LETTERS TO POSEIDON by Cees Nooteboom – are the ancient gods still important today?

Were you jealous of the gods that came after you? Are you laughing now that they too have been abandoned?

Letters to Poseidon by Cees Nooteboom

Where are the ancient gods today?

Glorious columns of ancient temples now covered in ivy. The gods that once walked the Earth now retreated inside the pages of the books written by people who knew them or people who try to remember them. An era of the gods that were human is long over, but is it forgotten? We still obsess over them. They are the ”celebrities” of the world’s mythologies. The Greek pantheon is a well of inspiration that never exhausts.

Still, their existence is limited to time and space. Their time knew the ends of the world, but we recognized them as the borders we eventually crossed. Really, how was it when the old world witnessed the beginning of the new one? When the ships started cutting through the waves Poseidon guided so neatly, and sometimes violently. Nooteboom (and Dante) pictures Poseidon sitting in the depths of the sea and looking up to see the ships and being surprised, and I can’t ignore how small that makes Poseidon, trapped beneath the waves.

Nooteboom’s Letters to Poseidon

Nooteboom tries to revive the ancient times addressing the god of the sea – Poseidon, not Neptune! – and telling him about the world he left behind. Letters to Poseidon is a collection of 23 letters and observations in which the author draws inspiration from all around him. Random objects have the power to transfer him to different times and places.

He speaks to Poseidon as a long-forgotten acquaintance – I wouldn’t dare say friends – to whom he offers little updates about everyday life. Nooteeboom lets motifs like agave, paintings, the beach, or old memories guide him, and writes down his thoughts about them in a form of short, up to three pages long notes.

Addressing Poseidon, he constantly goes back to the question of the passing of time, of polarity between human mortality and gods’ immortality. (I’m saying ”gods” and not ”divine”, because, as we conclude from Nooteboom’s notes and from today’s status of the Greek gods, immortality was a broken promise. Are they dead? Do they live in our minds, imagination, and culture? In what capacity?) Nooteboom debates on what is better – mortality or the infinite – and who should be more envious.

The other letters, those not addressing Poseidon, those that are entirely human and focus on more trivial questions, are mostly in this book of the less triumph. Sort of like the pen was calling to divine inspiration, and the mundane material couldn’t keep up with the tone.

But, let’s go back to Poseidon. These letters inspire thoughts of the passing of time. We witness and are victims of time playing games with our core values, our knowledge, and what we hold the most sacred – life.

Inspired by Letters to Poseidon

Reading this book, I imagined the conversation between Hera and Hades. They were visiting their temples. The marble is cracked, and there are weeds around the columns and lingering at the bottom of the statues – their reflections in stone. The cracks are spreading like rivers alongside the walls and taking more and more space with time.

The prayers, the incense, and the sacrifices gave way to silence. Hera is surprised. Nobody’s come for centuries. Nobody called on her name. Hades, on the other hand, is indifferent to the state of the buildings. Nobody raised him any temples, and eventually, they all came to him.

I don’t know why I chose these two gods, but I can’t miss the destiny they all had. The mythology that was once everything, the very truth of our existence, the beginning, is now a means to create art and pull from that well some new and transformed stories.

That’s why I enjoyed this book, at least in that part – the letters addressed to a past that shaped the Western civilization, that drowned all others, and eventually got drowned itself, somewhere beneath the waves and the cold marble. I still go back to those stories, searching for I don’t know what, but still attracted to it.

This review was more of an inspiration that comes from mythology. I hope this post was fun for you and that it motivates you to pick this book up sometime. What is your stand on mythology, its importance, and its influence? If you could send a letter to the ancient gods, what would you say? Let me know in the comments 😀

8 important rules to live by

Since Taylor Swift’s new album, Midnights, came out last year, I haven’t been the same. The 3am edition has been on repeat. Now, what does that have to do with life rules?

Everybody knows that Taylor’s a genius, and she never fails. She proved that again with this album and, more specifically, her song Dear Reader. So, today’s post is about Taylor’s eight rules to live by.

Setting some ground rules

We all have some rules to live by. Different motives create a need for laws and boundaries. It can be about our actions and behaviors or how we want someone else to treat us. Every one of us has their list. Today, I’m bringing you Taylor’s list of the most important rules to live by.

