After 8.900 km and 30 days I am finally back home!

DSC04825 Best European Road Trip Ever!

Road trips are great. You set out with a few made up ideas of what it will be but most often end up exceeding your expectations. This trip was also a chance to reconnect with this old continent, this multicultural Europe where I came to life and that I will always miss when I’m living in some other part of this world.

It also ended up being much more than that. Along the way I met incredible people, some who proudly keep their ancestor’s heritage and traditions alive, others who felt the appeal of the land calling them and reinvented their lives in amazing ways. I love this European reverse movement of people who are going back to the countryside and bring back to life ancient land and small farms which have been dwindling since the beginning of the 20th century. People who live from the land and patiently produce healthy and quality products which we can all benefit from. Of all these people I have much to talk about and show in future posts.

But it was also a very trying and emotional trip for me. Almost at the beginning of this adventure there was a setback. My daughter was bitten in Milan, Italy by what we thought was a common mosquito and ended up being something more serious. The two days we spent in hospital, made me think how family is everything. It was not life threatening but seeing her in that hospital bed, scared and fragile made my heart ache. As did my mother’s mind wondering off when I got to my lovely country Portugal.

Maybe because of all that I went looking for my roots. The doors of the house where I grew up were opened by its lovely owner who welcomed us with great generosity. It was nice to show my husband and daughter not only the house but also the neighborhood where I grew up. Some places were untouched and others were no more but it was nice to revisit the past with my family. About roots I will also write and about Portuguese traditions.

You may not know this but we, the Portuguese, are one of the most (if not the most) welcoming people in Europe. We not only happily open the doors to our country, we also love to welcome people with our hearts. We always try to make anyone welcome by speaking or at least trying to speak their language but above everything we try to make everyone feel at home. Other doors opened to me during this trip, doors that I hesitated knocking sometimes but time and time again I was shown how generous Portuguese can be. Doors into traditions I wanted to explore and was fortunate enough to have been given the opportunity to learn more about. I will write about all this and of course about my favourite things to do when I’m in Portugal.

For now and until I unpack the multitude of books and food specialities I bought (and our dirty clothes of course!), I just want to give you a little preview of some of the things that will be coming up soon.

There was Italy, Milan, in particular the Expo 2015 which was a wonderful experience and where we got to try food from all over the world. The Expo only closes at the end of October so you still have plenty of time to visit. I Just wish we could have had more time to explore it.

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There was of course the south of France where I got to fulfill one of my bucket list wishes, the amazing lavender fields! But there was much more, the villages we visited were incredibly beautiful, the food was inspiring and the people we met on the way taught us so much.

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It was also nice to be in Spain again, to explore the culture, enjoy the food and speak Spanish again.

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But there is nothing like home, being with my family again and just walking by the sea makes me whole again. There is always a feeling of belonging even if I don’t live there anymore …

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As I said much to talk about in the coming weeks …

Until then and for those of you who just recently subscribed to my blog (thank you so much, you know who you are!) and don’t know me so well, here is a compilation of my most personal posts so you get to know me a bit better …


And now an update on the posts I already wrote regarding our road trip :



Welcome! Through my photography and my travels, you will discover the people I have encountered and the places that will stay with me forever. In this crazy new reality we seem to be living, it is even more important to be grateful for all the people who have crossed our path and touched us in same way. As for all the old and new stones, they can live in our imaginary for now, waiting, when the time is right again ...


  • Carmen Pacetti says:

    Querida María Ya lo leí con calma y me gustó mucho, las fotos son lindas y el modo en que lo describes como siempre buenísimo.
    Me toco mucho el imaginarlos con mi chiquilina en el hospital, veo su carita y la de Uds.

    • Maria says:

      Dear Carmen, Thank you, I’m happy you liked it. It was a big fright but thankfully all ended up well and we could all enjoy the rest of this wonderful road trip.

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