Hello and welcome to my little corner of the Internet. I’m Silvia, a 23 year old born and raised in the Canary Islands, currently based in England. I have lived and worked in four different countries so far and I am all for learning about new cultures and discovering all of the corners of this world one country at a time. Since the age of 12, I was able to spend my summers with a host Irish family for 6 years in a row. 11 years later, at the age of 23, I am only after leaving Dublin, where I have been living for the last 7 years. My host family are now my extended Irish family and I usually like to say that even though my blood is Spanish, my heart is Irish.
If I had to describe myself I would say I am a full time scientist, part-time traveller. I love my job as much as I love traveling and I can’t see myself doing one without the other. I have been traveling with my parents since a very young age but it wasn’t until I came to Ireland and I had to engage in the local culture that I became obsessed with traveling. That’s why I don’t really count countries. If you think that getting off a bus in Paris and taking a picture in front of the Eiffel Tower means you have been to France, I’m sorry but I think you are doing it all wrong!
I lived in the Canary Islands until I was 16, which was when I moved to Dublin. I also lived and worked in Massachusetts for 4 months and I recently moved from Ireland to England. Over the last couple of years I have traveled across most of western Europe and across the west and the east coast in the States. All in all, I haven’t really seen much of the world, but what I have seen I tend to have gotten to know quite well. What you will find in this blog are my stories and experiences from the countries I have lived in, as well as some others. If you need an adjective to define this blog I guess you could say it is about slow travel, cultural exchanges and weekend trips. I enjoy writing and if by sharing my travel stories I can make at least one person’s travel experience a bit better it’ll be worth it.
The first thing everybody asks me when I tell them about the blog is, what the heck is Upendi? Let me start by quoting Rafiki, from the classic Disney movie The Lion King:
‘In Upendi, where the passionfruit grows sweet; and it is so divine that you lose your mind as it sweeps you off your feet’
The exact meaning of the word is never explained in the movie. When asked ‘where is it’, Rafiki replies: ‘No place you don’t take with you’. When asked if it means love, Rafiki’s response is ‘welcome to Upendi’. Therefore to me, Upendi is somewhere special, somewhere that you love, somewhere that takes you aback and also anywhere where you can find joy in small things.
If it hasn’t become obvious yet, The Lion King is my absolute favorite movie. Also, I am a big Disney fan in general. To most people, you say Disney and the first thing that comes to mind is love and fairytales. To me you say Disney, and I think Pocahontas, the native american that went all the way to England; Jane, the explorer that was so fascinated by gorillas she stayed and lived with them. I could go on, but I will probably just write a whole blog post one day on how I get travel inspiration from Disney.
And that my friends, is how Finding Upendi was born: my own Disney-inspired public travel diary.
Hope you enjoy what you find and thanks for reading!