8 rules to live by (Swift, 2022)

  1. If it feels like a trap, you’re already in one!
  2. Get out your map, pick somewhere, and just run!
  3. Burn all the files, desert all your past lives! (BONUS: If you don’t recognize yourself, that means you did it right.)
  4. Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart. (READ AGAIN)
  5. Bend when you can, snap when you have to!
  6. You don’t have to answer just ’cause they asked you.
  7. The greatest of luxuries is your secrets.
  8. When you aim at the devil, make sure you don’t miss.

This post is a bit of a fun spin on bringing you the best lyrics of all time. But, it is also advice that I am taking with me. Let’s break it down.

Rule no.1: If it feels like a trap, you’re already in one

For me, what I keep struggling is, is following my gut feeling. Time and time again, I neglected that lump in my throat, and many times, it backfired so bad I’m still stunned by the shock. Your mind knows, even if you don’t (want to) acknowledge it. Your sub-conscience will tell you what you need to know.

If you have a friend that’s no longer acting friendly, it’s okay to walk away. If they said or did something in the heat of the moment, and it hurt you, don’t put up with it. You can accept an apology if you want to, but you are nobody’s free trial. Letting the brief emotion determine your actions and then plastering an apology later, looking for excuses, is a cheap way out.

So, don’t let anyone use you as a free trial for their wrongs. We often trap ourselves in our expectations, and then that picture perfect we created is too good to let go. It’s prettier to look at that than the reality behind it. I get it. But don’t silence that voice in your head telling you to be careful. That’s your voice.

Rule no.2: Get out your map, pick somewhere, and just run!

“It’s not the place, I think. It’s the people.”

I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

It’s a quote I’ve been repeating to myself for years now. The excerpt goes: “It’s not the place, I think. It’s the people. We’d have all been the same anywhere else.” But only the first part stayed with me. To have a place to call home, where I’m safe and loved, has been my oldest and biggest struggle. I went through a phase of ”the place is the culprit”, then the (semi)self-gaslighting phase of ”I’m the problem.”

That, and my longing for travel and far-away places, always pushed me to go. I am a firm believer in changing the soil to grow better. Different settings can only give us so much. At least, that’s my opinion. Sometimes you do outgrow the place. In that case, it’s okay to get up and go.

Rule no.3: Burn all the files, desert all your past lives!

With the past being an inseparable part of our lives, it’s hard not to let it be an active part. All our past choices brought us here now. But you’re not the same person you were before.

With every small decision you’ve made, that’s challenging and changing who you were, you’re letting go of that person you once were. We are only definable in one single moment in time because the next minute, we did something that transformed the structures we created of ourselves.

Let go of who you think you are. Let go of the images of you that are in other people’s minds. Those are simply evidence of your existence, frozen in a time you no longer belong to.

Rule no.4: Never take advice from someone who’s falling apart

This rule is a tough one. I often advised people about the same things I was breaking apart over. Although I think I did a good job, I get it.

We have reasons to feel hurt and offended. Our arguments are valid, it makes sense, but it sometimes makes our advice cynical and hurtful. We keep our guard up for a reason. But in that battle, we are poor advisers. We start fighting through others, picking fights where we shouldn’t.

Those are our mechanisms, but they might not serve everyone. Sometimes our outbursts look like impatience, lack of sympathy, and envy. The frustration of whatever situation is still in our lungs, and we’re quick to breathe fire.

Rule no.5: Bend when you can, snap when you have to!

Be kind. Your emotions are the result of outside effects. But your actions are the result of you and your emotions. So, like with rule no. 1, and the free trials, don’t practice your self-growth on others.

However, you are not obligated to take anyone’s bs for whatever reason. No matter who it is, it’s just the audacity. Pick your fights, essentially, but keep in mind that you are not an old mop.

Rule no.6: You don’t have to answer, just ’cause they asked you.

I’m an oversharer, and I know I’m not alone in this, but we all want to brag sometimes, complain, or let it out. Sometimes we share to relate to others and to build that sympathy and understanding.

But, two things: 1. “no is a full sentence” & 2. silence is the answer, too. We should build a world around us where it’s safe to share our stories, be open, or keep to ourselves, as long as it’s our choice. Taking that away from someone is the worst break of trust and invasion of someone’s privacy. Whatever it is and whatever it is about, it belongs to you. I don’t want to let anyone take ownership of that choice, and that’s the hill I’m dying on.

Rule no.7: The greatest of luxuries is your secrets.

