I Heart My City

We want to hear why you heart your city!

It's easy to share the love: Simply fill in the blanks below (copy and paste the questions into an email or text document first) and send your completed questionnaire to IntelligentTravel@ngs.org, using “I Heart My City” as your subject line. To help us ensure accuracy, please include Web addresses that correspond with the places, attractions, and people you highlight in your responses.

We also encourage you to submit original photos, videos, digital art, poetry, music—anything that helps show us why you love the place where you live—along with your completed questionnaire.

We feature an introductory paragraph about our I Heart My City guest authors at the top of each post, so please send us a short bio (including details about where you grew up, what led you to move to your current city, and how long you've lived there), along with links to your personal website or blog, if applicable, as well as links to any social profiles (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that you'd like us to share with the world.

Finally, please share with us a paragraph or two (in narrative form) that explains why you love where you live. Try filling in the blank in response to the prompt: "In two sentences or less, the world should heart my city because ________________________________________________________________."

We'll be in touch if we'll be running your "I Heart" on Intelligent Travel. But in the meantime, scroll down past the questionnaire to check out our "I Heart My City" archives.

**I Heart My City Questionnaire**

______________ is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is ______________.

______________ is the best time to visit my city because ______________.

You can see my city best from ______________.

Locals know to skip ______________ and check out ______________ instead.

______________ is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

In the past, notable people like ______________, ______________, and ______________ have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is ______________ because ______________.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s ______________.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is ______________.

My city really knows how to celebrate ______________ because ______________.

You can tell if someone is from my city if ______________.

For a fancy night out, I ______________.

Just outside my city, you can visit ______________.

My city is known for being ______________, but it’s really ______________.

The best outdoor market in my city is ______________.

______________ is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and ______________ is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read ______________.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I ______________.

To escape the crowds, I ______________.

The dish that represents my city best is ______________, and ______________ is my city’s signature drink. Sample them at ______________ and ______________ respectively.

______________ is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out ______________.

______________ could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should ______________.

In the summer you should ______________.

In the fall you should ______________.

In the winter you should ______________.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss ______________.

The best book about my city is ______________ because ______________.

Aileen Adalid quit her corporate job to travel the world. Though she grew up in the Philippines, she found her new home base on the other side of the world: Antwerp, Belgium. A treasure trove of adventure and culture, Antwerp was an easy sell for Aileen, who describes Belgium’s most populous city as “a quaint metropolis that has something for everyone, if not everything.” Here are a few of her favorite things about this Low Country gem.

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.

After more than a decade of welcoming visitors to Las Vegas as a convention planner, you might think Jen Lee would tire of talking up her hometown. Not so. “There are always sights and experiences to explore and rediscover,” she says. Here are a few of her favorite things about Nevada’s city that never sleeps.

Though Athens seems to live in the shadow of its long history, Dimitris Hall is on a mission to suss out city surprises, both new and old. Luckily for us, as he digs up new discoveries, he shares them with the world on the Spotted by Locals blog. Here are a few of his favorite things about the place he calls home.

Anna Khachatryan is a native of Yerevan through and through. When she moved to Geneva for a six-month stint in 2013, her appreciation for Armenia’s capital city only grew. “I love Yerevan,” Anna says. “It’s hard to find a city nowadays that is modern, but at the same time keeps its culture so well preserved.”

Back in 2010, Houston-born schoolteacher Lynda Martinez traded the Gulf of Mexico for the Persian Gulf—with two sons in tow—when her husband was offered a job in Dubai. Though her “heart is still in Texas,” Lynda has grown fond of her current home base and shares the love on her blog, Longhorns and Camels. Here’s a look at Dubai through her unique lens.

I Heart My City (in the Spring)

From music festivals to flower shows, beaches to wineries, here are 20 ways to make the most of the next few months in 20 cities around the globe.

Anne Elder “fell in love with France somewhere between Madeline and Moulin Rouge.” After studying abroad in Paris, the life-long Francophile migrated south and found a home in Aix–en–Provence, France. When she’s not helping students learn English as a teaching assistant, Anne spends her time keeping her blog up to date, working on the perfect bœuf bourguignon, or trying to blend in with…

Diana Orduna began her love affair with Geneva—a place she describes as “a huge melting pot of cultures, people, and international organizations”—three years ago. Soon after relocating from Mexico to the capital of Switzerland’s Romandy, or French-speaking, region, she started sharing her discoveries with the world on Spotted by Locals and on her own blog, LivinGeneva. Here are a few of Diana’s favorite things about her hometown of choice.

In 2013, Trevor Huxham left Texas for Santiago de Compostela and never looked back. Now an English teacher at a bilingual school, Trevor spends his extracurricular time cataloguing the many pleasures of Santiago de Compostela on his blog, A Texan in Spain. “Not only is Santiago the endpoint of the historic and modern Camino phenomenon, but it is also a lively university town with great seafood and beautiful granite architecture,” he writes. Here are some of Trevor’s favorite things about the World Heritage-listed city he calls home.

Avid traveler and Venezuelan national Andreina Pantin moved to Panama in 2009, and has been exploring the ins and outs of its capital city ever since. Adreina believes that “to love a place, it is important to know it, its people, and its culture,” and practices what she preaches by blogging about her ongoing discoveries in and around Panama City. Here are a few of her favorite things about the cultural crossroads she calls home.

