Looking back: my trips in 2019

I love a good #throwback. And remembering the trips I made during the year that has passed always helps me get a wider vision of how I spent my free time, month by month. 2019 was a year where I grew and developed in my job, and had the pleasure to travel both on vacation and for work. I didn’t manage to travel in July or November, as I had very special visitors in Berlin both months, as well as in February (which is always a slow month…).

It was in 2019 that I reached (and surpassed) my personal goal of visiting 30 countries before 30 – I’ve arrived at 33 at the age of 29! This year alone I went to 5 new countries: Israel, Palestine, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Croatia.

Previous posts on the same series:
My trips in 2018
My trips in 2017
My trips in 2016
My trips in 2015


JANUARY: Rio de Janeiro / Ilha Grande (Brazil)

As usual, I spent New Year’s in my hometown, Rio de Janeiro. And I also took the opportunity to spend a few days in Ilha Grande for the first time, a tropical paradise near Rio, with wonderful beaches and nature.

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Aventureiro Beach, Ilha Grande

MARCH: Ziethen (Germany)

In March, my work colleagues and I spent a few days in our company’s winter retreat in a palace-hotel in Ziethen, a town that is 1-hour north of Berlin.

APRIL: Naples + Pompeii + Amalfi Coast (Italy) / New York City (USA)

My boyfriend and I spent the East holiday visiting southern Italy: Naples, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius, besides Sorrento and Positano in the Amalfi Coast. And, of course, we ate a lot of delicious pizza!

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Positano

In April I also went back to New York for work, over 8 years after my first visit, and had the pleasure to visit a friend who is living there and to spend my birthday with her in NYC. It was also the first time I flew business / first class – an experience I’ll never forget!

MAY: New York City (USA)

New York didn’t want to get rid of me so soon, and in the following month I went there for work once more. From there, I flew straight to my vacation in Israel.

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NYC

JUNE: Israel & Palestine

In June, my boyfriend and I spent 11 days visiting a couple of friends who are living in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem, in Israel. We also visited several cities in Palestine, including a few less visited ones by tourists (such as Nablus, Ramallah and Jericho, besides Bethlehem), since our friend had a diplomatic passport and car, which allowed us to reach these places. We also went to Masada, the Dead Sea, and northern Israel (Nazareth, Capernaum, Galilee, Jordan River, Haifa, Akko). This was the easternmost destination I’ve visited so far, and I learned a lot about the history and conflict of this region.

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Wall in Bethlehem, West Bank

AUGUST: South of Germany

In August, I had a work trip to a town in southern Germany (name withheld due to NDA).

SEPTEMBER: Cyprus / South of Germany / Luxembourg / Split (Croatia)

September was quite eventful! We went back to the Mediterranean Sea to spend beach vacations in Cyprus, an island-country where most part of the territory is influenced by Greece, and a portion in the north is occupied by Turkey. We visited the regions of Paphos, Limassol, the Blue Lagoon, Larnaca, Ayia Napa and Nicosia – the latter being the only capital in the world that is still divided. We crossed the border on foot to briefly visit the Turkish side.

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Cape Greco, Cyprus

I also went on a work trip to another town in the south of Germany (name undisclosed) and went for the first time to Luxembourg to give a talk representing my company. I got to know the capital, Luxembourg City, and the university town of Belval.

On top of that, I had a wonderful company summer retreat with my work colleagues to Split, in Croatia. We visited the old town, the waterfalls at the Krka National Park, went zip lining and ate reeeally well. Those were a few amazing days!

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Krka National Park, Croatia

OCTOBER: Spreewald (Germany)

Fortunately, in 2019 the month of October was quite warm and sunny in Berlin and surroundings, so we took a day trip with friends on a Sunday to the town of Lübbenau, in the region of Spreewald, around 1 hour south of Berlin and known as “the Venice of Germany”. There, we rented canoes and paddled for a couple of hours through the dozens of canals that link one village to the other.

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Spreewald

In October, I also spent one night in Leipzig to watch the circus show Corteo by Cirque du Soleil, invited by my dear friend Max, and also to get a backstage tour. We took the opportunity to visit a friend who lives there, who also joined us to watch the show. On the following weekend, it was his turn to visit me in Berlin.

DECEMBER: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

My year finished as it started, in my hometown.


Now it’s time for one of my favorite activities: planning the trips for the new year that is just starting!! 🙂

Happy 2020 everyone!