This rule continues on the previous one. For celebrities like Taylor, people expect to know everything down to the atom. That’s the prying, invasive, self-given ‘right’ that’s scary and dangerous. The worst part is I’ve seen a lot of people on the Internet saying it’s their [celebrities’] job to share and give content to their fans. Their job is to act/sing/etc., show up on the red carpet, do an interview about the work, and that’s all they ‘owe’ to the public. But, in the world we created today and the audacity/right we give ourselves, even our most secrets don’t belong to us.

With that mindset, we turned to everyone. There are always eyes glistering in the dark, peeping behind the corner. Stalking became justified, so common it became a norm.

Rule no.8: When you aim at the devil, make sure you don’t miss.

It’s a clear message. Stand your ground, think before you act, and be careful. Know your options and be sure that you’re ready. A lot of our choices may be risky. Sometimes the problems we deal with can be too much and fights too big to fight. If we are going to take that step, let’s take it with courage, but also a clear head and a crystal clear goal.

I hope this post was fun for you and that it inspired you. Are there any rules you’d like to share? Feel free to share your wisdom 😀

Okay, thanks, bye!

The best books I read so far in 2023

With the new year starting, I fell into a book-shopping frenzy. Even with that, I haven’t gotten/read many books in these three months. Luckily, we are in the Pisces season, and you best believe I will be using all my birthday wishes on books. I promised myself that I would go through my TBR pile this year. Even though I’m not happy with my results so far, there’s still more than enough time. While I’m slowly going through that pile, I wanted to share some of my favorite books so far.

The best books I read from January to March 2023

Three months, three different countries. All that moving, plus the new year slump, left me kinda lazy and unmotivated. My reading schedule isn’t going to plan. I don’t force myself to read, I really love books, but I just feel like I’m wasting my time overall. My focus is horribly bad. Still, I’m not giving up on my love, and I’m not done talking about it. Of the books I’ve read, here are my favorites.



I tried to explain this book to my sister, but I confused myself. The writing style is simple. On that level, it’s easy to go through the book. The story takes place in an apartment where Aki and Hiro – our two protagonists – spend their final night together before parting ways. The story jumps to an event from a year earlier when everything started and broke. The two were on a hiking trip. While there, their guide had a fatal accident. So, that plotline is the main one, and the mystery of the guide’s death would be fun to try and solve throughout the reading if it was the only mystery.

But, the biggest mystery turned out to be our two protagonists. The closer I got to the end of the book, the more shocked and confused I was. The author built their emotions and thoughts in such a clever and nuanced way. I love how she played with the details and allusions. I enjoyed reading this book. At first, I wanted a different ending, but that one was the most fitting. The limited plot, time, and space left plenty of room to develop the characters’ inner world, so that’s the main focus. But, the author still managed to surprise me with the plot twists.

NINTH HOUSE by Leigh Bardugo


“By the time Alex managed to get the blood out of her good wool coat, it was too warm to wear it.”

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo knows how to get the reader’s attention! Ninth House had me hooked from the first sentence. It wasn’t a quick read, though. It took me some time to read it, and it took some time to get into the story. A lot was going on.

Alex Stern is such an interesting character. I loved her dynamic with the other characters, especially with Dawes. But, her relationship with her roommates could’ve been better. They only served to further the plot, and considering the specific execution, it would’ve been better if the author had left them out. Just give Alex her dorm room, and that’s it. The story brushed off the matter, which sounded so weak and unbelievable. There was a better way to write that part of the story.

The rest of the plot was great. I liked the long descriptions followed by impactful two-word sentences. I love Bardugo’s ability to set the tone, stun the reader or emphasize something with those short sentences. I also love how she leaves the clues in plain sight. All the puzzle pieces are in front of us, but with the time jumps and the flashbacks, so much going on, we can’t recover quickly enough to start connecting the dots. She keeps us occupied with the long descriptions and not directly related events or people and slowly – very slowly – builds the story.

TW for this book: murder, rape, violence, drug addiction, death



I will be dedicating a separate post to this series, but OMG! The best YA fantasy I’ve ever read! These two books, especially the second one, held my attention from start to finish. Usually, my focus drops, and I need a break from a book, but the brilliance of these two didn’t allow me to stop reading. And those five stars? Read – a thousand!

