Tomorrow I bid farewell to Porto. I ended up extending my stay by a day so I could take one final stroll around the city that effortlessly stole a piece of me. I must've walked about 6 miles this afternoon as I casually ambled past busy cafes, churches, and the occasional trolly car chugging up steep hills well over capacity.
In all my travels I've noticed there's something about Sunday. No matter where you are the day lends itself to a rare type of clarity. For a moment everything slows down and the world seems to remember what's most important in life. As much as it can and however fleeting, our very being makes sense.
I take great comfort in our universal acceptance of the importance of family, relationships, and love. It gives me hope about our chances to all get along somehow. After all, everyone ultimately wants to feel significance, to matter, and if lucky, to someone they can wake up beside each day. The key I think is to focus on what binds us rather than divides, what starts a conversation rather than ends one. Always easier said than done.
The people in Porto are warm, hardworking, and thoughtful. I'll miss them and their city. Of course, to them, I'm just another passing stranger, my loyalty as fleeting as my stay.
But tomorrow, I'll quietly tiptoe my way to Coimbra, without fanfare or so much as a "goodbye." There will be many more like me. Photos will be shamelessly snapped, faces will seem a blur, and time will roll on.
Still, I'll remember how much Porto meant to me.