10 Famous City Quotes That Will Give You Wanderlust

Many things can wake up the dormant wanderlust in us. May they be images, smells, sounds, words, or very sudden memories, the result is the same. We start dreaming of being somewhere else. Proust was not the only one to have a madeleine, a flavour that brought back nostalgic moments.

If you suddenly feel the need to go and see for yourself, if your mind takes you away for even just a second, you are undoubtedly experiencing wanderlust. Although the word, in its current form, is fairly recent, the sentiment itself must have been the one shared by many sailors and explorers.

Artists, politicians and thinkers attempted to express the emotions they had when discovering or experiencing those incredible places. Old cities, new cities, beautiful, grandiose or gritty…


Here are 10 quotes to help feed your wanderlust. (Gallery on top of the page)


When China lights up

When the sun sets, China lights up; its atmosphere is more vibrant; its buildings resemble giant Christmas trees; the Chinese delight on dinners out and evening exercise in parks or public squares. Evening time is probably the most enjoyable time to discover the country and its lifestyle. It is life after the manic day life.

Evening time is probably the most enjoyable time to discover the country and its lifestyle. From eateries to night markets, lit up facades and giant screens, neon or LED, it is a new world, almost a different country.

So wether you are an expat in China, a student or a traveller, no matter how long or busy your day has been, do not miss out on a little R&R with a walk along the lit up streets of the chinese cities.

This post, “When China Lights Up”, is set as a photo gallery. Enjoy


Curious to see more? Check another related post here.


Music Playlist : Cafe Terrace on Spotify

With the change of season, nothing beats a good music playlist to inspire your mood.

Not sure what to listen to? Head to your Spotify account, or try it for free. Click on the image bellow, pull your shades over your eyes, order that drink and relax…

Prague, Barcelona or Tianzifang, just head out and relax.


NB: This music list is only accessible if you have a registered account with Spotify.

City lights in China

With so many gigantic cities, most of them looking and feeling like permanent construction sites, China may leave your photographic eye a little frustrated. You do have to go a long way to find those amazing and picturesque landscapes the brochure guides made you dream about. If you are traveling, you will find your way to picturesque Guilin or Sanya. But if you are an expat, your daily life is likely to be in one of the major cities, mostly an industrial one.

China has a lot to offer to the explorer and the photographer, especially on the street side. A few minutes of walking along the streets of any Chinese city will make you feel very overwhelmed: crowd, movement, speed, smells, and a myriad of visual contrasts. Street photography is not an easy exercise, especially if, like me, and unlike the Chinese, you feel self conscious at the idea of pointing your phone or camera to people’s faces and on-going activities.

Summer night on a street of Beijing vs winter summer night in Shenyang

Summer night on a street of Beijing vs winter summer night in Shenyang

So here is a quick thought for you if you come to visit the Middle Kingdom. Step out in the city at night. I do it regularly with my favourite Hipstamatic Lenses, because the filters add to the magic of the street lights.

Both above and under ground, electric lights and LED

Both above and under ground, electric lights and LED

The bright Chinese LED lights will bring you all sorts of sights. You can follow a gritty trail, or step into scenes that will, no doubt, remind you of Blade Runner.


Street vendor in winter in North China

Street vendor in winter in North China

Late night street view in Hong Kong

Late night street view in Hong Kong


Stopover in Johannesburg

Johannesburg rarely appears on the list of recommended destinations, unless you are coming for business, or landing at OR Tambo Airport before heading to Kruger Park. The city of 5 millions has long suffered from a reputation for violence and crime. But the recent years have brought a second wind to the city of gold, and the art scene is blossoming.

Downtown Johannesburg view from the Carlton Centre

So if you give it a chance, Johannesburg, Jozi as some call it affectionately, is likely to surprise you. The city may not be known for famous monuments, but it offers a large palette of cultural and historical experiences. Enjoy a unique shopping experience at the artisan market in Rosebank, plan a historical visit of Constitution Hill, the sadly famous jail which hosted both Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, or take a drive to the Cradle of Humankind, one of South Africa’s eight World Heritage sites.

If you make a brief stopover in Johannesburg, here is a short list of activities, each doable over half a day, allowing you to maximise your time in or around the city. The list is, of course, just a sample of possibilities. More amazing activities are possible, although some will require driving further or following a booking process. All the options mentioned underneath are easy for those who have not had a chance to plan.

One of several cubs at the Lion Park in Johannesburg

  • The Lion and Safari Park:  Rated as one of the best animal attractions in the world, the park offers a chance to see lions, giraffes, cheetahs, ostriches or even meerkats. If you are in South Africa but do not have the opportunity to visit one of the great animal reserves, the Lion and Safari Park will provide you with a very exciting alternative.


  • Apartheid Museum : Impressive, moving, fascinating, deep, challenging, chose your own adjective, for this visit will be yours to experience. Unlike most museums, the Apartheid Museum is open every day. Not only does it take you through the history of the Apartheid regime, but it also highlights the history of immigration in South Africa via the examples of multi-ethnic families. In both an instructive and a chilling way, the entrance to the complex has segregated entrances, and you will enter the museum according to the ticket randomly delivered to you.

Ndebele Houses at the Lesedi cultural village


  • Lesedi Village : The Lesedi Cultural Village is a showcase village, that aims at presenting different  south african tribes: Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Pedi and Basotho, with their traditions, languages, original tribal habitat  The arrival at the place may feel “staged” as you are welcomed with dances and cheers, but as the staff slowly pulls you in with the visit, and the presentations, the experience switches from entertaining to fascinating. As a visitor, it is a chance to witness dances, hear specifics about the history of those tribes and what makes each of them unique within the South African mosaic structure. This is your chance to try and learn to say words in Xhosa, hear the story of the Pedi warriors and why they wear kilts, interact and ask questions. You will laugh, you will learn, you will leave the place with a very moving feeling that you have felt, for a quick moment, the deep essence of this fascinating country.


  • Cullinan: If you have more than a day of spare time during your Johannesburg stop over, you may want to consider a drive to Cullinan. The diamond mine is famous for the record breaking diamond of the same name. If you are not excited at the idea of visiting a diamond mine, you can also go there for the historical village itself. Trading post style of houses, Culling is a real postcard village, with cafés and restaurants, small art and craft galleries, we stopped there for a couple hours before heading back to OR Tambo Airport. Located East of Pretoria, count an hour to drive back to the airport.


Although this post only covers a few highlights and suggestions of activities, all close enough to Johannesburg, Soweto was not mentioned. It will be the topic of a separate and specific post.


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