Avid traveler Risto Kuulasmaa has explored monasteries in Bhutan, trekked across deserts in the Middle East, hiked across Iceland, and then some. Despite his wanderlust, the Scandinavian television producer has proudly called the “hassle-free, pocket-size metropolis” of Helsinki home for the past 12 years. Here are a few of Risto’s favorite things about Finland’s capital city.

Despite her many travels, Melissa Mederos cannot imagine calling any place but Miami home. The Magic City native is as up for an urban adventure as she is for exploring the abundant natural splendor that surrounds her city (think the Everglades and the Keys). Here are a few of Melissa’s favorite things about her hometown paradise.

Ana Maria Malpartida was born an ocean away from Zurich, but that hasn’t stopped her from calling Switzerland’s biggest city home. The Peruvian-born, Swiss-at-heart foodie spends most of her time—and a good portion of her salary—searching out the best eats in Zurich and sharing her finds with the world on Spotted By Locals. Here’s a look at Ana Maria’s adopted hometown through her unique lens.

Even though Nicole Brewer hails from Detroit, Michigan, she has made the world her home. After stints in South Korea, Germany, and South Africa, Nicole decided to take a job as an English instructor in Nizwa, Oman. When she’s not at the head of the class, she’s hard at work building I Luv 2 Globetrot, a blog she co-founded with a…

Fez native Hamza El Fasiki is a jack of all trades. The social entrepreneur, artist (he learned the traditional art of tea-tray etching from his father), musician (he plays a mean oud), and academic (he holds a master’s degree in Moroccan culture) has been led by his interests all around the world. Though Hamza’s spent time in the U.S., Japan, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates, nothing can compare to his hometown. Here are a few of his favorite things about the “Athens of Africa.”

Texas native Diana Skok Corridori traded the Lone Star State for the Old Country when she moved to Milan to live with her Italian husband. In addition to raising her two sons, she spends her time writing about the quirks and beauty of life in northern Italy through her travel blog Vino Vita Viaggi. Here’s a look at Milan through Diana’s unique lens.

I Heart My City: Tim’s Cologne

Tim Steins is no stranger to Cologne. Born 30 kilometers north of this German city, he spent his childhood exploring Cologne on the weekends with friends in tow. He now channels his hometown pride into the Spotted by Locals blog while working for a media analysis agency. Though he’s lived in numerous places around Europe, Tim recognizes the “heart-warming spirit” of his current home: “Cologne is not a city, it’s a feeling.”

Laura Bronner is an American expat who has been living in Sydney for the last two years. After graduating from college, she set off on what was supposed to be a year of travel; that was almost four years ago. Since then she has lived and traveled all over New Zealand and Australia.

Rebecca Davis is a St. Petersburg native through and through. A recent transplant to Washington, D.C., she now delights in visiting what she describes as a “tropical, art-conscious city with a laid-back beach vibe.” Rebecca gets to explore the world by way of photographs and stories as an associate producer at Nat Geo Travel, but she’ll always be proud of her Florida roots. Here are a few of her favorite things about St. Petersburg.

I Heart My City: Karen’s Bogotá

Freelance writer Karen Attman moved to Venezuela from the United States nearly two decades ago to embrace the ex-pat life and hasn’t looked back. She moved her home base to Bogotá in 2012 and thrives on the Colombian capital’s enthusiasm and creativity. “It’s a flourishing city that has an amazing energy,” she says, “but the main reason is all about the people. They are innovative, creative, loving, open, and generous.” Here are a few of Karen’s favorite things about her adopted hometown.

Raised in a quasi-treehouse on the edge of Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, New York, Nat Geo Young Explorer Alizé Carrère now travels the globe to illuminate how humans and other animals adapt to changing environments. When she’s not in the field, she recharges her batteries in her beloved hometown. Ithaca “is an incubator for creativity, intellectual development, self-expression, and a place to gain an appreciation for life’s diversity,” she says.

Magda Przedmojska delights in sharing her city with the rest of the world—that’s why she’s a regular contributor to Spotted By Locals Warsaw. Though this avid traveler has lived elsewhere—from Aberdeen to Berlin—the Polish capital has her heart. “Warsaw is still the place to be because of my friends and family—the most important people in my life,” she says. Here are some of the reasons Magda describes her hometown as “quite a nice melting point to visit.”

Nat Geo Young Explorer Erin Spencer is a marine scientist with a curious fascination with invasive lionfish and tri-cornered hats. After visiting Virginia’s Historic Triangle every year as a child, she ended up moving to Williamsburg to attend William & Mary. Though she now lives in D.C., she takes frequent trips to satisfy her colonial cravings. Here are some of Erin’s favorite things about her home away from home.

Zubair Khawar is a textile designer, but his true passion is travel photography. Born and raised in Lahore, he has recently started exploring his hometown through the eyes of a visitor—the true mark of any travel photographer worth his snuff—wandering the city’s markets, observing the crowds, and sharing the color and bustle of daily life through images. Here’s a look at the Punjab provincial capital through Zubair’s lens.