Alentejo, my love

One of my favourite regions in the world is Alentejo. Not as popular abroad as the Algarve, Lisbon or Porto, Alentejo remains as a quiet undiscovered place. Its geography and landscape is beautiful, from it’s wild beaches to the plains filled with olive trees. There are castles on top of several hills, buildings that will take you on a journey back in time when Romans and Moors ruled the area. And there is the wine, the food, the amazing olive oil, handicraft and its simple people. The Guardian published today an article on how well you can eat in Alentejo (and how inexpensive it is). Last Summer, me and my boyfriend toured this area and stayed for a couple of days in Monsaraz. He still talks about how good the food was and recommends it to anyone who is thinking of travelling to Portugal.

For me the Alentejo is more than its food, wine or landscapes: the whole in not just the sum of the parts. A part of my heart will always lie there.

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Pack and go!

The New York Times has published the 52 places [+1] to go in 2014. As far as I am concerned my travel book this year won’t probably include any of those destinations and although I wouldn’t say no to any of them, some are on my bucket list for quite some time while others are not. Embarrassingly, I’ve only visited one of those places yet – Rotterdam. But if I had to pick a 2014 destination among all those, my choice would probably be… Seychelles. Have I mentioned how much beachsick (I have just invented that word) I am?

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I definitely need this!

Chimamanda, the Americanah

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Conheci a Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ha poucos meses atraves de uma Ted Talk. Rendi-me a ela, a forma como fala e ao tema que brilhantemente deslindou nos 18 minutos que lhe sao devidos. Fiquei para la de curiosa para conhecer o seu ultimo trabalho, Americanah, que me foi tambem recomendado pelo meu pai, um avido leitor em cujo gosto e bom senso confio. Andei a namorar o livro algum tempo e so nao o comprei antes porque estou “obrigada” a ler 3 outros livros ate Junho. Ontem, depois de muito namoro no Goodreads e Amazon, finalmente chegou o livro. Li as primeiras 20 paginas e nao me desiludi. Uma escrita crua mas suave sobre o que e isto de estar do lado de fora, sobre desafios, aquilo que e dito e, sobretudo, aquilo que nao e nunca dito mas esta sempre la: a diferenca e a falta de pertenca a um pais que nao e o nosso. Chimamanda, a nigeriana emigrada nos Estados Unidos, conquistou-me.

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I get to know Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a few months ago through a Ted Talk. I completely surrendered to the way she speaks and by the topic that she brought into discussion in the 18 minutes given to each speaker. I became more and more curious in regards to her last work, Americanah, that was also recommended to me by my dad, a voracious reader whose taste and judgement I trust. I was “flirting” the book for a while and didn’t get it earlier only because I’m being “obliged” to read 3 other books until June. Yesterday, after lots of flirtation on Goodreads and Amazon, the book finally arrived. I’ve read the first 20 pages and I am not disappointed. A raw but gentle writing about what it feels like to be an outsider, about challenges, all that it spoken and mostly, that that is never spoken but is there: the difference and the lack of a belonging feeling in a country that isn’t ours. Chimamanda, the Nigerian emigrated in the United States, has conquered me.