“Dear New City”

Only you, new city, have the power to reinvigorate me.

Amanda Portugal

Dear New City,

Hello. I’m not sure how to introduce myself. I am simply ecstatic for our first meeting, so much so that I am bouncing in my seat. I do have a few concerns – trivial things like “what if I didn’t dress appropriately for the venue?” or “what if I get lost trying to meet you?” When the nerves overwhelm me, sometimes I wonder why I put myself through this, put myself out there, step outside my comfort zone – and my doorstep – time and time again.

Then, I remember.

Only you, new city, have the power to reinvigorate me – to take me on an adventure where I have not been before. You steal my rose-colored glasses and turn them into an arduous array of brilliant colors, flashing before my eyes at all times of the day or night. You let me linger in your embrace for as long as I please – seconds, minutes, days overdue. You allow me to rest yet push me to move, begging me to see everything I can.

Suddenly, with you, the days are too short. Time never stops and yet, for the first time in a long time, I can feel myself breathing. I can milk the goodness from life. I am blissfully happy. With you, I yearn to climb every mountain, run every street, touch every fabric, smell every aroma, pluck every piece of grass and weave it into a blanket so I can wrap myself in your land when I am far from you once again.

In a few days, new city, we will no longer be strangers. I will speak of you as if I have known you for my whole life. Every color, smell, touch, memory, will remind me of you. And when you are gone, I will yell your name to my friends as if they should know you, too – as if, by speaking of you, I will introduce you to them as well. I will laugh when I remember the happiness you gave me, and cry when I cannot return to you again. I will put pictures of us on my wall and little pins on your indentation on my map.

Then, new city, you will become “old city” – a place I must return to, a place where I have left my heart. A place that I will see again, when the time is right, when I feel whole once more.

Until then, though, old city, do not be heartbroken when I find a new city. The reason I fall in love with “new city” will be the reason I fell in love with you; because I was broken and it fixed me, because I was lost and it found me, because I was gasping for air and it gave me breath.

Until then, though, you are my air.

So, new city, hello.

Amanda Rodrigues


When Amanda is not traveling the world, she is developing her writing skills and working on manuscripts. Her favorite cities are Barcelona, Venice and home!

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