It's been almost six months since I walked on this beach in Cascais, Portugal.

Now that my podcast is finished and out there for the world to hear, I want to tell some of the other stories. They probably won't be in chronological order, but I think that's okay. There were so many small moments and strings-of-thought that were important during my whirlwind of a summer and they deserve to be documented, too, even if I didn't do it properly at the time.

So I'll start here. On this beach in Cascais, Portugal.

This was the softest sand I've ever felt. Warm because of the sun, heaped in piles that cascaded onto the road. I left my shoes in the car as we wandered around the dunes. That morning was the first time I'd seen people surfing in real life, and later that day, I'd be joining them. That night, we'd drive in circles trying to find a multicolored, Disney-like castle. Portugal was supposed to be a break for me, so I was trying not to think about the project that would eventually become my podcast. And in that moment, with my feet sinking in mounds of sand and a seaside breeze through the air, I imagined ditching everything and stay on the Portuguese coast instead of going back to real life.

Travel takes a lot out of me and, when I return home, I always end up thinking that I don't need to leave again, that my hunger to see more of the world has been sated. But I underestimate that hunger every time. After a few weeks or months it returns, and I dream of another foreign place to explore. These days, I hope to find myself back in Portugal again soon.