The Erasmus experience of a lifetime

I’ve been talking a lot about my Erasmus experience. But I didn’t conclude that chapter. It’s been almost two months since I returned from Santiago, and I want to share a little about what I’ve learned there.

My Erasmus experience in Spain

Flying to a new country, completely alone, was quite frightening. But, sitting in the Office of mobility, listening about the exchange program, and in the end, applying was probably the most exciting experience of my life. Studying abroad was always a great interest of mine, and last year, I finally found the courage to apply for it.

University of Santiago de Compostela

I applied for the University of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain. USC has three campuses, two located in the city, while the third one is about a hundred kilometers away, in Lugo. The Faculty of Philology is part of the Campus Norte. The program includes Spanish, Galician, French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, German, English, Latin, and Greek philology. Apart from that, you can also study linguistics and literary theory. My interest was in Italian linguistics and literature.

The official language of the University of Santiago de Compostela is Galician. That’s a language similar to Castellan Spanish and Portuguese. I took two classes in Galician and the other three in Italian.

The Faculty’s library collection includes more than 210 000 volumes of monographs and more than 2 500 magazine titles. Other than that, there is a Center of Foreign Languages, a language lab, and a cafeteria, which makes for comfortable studying there. USC promotes the proper values and encourages the students to be involved in social questions. I noticed that great attention goes to mental health and women’s rights.

The semester starts in October, and January is an exam month. I am more than satisfied with my studies there, the results, the support of the professors, the lectures, and the approach to the program. Taking an exam in a foreign language was not a big obstacle for me either.

The documents

Getting in touch with USC, I’ve got all the necessary information about my obligations coming to Santiago. As an EU citizen, I didn’t need a visa, but usually, getting it is one of the necessary steps. Apart from that, I had to purchase insurance called OnCampus. (important: if you are an EU citizen, get the EU health insurance card!) I had to send the confirmation of the purchase, together with the plane ticket and my accommodation contract to the Office of Mobility. The scholarship should cover the costs.

The scholarship

Now, talking about the scholarship, it managed to cover all my costs, but I have to say that this may not be the case for all the destinations. It depends on the country you selected. How does it work?

Once we got to Santiago, we received the first check. That is the scholarship that comes from the EU funds. We then cashed that check, but for the payments for the following months, we had to open a Spanish bank account. That can get complicated because we have to close it before leaving Spain. The other option is opening an account with an online bank. I used Revolut because it worked for me. I could receive the scholarship on it and could pay for my rent and everything else. Also, I didn’t need to close the account before I left.

ESN Santiago de Compostela

The Office of mobility helped with all the questions regarding the studies, the documents, and so on, but concerning living in the city, ESN Santiago de Compostela helped us.

Erasmus Student Network has its headquarters in Bruxelles and offices in all the Erasmus cities. They take care of the students doing the exchange. ESN Santiago de Compostela is a part of the Buddy program at USC, and they were our first contact apart from the USC administration. They help students find accommodation and organize activities in the city, like tours, dinners, parties, games, and so much more, as well as trips to other cities.

What I’m taking back from my Erasmus experience

In five months of being there, I had the opportunity to truly get to know Santiago, explore Galicia, see so many wonders, listen to their rich and fascinating history, and learn the importance of their language. I improved my Spanish language skills, as well.

I tasted the traditional dishes, learned a recipe or two, talked with the locals, and learned about the beauty of that region. (tip: get a notebook where you save all the memories – tickets, receipts, etc.) I am most thankful for my study experience and the professors who truly inspired me and showed me new approaches to the subjects I’m studying. I am also forever grateful for the beautiful people from around the world I met there.

Staying in Santiago forever changed the way I see the world. Personally, it helped prove to me that I’m capable and strong. It fed my curiosity and inspired me. It also gave me beautiful friendships. Academically, it forced me to face all challenges and not take the easy way out just because I was scared. It served as an encouragement to face all doubts and insecurities I had. In Santiago, I felt safe and inspired. Although I lacked some vitamin D, those low grey Galician clouds never made me regret this experience.

I hope you find this post helpful. Maybe now you’ll apply for a program yourself? If so, I wish you the best of luck and hope you have fun! Or you’ve already been on the exchange program? If so, how was it? I’d love to hear all about it.

Happy International Women’s Day 2023!

