelling.
    I totally love the idea of learning through different trips and there’s always places that looks different from what we see on the media.

    I also like how you mention that nevertheless we are being a tourist but we have to remember that we are visiting a place with local people truly living there. This apply so well in touristy places like Hong Kong where tourists just go to an apartment block to take photos for the gram, forgetting that there are real people living there.

    I wish I can visit Southern Italy one day and Barcelona too!
    Hope you stay healthy and safe
    xoxo
    style frontier

    • Thanks for stopping by, I know you love traveling and good to see that you’re always talking about new ways to discover new places 🙂

      Hope you can come to Barcelona soon 🙂 You’re more than welcomed!

  • Hahah, I loved Prague too but I was there for five days too and it got a bit boring indeed. But such a beautiful place, but more for a short weekend rather than a long one. London and Paris are definitely cities to always return too, both of them are magical and there’s always more things to discover. I’d love to go to Portugal when things are more normal. It seems to be the next upcoming place with Lisbon being a popular destination. As always, such an interesting article and interesting reflections about travelling. Hope you’re staying safe and healthy Pablo! Xx

    http://www.thefashionfolks.com

    • Hey Mia! same situation with Prague right? Anyway wouldn’t mind to explore more in the Czech Republic 🙂

      And Portugal is a really pretty country with tons of things to offer and a relaxed chill vibe.

  • I’m dying to go back on a trip again !
    So it was good to read about travel in your article.
    I also have really good memories from Portugal. I went twice when I was younger with my parents. I actually think it may be one of my favorite country in Europe or even in the world. And I’m dying to go back.
    And just like you Japan it’s in my travel bucket list since forever. And of course if I go there I’ll stop for few days at Disneyland. 🙂
    By the way we are thinking about getting stationed in Japan or Portugal next after Bahrain. Or anywhere in Europe maybe Germany or Belgium if we get lucky to get closer to my family.
    As soon as we’ll be able to travel again I want to go back in France to visit my family. And I won’t mind to visit Paris again. There is a lot of museums I want to go to and see others sights of my beautiful country. 🙂

    And there is also Georgia in my travel list for this summer to get away from the Bahraini heat. And Singapore because we have a friend who just moved there and any countries with a Disney park haha.
    Oh man ! There is so many countries I want to visit depending of which month we’ll be able to travel again.
    Hopefully we’ll be able soon. But I would rather say hopefully we’ll find a cure to this disease because if the flights were opened right now I’ll rather stay home safe than in the airport crowds.

    But waiting for this to happen I’m dreaming about all the fun I’ll have while traveling : Take tons of pictures, go shopping, go to theme parks, walk in the nature, visit museums, trying desserts etc…

    xx
    Margot
    https://troughthepasturesofthesky.com

    • Hey Margot, thank you so much for stopping by and for your sharing your travel stories with me 🙂

      I know you love traveling and hope you can achieve your trip goals sooner or later. Hope you move to Portugal, well Japan sounds good too but Portugal is full of colors and it is not that far away from France right? Also the chilling relaxed chilly vibe is something that I wouldn’t mind to have.

  • Hey Pablo, how you doin?
    Finally here in Italy they loosen the lockdown so I could finally go back to my daily running and some strolls enjoying the sun and the fresh air (I’m avoiding the most crwoded places of the city as well)!
    Seems a little thing but it’s so much for the spirit isn’t it? Hope you are enjoying this little joy too!

    About travelling: well, I love to travel and this is exactly the period when I start my trips (I usually don’t travel a lot in winter since the bad weather and the cold): last year in this moment I was in Tuscany, then I explored all the Andalusia for 3 weeks, went a couple of week ends to Canarian islands and a almost month in Greece on boat….
    This year I have no trips to organize and really this is pretty sad… I wanted to explore Scotland and then to visit Berlin, but seems that I have to wait.
    Really I have the same approach of you on visit places, and I’ve even visited the major part of the places you did!
    I loved Prague too (you have to visit even during Christmas period, it’s freezing but magical) and I’d be happy to came back to Paris (one of my fav cities ever) and London.
    Really I went just 3 times even in Barcelona, since it’s only 1 hour plane from Rome, and had so much fun there that I’d love to come back again and again! In general I love Spain: people are very similar to Italians, they love to have fun and are very outgoing, and even the language is very easy to understand, so I feel like home every time!
    I can say I’ve eplored pretty well the Europe, the middle east and north Africa but I’d want to see Orient (India, China and Japan firstly) and south america (Cuba, Mexico and Brazil must be wonderful): the only thing that holds me back is the travel that for these destinations is veeery long and needs a perfect organization. But definitely I’ll do it sooner or later!
    Well this yeas went like this… but we have more time to think to next destinations, isn’t it? 😀
    Have a wonderful week, my friend!
    XO
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

    • Hey Silvia! I’m doing fine, trying to stay positive but trying to avoid the crowded places of the city, but it is a bit difficult for me since I live in a busy area 🙁

      Ooooh Tuscany and Andalusia are some of my favorite places! I haven’t been to Greece but I remember you shared some some pictures from that trip 🙂

      Hope you can come back to Barcelona soon, there is always something interesting to look at.