Looking back: my trips in 2018

2018 was a year full of changes for me – and they did live up to the expectations! Last year, I finished my PhD (reason enough for it to get the best-year-ever award), moved in to a new beautiful apartment with my boyfriend, started working in the job I really wanted, and at the end even gave a TEDx talk! Hello, adult life! Looking back, it sounds like a perfect plot – but oh, did it have its up’s and down’s…

I’ve been so busy I haven’t posted here since last August (shame on me). But now I’m back, and I’d like to keep the tradition of summarizing the trips I did in the previous year (for the 4th time now!).

Previous posts on the same series:
My trips in 2017
My trips in 2016
My trips in 2015


In 2018, I didn’t manage to travel every month, which is usually my goal: you’ll notice February, May and November were left out. But the trips I had were very special and bring really nice memories. It was a year when my parents came to visit (my mom for the first time) and when I went back to the cities where I lived during my Master’s – precisely the same year I finished my PhD and closed the academic life cycle. Had it been a movie, it would have received the title “Back to the origins”. 😀

JANUARY: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) / Usedom (Germany)

I usually spend New Year’s in my hometown, Rio. This time, I had the company of a good friend of mine from the Master’s and PhD programs. And after getting back to the winter of Berlin, I had a day trip to Usedom, an island by the Baltic Sea, in northeastern Germany.

MARCH: Nennendorf / Western Germany

March took me once more to the Baltic Sea (Germans will take any opportunity to go to the coast, even in wintertime), on a nice and cozy weekend trip when a big group of friends rented a whole house just for us, in a village called Nennendorf.

And on the first long weekend of the year (Easter), a good friend and I headed to western Germany to visit Cologne, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Koblenz and Aachen. The highlight was Drachenburg Castle, whose main viewpoint was temporarily closed, but still we managed to sneak in to take beautiful photos like this one:

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Drachenburg Castle in Königswinter

APRIL: Greece

My birthday was turned into a long weekend together with Labor Day, when I visited sunny and warm Greece for the first time – being based in Athens and also doing day trips to Nafplio (a tip from a Greek friend of mine) and a whole-day boat tour to some of the nearby islands: Hydra, Poros and Aegina.

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Athens, Greece
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Nafplio, Greece

JUNE: Lisbon + Algarve (Portugal)

Having family and roots in Portugal, I always go back there. This time, I visited a dear, long-time friend from Rio who was living in Oeiras, very close to Lisbon, and some of my relatives, and then headed south to enjoy the beaches in Algarve (my second time there). All that in the midst of the World Cup. What an amazing, heart-filling week it was!

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Praia do Camilo, Lagos, Algarve

JULY: Göttingen (Germany)

A couple of dear friends of mine were celebrating their PhD graduation in Göttingen (where I did my Master’s and lived for almost 2 years) and I couldn’t miss it. A weekend of seeing old friends again, partying and going back to watching World Cup games in the same places where I had 4 years before.

AUGUST: Rackwitz (Germany) / Bordeaux (France)

A very sweet, countryside wedding of a couple of friends took us to a village called Rachwitz, near Leipzig, on a summer weekend.

Later the same month, I went back to Bordeaux, where I lived and studied for one semester during my Master’s, for the annual meeting of my Master’s program. As always, it was a week surrounded by dear colleagues (old and new), celebrations, sharing ideas and even a visit to Château de Montaigne with the mandatory wine tasting.

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Château de Montaigne, France

SEPTEMBER: Northern Portugal

My parents and godparents (who are very close to me) came to visit in Berlin – it was my mom’s first time in Germany! So naturally, my parents and I went to visit our family in northern Portugal, where I have been quite a few times. They gave us the full tour: Porto, Coimbra, Viseu, Aveiro… Portugal is one of those countries where it’s always great to be back.

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East Side Gallery, Berlin
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Costa Nova, Aveiro, Portugal

OCTOBER: Hamburg (Germany)

Six girls coming from three different cities in Germany managed to meet in Hamburg for a Bachelorette party weekend – which was a surprise for the bride-to-be, including the program we had planned: trampoline hall, paintball, brunch and of course, some nice cocktails.

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“The Chug Club”: very nice cocktail bar in Hamburg, Germany

DECEMBER: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

As usual, I headed to Rio for the final days of the year – and this was my boyfriend’s first time there! New Year’s was spent in white clothes, with a couple of dear friends who also came for the occasion, feet in the waters of Copacabana beach and heads up to the fireworks.

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New Year’s Eve at Copacabana Beach, Rio

Because 2018 had so many important milestones for me, it’s going to be hard to beat this year… But… give it your best shot, 2019! Hope everyone has some amazing trips this year!

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?”

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!)