The Quarantine Diaries 25: The Memory Collector

I’ve always loved to travel. As a child, I used to think of myself as ‘The Memory Collector,’ taking something unique and memorable away from every travel experience. It’s ironic, then, that I boarded my first plane at the age of 22! I think I’ve more than made up for lost time since then.

I was feeling a little sad at the thought of leaving behind my happy memories of Spain, so over the weekend I set myself the challenge of going through all my photos from the last two years and making them into albums. This was no mean feat, but it was a wonderful exercise in reflection, from which I gained much gratitude for the memories I’ve collected over this time.

Where I’ve come from

Where I've come from
Sunset over Montserrat

Of course, it’s not where I come from originally, but I have many happy memories of Catalunya. Barcelona is a diverse, vibrant and enchanting city, like a patchwork of villages each with their own distinct identity stitched together into a unique, irreplicable whole. It’s where I started blogging: if you’re interested, you can read what I wrote about Barcelona here. It’s also where my second son was born, within site of the Sagrada Familia, so it will always be a special place to me. In addition to Barcelona, Catalunya has a multilayered rich history and stunning natural scenery from the Costa Brava to the mountains of Montserrat and Montseny. If you haven’t visited yet, I’d highly recommend it. (And no, I’m not employed by the Catalan tourist board…)

Where I am now

Where I am now
Crystal clear waters of the Costa del Sol during lockdown

Before I ever came here, I knew the Costa del Sol by reputation: tacky tourist destination of Brits abroad who basically want Britain in the Sun. I never did grow to like the holiday resorts. But the Costa and AndalucΓ­a as a whole is so much more than the sum of its notorious tourist traps. From the quieter coastal areas South of Fuengirola to the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Sierra de las Nieves and Sierra Nevada, I’ve come to love this area too. Let’s not forget those Warm Saharan Winds of course!

Where I’m going to

Where I'm going to
The Kamnik-Savinja Alps in Slovenia

I’m lucky that Slovenia is already something of a second home to me. I’ve been there many times with my husband to visit his family, and it’s a truly beautiful, unspoiled gem of a country. With a population of just over 2 million, it’s a meeting point between Eastern and Western Europe, with the Mediterranean sun added in. It’s also a natural paradise boasting almost 60% forest cover. I have many happy memories of holidays in Slovenia, particularly in the Northern Alps and Ljubljana, the enchanting capital city. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to go and live there with my family.

Grateful for the memories

I used to suffer from an excess of nostalgia: in the past, I’d always be looking back and mourning what I’d left behind. I’d complain that I was always on the move. But recently, I’ve learned to see things differently. If I hadn’t moved around so much, I wouldn’t have collected so many rich memories. I wouldn’t write as often, or as well. If I’d stayed in one place, I’d have the same perpetual backdrop, punctuated here and there by memories of holiday travel. But to live in a place is to grow into it, until it becomes part of the landscape of your soul. This is what I take with me on my journey.

Have you lived in many different places? Is there anywhere you would really like to live? Share your memories and dreams below, and have a wonderful day, wherever you are πŸ™‚

13 thoughts on “The Quarantine Diaries 25: The Memory Collector

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  1. Hey Ingrid, glad to know you’re well and enjoying your days on remembering your experiences πŸ™‚

    I am from Lisbon (as I think you already know) and Barcelona is also a very special city for me: my first travels abroad were there; also I went there with my school mates in the end of the secondary; and to be honest I always wanted to spend more time than a simple week or two in Barcelona to enjoy the city as a local πŸ™‚

    I’ve been in Slovenia, I really like Ljubljana πŸ™‚ about living I had the chance to do it in Skopje, where I volunteer for 6 months in a local youth center; in Riga, where (as you know) I spend almost 1 years and had the chance to work also; later I volunteer 2 months in a youth hostel in Taipei; I lived and worked another year in Nice, in the south of France; then last year I spent 3 months in Berlin and another few months in Ukraine πŸ™‚

    Nowadays is kind of hard to be at home… Specially with such low perspectives about jobs… So, to be honest, I don’t know when exactly I can go and take some time for myself to discover the world a bit more…

    Anyway, let’s keep the motivation πŸ™‚
    All the best,
    PedroL

    1. Wow you have lived in many places 🀩 we will stay in Nice on the journey to Slovenia but I don’t suppose there will be much time for sightseeing πŸ˜… thanks so much for sharing your experiences 😊 I’m sure you will be able to travel again soon the world isn’t going anywhere after all 🌎 I’m a bit upset that we didn’t manage to visit Portugal while living here πŸ™

      1. Hopefully there will be more chances to discover Portugal, don’t worry πŸ™‚ have a lovely week Ingrid πŸ™‚ PedroL

      1. Yes definitely I would love to visit such beautiful places πŸ™‚

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