Women’s Day

Today is an important day, and so, in honor of International Women’s Day, I want to dedicate this post to all the women in my life, all the women whose names were never written on the family tree, all the women that came before me, and I never got to meet. All the beautifully eccentric, strong, kind, and compassionate women whose smiles and warm words of encouragement always follow me.

Happy International Women’s Day to us!

I want to dedicate this post to my grandmother, whose fights keep getting bigger but never take away her courage or kindness. To my mother, who carries her pains hidden inside. To my twin, my soulmate and anchor – I love you. To my sister and friends, thank you for enriching my life, inspiring me, and making me feel safe. To my aunts, who help shape me into the woman I am.

Happy International Women’s Day to my professors, who guide and support me, who re-spark my interest in what I love, and who help me see my visions through. I want to say thank you to the authors whose stories, both on and off the paper, inspire me to keep exploring the world. Every day I am filled with gratitude.


All the women who gave up on the color pink, so they don’t see them as ”too girly”. All the women who gave up on their femininity, so they don’t come off as ”too weak”. All the women who got disrespected and then called hormonal and dramatic just for standing up for themselves.

All the women who got honked or whistled on the street by men old enough to be their fathers, just for wearing a skirt. All the women who got followed home by hooded men, or the phantoms of paranoia, because no street and no city is safe.

All the women who make it to the top in this man’s world. All the women who bite their fears and keep going.

All the women.

You do not need to be perfect and accomplished and have all of it figured out to be worth it. Your strength and the will to keep fighting are enough. On that note, I want to thank all the women who had sacrificed so much, and whose wounds are still healing. All of them, who are silently fighting, still with a smile on their faces. Who still can’t put themselves first. They are my heroes, safe havens, and my only true pillars of stability in this world.

Women amaze me every day. From small things, like sharing recipes, the best ways to make coffee, or passing down jewelry, or favorite books, to the intimate stories only we can understand, to the heartbeats that skip to the same trauma or to the color of my hair I got from my great grandmother or the color of my eyes I got from my mother – I am in every bit marked by every woman around me.

I struggle a lot with my image, my name, and my identity. Sometimes I feel like all the walls are crumbling down. Sometimes I am so desperate and angry that I can’t even word it properly anymore. The injustice, the disrespect, and the harm make me very angry. Every hand raised against a woman is the hand I want to bite off. But, the angrier it makes me living in this world, the prouder it makes me feel to be a woman. Through women’s eyes, I see the divine. I am proud to be a woman.

Women's Day
Happy International Women’s Day! art by Sara (sarablanco_tattoo on Instagram)

Who do you want to say ‘thank you’ to? Who are the women that inspire you? Feel free to share your love in the comments!

Tips for traveling to Galicia

Galicia is a beautiful autonomous region in the northwest of Spain, just above Portugal. Breathtaking cities, rural areas,  green surfaces, rich history, and folklore add to the magic. The region opens to the Atlantic Ocean, and visiting the coast is a must! Also, don’t just stop at the big cities. Galicia has many gems to offer!

Still, Galicia can also be a bit tricky. The Galician weather is especially mischievous. So, today I prepared a short list of how to best prepare for traveling around Galicia.

Hórreos are a symbol of Galicia. It's a type of granary used for food storage for the livestock.

Galicia is the perfect region for a road trip. At first, it was the most popular with the pilgrims doing the Camino. Now, it is famous for its breathtaking views, delicious cuisine, and history and folklore. I’m sure it’s on your bucket list already. If not, I hope you add it soon. Here’s what to keep in mind when you go there:

Galician weather

Galicia is THE region for walking, hiking, and being outdoors, but it also has a lot of rain. The temperatures are lower than in the rest of the country, and the clouds can appear out of nowhere. Check the forecast, but also be prepared for everything because the weather in Galicia changes almost by the hour! Keep a travel umbrella in your bag at all times, pack some raincoats and rain boots, and you’re good to go!


Following the first tip, if you plan on staying in Galicia longer, take some supplements. It depends on when you travel, but with the Galician rain and the fog, you might forget that the sun exists, so don’t forget to bring some vitamin D!

Rain season in Galicia


The official languages in Galicia are Galician and Castilian Spanish. They use Galician in all institutions, museums, bars, and restaurants. It is the native language of about 2,7 million people. Galician sounds like a mix between Spanish and Portuguese, so if you understand those, you will understand the basics. They don’t speak English often. No one will refuse to speak English, they will always find ways to communicate and help, but you have to be aware of the language situation there. So, before you visit, learn a few basic phrases to make the conversations easier.