      As you I don’t have specific plans right now but hopefully I managed to visit Asia soon! And come back to Italy of course!

  • You should keep traveling and posting you do great travel posts. I do like traveling. I wish I could it more. I actually had a dream last night that I was flying to Paris but from Seattle (where I use to live) and I was admiring the view from the window of the snow capped mountains and sound. But then realized I forgotten to book an AIR B-N-B, I forgot my camera, my video camera. LOL that was some dream. Blame it on current events…

    Allie of
    http://www.allienyc.com

    • Thanks for your nice comment Allie! Seattle is on my bucket list of places in the US, I’ll ask you for tips if I manage to book a trip in a future 🙂

  • Hey Fungi!!

    Wonderful travel article!! The first title drawing is so beautiful, and all collages are so cool!
    I found Sophia Loren and Steve McQueen, and they are my heroes<3
    You traveled many places and always took great pictures!

    Your experiences sounds so lovely, Fungi!! I am not good at traveling, but I will do my best 🙂
    Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakesh is one of my bucket list.
    Yesterday I saw your instagram, so I adored Casa Vicens, too!
    Someday, please travel to Tokyo!!

    akiko

    • Hey Akiko thank you so much for stopping by!

      It is funny to see that you spotted Sophia Loren and Steve McQueen, they are amazing right?

      Aaaaaaah and Saint Laurent Museum in Morocco is also on top of my bucket list!!!!

  • Yo quisiera ir a Praga, Tokio y la campiña francesa. También quiero volver a Paris y NYC porque #basic. También CDMX. Estocolmo, Berlín y San Francisco siempre serán mi top. Y mis decepciones, puessss…. Londres y LA un poco, haha. Pero igual me gustan. Pero la MEJOR ciudad que he visitado será por siempre PACHUCA *ojos*.

  • Hey Fungi!

    I also don’t have bad memories from my travels. The place I can keep returning to is Mexico… I love it there. It always feels like home! <3

    For me Barcelona is a dream destination. Would love to watch live flamenco there.

    Hope we call all travel again soon. I want to start making some travel plans 🙂

    http://www.fashionradi.com

    • Oooh Radi, you’re welcome in Mexico, there are many things to explore! And you’re welcome here in BCN too 🙂

      I would like to visit Nevada soon!

  • These photos are all so beautiful! You take great pics when you travel, that’s for sure!

    I was planning to explore Tokyo and Seoul this year too (for my birthday, which we all know by now I spent in quarantine lol). The minute we are allowed to travel again, that’s when I will book my tickets. Something tells me prices might be astronomic, but I hope to get lucky! I really want to explore northern Europe, Scandinavian countries and stop by Amsterdam (I loved it) for a day or two to eat all of their wonderful delicacies (and no, I don’t mean weed pastry haha although that could be a high*light for some visitors too). The most surprising (in a disappointing way) place for me was actually Seville! It is a wonderful city, so picturesque and beautiful but… it seemed Spanish women there hated on female tourists. I could stand in a little bakery shop for ten minutes alone and no one would want to sell me something as small as a croissant. Also, not knowing Spanish was quite a disadvantage. Same thing happened in shops, touristic offices (where you ask for a map or other information) etc – no matter how many times you try to speak English or even if you wait there until you turn into a skeleton – they won’t move a brow. It got to a point where I couldn’t find anything for breakfast two days in a row, but luckily I made friends with waiters (MEN) at a restaurant close to the hotel where I was staying and those guys didn’t just sell me cake, jams, fresh juice and more but they also threw real forks and knives into my takeout bag which was very generous of them (so that I don’t eat with bare hands). I thought it was just my unlucky trip, however, later after I spoke to my other female traveler friends, they had an exact same experience in that region of Spain if not worse. Thankfully, I was never hungry in Barcelona! 😀

    Naya
    http://www.nayatilly.com

    • Oooh Naya! Good to see you back!

      And sad to know that you had trips to Japan and South Korea, hopefully you can make those trips in an upcoming future. I have tickets for Paris and as you I had to spend that time at home, but well, I’ll have the time soon, I hope…..

      Hahaha funny to read your experience in Seville, unfortunately as it is a very touristic place, there are many touristic traps!