Originally from a small town in northwestern Ireland, Erna O’Connor first came to Dublin to attend Trinity College in the 1980s. Now a lecturer at the preeminent institution, she finds that Dublin’s friendly people, cultural vibrancy, and proximity to the mountains and the sea make it a great place to call home. Here are a few of Erna’s favorite things about Ireland’s capital city–just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.
When it came time to choose a college, Philadelphia native Jeremy Albelda traded in those northern winters for endless summer in Miami Beach. The city hooked him, hard, and he’s been a proud resident ever since. Though Jeremy’s gig as a travel blogger means he spends a lot of time abroad, the MIA always finds a way to reel him back. Here are some of his favorite things about the coastal gem he calls home.
New Orleans native Caroline Gerdes may have recently moved to Washington, D.C., but she loves her hometown. So much so that she recently spent a year–with the help of a National Geographic grant–of her life working on an oral history project about the Ninth Ward, where her father grew up, to document the community’s rich history and culture–especially the edible aspects. Here are some of Caroline’s favorite things about the city she’s proud to call home.
Munira Chendvankar has traveled across much of India, but maintains a “happy bias” toward her hometown. In keeping with the city’s status as the country’s entertainment capital (hello, Bollywood!), this self-proclaimed “film-ie” works as a senior producer for a television production house and says filling out our “I Heart” questionnaire reaffirmed her faith in–and love for–the city she calls home. Here are a few of Munira’s favorite things about Mumbai.
Russian national Elena Kozlova relocated to St. Petersburg in 2006 to pursue higher education, but her love for the city made her stick around after she claimed her degree. The Spotted By Locals blogger says living in Russia’s former imperial capital gives “the rare feeling of living in a museum under the open air surrounded by water,” and she likes it that way. Here are a few of Elena’s favorite things about the charming port city she calls home.
Dearbhaill Standún and her husband own and operate a restored 17th-century “hill village,” Cnoc Suain, just a short drive from Galway city on Ireland’s west coast. Though the Gaelic speaker and musician loves her rural retreat in the ruggedly beautiful Connemara district, she cherishes her time in this “friendly festival city by the Bay.” Here are a few of her favorite things to see and do in Cathair na Gaillimhe (that’s Irish Gaelic for Galway).
Native Chicagoan Beth Williams caught the travel bug after spending half a year in Japan during college. After graduation, she missed Asia so much she just had to go back. A gig teaching English brought her to Hong Kong, where she’s lived for the past two years. Armed with her camera and irrepressible wanderlust, Beth’s now on a mission to prove that you can work a 9-to-5 and still find time to travel. Here are some of her favorite things about the city she calls “a place unlike any other.”
Marti Buckley Kilpatrick, an American journalist and cook, has called San Sebastián home for the past three years. This food aficionado with a passion for Basque culinary culture–whether in pintxo form or at a five-hour lunch–points to an ancient local proverb that translates to “Wherever your thoughts go, your feet will follow” as her motto. Here are a few of Marti’s favorite things about this distinctive center of culture.
Iryna was “born and raised in beautiful Ukraine,” but is happy to call Calgary her “second home.” After traveling through Europe, she decided to make Western Canada her permanent residence and hasn’t ever looked back. Here are some of her favorite things about Alberta’s “Cowboy City.”
It’s a new year and, with it, new trips to plan. As you mull over which places you’d like to tick off your travel bucket list in 2014, consider these brief but compelling reasons why you should visit 20 of the world’s cities from the people who know and love them best.
When Annie Agnone isn’t exploring “America by Night” as a Nat Geo Young Explorer, she’s pursuing a MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. In the spring of 2011, when her new hometown was hit hard by a tornado, Annie was impressed by how her neighbors came to each other’s aid. In addition to the generous local spirit on display, Annie has also become a fan of lubbers, palmetto bugs, boiled peanuts, pines, and big-leaf magnolia trees since moving to the home of the Crimson Tide. Here are a few of her (other) favorite things about living in Tuscaloosa.
After a decade of “intercontinental hopping,” German national Ute Kreitz returned to the “fatherland” in 2007, settling on Hamburg as her new home base. Having heard many people over the years call Hamburg Germany’s most beautiful city, she was skeptical, but after moving there, she couldn’t agree more. Here are a few of Ute’s favorite things about the city she describes as having “a small town feel and a cosmopolitan touch.”
Button up your winter coat and grab a cup of cocoa, because the holiday season is upon us. To toast the wonders of winter, we are highlighting seasonal must-dos from our fantastic I Heart My City community. From Christmas markets to ice skating, delicious delicacies to botanical gardens, here are 20 ways to celebrate the…
Caroline Eubanks has lived everywhere from Charleston to Sydney, but continually finds herself drawn back to her place of origin: Atlanta, Georgia. She shares her hometown pride on her blogs “Caroline in the City” and “This Is My South” and now she’s sharing some of her hard-won insider secrets with the Intelligent Travel community.
Laura Jankjewitz is a full-time engineering student with a passion for Asian culture–she’s even learning Chinese in hopes of studying abroad one day. But in the meantime, here are some of Laura’s favorite things about her home town, Stuttgart, Germany.
Sofia native Ana Blagova spends her time running a small non-profit dedicated to promoting art in urban spaces and sharing her insider insight with the world as a Spotted By Locals contributor. Bulgaria’s capital city has been attracting more visitors each year, a trend Ana welcomes. As she says: “The more people, the more fun.” Here are some of Ana’s favorite things about her hometown.
Elie Gardner, a freelance photographer who contributes to Traveler magazine, grew up in a tiny town in North Dakota. Work brought her to Peru’s capital city in late 2010, and she’s been there ever since. Elie loves speaking Spanish, trying new foods, seeking out cultural experiences, and finding hidden gems in her husband’s hometown. Here are some of her favorite things about Lima.
Ariel Bloomer was born and raised in Portland but took a hiatus from Stumptown to go college and teach English in Bulgaria. “The travel bug comes as a bit of a curse,” she says. “I’m privileged and doomed to travel around the world knowing the best place I can imagine lies in my wake.” There are certainly worse problems to have. Now Ariel’s happily back in her old stomping grounds, and celebrating her homecoming with a tribute to all things Portland.
Vishwa Shah has been based in Nairobi since the age of six. The current University of Illinois student has traveled all over the world, but, for Vishwa, nothing compares to the quiet beauty of Kenya’s capital city. “It is a fertile, hilly Eden in which I could live and die and live in again,” she says. Enough said. Here are a few of Vishwa’s favorite things about the “Green City in the Sun.”
Autumn is kicking into full swing (for the northern half of the world, at least), so we thought we’d celebrate the season with a special edition of I Heart My City. Here are 20 fall must-dos from I Heart contributors in 20 cities around the world.
Ashley Fleckenstein is an American photographer and travel blogger who spent an extended amount of time in Paris before embarking on a trip to explore the world. Even though her wanderlust has led her to Asia (at least until her money runs out), Ashley’s heart belongs to Paris. Here are a few of her favorite things about the City of Light.