6 Cities I Can’t Wait to Revisit

We are so deep into 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic that being able to travel feels like something from an alternate reality. Some borders may be open, but I could never in good conscience catch a flight given the current state of the world. My Pinterest boards are growing with ideas, and my desire to explore more of this beautiful world is growing exponentially each day. For now, I have to try to satisfy my travel craving by reminiscing on past trips. I find myself trying to relive my 2019 trip to Europe by scrolling through my photos, watching old Instagram stories, and digging through my bag of souvenirs.

While I have a list a mile long of places I want to visit for the first time, there are some cities I find myself longing to return to. So, without further ado, here are the six cities I just can’t get off my mind.

1. Florence, Italy

When I close my eyes, I can still see the sun set over the city of Florence. Memories of this glorious city are etched into my mind: eating gelato by the Duomo after dark, feeling the warm sun on my skin as I navigate busy streets, my first bite of truly exceptional pasta — each of these moments are little pieces that help create this profound longing to return. But, perhaps no memory do I hold more dear than seeing the sun set from Piazzalle Michelangelo. After wandering the city, visiting the galleries and gardens, there is no better way to end the day than with a bottle of wine and a million dollar view.

2. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Oh Dubrovnik, how I look forward to the day I’ll be back among the salty air, climbing hundreds of stairs, and finding dozens of beautiful buildings tucked away in every corner. No place has ever made me feel so far away from the rest of the world. After passing through the gates to this 16th century, walled city I was immediately taken with its charm and inviting character. The warm glow of lights illuminate the old streets at night, creating a romantic, contented atmosphere. With the sunrise comes the Mediterranean heat, and that easy-going tropical feeling, aided by the salty air emanating from the Adriatic Sea.

3. Bucharest, Romania

Despite knowing very little about the city, Bucharest was on my travel bucket list for quite some time. I have no clue when this fascination with the Romanian capital started or what caused it, all I knew was that I had to go. When my plane landed, I exited with no expectations and no real plan. What greeted me was a vibrant, eclectic city. I didn’t know what I would find endearing about Bucharest, but I soon realized that list would be longer than expected. The trendy coffee shops, artsy communities, and neoclassical architecture are just a few reasons why my time in Bucharest was so enjoyable.

4. Stockholm, Sweden

Before arriving in Sweden’s largest city, I heard that there were nicer places to go in the country. I was told Stockholm is nice, but Gothenburg was really nice. Since my trip to Scandinavia was already booked and carefully organized, I couldn’t exactly squeeze another city into the itinerary. If my sources can be trusted, and based off of how thoroughly I enjoyed Stockholm, Gothenburg must be amazing. Stockholm was the perfect mix of new and old, Gamla Stan had all the charm of historic Europe, while the newer city centre had the excitement of a modern, progressive metropolis. This city oozes arts and culture. While sipping coffee in a sweet cafe, I could envision myself founding a design firm and making Stockholm my trendy home base. I can’t wait to return to explore more of the islands that make up Stockholm, and to visit their galleries and independent shops.

5. Utrecht, the Netherlands

To say I miss being in Utrecht is an understatement. I long to return to the days of cycling the streets, shopping beside the canal, and lounging in the parks. Utrecht is often described as a less-busy, smaller Amsterdam, and while both cities have winding canals and charming facades, Utrecht deserves recognition in its own right. The city is alive with friendly people, exciting nightlife and lovely markets. Utrecht feels like a real city, one that is thoroughly lived in, and willing to welcome you warmly.

6. Tallinn, Estonia

  • Tallinn church and tree in afternoon light

Tallinn was another fun surprise. I often read everything I can about a city I’m visiting, I love to be prepared. This time, however, I only did some light research before catching the ferry in Helsinki, and travelling across the Gulf of Finland. Having scrolled some photos of the old town, I expected it to be beautiful. What I didn’t expect, was the immediate ease and comfort I felt wandering the cobblestone streets. I can really envision myself spending my days walking the town, popping in to new restaurants, climbing up to see viewpoints and relaxing in public squares. As much as I loved the long days of sunshine I experienced when I visited in June, I think my next trip will have to be during the Christmas season. This city is the storybook-perfect location for Christmas markets, and I can only imagine it looks even more magical covered in snow.

Introduction: Or, the Who, What and Why.

Future employers, you may choose to skip to the last paragraph.

You know those kind of goals you have that just seem huge and looming? The type that are weighing so heavily on your mind because you so badly want to achieve them? But the weight of them also makes starting seem like an impossible task? Well, I am happy to report, that after almost three years of wanting to create my website I have finally taken that first step. Ever since I started my journalism degree I was told how important it was to have a place to show your work. Professors and mentors reiterated again and again that a sphere to write and share was an important aspect of venturing into the professional world of writing and media.

Although I believed my mentors, and understood that their emphasis on the importance of a blogging space was valid, I still resisted. From time to time I would look up domain names and just hope that amandamarsh.ca wouldn’t be taken by the time I got around to registering it. Thankfully, no other Amanda Marsh snapped up the name. Nor, did anyone get amandmarsh.ca, the name I accidentally purchased the first time around. Although I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t catch a misspelling in my own, given birth name at least no one can steal my brand. That’s sarcasm… my personal brand is but a little seedling.

Beyond the value of a website for professional or portfolio reasons, I also wanted to create a space that I was comfortable being myself in. I have for the past five years created content for a specific purpose. Either for school projects or internships, my writing was always tied to professional goals, not the personal ones I so desired to achieve. Although much of my past work I have enjoyed creating, doing things for myself feels good – plain and simple. I’m a new grad, so I need some way to achieve serotonin in this job market.

The direction of this website isn’t set in stone. I know my interests lie greatly in photography, travel and sustainable living, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have the desire to throw in the occasional topic that doesn’t fit perfectly into an established category. That’s another perk of my own online space – there’s no boss or professor telling me I can’t do something. Amandamarsh.ca has my – and only my – name on it. So, as someone who craves structure, I’ll be expanding my horizons to listen to what I want to do. Not what I feel I must do.

I hope this first introductory post starts to set the tone for the site. I’m not trying to be unprofessional, as this url is on my resume, but I won’t be producing content directed exclusively to the professional world. Simply put, I want it to be a space for creativity. Whether that be realized by experimenting in the kind of content I create, or inserting my own humour into pieces, is yet to be determined. Going forward, expect posts with a casual tone juxtaposed with more serious journalistic pieces. I won’t be establishing a rule book for my creativity, so anything goes!

However, if any future employers are reading this, I would like to take a moment to say: Hi, thanks for stopping in. I can’t wait to bring professionalism and an adherence to rules to whichever company/organization you represent, and I can’t wait to start my position in communications/copywriting/journalism. I’m sure you will find my qualifications and skillset will make me a beneficial addition to your company/organization. I look forward to hearing from you regarding this position that provides a six-figure salary, catered lunches and ample vacation time. (Maybe? No? Alright, still happy to join the team.)