I’ve been missing it. So much. That feeling when you step out from the air-conditioned airport somewhere far away in a southern country, and you are welcomed by a warm summer breeze. The warmth feels so good after a long and cold winter in Europe. And then there is the smell of summer, a scent that you can only feel when you’ve been in the cold for a too long time. You just have to stop for a second to breathe and take it all in. Ever since I was a kid and travelled to Spain every winter, this smell of summer at the airport is one of those things that always makes me happy. It comes with a thrill of excitement, start of holidays, start of an adventure. You all know how much I loathe the dark, rainy and chilly winter we have in Paris (or even worse, Finland!), but the only reason why I would maybe not want to live permanently in a warm country, is simply that I would not get to experience this joy that I am feeling now.
I can’t believe that I’m back. Again - some would say - but to me it feels way too long ago. Miami is never my destination, but it’s always my safe haven. Like my dear friend J says, a stopover in Miami before landing on a Caribbean island is like promise of something great that waits around the corner. And when flying back to Europe, it’s the final stop and chance to savor the relaxed Caribbean state-of-mind for a little bit longer. Here I am, writing this post at Maxine’s terrace, my favorite people-watching spot, with a tropical Bellini in front of me and waiting for my “so very light” fruit and cheese platter to come. I’m on Collins Avenue, near Ocean Drive and the seaside, in the very heart of South Beach. It’s Sunday night but people are out, and I see cars driving by, playing Latino music as load as it can get. You know what, I also see palm trees all over me. And did I mention that I’m sitting outside wearing only a dress and a light sweater? It’s astonishing how relatively fast and easy it is to change the scenery and suddenly been somewhere so different. Ok well, not that easy, considering that my whole body is sore now after sprinting like never before at the airport in Madrid to catch my flight, and then mostly sitting still for almost ten hours.
I haven’t looked at my work phone since I switched it off at the airport in Paris, and I have no intention in doing so in the near future. Even if I of course had a little going-on-holidays panic and about two million last-minute tasks to do, I’m surprised about how effortless it was to let go. I have already successfully transferred from my exciting but oh so hectic tourism City Manager life back to being a carefree and adventurous travel blogger. I had to take a short break of writing to sympathize with two guys who came to sit next to me. Super nice both of them, it’s so easy to make friends with Americans. They are from North Carolina and here for a boat show because they sell boats for a living, how cool is that? They kindly paid for my cheese plate and Bellini, and in exchange I promised to post a picture of them in my blog. They also wanted to share their quote of the day: “Sometimes you just have to jump”. I so agree, which is why I spontaneously and despite my bank account screaming no, booked this vacation.
I’m so excited, even if I’m not planning on doing anything more adventurous than taking a rest in the sun. And as you know, this blog has never really been about Miami, it’s only a stopover. I tried to resist, I really tried. But I’m glad I didn’t – right now I’m about to board the plane again and travel back to where I belong: the Caribbean coast of Colombia.
Ps. An early morning walk today at Miami Beach and Ocean Drive before hopping on the airport shuttle bus. I could say this a thousand times and keep being as happy as I am now: I am back in the summer and by the sea! More to come, stay tuned.
I'm Emilia, Finnish-Parisian, a recent Master's graduate. I'm currently traveling around the Caribbean and on a volunteering mission in Colombia. I'm passionate about writing, music and different kinds of sports. I can't wait to discover new places and cultures - and share my adventures with you!