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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 is a very special place to me because when I lived in Paris as an au pair I was so charmed by the city’s flair that I could just walk around aimlessly while gathering impressions. I remember stopping by each and every patisserie, admiring the window displays of the most elaborate cakes and tartes in delicious colours. I could only imagine how they tasted (they were expensive). Many years have gone by since then! My map features some of the finest and most famous addresses of patisseries one can find in Paris.
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.
Tenerife was the first of the Canary Islands that I visited a few years ago. The reason for the trip was my wish to experience the second biggest Carnaval in the world after Rio de Janeiro. And it was amazing! I was even more impressed by its lovely nature parks with volcano and moon landscapes, the diversity of plants, sweet little towns loaded with history, delicious food, a lot of sun and mild temperatures in February! So after this trip I was sure that I have to visit the remaining six islands of this beautiful and very special place for me!
This illustration is an autobiographical map of many of the places dear to me. It's got anything from stupid and fun things I did as a kid, to my girlfriend Meg & I buying our first house this year and doing it up.
And lots of tea, beer and coffee!
This place is special to me because it has opened me the doors to the world of whales and has given me inspiration, good friends, illustration projects, work, contacts, relax, adventures and even an art exhibition at the Húsavík Whale Museum! Every time I’m there, I feel like being home and there is always something good to do! Go see the whales, relax at the sea baths looking at the bay, get inspired by the mountains, a coffee or a tasty lobster soup, explore the town museums, walk around the harbor or near the river, or just breathe and feel that you exist! This is my heart’s home, a place where I’ve always belonged to.
This place is special to me because it's where we go on vacation every summer to visit my mother-in-law, who moved to the town of Carvoeiro over 20 years ago. Drawing this map, I kept thinking of all the wonderful reasons I love it here. The rocky cove beaches, the amazing azulejos (tiles) covering the outsides of buildings and insides of churches, delicious fresh fish (grilled sardines!), the scent of eucalyptus trees up on Monchique, where you can refill your water bottle directly from the spring, the beautiful doors everywhere, the crystalline turquoise water and deep blue skies, the curious cork trees halfway stripped of their bark, (and shops that sell everything made of cork), the dolphin sightings, the delicious pastry called pastel de nata (custard cups...think flan pie!), the fabulous soaps I bring back, the hill towns and medieval castles. The soulful fado singing. The fields of crooked almond trees, and almond liqueur. The piri-piri hot sauce that I'm obsessed with! A million stars pinned against a clear black night sky. Sooooo many good things. My daughter took her first steps and went to her first beach here, on Praia Grande. The weather is always sunny and perfect, and each time we go it's a combination of visiting all of our favorite places (like Porches, for pottery) and trying new ones. One time we drove to Sagres which is the most southwestern point in Portugal. You can walk out to the tip of the cape, atop tall vertical cliffs, surrounded by water on 3 sides. The place is magical and really feels like the edge of the world. A nearby beach made of smooth black rocks is a good place to watch surfers. The people in the Algarve are so friendly and welcoming, it really is an easy place to just be. By the end of our visit we always realize how this place has taught us to slow down and relax.
This place is special to me because of the wonderful chilhood memories I have there. I grew up in Brussels and I remember my weekends being full of museum visits, bike rides and waffle breaks. What inspired me the most to create this map was to think about all the places I go to when I have international friends coming for a short visit and I have to introduce them to my hometown in only a weekend. You can be sure that food is always a big part of the experience!
This place is special to me because it's one of the most magical place in the world and it has changed my life! I have met people there that have been so inspiring and I've experienced so many great things that it literally influenced the way I live today. I've been living a nomadic life for 6 years now travelling across 4 continents and nowhere else in the world have I seen so many pristine beaches and native wildlife in such a small area. Can you believe there are more than 100 beaches in less than 160km (100miles) of coast?! And how about meeting kangaroos, wombats, cockatoos, dolphins, whales and many more birds and animals almost on a daily basis?! You thought that would be it but you can also see powerful blowholes, impressive waterfalls, visit significant cultural places, eat at great vegetarian cafes, hike in the bush, surf... A friend of mine living in Huskisson one day described it as "living in Paradise"... well I totally agree on that!
Low Moor is the neighbourhood I grew up. I have fond memories of growing up here. As a kid, me and my friends loved playing out, having adventures and riding our bikes round the area. We only stopped playing for dinner time and the ice cream van! We actually used to have walkie talkies in case anyone spotted the ice cream van a few streets over and could alert everyone else! The "big wheel" is an iron monument in the heart of the neighbourhood which commemorates the local iron works heritage. We use to hang out here and try to climb it! The big puddle was HUGE and we all used to ride our bikes through it! I have fond memories of the church too. Before it was turned into flats, the hall used to be the hub of the community with kids clubs and events. Even though my family weren't Christian, we were still very much welcomed there.
I lived in Portugal 20 years ago and Lisbon was a city of which I have many fun memories. I'm FINALLY getting back for a visit in a few months, so I'm trying to remember the old (like CENTURIES old) faves, as well as check out all the new things which have appeared in recent years (hello vegan sushi and drag queen cooking classes!). Staying in a 5th floor walkup with no elevator, so I'll be sure to work up an appetite for eleventy million pastéis de nata.