Siesta is an integral part of Spanish culture and everyday life. In Galicia, everything closes from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. while people take their daily breaks. So, if you plan on shopping for souvenirs, grabbing a coffee, or visiting the bookstore, do it outside the siesta hours. (The supermarkets don’t close for the break, though!)

Take your time to take it all in!

There’s much to explore in Galicia, so be open to trying everything. Visit the museums, and try out the local food. Have a picnic in the park (but don’t litter!)! Look for festivals, concerts, and any live music in the area. Visiting a local bakery that offers the best pastries, especially the traditional pastries around the holidays, is a must! Have fun, take photos, and make memories!

I hope this post helps you in preparing for your visit to Galicia! If you’ve already been there, feel free to share your tips. I would love to hear it all!

And with that, the 2022 season comes to an end.

2022 season comes to an end.

Today I stood in front of the ”Holly Door” (Puerta Santa or Puerta del Perdón) on the Plaza de Quintana in Santiago, waiting for them to close and remain so until 2027. A little context:

A Yubilee Year is celebrated in Santiago de Compostela whenever July 25, the day of Santiago the Elder, falls on a Sunday. This happens with the time sequence of six, five, six and eleven years.

That year’s called Año Santo (Xacobeo). Following the tradition, the Holy Year was supposed to be last year, but the Church made an exception and extended it for a year due to the pandemic.

Finding out about this decision filled me with warmth and hope. I started thinking about destiny because, in all that, what were the odds? I got a chance to be here, in Santiago, in the Holy Year.

Today we stood there in the pouring rain. It came suddenly. There weren’t many people, so it felt more intimate, even though my view of the door was hidden by all the umbrellas swirled up in the wind. People were soaking wet and laughing while fighting the wind. That moment was so special. The rain properly showered me, but I decided to embrace it as a ”washing-away” of everything painful from this year. For some reason, the rain and being on that square calmed me. I felt lightweight and clean. At that moment, I heard the thud of the doors being closed.

And with that, I want to close this chapter behind me. It brought me the pain I never dreamed of, made me push my limits to where I couldn’t follow anymore, gave me a second chance, and brought me to this beautiful, magical place exactly when I needed it. It allowed me to welcome so many extraordinary new people into my life. Some of them were brief blessings that formed a cherishable memory. Some are dear friendships. I want to thank 2022 season for showing me how caring people are, even when I don’t seem to notice; for showing me how I can live a life and how wonderful it can be; for showing me how important and magical people’s smiles are.

It threw in front of me some lessons I want to take with me, hopefully proving that I learned from them. Other than that, I won’t make any new year’s resolutions. I can’t predict life, so I won’t plan. I’ll keep my heart open and brace myself for everything that might come, knowing it’s all meant to be.

Happy new year, everyone! I hope that whatever this dance around the sun brings you, you can accept it, and I hope it fills you with joy every step of the way.

2022 season

A Day in Noia, Galicia – 10/12/2022


It’s December, which means that my exchange program ends soon. The exam season is near, but I want to spend as much time exploring Galicia as possible. There are many places I want to see, and this weekend I was able to visit Noia. My friend and I took a bus to an hour-away town we heard about from a lady working in a shop here in Santiago. The weather was perfectly Decembery, and Noia was so beautiful and peaceful.

It’s not a tourist destination, it felt like we were the only foreigners there, but we felt welcome. We spent the day walking the area. The bus station was close to Grúa, which is an old crane left from the marine engine factory. From that point, you have a nice view of Noia and the bridges Ponte de Noia and Puente a Testal. We walked over to the Bridge of Noia and sat there, enjoying the view. If you google that area now – the road from Grúa to that bridge – you’ll see an older version of the road. Now there’s a promenade, where we spent some time admiring the view and filming everything.

I could sit there all day, listening to seagulls, breathing in the chilly December air, and just taking it all in. Spending a day in Noia could pour nicely onto paper and into art.

The church of Saint Martin of Noia took our breath away. We were wandering the streets and ended up in front of it. It was closed, but the facade was beautiful, with many details to admire. We took some time appreciating the beauty and taking pictures. The church is near the Bridge of Noia, so we circled back on the promenade to enter the town again. Alameda de Noia was all Christmasy, with pretty lights, that invited families out for a walk. The vibe was perfect, cozy, peaceful, and bright. Noia is one of those towns you can read about in the book situating a cute story.

