Looking back: my trips in 2017

2017 has been wonderful for me, both professionally and personally. And it was a year of many, maaany trips. Thinking about it, I’ve been to 13 countries only this year (yes, THIRTEEN!!), including 3 times in Italy and 4 countries for the first time: Uruguay, Argentina, Scotland and Ireland. It was more countries than months. Still, it was by far the most productive year of my PhD.

In 2015, I traveled every month of the year and in 2016, almost (only 1 month got away). This year was different: the vast majority of my trips was concentrated in the first semester, when most of the long weekends and spring/summer take place, but there were one or two trips per month. It was so much coming and going between January and August that I must confess that even I got a bit tired. 😀

JANUARY: Rio de Janeiro / Uruguay + Argentina

As always, I spent New Year’s in my beautiful city, Rio de Janeiro.
And, finding it absurd to have visited so many European countries but only Brazil in South America (and still, not even the whole country), I finally decided to change that. I traveled with my dad through Montevideo, Punta del Este and Colonia del Sacramento (in Uruguay) and, after crossing from one country to the other by ferry, Buenos Aires (in Argentina).

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Montevideo, Uruguay

FEBRUARY: Switzerland

My second time in Geneva and third in Switzerland, this time to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend, who even took me to eat lots of cheese and to visit CERN’s particle collision detector. I also visited Montreux, Vevey and Lausanne, which comprise French Switzerland, or Swiss Riviera. A gorgeous scenery with snow-covered mountain tops.

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French Switzerland

APRIL: Scotland / Ireland

Easter holiday exploring Scotland for the first time with a friend from the Master’s and a childhood friend from Rio who met us there. We visited Edinburgh and Glasgow and went on day trips to Loch Ness, the Highlands, Stirling, Loch Lomond and a whiskey distillery.

And I visited my 27th country, Ireland, on my 27th birthday, over the long weekend of Labor Day. I stayed with a friend from the Master’s who was an amazing hostess. I visited Dublin and went on trips to the Cliffs of Moher and Howth and the Galway Bay. Despite Scotland and Ireland’s  reputation of being quite rainy, those were beautiful and sunny spring days!

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Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

MAY: Alicante (Spain) / Turin + Cinque Terre + Pisa (Italy)

No time to catch a breath: the next day I arrived from Dublin I flew to Alicante for a conference for Neuroscience PhD students. The resort where it took place, by the beach, the presence of friends, and the hot and sunny weather made it seem as if it was purely a leisure trip.

At the end of May, I went to Italy with my best friend. He wanted to visit Turin (a Juventus fan!) and I, Cinque Terre: the 5 villages by the sea, with beautiful colorful houses on cliffs. So we did both! And even Pisa too, since it was so close by. Such stunning sights!! Amongst my trips in 2017, this one gets the award of best destination.

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Manarola (Cinque Terre), Italy

JUNE: Paris / Amsterdam

My third time in Paris, visiting a friend from Rio de Janeiro over the weekend, in the heat of summer (and how warm indeed!). We visited what was missing for both of us two to see around there: the Palace of Versailles.

I also spent a week in Amsterdam, where I was kindly hosted by a friend from the Master’s, to attend a fantastic BioBusiness course.

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Palace of Versailles

JULY: Göttingen (Germany) / Leuven (Belgium)

I went back to the German city where I lived during my Master’s, Göttingen, for a week of work, surrounded by friends. And later I headed to Leuven (my second time) for the wedding of a dear friend. What a special and wonderful weekend!

AUGUST: Kenilworth (England)

Another weekend to celebrate the wedding of another dear friend, this time in Kenilworth, England. There was a lot of love, a lot of sun, blue skies and caipirinha. It was truly amazing!

OCTOBER: Venice (Italy)

A super romantic trip with my boyfriend (our first trip together, and our first time in Venice!). I wrote a post about what to see over there beyond the main island: Burano, Murano, Torcello and Sant’Erasmo.

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Venice, Italy

DECEMBER: Rome / Rio de Janeiro

Heading from Berlin to Rio with a friend who was on the same flight, we had a 7-hour layover in Rome. Although it wasn’t our first time there, we went to the city center and walked around the streets covered in Christmas lights. It seems that Italy didn’t want to let go of me this year.

And 2017 ends where it began: in Rio de Janeiro. 🙂

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I can barely wait for 2018 and the trips that will come! Happy New Year everybody!!!


My trips in 2016

My trips in 2015

Answering the question “How do you manage to travel so much?”

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Looking back: my trips in 2016

2016 wasn’t exactly the best year ever for many people – including me. The bright side were the fantastic trips that I took. While in 2015 I managed to travel every single month of the year, in 2016 I almost made it (only February got away, meeh). But I did visit 3 new countries (Sweden, Malta and Bulgaria), the latter being my first country whose language uses a different alphabet.

Last year I made a summary of my trips in 2015, and in the blink of an eye it’s time to do the same for 2016.

JANUARY: Rio de Janeiro + Angra dos Reis / Ilha Grande + Arraial do Cabo (Brazil)
My year starts in my hometown, Rio de Janeiro, beautiful as always. And that month I also went to other cities within the state, with gorgeous beaches (including my first time in Angra dos Reis and Ilha Grande – finally!)

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Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro

MARCH: Stuttgart, Karlsruhe, Tübingen, Heidelberg + Castles of the region (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
Easter holiday with two dear friends. We went on a road trip across the state of Baden-Württemberg, in southwestern Germany, going through several cities and at least 5 different castles.

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View to the Hohenzollern Castle, Germany

APRIL: Leipzig (Germany)
My second time in Leipzig, very close to Berlin. This time it was a business trip: my lab colleagues and I went to participate in a scientific conference.

