So, this month's Travel Link-Up theme is all about "travel contrasts" and it got me thinking: do you prefer beach breaks or city breaks?
Looking at the photos above, the destinations couldn't be more different: the laid-back vibe of Sri Lankan beaches, where all I could hear was the ocean crashing on the sand from where I read my book in a hammock that swung gently beneath a palm tree ... to the rush of traffic in the middle of New York City's Time Square, with hundreds of tourists craning their necks up to take photos of the neon lights and signs.
And yet ... I prefer a bit of both.
'That's cheating!' I hear you say. But it's not. Not really. A city break can often be as refreshing as a beachy break ... a new city waiting to be discovered on foot, the rush a different kind of rush than the one I might be used to.
The other day, I was talking to someone about how underrated and often forgotten Brussels is as a location for a city-break. That trip I took in February with my best friend Udita remains firmly stamped in my mind as one of the most memorable - and not just because I was travelling with her, but also because I loved the feel of the city. The verve; the vibe.
Cities have hearts - don't you think? They're pulsing, reaching out, navigating, yearning, hoping - it's what I love about discovering a new city. Finding its pulse. Walking it, living it, breathing it, tasting it.
Another favorite city of mine? Berlin. Such an incredibly artistic, hip, and impossibly cool city. Beyond that? New York and Madrid. New York is - well, New York. And Madrid is so elegant: sophisticated and fabulous.
But the beach also beckons. And whether it's Vietnam or Thailand or Sri Lanka or the Oregon Coast (where I haven't been back to since I was a child), there's something about that magical lull of the ocean - the little inlets and infinite pool of blue that make me feel like I've just magically stepped into a screensaver. It's just so intoxicating.
There are no cares in the world during these kinds of vacations; only the thought that you're on vacation and what that means is no shoes, no watch, and salty wet hair. All the time.
And time. Time moves so slowly during these beachy breaks. My movements themselves become languid and delayed. Reaching for a glass beside my sun lounger suddenly seems like so much effort.
But this is good. Beach vacations are like interventions. They force you to slow down. To really see around you. To understand what it means to replenish your heart and your mind with joy, calm, and quietness.
So, tell me: do you prefer city breaks? Or beachy breaks? Or a bit of both?
This month's travel link-up is hosted by Rebecca, Kelly, Emma, and Zoe. Head over to their blogs to read more about travel contrasts and to discover the different ways we all like to travel!