The Lisbon Diaries: Can a Traveler Fall in Love with a City?

This week’s #FridayFinds is a bittt different. It is Friday, and I did find something! But it’s much, much bigger than a tiny, hidden, underground gem. Actually, it’s an entire city…

A city isn’t a person. It doesn’t have feelings, nor emotions. It doesn’t have moods, and it certainly can’t communicate with you. And if you try and communicate with it, well, people might think you’re downright crazy.

Right?

If you ask me, wrong.

Imagine this: You are on a first date with someone.  Within the first 5 seconds, you decide if you’re attracted to them or not. You decide if you can see yourself as just this person’s friend, or maybe more. The more you talk to them, the more your certainty grows. You feel the chemistry bouncing back and forth across the table. A kind of undeniable feeling. You continue to learn if that person’s demeanor and interests can fit with your own, and even enhance the person you are.

Ok, I know, I know…enough with the cheesy sappy stuff! I’m a cheese filled wandering Casiedilla, after all- not a dark chocolate covered strawberry writing a lust column!

BUT. Forrealz. Just like all of those warm and gushy feelings transpire between two people, I believe it can equally transpire between a person and a city. It’s that undeniable energy. It’s that connection you have to a city’s people. The stimulating vibe that the main plaza gives you, in juxtaposition with the tranquility of the quaint neighborhood streets. It’s the city’s street vendors and the tiny art galleries; the artisan shops, and of course…

THE FOOD.

Well, chicos- I have big news. The love bug has hit me. And it all happened in a little coastal city on the edge of Europe. His name?

Lisbon.Untitled design (82)

There’s something about the winding curvy streets covered in weathered cobblestone, aligned with brightly colored mosaic houses with hundreds of years of stories to tell.

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The smell of beach salt in the air and grilled bacalao fish escaping the kitchens of tiny family-owned taverns

I smell bacalao...

Combined with the faint oder of city grime…

hey buddy!

(and lemme’ tell ya’-I need that slight city grime; i’m a homegirl from NYC after all!). It’s the mystical steep streets with only enough space to squeeze in a bright yellow tram. 

tram surfin'!

The always smiling people (…with incredibly perfect English!)

HI guys!

And, pasteis de nata.

And wine. And Port wine. And the guy selling the Port wine!

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The eccentrically vibrant street art that gives the city a modern quirky edge…

HI guys! (6)

Juxtaposed with the centuries old medieval castle! Who sits calm, cool and collected on the tippy-top of the city, ever-so quietly guarding its smiley citizens.

HI guys! (6) 2

It’s a magical place. And it got the AWC like dayumnnnn.

Of the 20 + countries I’ve visited, and countless (or really difficult to count) number of cities I’ve stayed in, the love bug has never hit me quite like this. The minute I entered, I felt the chemistry between ma’ main squeeze Lisbon and I. I got in the taxi from the airport with Guacamommy at 11:30 at night, and we were  flippin’ exhausted. We threw our luggage in the back of the taxi, grunted a bit, and got in the back of the car; only to be wide-eyed and bushy-tailed when the (really good-looking) taxi driver started jabbering to us in perfect English, jammin’ some bumpin’ tunes, all the while squeezing through the tiny historic barely-lit streets of Lisbo-licious for the first time. And BOOM. It hit me like a ton of mussels.

As a travel addict with an eternal case of the wander-bug, I’ve felt an immediate energy in a city countless times. I admit it- I tend to get attached to places and fall for them pretty easily! IE- Me and my dearest darlin’ España! Just look at me and my lil’ pueblo 😉 But Lisbon was different. I didn’t only fall for it, but I’m gonna say it fell for me too. It was a mutual thang.

Lisbon…watch out. I justttt might be packin’ up all my shoes, bags and travel chatchkies and comin’ for ya!IMG_4012

As for YOU guys! I have a seriously serious question for you all. Am I downright crazy…or can you actually feel an immediate connection to a place, or is it just the new-city adrenaline? Do you think a certain spot speaks to yo’ inner-groove more than others? Is it an immediate attraction, or a deeper love that grows for a place over time?

Let’s talk about it over café and pasteis de nata 😉

 

9 thoughts on “The Lisbon Diaries: Can a Traveler Fall in Love with a City?

  1. I felt the exact same way about Madrid- a familiar love that was inexplicable for never stepping foot there before. My first time in Madrid I felt, in my soul, that it was my home. I stayed for 6 months and then moved there for 3 years. Still feels like home everytime I’m there. My only “love at first sight”

  2. Hi! This post couldn’t come in a better moment! I love all your posts, but this one comes specially handy! I’m going to Lisbon with my boyfriend in Easter. Which must-eat do you recommend? I know all the sight seeing, through guides, but as for places to eat, I’d really appreciate you’re recommendations! Thanks in advance!

  3. I definitely think you can fall head over heels in love with a city. I’m convinced you can have a complete love affair with a city! haha. For me, I fell in love with two.. Paris & Melbourne. I felt like I belonged in those cities and that we were a good match :) haha

  4. I felt the same in Lisbon! Popped out of the metro from the airport and my mouth dropped. Love at first sight! Wish they had an auxiliar program there….or just wish I weren’t 3rd generation American 😛

  5. Hi i’m from Portugal and live near Lisbon, i’m glad you loved this beautiful and special city :) and to answer your question, YES, i believe a person can fall in Love with a place, there’s a special connection, a magic feeling, sometimes it feels it’s somewhere we belong, it’s hard to explain.

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