Heart aflutter. Breath stolen. Jaw dropped. Reality suspended—for a moment. Travel makes me giddy. An unexplored city to discover, to know and to love is one of my favorite things. It’s Valentine’s Day, and I’m sitting here crushing about cities. (Yes, I wrote a love letter to travel.)
Some cities make us say, “eh, I don’t need to make any plans to come back soon.” Some don’t impress us. But some steal our hearts. And I want to share 5 cities that are written on my heart and why. (And then you can find out which city you’re crushing on!)
1. Paris, France
Some say it’s overrated, but never in my life will I join that chorus. Being a French speaker, I connected with this city on a much deeper level. I remember the pure elation that muted my jet lag. My stomach drops thinking about the calm boat ride along the Seine and my stroll through some of the world’s most renowned artwork housed at the Louvre. Although it was a fling—only three days—Paris hasn’t left my thoughts, and I know we’ll meet again someday.
2. Laguépie, France
We all think we know what we want, but the older you get, the more you realize you never knew to begin with. I’ve always identified as a city gal, and yes, the city does inhabit a large part of my heart. But this last summer, small town villages really began to play with my pursuits. The quiet yet intimate community of Laguépie enchanted me with its townspeople playing music in the streets and its children playing in the river. Its castle ruins gave me a charming view of the town, and that day’s sweet sunshine lives on in my heart.
3. Los Angeles, U.S.A.
While I don’t think our personalities mesh the best, Los Angeles continues to flirt with my thoughts. I connect with the bustle of the city, and while I enjoy the ocean, its beach-bum aura floating throughout the city just isn’t me. At the same time, it was in this city that I processed much heartache and began to work through the pain I’d buried so long. It was here that I discovered the beauty of travel, and for that, a part of my heart lives on the West Coast.
4. New York City, U.S.A.
I knew about the Big Apple from ample exposure on the big screen, but I had to see this beauty for myself. When my best friend’s family moved there, they invited me for a visit, and I hopped on the opportunity. It was just as awe-inspiring and romantic as the movies—and more. The immense energy, constant flow of ideas and languages and rich history leave my heart craving more.
5. Assisi, Italy
Near the end of my Europe tour, this sweet village stole my heart after spending time in the big Italian cities. In Assisi, I could escape the pickpockets and absorb the rolling hills of Umbria. Rome and Florence may have had the sights, but my short stay in Assisi gave me the space and place to soak up the culture.
Now it’s your turn! Find out which city you’re crushing on.