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I live in a beautiful coastal town on the east coast of Australia, 4 hours north of Sydney. There are lots of walks and places to see amazing native vegetation in the surrounding areas but my favourite is the one that follows the coast, and in the right time of the year you can even spot the annual whale migration.
This place is special to me because it’s the city where I arrived as an outsider, and left as a local. The map depicts “My Leeds” — the landmarks which helped me navigate the city when I first arrived as a university fresher, and the bars where I spent many incredible nights into early mornings. Known as “the London of the North”, Leeds grew out of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, and its rich, diverse history is reflected in the vibrant and eclectic city we see today. From elegant victorian shopping arcades and architectural splendour, to boozy bar-crawls and toe-tapping music venues, Leeds has plenty to offer the wide-eyed country boy when first moving away from home. No matter how many times I return to this city, there’s always a quirky new bar or restaurant to add to the extensive list of interesting places on offer, and although I may not currently live there, I always consider it to be home. Included in the map are not only the places, but the people who made this city an obvious, unquestioned choice for my favourite place — a place “where there’s music, and there’s people, and they’re young and alive” (The Smiths, 1986).
This place is special to me because it’s charm and delicious food stole my heart. One of the first things I saw in Charleston was a happy family of dolphins swimming in the harbor, which is something I had never seen before. New experiences like the wildlife made me feel connected to this small city. As we looked over the menu at Fleet Landing I saw a heron outside who was also looking for its dinner. I wanted to make this map highlighting the food we had in Charleston because of the people behind the food who cared about what they cooked and the experience they provided. The restaurants and landmarks I illustrated are just some of the many great places Charleston has to offer.
This place is special to me because it's my secret winter escape. OK, maybe not so secret as thousands of snowbirds have discovered it as well. I love Tucson not only for the fun breweries, tasty eats, farmers markets, cool shops, and fascinating historical sights but the city is surrounded by nature. To the north you can hike at Catalina State Park and Sabino Canyon, to the east and west you'll find both sections of Saguaro National Park. When hiking you may be surprised to find the desert teems with life like hummingbirds, phainopeplas, hawks, roadrunners, ringtail cats and javelinas. The cactus wren pictured here is the state bird of Arizona. Hope you like my map! :) Come explore the desert!
Why shouldn’t dogs have their own map? This map of Roswell, GA depicts great locations for the above-average canine: two vets, two groomers, two shopping experiences, and two places to board. Does your canine live in a town as dog-friendly as Roswell?
This place is special to me because it’s emotionally connected to the memory of my youth. I discovered Berlin at a time when I was figuring out who I wanted to be, so every corner evokes intense emotions, memories and life expectations. I have recently moved back after ten years (who would have thought!). Reencounters can be a little bittersweet. The city has changed a lot, and so have I, but I am pretty sure it still remains one of the big love affairs of my life. Here goes a bit of the old and a bit of the new Berlin, some of my favorite places to share with the many visits you receive when you don’t live in your country of origin. Hope you enjoy the walk!
This place is special to me because it's where I find all the ingredients for my favorite Armenian and Middle Eastern meals. It's where my kids go to school and learn our language, history and culture. It's where I teach, where I bump into friends, where I overhear old men discuss politics in Western Armenian, a language UNESCO has classified as endangered. It's where newspapers are edited, holidays are celebrated, weddings, baptisms, funerals are conducted. Little Armenia is just a few blocks in a small town, but it's my home away from home.
This place is special to me because... growing up I used to love eating at Milk Bars. These diners were like a 🕑 time-machine for me. They offered a rare insight into the everyday life under Communist regime. Luckily, some of them are still open and operating. Have a look at the map, pick a place and go!
This place is special to me because it is where i spent my childhood summers, at my grandparents’ house. Bueu is a charming fishing village where you can eat the best seafood, octopus, fish... and spend the day at any of its beautiful beaches! Worth the visit just for that sea breeze in any corner.
This place is special to me because it is the birthplace and home to a woman who means the world to me, my mother. Despite being born and raised in this town, I've never really got myself 'that familiar' with it. Probably because of the many years being out of town for studies. Listing out the places of interest was quite challenging and I think that is normal for a lot of us when it comes to extracting such information from one's hometown; how ironic. Sure, you frequent its traffic, you rush through that one hidden gem on daily basis, you may know every turn and corner like the back of your palm but to get that sense of 'this town is touristy enough', that may need some work. My secret is to turn to TripAdvisor. That way, I get to learn to see it from a different perspective. That's how I see the hidden gems - that's how I realise there's a lot to re-learn about this little town we call home. So here is a little introduction to Klang from my side.
This place is special to me because it is where I studied and now spend most of my free time. We do not have many green or open spaces in Beirut but the American University neighborhood has it all: a botanical garden –which is also a cat haven, heritage buildings, an archeological museum, art galleries, excellent restaurants and coffee shops, a weekly farmers’ market and, last but not least, the seaside cornice – a beautiful promenade that leads to the iconic Rauche rocks site. One never gets bored in this area, never!
This place is special to me because, no matter what the season, this gorgeous valley in the Australian Alps has me enchanted with its ever-changing colour palette. From snow capped peaks in winter to golden leaves in autumn, it is my favourite place in the world to hike with my dog.
This place is special to me because this city is a beautiful place due to the modern architecture and lively night scene. This is a city where there's so much to explore and see! I wanted to showcase some top places that are definitely worth seeing. Beyond the luxury shopping and tall buildings, you'll also experience the wonderful culture there.