The best part of traveling is falling in love. You fall in love with your surroundings, your food, your drink, and your fellow travelers. You feel the rush of the high as soon as you exit the airport, and it doesn’t subside until you begin boarding back home. You get caught up in it, seeing everything new for the first time (even if it’s utterly familiar) and reacting with glee and childlike enthusiasm to every moment that hints at a magical opportunity.
I loved the ticket dispensing machine for the subway, that reluctantly printed out the card needed for me to get to the city. I love the stranger who helped me coerce the ticket machine to give me my pass, and who was a great conversationalist for the 45 minute subway ride downtown. I especially love the fruit stand that greeted me when I emerged from the station, with free samples of luscious cherries.
I loved the walking tour I took of the city, where I explored ancient contents, crossed spiteful steel bridges that didn’t have guard rails, scuttered through winding alleys that may or may not have been the inspiration for Diagon Alley, and eating delicious chocolate cake with the friends that I met there.
I loved the lunch with the pitcher of sangria, even though a pigeon did a drive by defiling of it.
I loved the port tasting, from the cheapest sugary wine to the exquisite aged option. I also loved having a bit too much port.
I loved being invited to dinner at another hostel, where I had a tasty meal at an open bar. I loved sharing it with other travellers riding similar highs, and falling in love with all of them for it. I also love
(I also loved not being hungover after a day where I consumed 5 glasses of sangria, 4 glasses of port, and a shot of some sort of schnapps. Way to go liver!)
I loved my first day of the camino, where I trekked with a wonderful partner through 33km of Porto’s beachfront, enjoying the boardwalks and the beauty that they presented with every step.
I loved the feeling of destiny when we reached the hostel at 11pm and were able to get in just as the door was being locked for the night, and then getting the bonus of having our own room.
Finally, I loved falling asleep as soon as I went under the sheets, getting my first full 8 hours of sleep on this vacation.