When you close your eyes and dream of being somewhere other than where you are in that moment, where do you go?
Thinking about it logically, I would think my brain would take me to the places that I talk about wanting to go back to the most - spots like Tofino, Hanalei Bay, and most all New Zealand. However, that's just not the case. When I close my eyes and dream of being somewhere else, I go places which have left a strong impression on me. Typically these are places where I had a chance to slow down and spend my time walking around the area in which I was staying. I find walking gives me just about the best experience in a new (or not new) place.
We spent three nights in Soajo, Portugal, staying in Casa da Barreira, built with traditional granite blocks just like all the homes around it. The streets were skinny cobbled alleys with cattle moving down them, most often followed by widows dressed in black. We spoke with our neighbors in a combination of broken French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese. One evening we were enjoying the sun on our balcony while listening to a widow and her care taker sing out their front door. Grapes here are grown along overhead trellises, above patios set up for barbecuing fish and enjoying the sun with furry companions. Coveted golden hours were spent wandering the streets and visiting the most famous grouping of espigueiros (granaries). Soajo is a place I imagine I'll be returning to in my mind over and over again.