MAY: Stockholm + Uppsala (Sweden)
A long weekend trip when I stayed with a dear friend and her family and visited two important Swedish cities. I’m usually lucky with the weather while traveling, but this time it was really impressive: very sunny and warm over there still at the beginning of May!

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Stockholm, Sweden

JUNE: Malta
The most anticipated and planned trip of the year, which managed to exceed my expectations (which were pretty high!). I’ve written two posts about Malta: one on general information and one full itinerary. There is not much left to say – it was probably my best trip in 2016.

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Blue Lagoon, Malta

JULY: Budapest + Szentendre (Hungary) / Rio de Janeiro + Búzios (Brazil)
My second visit to Budapest, this time on a business trip and at the peak of summer, surrounded by beloved colleagues. I was even able to go visit the charming nearby town of Szentendre.
After that I spent a short, but very important, week in Brazil. I had the honor to be bridesmaid at the wedding of two close friends in Búzios, a beach town near Rio. It was hands down one of the best weekends of the year!

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Wedding in Búzios, Brazil

AUGUST: Saxon Switzerland (Germany)
A weekend touring the national park near Dresden and its surroundings, with relatives from Brazil. There is a post here telling everything about this destination.

SEPTEMBER: Sofia + Plovdiv (Bulgaria)
Another weekend trip, this time to a destination that is a bit out of the ordinary. I’ve shared everything about this visit to Bulgaria in this post.

OCTOBER: Poznan + Wroclaw (Poland)
Not even the lack of company stops me from traveling on a long weekend. 😛 So me, myself and I went to visit Poznan and Wroclaw, two Polish cities that are relatively close to the border with Germany.

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Poznan, Poland

NOVEMBER: Stettin (Poland)
Poland, we meet again! This time it was just a day trip from Berlin. There’s nothing like doing something different with dear friends on a Saturday, even in chilly (but sunny) weather.

DECEMBER: Göttingen (Germany) + Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Opening homecoming season, I went to visit the town that was my first home in Europe: Göttingen. It was wonderful to see my friends there again, and to be back in my favorite Christmas market.
And of course, in December I fly to Rio, my first home ever, hehe. What amazing holidays these few weeks were!

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Christmas market in Göttingen, Germany

Thinking about it, the general balance of 2016 was pretty positive! Last year many bank holidays happened to be on weekends, but 2017 looks promising, with several long weekends!

Have great trips this year, everyone! 🙂

Looking back: my trips in 2015

I know January is almost over, but I hope it’s not too late to look back on 2015. Last year was hectic at work for me, but still I managed to travel on bank holidays and vacation days. Actually, I realized that in 2015 I was able to travel in every single month of the year (which should become a goal for all the following years!).

So here is a summary of my trips in 2015. Hopefully it can inspire some ideas!

JANUARY: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
As usual, my year starts in my hometown, Rio.

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Sun rise in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

FEBRUARY: Frankfurt an der Oder (Germany)
A short day trip on Valentine’s Day from Berlin to a German city that shares border with Poland. We went there just for the fun of crossing to Poland on foot over a bridge and have lunch in a different country. Because… why not?

MARCH: Dresden (Germany)
Nice weekend trip to meet dear friends and get to know Dresden. Super close to Berlin.

APRIL: Prague (Czech Republic)
First time in Prague, during Easter holidays. Just a short and cheap bus ride away from Berlin.

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View to Prague Old Town

MAY: Lübeck (Germany) + Warsaw & Krakow (Poland) + Göttingen (Germany)
I spent one of the long weekends of May (4 days) discovering Warsaw and Krakow, in Poland. Besides exploring the cities, my friend and I visited the Wieliczka salt mine and Auschwitz. I also went to Lübeck for a day and went back to Göttingen, a German city where I lived for almost 2 years, for a conference and to visit friends.

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Main square in Krakow

JUNE: Salzburg (Austria) + Berchtesgaden (Germany) + Munich (Germany)
Three different locations, but on the same trip. We stayed in the beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg and went on day trips to Germany (to the Berchtesgaden National Park and Munich). The highlight was definitely the stunning Ostsee lake.

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Ostsee, Berchtesgaden

JULY: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
This was a business trip (though I also had leisure time). It was my third time in Amsterdam, but the first one during the summer.

AUGUST: Romantic Road (Bavaria, Germany) + Innsbruck (Austria)
I had been wanting to go see the small medieval towns of the German Romantic Road for a long time – and in August an opportunity came up. I wrote a detailed post about this route here.
And since we were staying overnight in Munich and had a car, why not drive only 2 hours to visit Innsbruck for a day? It sure was worth it – what a gorgeous city!

SEPTEMBER: Viseu/Coimbra/Aveiro/Porto (Portugal)
My dad came from Brazil to visit me for a few weeks, so we went to Portugal to see our family from there, and went through mostly northern cities of the country. It was my fourth time in Portugal – amazing as usual.

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Street in Águeda, Portugal

OCTOBER: Bonn, Linz & Phantasialand (Germany) + Göttingen (Germany)
My dad and I visited relatives who live in Bonn, and they also showed us Linz am Rhein. And since we are both crazy about amusement parks, we spent a day riding roller-coasters and watching shows at Phantasialand. And I also took him to see my former home, Göttingen.

NOVEMBER: Quedlinburg (Germany)
Day trip to a medieval German town around the Harz mountains that is in the UNESCO world heritage list. As it was untouched by the war, it has constructions from the 10th century, including Germany’s oldest half-timbered house.

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Quedlinburg, Germany

DECEMBER: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
And the year finishes again with Christmas holidays in Rio… Feels almost like a cycle that is completed.

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View from Dois Irmãos mountain, Rio de Janeiro

Now looking forward to the trips that 2016 will bring… : )

(Let me know in the comments below if you would like me to write a post about a specific destination mentioned here!)