We wanted to visit some cute cafés, but I always forget about siesta, so just a little reminder if you’re in Spain: from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., most businesses are closed for a break! We did go to this Italian place called Mamma Mia, and, of course, we ordered pizza. It was delicious, but the interior design was real fun.

If we were to come back, we would visit Dominga. Here we only stopped by to grab some coffee because we didn’t have more time before the bus back to Santiago. We didn’t see it in time, which is sad because it smelled deliciously of coffee and different pastries. It’s more of a breakfast place, but even at 7 p.m., the fresh aroma coated us and made us warm. In Galicia, they usually give you a cookie or a piece of cake when you order coffee. We got an almond cake. One other place that looked nice and cozy was A Taberna De Lelo. We only saw it passing by – again, too late – but they have traditional Galician food, so it’s a place to have in mind when visiting Noia.

Before I go, guys, look at this!

Okay, thanks, bye!

Christmas lights in Vigo

christmas lights

December is finally here, and all of the Christmas lights are on! Last weekend we visited Vigo, a city on the coast that organized the most beautiful, magical Christmas lights festival ever! I have to say, I was a bit grumpy coming there because I had a cold, and the number of people surrounding me was overwhelming at one point, but I mean – everyone wanted to see the Christmas lights.

After grabbing some gingerbread latte at the local Starbucks – the best latte I ever had – my mood changed completely, and it was so easy to slip into the holiday magic.

I am in love with Galicia – what else is new? – but if you’re ever here in late November/December, please visit this city! First, take some time to walk around the city center and take cute pictures of the decorations like I did! You’ll see a giant snowman, the star of Christmas, the angels, a Christmas tree, and a carriage all lit up in the most beautiful display of colors.

Then, go to a small amusement park – especially if you’re there with children – or take a ride on a wheel that gives the best view of the city. A bit of a warning: the first round goes slowly – enough to take pictures and enjoy the ride – and then the party starts with a few circles that are more of a roller coaster vibe. That makes it more fun, though!

Moving on from the wheel, the most delicious smell from the food stands called for us. That section was packed, and for a good reason! Whichever post you choose, you’ll only find the best food and beer. My friend and I were overwhelmed by the crowd, so we went to a nearby Luces de Bohemia and got some coffee/hot chocolate, and churros. We were amazed by how good the churros were, coated in sugar and warm. I’m still craving them! Also, the whole place looked so pretty, and I wish we’d sat there to try the menu, but they were just about to close when we got there.

Later in the night, most of our group went to a party, but in proper introvert fashion, my friend and I skipped that to go around the city some more, explore and take more pictures. The crowd was smaller by 1 a.m., but the streets were still alive, so we felt safe to walk around and enjoy our visit. We were both so happy that we went and had the opportunity to see everything. We returned to Santiago around 5 a.m., and we were so exhausted but so happy.

Okay, thanks, bye!

Let me tell you something

This past week I felt more energy than I had in a while. I don’t know if that’s high before the low or if it’s a Christmas enthusiasm that starts too early and never makes it to Christmas Day. Still, some thoughts have been piling up, so I wanted to share something about them.

Whenever I’m on social media, I stumble upon one of those what-I-wish-I-knew-in-my-20s videos. And every time I see them, I get this five minutes pump of confidence, and I feel like I can change my life immediately and become the ”it girl”. I forget about all that as soon as I scroll to another video. But, generally speaking, it makes me think that so many people share their experiences and bits of advice online that it’s so easy for us now. Like, they’ve lived their twenties and now share their mistakes, so we don’t have to make them.

I held on to that hope until it struck me that the emphasis is on our twenties. Yes, there are so many people before that lived them, but we haven’t. And that goes for any other age. The point is, you don’t become wiser just by taking on what others learned and told you, but by actually living through a moment so it can give you a lesson. Life is not a textbook definition that someone else lectures you. There are no shortcuts to this. Everybody knows that not one person has the same journey, and while there may be only one answer, there are as many formulas for it as there are people in this world.

So, just a simple reminder: the next time you look at someone else’s journey and compare, know that the life in front of you is an unpaved road, the clouds or the bottom of the ocean, the grass meadow, or the gravel not yet walked on. How scary! And how wonderful!

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