Virginia Beach native Peggy Sijswerda can remember when her hometown was a sleepy little city covered in cornfields. Today, acting as editor and publisher of two regional magazines keeps Peggy more than busy, but she still makes time to enjoy all this coastal gem has to offer—”amazing history, beaches, boating, swimming, and seriously tasty seafood” chief among them. Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.
Madrid “feels like the Spanish best friend you never had—one that welcomes you with open arms, tasty tapas and drinks, and good times,” says local Erin Ridley. “Really, it’s hard not to feel like you belong here.” Here are a few of Erin’s favorite things about the city she’s proudly called home for seven years.
The first official day of summer is fast approaching (for the northern half of the world, at least), so we thought we’d kick the season off right with a special edition of I Heart My City. Here are 20 summer must-dos recommended by “I Heart” contributors in 20 cities around the world.
More than two years ago, Christina Tkacik spent her days viewing footage from the far-flung exploits of National Geographic explorers as a film librarian for the Society. “At some point, I knew it was time to have some adventures of my own,” she says. “So I did what anyone would do—I moved to Beirut!” Here are a few of Christina’s favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.
Originally from the island of Sardinia, freelance travel writer Angela Corrias has traveled the globe, living as an expat and racking up nomad cred. Two years ago, she decided to stop roving and put down roots in Rome. The Eternal City continues to earn its moniker with its “never-fading allure,” she says. “Few places make whirling back in time so easy.” Here are a few of her favorite things about Rome.
“Even if it’s not really your cup of tea, Thessaloniki won’t bore you—not for a single second—because it never ever sleeps,” says local Martina Papaiaioannou. Here’s a look at Greece’s second largest city through her unique lens.
Elizabeth Jarrett has a special love for Atlanta, Georgia, and the people who live there. Deeply entrenched in the Georgia capital’s creative class, Elizabeth is a founding member of the Collective Project theater company, hosts the Natural Selection variety show, works as a gallery curator, and runs Common Ground, an organization focused on strengthening communities through the arts. Here are a few of her favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.
Thirteen years ago, Ludo Yken moved to Paris to complete his studies and found that he never wanted to leave. In addition to feasting on the City of Love’s impressive spread of cultural attractions and green spaces, the media-industry professional found another reason to stay: the locals. “The people are much nicer than their bad reputation may suggest,” Ludo says. Here’s a look at the French capital through Ludo’s unique lens.
Gábor Dory is head of communications at the five-star Corinthia Hotel Budapest, one of the Old World grande dames that inspired Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” “From the historic thermal baths and museums to the modern 21st-century vibe of young Budapest, everyone who visits Budapest is guaranteed to enjoy themselves,” he says. Here are a few of Gábor’s favorite things about the city he’s proud to call home.
Sheilla Safra Maler was raised in northern Israel, but always longed to return to her birthplace, Tel Aviv. Now that she’s made that dream a reality, Sheilla’s passion for the “White City” has only increased—so much so that she is currently in training to become a tour guide on top of her day job at a high-tech company. Here are a few of her favorite things about Tel Aviv.
Three years ago, Jennifer Pinkerton cashed in her life as an editor in Sydney for a life of global adventure. After teaching English at the Dalai Lama’s temple in India, losing her hair in Zambia, and taking on French school in the Loire Valley, she ventured to the desert and put down roots in Darwin, the capital of one of Australia’s most remote and least populated areas. Here are a few of Jennifer’s favorite things about the tropical Northern Territory wonderland she’s proud to call home.