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Sights of Amsterdam

Ten years ago I visited the Netherlands for the first time. Besides Amsterdam I had the opportunity to visit other cities around the country but obviously the capital made a huge impression.

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With all the water canals, bicycles and alternative people, Amsterdam amazed me by its relaxed lifestyle. The weather is always humid no matter how cold or how hot it is. The urbanistic side of it is less brutal than other capitals of Europe. Remember this is a full green city, lots of water, less pollution, more nature friendly. I really liked this aspect about the city. It’s Eco-friendly.

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The architecture itself is unique and recognizable on every corner. Dutch houses are unique just like its citizens. In terms of culture, it’s a very good city to visit, full of all kinds of museums, shops and tourist spots. The Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk museum of modern art and the Van Gogh Museum are perfect examples.

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I truly recommend to find unusual spots around the city, there are some alternative venues, coffee shops and local bars waiting to be discovered. I’ll be back to visit some members of my family and also to explore the city with friends.

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Portugal, país postal

It’s hard to write about your home country (or use words to describe the place where you grew up). It’s a mutual feeling. It brings back so many memories, the wonderful people you’ve met, the moments when you took everything for granted and just wanted to get out of there. At the moment I visit Portugal now and then and I miss it so much for the obvious reasons but mostly because it’s a wonderful country. The only thing that is wrong with living there is its political corruption.

Growing up, I always tended to think outside the box. Since my early teenage years, I always though my opportunities were outside of my small country. I remember listening almost every day about the topic of financial crises, the failure of the measures imposed by our government and how Europe would sink in into an odyssey of unfortunate events; and Portugal would be one of the first countries to deal with this situation. Unfortunately, our pessimism was right, so most of our generation left and some lucky ones stayed (at least until now).

We share “saudade”. It’s more than a feeling, more than missing something or someone, and it can only be understood by someone who knows the Portuguese language in detail. I’m afraid, Portugal will become a “postcard country”, I came up with this expression passing by some local shops, where there are postcards, usually showing amazing sights of south Europe. Every single one of these postcards look like a beautiful destination for tourists. When I look at them, I can’t help but wonder “how did I get here? why the hell did I moved out?!”. It’s a conundrum that all immigrants share with the belief that one day we all be back to work, live and enjoy our promised land.

Summertime

August! Finally! Even though I’m working during this season, in honor of sunny days and fun, here’s some photos from the most beautiful places I’ve been during the summer also some other shots here and there.

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I just can’t get enough. The beach, the countryside, the road trips, bikinis, sand, the smell of the ocean in your skin, evening cocktails, delicious food, lazy times on the balcony, playing around the swimming pool, laughter, reading while sunbathing, reuniting with friends, talking about mundane things, dancing through the warm nights, meeting random relaxing people (mostly known as tourists), traveling somewhere new to get lost in.

I love everything about this season. It’s inevitable.

Captions:

1 – Cousin portrait, 2012
2 – Watching the sunrise, 2008
3 – Teenage suntan, 2007
4 – Sa Calobra, Majorca, 2007
5 – My Ocean, 2007
6 – Summer crush, 2011
7 – Forest hunting, 2012
8 – Learning how to swim, 2013
9 – Spanish house, 2009
10 – 33 Degrees, 2010
11 – Magaluf Nightlife, 2007
12 – Local Menu, 2007
13 – Bonfire, 2010
14 – Starry Night, 2011

 

Equal Rights

We’ve achieved some great milestones through this year so far: Same-sex marriage in the United States has been legal nationwide since June, Ireland said yes to the same cause in a referendum and mostly there have been some revolutions amongst our society. Yes, we’re on our way to equal rights. But still, now, more than ever, we’ve got more work to do. There are many issues that should be debated actively so we can find a resolution.

The concept of acceptance is a simple notion that unfortunately has caused a lot of damage over the centuries. Nowadays we must support each other because within’ acceptance lies our freedom as a society, as a community, and most of all, as a person. Being truthful about your identity shouldn’t be a luxury, it’s a universal right and above all it’s the bravest thing you can do in your lifetime. You don’t need an award for that, you don’t need a big audience to see you making’ it, you just need to feel comfortable in your own skin. Never listen to what others have to say. It doesn’t matter. I don’t care who they are, if someone doesn’t accept you, turn away immediately. You can try to understand the other person’s opinion, but if it’s a commentary that its self-destructive with no intention of making a consistent argument, then it’s not worth it of your time. No one deserves humiliation, abuse, assault or being discriminated. Our identity is the most important thing to our integrity and it’s the core of being human. For example, there has been some confusion about Transgender rights and this piece on Last Week with John Oliver is perfect to clear things out:

On the same topic on equality before the law, we’re still fighting for equal pay for women. I’m not going to moan about how I feel being a working class female in this world, but I must say that Jon Stewart made a brilliant observation on the Daily Show where you can see how the media treats women and the influence of this information in people’s minds.

As you can see, we’ve got problems to solve. We’ve come so far, but have so much more to conquer and to achieve. We believe in a cruelty free world. Why not?! Although you must understand that through your life, there’s going to be some people who notice you, but if they don’t offend you, it’s ok. Making fun of something is different from bullying someone also the same thing goes for being funny is different then being ignorant/disrespectful. The bottom line is that, having the sensibility not to hurt the other person’s feelings, it’s a good exercise to practice from the moment you start talking as a toddler. We’re not trying to make a perfect world, we’re creating an equal environment for everyone.